University statement of health and safety policy

1. The general provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 impose a duty on all employers to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of their employees at work by maintaining safe plant, safe systems of work, and safe premises, and also by ensuring adequate instruction, training and supervision. The University is also bound by the Act to ensure the safety of all other persons, who (though not employees) may be affected by the University's work activities.

2. The University has established the Health and Safety Management Sub-Committee, which reports to the General Purposes Committee, with the responsibility to determine the health and safety management strategy and policies necessary for the University to discharge its legal obligations regarding health and safety. There is also a Consultative Committee for Health and Safety, which includes representatives of the recognised trades unions together with others representing a wide spectrum of interest in the University.  The Consultative Committee will advise the Health and Safety Management Sub-Committee on all new health and safety policies and is expected to determine the appropriate health and safety culture for the University.

The Chairman of the Health and Safety Management Sub-Committee, who also chairs the Consultative Committee, is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor

3. The Health and Safety Management Sub-Committee has appointed four specialist advisory groups to advise on ionising and non-ionising radiation safety, biological safety and occupational health.  The Act requires every employer to prepare a written statement of general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organisation and arrangements in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement to the notice of all his employees. Council therefore circulates the following Statement of Safety Policy:

It is the policy of the University, and the responsibility of Council, to adopt all reasonably practicable measures:

(a)           to secure the health, safety and welfare of all employees at places of work under the University's control and elsewhere when performing their duties;

(b)           to protect students and other persons who are lawfully on University premises against risk to their health or safety which might arise out of activities in those places;

(c)           to maintain safe plant, machinery and equipment and a safe and healthy place of work;

(d)          to commit to continuous improvement in the management of health and safety.

4. It is also the policy of the University to ensure that all members of the University and its staff are aware of their individual responsibility to exercise care in relation to themselves and those who work with them. To this end individuals are enjoined to:

(a)           familiarise themselves with University Safety Policy and any departmental or unit safety requirements;

(b)           take reasonable care that all procedures used are safely carried out, and seek expert advice in any case of doubt;

(c)           warn of any special or newly identified hazards in existing  procedures or risks in new procedures about to be introduced;

(d)          report accidents or incidents promptly;

(e)           familiarise themselves with fire and emergency drills (including the location of emergency telephones) and escape routes; and

(f)            where required by University policy register with the Occupational Health Service for health surveillance purposes.

Where self-employed persons or contractors and their employees carry out work on University premises, they must comply with standards of safe working contained in any regulations or codes of practice applicable to their operations, and in the University's safety rules.

5. Divisional heads are responsible for the oversight of departmental arrangements for health and safety within their division in order to ensure that they are functioning in accordance with the University's policies.

6. Heads of departments and institutions, and faculty board chairs in the Humanities Division, are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of all persons who are lawfully in the buildings under their charge and are required to bring to the notice of all employees a written statement describing the organisation and arrangements for safety within their departments, institutions or units.

7. Responsibility for implementing University Safety Policy rests with heads of departments and institutions or with faculty board chairs. In order to provide expert advice on matters of health and safety, the Council has appointed the following officers:

Director of the University Safety Office;

University Occupational Physician and Director of the University Occupational Health Service.

The policies of the University on specific legislative requirements and other matters are issued as University Policy Statements. Advice on specific hazards and technical items is issued as memoranda by the University Safety Office and by the University Occupational Health Service.

Heads of departments must appoint suitable members of their staff as departmental safety officers to advise them and to liaise with University officers. Area/Divisional safety officers are appointed in high-risk departments and divisions, in order to enhance the departmental safety officer system. Any department using ionising radiation must have a system of radiation protection management based on departmental radiation protection supervisors, whose task is to ensure compliance with statutory regulations and local rules. Departments carrying out genetic modification work must appoint a departmental biological safety officer.

8. This Policy supersedes all previous versions of University Safety Policy. It will be reviewed annually by the Health and Safety Management Sub-Committee.

9. The names of the chairmen of the committees and advisory groups and of the University officers are given in the Appendix.

  (Signed) A Hamilton

 Vice-Chancellor Michaelmas Term 2013