Health & Safety Policy
In keeping with its overall objectives and in accordance with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Council will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. A high standard of performance in this respect is one of the Council's principal objectives and an integral part of its approach to service delivery.
The Council aims not only to reduce accident and sickness absence rates but also to promote the well being of its employees and to develop a positive attitude to health and safety throughout the Council.
The involvement and co-operation of all employees on both an individual and collective basis are crucial to the achievement of these aims. Accordingly, the Council will ensure by informing, training and consulting employees that they are aware of their responsibilities and capable of discharging them and that they have an opportunity to contribute to establishing and maintaining effective health and safety practices.
In all its activities the Council acknowledges and will seek to meet its responsibilities for health and safety in respect of those who are not its employees and the environment in which it operates.
The Council will seek to achieve its aims by:-
- Creating and maintaining a positive health and safety culture which secures the commitment and participation of all employees.
- Meeting its responsibilities to employees, to other people and to the environment in a way which recognises that legal requirements are only a minimum standard.
- Adopting a planned and systematic approach to the implementation of the Council's health and safety policy, to ensure:-
- the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health;
- arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
- the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of its employees;
- the maintenance of any place of work under the Council's control in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from these places of work that are safe and without such risks so far as is reasonably practicable; and
- the provision and maintenance of a working environment for employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work
- Identifying and assessing the risks associated with all activities of the Council with the aim of eliminating or controlling the risks, so far as is reasonably practicable.
- Allocating resources to meet the requirements of the Council's health and safety policy.
- Promoting occupational health initiatives eg dealing with stress, musculoskeletal disorders, vibration risks
- Planning for health and safety including the setting of realistic short and long term objectives, deciding priorities and establishing adequate performance standards.
- Monitoring and reviewing performance on a regular basis.
Organisation for Implementation
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, is responsible, so far as is reasonably practicable, for ensuring the health, safety and welfare at work of all Council employees, by:
- determining the organisation through which the policy will be implemented and delegating responsibility for implementation within departments to Chief Officers
- ensuring that adequate resources are made available to enable the Council policy to be implemented
- ensuring that health and safety considerations are an integral part of the overall management culture and developing a positive attitude to health and safety among employees by demonstrating their own commitment to achieving a high standard of health and safety performance
- ensuring the establishment and maintenance of effective health and safety management systems within departments
- ensuring the appointment of a competent person to assist the Council to apply the provisions of health and safety policy
CHIEF OFFICERS are responsible, so far as is reasonably practicable, for ensuring the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees in their department. They will:
- prepare and revise as often as is necessary a Departmental Health and Safety Policy
- set out the organisation within their department through which the policy will be implemented
- set out the arrangements by which the aims of their departmental health and safety policy will be met
- ensure that adequate resources are made available to enable the departmental policy to be implemented
- demonstrate commitment to achieving a high standard of health and safety performance within their departments and develop a positive attitude to health and safety among employees
- implement health and safety management systems within their department which will ensure the assessment of risk and the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventative and protective measures necessary to eliminate or control the risks
- ensure that employees are consulted on risk assessments relating to their work activities and that they are informed of and understand the outcome of these assessments
- consult employees and their representatives on health and safety matters and respond appropriately when relevant issues are raised by employees
- monitor and evaluate the health and safety performance of their department and prepare an annual report for submission to their service Committee
EMPLOYEES will be expected to co-operate in the implementation of the Council's safety policy by:
- acting in the course of their employment with due care for their own safety and that of others, who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
- co-operating, so far as is reasonably practicable, to enable the Council to perform any duty or to comply with any requirements, as a result of any health and safety legislation which may be in force
- participating in the risk assessment process to assist the identification and control of risks
- using correctly all work items provided by the Council in accordance with the training and the instructions they receive to enable them to use the items safely
- attending training in health and safety issues as required
- wearing all protective equipment provided for their safety and ensuring that the equipment is used in a proper manner
- immediately reporting to their line manager any serious and imminent danger to health and safety and any shortcomings in health and safety arrangements
THE DIRECTOR OF PERSONNEL through the HEAD OF EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT, TRAINING AND SAFETY, will oversee implementation of this policy and THE SAFETY MANAGER and members of the SAFETY SECTION within the Personnel Department as competent persons within the meaning of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 will provide advice on all health and safety matters.
It will be the responsibility of the Chief Executive and individual Chief Officers to monitor the effectiveness of this policy. In this they will be assisted by the Safety Section who will, inter alia, analyse accident causes and trends, carry out a programme of planned and random inspections and undertake formal safety audits.
Members of the Safety Section will be authorised to enter all premises and sites owned, leased, operated, rented or in the control of the Council to inspect any documentation required for health and safety purposes and all parts of the premises or site to check conformity with health and safety regulations. In cases of imminent danger members of the Safety Section will be authorised to cause work to be halted until safe working practices can be established.
Accidents: Recording and Reporting
Systematic and comprehensive arrangements will be maintained for accident reporting, recording and analysis. These arrangements will ensure compliance with 'The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995'.
All accidents involving employees or non-employees occurring as a result of the Authority's undertaking shall be recorded.
The Council's Safety Section must be informed immediately of a major injury or fatal accident or dangerous occurrence. (If there is any doubt as to the seriousness of an accident the Safety Section should be contacted.)
Adequate procedures to ensure the safe evacuation of premises in the event of an emergency will be developed and regularly reviewed. These procedures will be communicated to all employees and tested regularly to ensure effectiveness.
The Council recognises that the participation of employees on both a formal and informal basis is vital to the success of this policy. Accordingly it will:
- foster all forms of positive employee involvement in health and safety matters
- encourage the appointment of safety representatives and provide such facilities as they may reasonably require to carry out their functions
- consult relevant safety representatives with regard to appropriate issues
- maintain a network of Safety Committees to promote effective consultation
Issue and Review
A copy of this statement shall be brought to the attention of all employees. It will be reviewed regularly, may be modified from time to time and will be supplemented where appropriate by further statements relating to the work of particular departments or groups of employees.