- Heads of Academic, Administrative and Service Departments
- Shared facilities
- Academic Staff
- University Health and Safety Office
- The University Radiation Protection Officer
- Area Safety Officers
- Departmental Radiation Officers
- University Laser Safety Advisor
- Biological Safety Officer
- Trade Union Representatives
The University Council and Vice-Chancellor
The Vice-Chancellor, as Chief Executive Officer of the University, has overall responsibility to the University Council for the health and safety of all persons using University land or buildings for legitimate purposes. The University Secretary will normally act on his behalf.
In addition, the Vice-Chancellor may delegate the authority for carrying out the health and safety policy to senior members of staff.
Heads of Academic, Administrative and Service Departments
The University has a number of different designations of senior managerial posts which, in the context of the organisation of health and safety, are regarded as synonymous.
For the purposes of this Statement of Safety Policy, "Head of Department" includes the designations "Dean", "Director", "College Principal" and any other similar senior manager. Similarly, "Department" includes the terms "Library", "Faculty", "College", "School", "Centre", "Unit", "Institute", etc.
- Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring that the preventive and protective measures required by the University Safety Policy and Manual of Safety are implemented locally and that any measures required over and above those contained in the Policy and Manual of Safety are drawn up and similarly implemented.
In addition, Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring:
- that all staff in their department, but particularly new and temporary employees, are aware of the locally established health and safety arrangements in force as regards fire and other emergencies, first aid, and the reporting of accidents and hazards.
- that suitable and sufficient assessments of the risks to the health and safety of staff, students and other persons in their department are carried out.
- that, in entrusting tasks to staff, account is taken of their capabilities as regards health and safety.
- that all staff are provided with the necessary instruction, information, training and supervision to enable work to be carried out safely.
- that all staff are provided with the necessary safety training as outlined in Section 20 of this policy.
In some larger departments, it may be necessary administratively for Heads to delegate the authority for implementation of health and safety arrangements to other senior managers in control of individual areas within the department.
Where facilities used by departments are shared with other departments, the appropriate Heads must determine between themselves the means by which risk assessments of those facilities are carried out and any remedial action so identified is implemented.
Examples of such facilities are "mixing" areas used for photocopying and other joint departmental activities, machinery jointly funded by one or more departments, and common stairways and corridors, where the procedures for reporting, for example, defects and hazards must be clearly defined.
Academic StaffAcademic staff are responsible for ensuring that an equivalent standard of health and safety is afforded to their students as is afforded to University staff generally (see Section 7 above).
Whilst the overall responsibility for health and safety rests at the highest management level, all employees at every level have to accept degrees of responsibility for carrying out the policy.
It is the legal duty of all employees whilst at work:
- to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and other persons who may be affected by the way in which they carry out their work.
- to co-operate with supervisory staff to enable them to carry out their own health and safety duties.
- to report to supervisory staff any situation, working practice or procedure which they may suspect is potentially hazardous.
- to report accidents to supervisory staff.
- to use, but not misuse, protective clothing, equipment or materials provided.
- to comply with the health and safety instructions, both verbal and written, which are issued to them.
- to use machinery, plant or equipment only with the appropriate guards or safety devices in position.
University Health and Safety Office
The Health and Safety Office is part of the Human Resources Division and comprises the Head of Health and Safety, two Safety Officers, one of whom is the University Radiation Protection Officer, and the Occupational Health Advisor. It has been established to co-ordinate the health and safety function across all departments and colleges of the University.The role of the Head of Health and Safety includes the following:
- liaising with the enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with legal obligations.
- providing advice and information on health and safety to employees and students directly or via training, instruction or the Manual of Safety.
- assisting, where appropriate, in the drawing up of local rules and codes of safe working practice.
- servicing of the University Health and Safety Committee.
- auditing departmental health and safety arrangements.
- taking action to suspend any work which in the opinion of the Head of Health and Safety poses an imminent risk of serious personal injury.
The University Radiation Protection OfficerThe role of the University Radiation Protection Officer includes the following:
- Liaising with the University's appointed Radiation Protection Advisor.
- Assisting in the drawing up of Local Rules for radiologically designated areas.
Area Safety Officers
Area Safety Officers are appointed by the University Secretary on the recommendation of the appropriate Head of Department in consultation with the Head of health and Safety.
The Area Safety Officer is usually the first point of contact locally in a department on matters of health and safety and is able to provide appropriate information and advice.
The Area Safety Officer will, in addition, liaise with other departments of the University or with the University Safety Officers to effect remedial action where a hazard or unsafe working practice has been notified, although the responsibility for health and safety within the department rests with the Head of Department.
Additional functions of Area Safety Officers are:
- to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of a safe working environment within the department and compliance with the appropriate safety legislation and local codes of safe working practice.
- to provide safety advice and information to staff and students.
- to arrange safety training where appropriate.
- to ensure that the appropriate notifications of accident or hazard are made to the University Safety & Radiation Protection Officer.
- to receive notifications from staff and students of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions and to effect remedial action.
- to liaise with the University Health and Safety Officers.
Where the Area Safety Officer's department uses rooms or areas in buildings occupied and controlled by other departments, the Area Safety Officer's jurisdiction will extend to those other rooms/areas.
Where the Area Safety Officer's department contains rooms or areas occupied and controlled by other departments, the Area Safety Officer's jurisdiction will not extend to those rooms/areas.
Departmental Radiation Officers
Departmental Radiation Officers are appointed by the University Secretary for those departments which carry out work which is subject to the legislation controlling work with ionising radiations.
The function of the Departmental Radiation Officer is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that staff and students using ionising radiations do so safely and without risks to health, although, as with the post of Area Safety Officer, the responsibility for health and safety within the department rests with the Head of Department.
The Departmental Radiation Officer will normally oversee the activities of one or more Radiation Protection Supervisors who are similarly appointed by the University Secretary.
The function of the Radiation Protection Supervisors is to ensure compliance with the ionising radiations legislation in individual geographical locations of the department. This involves a knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the regulations and local rules, the command of sufficient respect from persons doing the work as will allow the necessary supervision of radiation protection, and an understanding of the precautions to be taken and the extent to which those precautions will restrict exposures.
The functions of the Departmental Radiation Officer include the following:
- to keep up to date records of the acquisition, transfer and disposal of radioactive materials in line with current certificates issued by the enforcing authorities.
- to arrange for the secure storage and supervised issue of radioactive materials.
- to keep up to date records of any controlled or supervised areas, and to oversee the arrangements for dose assessments of all persons who may be exposed to ionising radiations.
- to oversee the arrangements for routine contamination monitoring within the department.
- to arrange for the annual testing of radiation and contamination instruments in association with the University Safety & Radiation Protection Officer and for the biennial testing of sealed sources where appropriate.
- to draw up, and periodically revise when appropriate, the departmental Local Rules for work with ionising radiations, which include the procedures to be followed in case of an emergency.
- to act as Laser Safety Officer, where appropriate, and to supervise the use of any other non-ionising radiations in the department, eg. ultra-violet, microwave and radio-frequency radiations.
A current list of Departmental Radiation Officer appointments is available from the Health and Safety Office.
University Laser Safety AdviserThe University Laser Safety Adviser is appointed by the University Secretary. The University Laser Safety Adviser will in conjunction with the University Health and Safety Office develop, monitor and review laser safety policy.
The role of the University Laser Safety Adviser includes the following:
- to give advice on the drawing up of departmental risk assessments and written procedures for lasers.
- to keep a register of all lasers as required by the University Policy on the Use of Lasers and forward the information to the University Safety Office for central record-keeping.
- to keep a register of all users of lasers as required by the University Policy on the Use of Lasers and forward the information to the University Safety Office for central record-keeping.
- to monitor, in conjunction with the Health and Safety Office, the implementation of laser safety controls within the University.
- to give advice on appropriate training for users where requested by either the user or a supervisor.
Biological Safety Officer
A Biological Safety Officer has been appointed, by the University Secretary, in the Faculty of Health and Medicine.
The function of the Biological Safety Officer is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that staff and students working with biological agents and genetically modified organisms, plants or animals do so safely and without risks to health.
As with the post of Area Safety Officer, the responsibility for health and safety within the department rests with the Head of Department.
The functions of the Biological Safety Officer include the following:
- to provide advice to the Division of Biological Sciences on matters of biological health and safety.
- to liaise with the Area Safety Officer and other departmental safety staff, as appropriate, and with the Health and Safety Office over the implementation of the University health and safety policy as it relates to biological health and safety.
- to co-operate with specialists inside and outside the University on biological health and safety matters.
- to advise officers in charge of the design and construction of new buildings and the modification of existing buildings on matters affecting biological health and safety.
- to co-operate with the University Occupational Health Adviser in the provision of occupational health surveillance and monitoring where necessary.
- to advise, in collaboration with the Health and Safety Office, on:
- waste disposal
- the design of biological work areas
- the preparation of schemes of work and local rules COSHH assessments
- the management of Legionella risks
- the acquisition of any required licences or authorisations
- the establishment/authorisation of a health and safety committee for genetic modification
- where required the maintenance of, in consultation with the University Occupational Health Adviser, a list of workers under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations and any other relevant statutory provisions
- to oversee and co-ordinate the provision of biological health and safety training.
- to keep staff conscious of the problems of biological health and safety and their responsibilities for the health and safety of those who work or study under or with them.
- to undertake or assist with periodic inspections of University premises where a biological health and safety input is required.
- to audit and monitor departmental biological health and safety arrangements.
- to investigate any microbiological emergency or accident and instigate any remedial action.
- to liaise with the various relevant inspectorates and co-ordinate their visits and inspections.
It should be noted that the functions listed above are carried out in collaboration with the Safety Office.
Trade Union Safety Representatives
As a consequence of regulations made under the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the recognised Trade Unions in the University have appointed Safety Representatives to represent the interests of their members on health and safety matters. The functions of Safety Representatives include the following:
- to investigate accidents and reports of hazards.
- to investigate complaints of a health and safety nature made by their members.
- to discuss health and safety matters with the management of the University as part of the joint consultation procedures.
- to carry out inspections of the workplace.
- to receive information from Inspectors of the Health & Safety Executive and similar enforcing authorities.
- to attend meetings of the University Health and Safety Committee.
Heads of Departments must arrange for appropriate facilities and assistance to be given to Safety Representatives to enable them to fulfil their functions.
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