Health and Safety Policy

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1 Health and Safety Policy 2015

2 Statement of Health and Safety Policy The University recognises its obligations to properly control the risks to the health of its staff, students and visitors. Strong strategic leadership and management control play an important part in establishing a safe University and a positive health and safety culture. This document is intended to bring the University s health and safety policy to the attention of all its employees and students to make safety an integral part of the proper conduct of affairs. The University believes that statutory duties and requirements are the minimum standards to be met and that it is desirable for such standards to be exceeded. It is the policy of the University, so far as is reasonably practicable, to: establish and maintain an environment for staff, students and visitors that is safe and without risks to health; ensure that health and safety is a legitimate senior management issue (and identify those with overall responsibility for health and safety and those responsible for policy formulation); commit to the provision of appropriate resources; provide and maintain plant, equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health; provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and visitors; Ensure that employees are aware of their responsibility to staff, students and the public within their jurisdiction, that they implement the requirements of the safety policy and are aware of the contribution that employees and students can make to policy implementation; monitor and review the effectiveness of the University's arrangements and, where appropriate, implement improvements; maintain a commitment to continuous improvement in health and safety performance. The University will review its Health and Safety Policy on an annual basis and revise it as often as may be necessary. Professor Medwin Hughes Vice Chancellor April 2015

3 Committing to Health and Safety The University expects staff, students, contractors and visitors to cooperate on all matters of health, safety and welfare. It is important that all who represent the University take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions, or lack thereof. The University lays down the following guidelines for ALL staff: Staff should always act in a responsible way, in particular paying attention not to undertake any actions that constitute a danger to themselves or others. Cooperate with the University and support its policies and procedures on health and safety Bring to the attention of managers any situation or practice that may lead to injuries or work related ill-health Complete risk assessments for activities and field trips where there is a significant risk to health and safety Maintain and update their knowledge with health and safety policies, procedures and guidelines Report all accidents, near misses and unplanned events to the health and safety department Use equipment in a safe way, according to any relevant training Maintain good housekeeping in work areas Dispose of waste in the appropriate way according to relevant waste policies Report all near misses, incidents and accidents Undertake health and safety training that is relevant to work activities Every University staff member has responsibility for health and safety, which forms part of their core legal duty as an employee. It is the duty of every line manager to bring this section to the attention of all members of their team. University employees acting in a managerial or supervisory capacity bear additional management responsibilities, to that described previously, described in more detail in Appendix A of this policy. 3

4 Roles and Responsibilities The Senior Directorship The University s Senior Directorate are in a position to consider, support and implement policies at the highest level. The Senior Directorate will: Accept the collective responsibility for providing health and safety leadership Receive and consider reports on health and safety performance Consider the health and safety implications of all of its decisions The Pro Vice Chancellor (Finance and Planning), via the Health and Safety Manager, will ensure that information on the following is presented to the Vice Chancellor, Senior Directorship and/or the University Council, as necessary and appropriate: Updates to health and safety legislation and its implications for the University The communication strategy on health and safety within the University Any significant health and safety compliance violations and appropriate actions Relevant health and safety risk management issues Decisions that affect health, safety and welfare of staff and students Health, safety and welfare policies, and updates, on behalf of the University The health and safety priorities for inclusion in the health and safety tactical implementation plan The Health and Safety department The University s health and safety department is the primary resource of health and safety advice and training. The health and safety department s core aims are to reduce all risks to a level as low as is reasonably practicable and to commit to a culture of continuous improvement. The Health and Safety Department will: Lead by example by working pro-actively to minimise risks Communicate effectively with staff, students, visitors and contractors to ensure health and safety policies are adhered to Create and implement the health and safety policy commitments within the University Create tactical implementation plans to improve the safety performance of the University Work closely PVC (Finance and Planning) and the Director of Operations to deliver the tactical implementation plan Create, and make available, reports on health and safety performance Investigate all significant health and safety incidents and accidents In addition the University Organisational framework will identify the responsibilities and relationships which will promote a positive health and safety culture. 4

5 This section identifies the senior individuals who are responsible for delivering the policy commitments. The University s Vice-Chancellor is ultimately accountable for Health and Safety performance across the portfolio The University Council outline the means by which the effectiveness of health and safety management is overseen; The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) is assigned responsibility for supporting the Vice-Chancellor in their health and safety duties, disseminating appropriate safety to other members of the Senior Directorate (via the Health and Safety Manager) and ensuring the health and safety team are assigned the correct resources; The Senior Management Team drives and guides the effective implementation of the policy as senior executive officers; The Director of Operations has responsibility for ensuring that operational health and safety matters across the University are managed appropriately, that legislation and guidance is complied with and that the University s Health and Safety Policy, arrangements and guidance notes are kept up to date in respect of legislative changes. The Health and Safety Manager coordinates the operation of health and safety across the University and is responsible for higher level planning, successful delivery of plans and the reporting of health and safety issues to line managers and other key stakeholders. Heads of Unit / Schools / Deans of Faculty have duties to ensure they cooperate with University policies and that staff under their management comply with University policies within their area of responsibility. It is the duty of the senior manager to stay informed of changes to policies so far as is reasonably practicable. Trade Union-appointed safety representatives and other representatives of employee safety also contribute to safety critical decisions through a consultative Health and Safety Committee (and by other means). Appendix A outlines the roles and responsibilities in more detail 5

6 Communicating and consulting on health and safety matters Effective communication is essential if the University is to satisfy its commitment to a culture of pro-active safety management and continuous improvement. The university will consult on the introduction and modification of policies and procedures regarding health and safety via local health and safety panels and the University s Council. The University s health and safety groups will meet regularly to discuss health and safety matters to move forward on issues and to disseminate and exchange safety information and updates. The following statements reflect the working groups, and safety groups, principal obligations: Provide a focal point for resolving site issues on health, safety and welfare Consider health and safety issues relevant to their site Consider the implementation of health and safety legislation and recommend appropriate action Promote good standards of training in health and safety at all levels within the University Appoint task groups to examine specific health and safety issues Disseminate information where necessary Promote good health and safety practice Lead by example The following information is to be presented to the University s council, via the health and safety committee and safety groups, for consideration: Policies on health, safety and welfare Health and safety management audit reports Reports of near misses, work related ill-health, incident and accident reports London and Cardiff Campuses will be represented via the Swansea Health and Safety Committee Group. 6

7 Planning for Effective Health and Safety Planning is essential to ensure that our health and safety procedures really work in practice. The University will plan to identify priorities and to help set key objectives. The University will: Include health and safety considerations in its strategic planning Facilitate the production of a health and safety tactical implementation plan that identifies objectives that are realistic measurable and achievable Utilise appropriate compliance standards in the plan Ensure that the health and safety plan is subject to consultation through the University s Health and Safety Groups Ensure that the health and safety plan identifies outcomes and how these are to be achieved. Measuring our Health and Safety performance Measuring our health and safety performance is essential to improve safety performance. The University will facilitate the measurement of its safety performance both reactively (when things go wrong) and proactively (before things go wrong). The Health and Safety department will drive forward this commitment. Measuring and reviewing health and safety performance will be achieved by: Having in place robust measuring strategies along with the training to underpin these strategies Monitoring compliance with health and safety laws that are relevant to the University s activities Maintaining accurate records Investigating ALL near misses, accidents and incidents. Comparing and benchmarking performance against other similar institutions Checking levels of compliance with our health and safety performance indicators against legislation and good practice Undertaking annual health and safety audits of each site Undertaking single issue compliance audits Identifying areas where performance can be improved Feeding audit findings into relevant action plans Checking that agreed objectives are achieved within a given time scale Communicating audit outcomes to staff and students Results of this policy monitoring will be made available on the University intranet and will be delivered to the necessary stakeholders. All actions will be taken forward by the relevant team until complete. Exceptions will be escalated to the relevant parties. 7

8 Document Version Control Document Reference: Document title: Operations Director Health & Safety Policy Health and Safety Policy Version: 3.0 Review Date: January 2016 (may be updated prior to this date in response to statutory or organisational requirements.) Relevant Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 Legislation: Reporting of Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) Approved by: Professor Medwin Hughes Vice Chancellor University Council Gwyndaf Tobias Pro Vice Chancellor of Finance and Planning Hywell Griffiths Director of Operations Author: Reason for latest update Leigh Thomas Health and Safety Manager To create a policy that is condensed, moving the detail of the previous policy to the appendices. 8

9 Appendix A Roles and Responsibilities 1. Specific Health and Safety Responsibilities 1.1. The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) has authority delegated by the Vice- Chancellor to ensure, as far as is practicable, that all staff and students of the University comply with all relevant safety legislation and all Codes of Practice, Guidance Notes and other safety procedures approved by the Health and Safety Committee of the University. The main functions of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) in the area of health and safety are: to ensure that all managers are effectively managing health and safety in the department of the University which is under their managerial control; to report to the Vice-Chancellor on the performance of health and safety management in the University; to ensure that the Vice-Chancellor is aware of all significant safety problems, or safety policy issues, which cannot be dealt with at departmental level The Director of Operations The Director of Operations has responsibility for ensuring that operational health and safety matters across the University are managed appropriately, that legislation and guidance is complied with and that the University s Health and Safety Policy, arrangements and guidance notes are kept up to date in respect of legislative changes. The main functions of the Director of Operations in relation to health and safety are: to provide senior-level direction for the Health and Safety Manager; to liaise with relevant compliance and statutory bodies (i.e. HSE, Insurers etc.) in respect of health and safety matters; to ensure that a safe working environment is maintained at all times; to advise the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) of any changes in legislation which may affect the University, its staff or operations; to advise the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Planning) of any incidents which may affect the University; to provide an advisory service to University management and staff in terms of issues pertaining to health and safety; to set and monitor relevant health and safety targets for staff that report directly to the Director of Operations. to advise the Health and Safety Operational Group and oversee the work of the Technical and Property Services team and external contractors. The Director of Operations is assisted in the fulfilment of these responsibilities by the Health and Safety Advisory Groups, which comprise of staff representing key departments with a particular interest in health and safety and trade union representatives. 9

10 He / she is responsible for all premises, gardens, roads, sports fields, plant rooms, boiler houses, sub-stations, building services and estates, buildings, workshops, offices and tenanted property. The general demarcation between departmental and Technical and Property Services responsibilities is that: Equipment and contents under Departmental control are the responsibility of respective Heads of Department. The structure of the building and fixed services are the responsibility of Technical and Property Services. Where plant or premises are under joint control, the responsibility for specific aspects of health and safety will be jointly agreed in consultation with the Director of Operations The Health and Safety Manager The Health and Safety Manager reports to the Director of Operations and undertakes the delivery of the health and safety tactical implementation plan. The Health and Safety Manager is responsible for setting the main health and safety targets and objectives and is a key decision maker on health and safety matters Health and Safety Advisors The Health and Safety Advisors report to the Health and Safety Manager, they undertake day-to-day operation of health and safety, in terms of risk assessing and monitoring general health and safety issues Health and Safety Technician The University has appointed a Health and Safety Technician who reports to the Health and Safety Manager, and undertakes the day-to-day operation of health and safety Heads of Unit The term Head of Unit includes heads of the academic faculties, heads of administrative departments, heads of service departments, project managers and similar positions. All these individuals will be held accountable for their management of health and safety. Heads of Unit should take the lead in driving the health and safety programme within their area of responsibility. Heads of Unit must demonstrate visible commitment by: Accepting their own responsibility for health and safety and encouraging colleagues to do the same; Informing local health and safety policy and guidelines based on institutional requirements and their own assessment of the risks inherent in the work of their department. (Through this mechanism, Heads of Unit shall inform their staff of their own duties, the arrangements for the introduction and maintenance of measures designed to identify, monitor and control risks, the carrying out risk assessments and the process of health and safety planning in the department); Making health and safety training an indispensable element of departmental teaching at all levels; 10

11 Providing the necessary information, instruction and training to enable departmental staff to perform their job in a safe manner; Ensuring the maintenance of appropriate records; Ensuring the proper supervision of students; Adopting good health and safety advice from departmental health and safety staff as appropriate; Encouraging and consulting with safety representatives (even if the risks do not justify a committee); Establishing local consultative health and safety arrangements or, in low risk departments, placing health and safety as a standing item on the agenda of the departmental management committee, if a departmental health and safety committee is not justified; Formally delegating the tasks (and the associated record keeping aspects) of departmental health and safety posts to appropriate members of staff; Establishing good lines of communication within the department; Encouraging and support the attendance of appropriate members of the department to relevant internal and external health and safety training events; Making full use of the technical knowledge, professional advice and skills available; Allocating the necessary resources, in terms of both time and money, to the health and safety staff appointed; Devising and implementing phased order of priority plans for expenditure of finance or effort to solve problems which cannot be resolved at one particular time; Taking personal action - or empowering members of the departmental staff to act - to suspend or stop any departmental activity that is dangerous or not carried out within departmental health and safety policy; Actively monitoring health and safety performance; Arranging suitable and sufficient assessments of the risks to the health and safety of staff, students and other persons in their department are carried out and reviewed as and when necessary; Ensuring that personal protective equipment is available and used when required; Ensuring that regular inspections of the workplace are carried out in accordance with the University policy on Inspections, Monitoring and Auditing; Within the context of the evolving staff appraisal system, ensuring that relevant health and safety targets and objectives are set and monitored; Drawing to the attention of the Health and Safety Manager any health and / or safety matter which is of concern and cannot be, or is not being, effectively dealt with by any other authority, or on which further information is required. In addition to the tasks outlined above, Heads of Unit may have specific day-to-day duties relating to legislative requirements. It is therefore vital that Heads of Unit are supported by their staff, that departmental health and safety management is allocated adequate resources and that there is training in the management of health and safety. The head of a large and / or scientific department may appoint competent staff to perform many of the day-to-day health and safety management activities, who should be seen as speaking with the authority of the Head of Unit and should follow an agreed remit in pursuance of local health and safety policy and procedure. 11

12 Where facilities used by a department are shared with other departments, the appropriate Heads must determine how safety responsibilities are to be apportioned and formalise the arrangements Supervisory Staff The term supervisory staff refers to those members of staff in a department with supervisory duties in relation to other staff, students or any facility operated by the department. This may include (but is not limited to): subject or course leaders / co-ordinators; office team leaders; technical staff supervising an area or equipment; supervisors of services which are part of a core support service; office team leaders. Each member of staff with a supervisory role is responsible to his / her senior manager, either directly or in a hierarchical structure via other line managers, for ensuring compliance with all legislation, codes of practice and guidance and all University codes of practice, guidance notes and safe systems of work which are relevant to their supervisory responsibility. A supervisor responsible for managing others with a supervisory role, as part of a hierarchical structure, must also ensure that those subordinate supervisors enforce the compliance requirements described in the paragraph above. Academic or teaching supervisors also need to consider how acceptable standards of safety behaviour can be inculcated in their students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in the laboratory, workshop or field. In the case of undergraduates, it may be acceptable to include safety guidance in laboratory notes, but close supervision will certainly be necessary. Postgraduate students may also require guidance and supervision All Staff All staff shall conduct their activities, and those activities over which they have control, in a safe, competent manner and in accordance with the University s Health and Safety Policy and any associated Guidance Notes. They must co-operate with the Head of Department and Safety Department to ensure safe working practices are employed at all times. In particular there are four statutory aspects of main responsibilities in terms of employee conduct. Under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Each employee has a statutory duty to take reasonable care for himself or herself, for all other employees and for anyone else in the University environment that may be affected by the way in which the employee carries out their work. It is the statutory duty of every employee at work to co-operate with the employer so far as is necessary to enable the employer to perform any duty or comply with any requirement imposed as a result of any statutory duty which may be in force. 12

13 Regulation 14 of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 stipulates the following additional employees duties: To use any machinery, equipment, dangerous substance, transport equipment, means of production or safety device in accordance with any training and instruction provided by employer. To report anything they consider unsafe in the workplace to their Head of Department, to Estates or to a Trade Union Health and Safety Representative. Academic members of staff are the most knowledgeable about their research projects and associated work activities, as well as teaching in their discipline. They must, therefore, not only ensure their own health and safety but that of anyone who might be affected by their own work and the work of junior colleagues and students under their supervision. Academic staff members also need to consider how acceptable standards of safety behaviour can be instilled in their students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in the laboratory, workshop or field. In the case of undergraduates, it may be acceptable to include safety guidance in laboratory notes, but close supervision will certainly be necessary. Postgraduate students may also require guidance and supervision. All academic staff are required to complete appropriate risk assessment procedures when health and safety risks have been identified Project Managers Excellence in teaching and research requires sound planning and preparation. This must be seen to include planning and implementation of adequate preventive and protective measures to ensure safety. A Project Manager is normally a staff member with responsibility for the application of funds provided either by the University directly, by a research funding body or by a similar benefactor. A Project Manager can therefore be assumed to be the most knowledgeable about the planning, organisation and the actual work involved in research projects. Project Managers therefore bear primary day-to-day responsibility for ensuring that the policy requirements of both the University and the department are implemented in relation to their project(s). They should also assume responsibility for ensuring their own safety and that of anyone who might be affected by their own work, including the work of junior colleagues and students under their supervision. Project Managers need to understand the requirements of University and departmental health and safety policies. For new senior researchers this may have significant resource implications in relation to training provision. Project Managers have a significant role in the implementation of risk assessments, both in terms of considering the risks arising out of their project(s) as a whole and of educating their junior colleagues to become proficient in these processes. Project Managers must consider how a proposal could affect people s health and safety before applying for research grants, or adopting an experimental protocol. Project Managers also need to consider how acceptable standards of safety behaviour can be instilled in their students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in the laboratory, workshop or field. In the case of undergraduates, it may be acceptable to include safety guidance in laboratory notes, but close supervision will certainly be necessary. Postgraduate students may also require guidance and supervision. 13

14 1.10. Laboratory / Field Responsible Person In cases where a Project Manager has more than four associated postgraduate students, the Head of Department should appoint a laboratory / field responsible person from among those staff whose regular presence in the laboratory or field can be assured. This person will probably be a member of the junior academic or senior technical complement of the department. They should be given authority to suspend work if safety is likely to be compromised, but should in any case be encouraged to proffer advice on all matters relating to health and safety in the laboratory or field Departmental Safety Coordinators Certain members of departmental staff should be assigned specific duties relating to day-today health and safety management issues within their department, building(s) or area. Where applicable, the University may appoint competent staff to ensure safe practices are employed when working with chemicals, electricity or where a risk assessment identifies a need for manual handling training and supervision. The Head of Unit will automatically be the recognised departmental (or area) safety staff if a separate formal appointment is not made Trade Union Representatives Regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provide for the appointment of Safety Representatives by trade unions recognised by the University for negotiating purposes. The functions of Safety Representatives include the following: investigation of accidents and reporting of hazards; investigation of complaints made by their members concerning health and safety matters; discussion of health and safety matters with the management of the University as part of joint consultation procedures; carrying out inspections of the workplace (Safety Representatives must give notice in writing for inspections of workplaces and the employer is entitled to be present); receiving information from inspectors of enforcing authorities; attendance at meetings of the University Health and Safety Committee and its Sub- Committees. Heads of Unit must arrange for appropriate facilities and assistance to be given to Safety Representatives to enable them to fulfil their functions. Trade Unions must inform the Director of Operations and Human Resources of any changes in their safety representation. 14

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