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Appendix A9.1

BBSRC Health and Safety policy

"Striving for excellence in Health and Safety management"

Health and Safety policy statement

We are fully committed to providing and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment for you, whether you are an employee, student, visitor, contractor or any other person who is affected by our activities. We regard the management of Health and Safety as an integral part of our objectives and a management priority. We require the same commitment from our partners and contractors.

We know that by applying current best practice in Health and Safety management we will reduce potential harm and risks to you. We regard compliance with current Health and Safety legislation as the absolute minimum standard acceptable.

Our commitment to you

Our overall performance is improved by the implementation of an effective Health and Safety policy. We do this by being committed to:

  • Implementing a Health and Safety management system and giving a high priority to your Health and Safety in all our operations
  • Assessing risks in advance of any potential exposure to yourself and reducing risks by suitable and effective control measures
  • Appointing Health and Safety Advisors at each establishment and where appropriate supplementing this with specialists
  • Keeping up to date with good practice in Health and Safety and the understanding of hazards. Complying with all relevant legislation and authoritative guidance. Ensuring that organisational changes are reflected in this policy
  • Maintaining the estate to a high standard and ensuring safe working practices at all the sites over which we have control
  • Providing and maintaining safe facilities, plant, equipment, systems and working conditions
  • Consulting with and involving you or your representatives in matters affecting your Health and Safety
  • Providing the necessary training, information, instruction and supervision for the tasks you perform
  • Developing, implementing and monitoring Health and Safety systems in research project planning and all aspects of your work
  • Ensuring the safe transportation, handling, storage and disposal of articles and substances that may be hazardous to your health
  • Making arrangements for cooperation in Health and Safety matters where we are sharing premises and facilities with another employer
  • Selecting, co-operating with, and monitoring, the safety performance of contractors who work for us
  • Learning from our experience and sharing good Health and Safety practice by receiving feedback from you

All our workers (including employees, students, contractors, etc) will have access to this policy statement and be informed of any changes. The policy is monitored on an annual basis to ensure that its aims are being met.

Your commitment

We expect you to cooperate on health, safety and welfare matters, take care of your own Health and Safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions. In particular by:

  • Working safely, taking care of yourself and considering others
  • Cooperating and supporting local policies and procedures on Health and Safety
  • Bringing to the attention of your manager/supervisor any situations or practices that may lead to injuries or work related ill health
  • Reporting all near misses, incidents and accidents to your manager/supervisor
  • Using equipment in a safe and responsible way
  • Maintaining good housekeeping in areas in which you are working
  • Undertaking Health and Safety training relevant to your work activities
  • Helping to investigate accidents with the object of introducing measures to prevent a recurrence
  • Consulting with management regularly to improve Health and Safety standards and performance
  • Assisting any visitors who may not be familiar with our procedures

Professor Douglas Kell
November 2009

In addition to this policy statement are the key elements of our Health and Safety management system. These are:

Health and safety organisation and responsibilities
Communication and consultation on Health and Safety
Planning and implementing Health and Safety
Measuring and reviewing our Health and Safety performance
Auditing Health and Safety

1. Health and safety organisation and responsibilities

This section of our policy identifies the individuals who are responsible for delivering our policy commitments.

1.1 Line Managers

If you are a line manager you will:

  • Lead by example on good Health and Safety practice
  • Produce safe systems of work and procedures
  • Apply standards contained in statutory legislation, approved codes of practice and our Health and Safety Policy
  • Ensure that your employees are adequately trained to carry out their work in a safe manner
  • Provide adequate supervision of work and maintain safe standards
  • Consult with your employees to improve our Health and Safety performance
  • Contribute as necessary to accident and incident investigations or investigations about the occurrence of occupational disease in your areas of work, to establish the root causes and introduce measures to prevent recurrence
  • Have Health and Safety objectives in your forward job plans and be accountable to your own line manager for Health and Safety issues under your control
  • Receive training on Health and Safety as required by the establishment
  • Provide and ensure the use of protective equipment
  • Ensure any changes in your own or your employees role are reported to HR. Update any risk assessments and identify any possible health surveillance (depending on the role)
  • Ensure risk assessments are completed wherever there are significant hazards and that actions to control the risks are implemented
  • Take part in and facilitate internal and external inspections and audits of your work area and implement any remedial actions.

1.2 The BBSRC Council, Chief Executive and governing bodies

Our BBSRC Council is ultimately responsible for your health, safety and welfare. This responsibility is exercised on its behalf by the Chief Executive and is shared with the governing bodies of individual establishments.

1.3 Establishment Directors

Our Directors have delegated responsibility to ensure that adequate Health and Safety management is in place. They are accountable to Council through the Chief Executive and are also responsible to the Chair of their respective establishment governing body.

Directors cannot delegate or devolve this accountability, but in order to discharge their responsibilities effectively, they may delegate duties and authority to senior members of their management team. If you are a Director your responsibilities will include:

  • Fostering positive attitudes towards Health and Safety throughout your establishment by leadership and personal example
  • Ensuring that Health and Safety is given the same priority and importance as any other corporate objective
  • Considering the Health and Safety implications to employees and non-employees of decisions made at either a strategic or operational level and act accordingly
  • Ensuring that your management team know, understand, and is held accountable for, their individual Health and Safety responsibilities
  • Ensuring that the management team is provided with the appropriate resources in order to fulfil its Health and Safety responsibilities including the provision of information, instruction and training
  • Making arrangements to ensure that Health and Safety risk assessments are carried out for all work activities and processes within your establishment, and ensuring that measures identified are implemented, their effectiveness monitored and reviewed at a timely interval
  • Establishing and maintaining mechanisms to allow the effective communication and consultation of Health and Safety issues
  • Making the necessary arrangements to ensure that Staff Safety representatives can effectively carry out their duties

1.4 Director of Human Resources, BBSRC office

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for the functional aspects of Health and Safety. Responsibilities will include:

  • Reporting to the Chief Executive on any matters which require a change in corporate policies because of Health and Safety issues
  • Developing our Health and Safety policy and management strategy
  • Communicating with senior management and advising on actions needed to improve performance
  • Reporting our progress in meeting performance targets in the Annual Report in accordance with HSE guidance and the Government’s “Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy”
  • Ensuring that the necessary resources for Health and Safety are planned into forward budgetary programmes
  • Arranging for the necessary information, instruction and training to be made available to employees to fulfil their roles
  • Ensuring that appropriate arrangements are put into effect to consult with employees and to encourage their active participation on matters concerned with their Health and Safety at work
  • Arranging for the provision of up-to-date information to employees on Health and Safety matters
  • Ensuring that statutory records on Health and Safety, including injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences, are maintained
  • Monitoring the Health and Safety performance of all BBSRC establishments through the collection of annual accident statistics and regular audits

1.5 Local Health and Safety advisors
Directors must appoint an individual at each site to advise management on Health and Safety, including specialists where required e.g. biological safety, radiation protection. H&S advisers will have substantial knowledge and experience in Health and Safety matters and hold appropriate qualifications. In low risk establishments, Health and Safety Advisors will have or be working towards a NEBOSH National Certificate (or equivalent). In medium to high risks establishments, Health and Safety Advisors will have or be working towards a NEBOSH Diploma (or equivalent). Duties will be agreed, in writing, between the individual and the Director. If you are a local Health and Safety advisor your responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Informing and advising senior management about Health and Safety issues
  • Preparing local policies, codes of practice and guidance on Health and Safety matters for approval and adoption within your establishment
  • Monitoring the application of local policies, codes of practice and guidance notes, updating such policies, codes and guidance as and when appropriate
  • Providing support and advice to management and employees on Health and Safety, in particular assisting managers in their duties to carry out risk assessments and manage Health and Safety within their area of responsibility
  • Keeping up-to-date on all new UK and EC legislation relating to Health and Safety matters
  • Attending meetings of the Joint Health and Safety committee and providing support to both BBSRC office management and employee Health and Safety representatives
  • Establishing arrangements for local Joint Health and Safety committee
  • Assisting managers in the investigation of accidents and incidents with a view to identifying measures to prevent recurrence and liaise with the enforcing agencies on Health and Safety where necessary
  • In consultation with the Training Coordinator, assisting in the identification of training needs and provision of safety training
  • Developing and facilitating information flows relating to Health and Safety through the production of briefing notes, bulletins, training and the Health and Safety web page
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of arrangements for any external specialist Health and Safety support used by the establishment
  • Maintaining data on work related accidents or ill health arising within your establishment and ensuring that statutory duties to report under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) are carried out
  • Assisting in any Health and Safety audits

1.6 Trade Unions Health and Safety representatives

The Trade Union safety representatives are crucial in creating a positive Health and Safety culture. Responsibilities include:

  • Representing employees in discussions on Health and Safety
  • Providing Health and Safety information to employees
  • Considering and make recommendations for improvements
  • Investigating hazards and dangerous occurrences
  • Carrying out joint inspections

2. Communicating and consulting on Health and Safety

We will provide effective communication and consulting channels in respect of your Health and Safety, to promote a collaborative approach.

2.1 Health and Safety committees

Health and Safety advisors and TUS representatives meet regularly to discuss the implementation of our Health and Safety policy. The committee provides a formal annual report to the Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee (JNCC).

Employees and management discuss and resolve local Health and Safety issues at an establishment forum.

2.2 Local safe and healthy working policies

Each site will make detailed local arrangements, including procedures, policies, handbooks and/or guidance to ensure that this Health and Safety Policy is fully achieved. Copies of these will be made available to you via your Health and Safety advisor.

2.3 Training and information

If you are an employee, student, temporary worker, consultant or agency worker who works on our premises, you will be provided with Health and Safety induction information within a week of starting work. You will also be provided with training, information and instruction to deal with specific risks in the course of your work e.g. lone working, travelling safely and manual handling. Training needs unique to particular establishments or groups will be identified by the line manager, in conjunction with the Health and Safety Advisor, through the risk assessment process. In addition to this, If you are a manager, you will receive training in managing Health and Safety within your area of responsibility and the principles of risk assessment.

You will also receive regular refresher training from your establishment to ensure that you are able to carry out your duties safely.  Your establishment will keep a record of all Health and Safety training and monitor process.  We will also provide you with information about any changes to general Health and Safety rules, policy and practices.  If you have particular Health and Safety responsibilities, such as being a nominated First Aider, you will receive further regular training.

2.4 Advice and assistance

Information on Health and Safety can be found on your local notice boards, websites and in local policies. Your line is the first point of contact if you require assistance or have any concerns regarding Health and Safety matters. Local Health and Safety Advisers are also available to advise on any issues.

3. Planning and Implementing Health and Safety

Planning and implementing these plans are key to ensuring that our Health and Safety procedures really work in practice.

3.1 Health and Safety strategy

Each establishment will produce a Health and Safety strategy identifying priorities and setting key objectives. This should be reviewed on a regular basis.

3.2 Fire/Emergency evacuation procedure

All sites have arrangements in place to ensure your safe evacuation in the event of an emergency. A copy of the local procedures will be available on Health and Safety notice boards, websites, induction packs and from your Health and Safety advisor. You will receive regular training and emergency evacuation drills.

Trained fire marshals are appointed at each site to ensure your safety.

3.3 Risk assessment

Risk assessments will be undertaken by the relevant line manager and be reviewed by the Health and Safety advisor, to identify any hazards and to determine any precautions that need to be taken to safeguard you at work. A copy of these assessments will be provided to you.

3.4 First aid provision

There are fully trained First Aiders at all of our sites to help you. The First Aiders’ names and telephone numbers are available on the Health and Safety notice boards, websites, induction packs and other prominent places at each site.

3.5 Occupational health provision

Each establishment will make suitable occupational health arrangements to deal with the health risks you face. Details of the arrangements are available from your Health and Safety advisor, and are posted on the website, notice boards and are contained within your induction pack. You should ensure that any appropriate health surveillance is completed (as appropriate) for any major changes to your role.

3.6 Planning for contractors

When selecting contractors, you must ask them to include a method statement or a summary risk assessment as part of the tender. You must also give contractors clear instructions and information on Health and Safety issues.

3.7 Smoking

Smoking is prohibited within our premises, except in certain designated outside areas. Local procedures, which provide more information, exist at each site and should be followed.

3.8 Security

Your security and that of our premises is a high priority. Access to our premises will be under the supervision of each establishment. You must cooperate with any local policies and procedures.

3.9 Manual handling

We will take all reasonable steps to reduce Health and Safety risks to you from manual handling. We try to ensure that manual handling tasks that involve injury risks are avoided where reasonably practicable. Where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid these tasks a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks will be undertaken and identified risks will be reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable. You will also be provided with adequate information, instruction, training and supervision regarding manual handling best practice. You will make proper use of any equipment and systems of work provided for your safety.

3.10 Shared accommodation

If you work in accommodation managed by others or share accommodation with other employers, we will:

  • Cooperate with the other employers or landlord to help them to meet their Health and Safety obligations
  • Take action to coordinate our procedures with those of the other employers or landlord
  • Inform other employers of any risks to their employees' Health and Safety arising from the work carried out by our employees
  • Ensure that you are kept aware of any risks to you arising from the work carried out by other employers
  • Ensure that, wherever appropriate, our risk assessments cover the workplace as a whole and not just the area occupied by our employees

If you work in premises shared with another employer and that employer's Health and Safety rules are adopted, we will ensure your Health and Safety is adequately safeguarded.

3.11 Workplace hazards

A number of workplace hazards have been identified as requiring separate procedures to help us to comply with good practice. These include, accident prevention, COSHH, working with biological agents, radiation protection, stress management, lone working, etc.

3.12 Non-compliance

Any infringement of Health and Safety rules may result in appropriate disciplinary/punitive action.

4. Measuring and reviewing Health and Safety performance

It is essential to maintain and improve our Health and Safety performance. We need to know where we are, where we want to be and identify the differences and why. We will measure our performance by having both active monitoring (checking before things go wrong) and reactive monitoring (checking when things went wrong and why).

This can be achieved by the following:

4.1 Risk register

All establishments will produce a Risk Register identifying, analysing and managing risks and Hazards (including Health and Safety) you may encounter. Each risk is given a ranking with the highest priority risks clearly identified. Each establishment will consider ways in which each risk can be reduced and this is reviewed on a regular basis. From this document each establishment will be able to develop a contingency plan, which will provide them with the ability to speedily, smoothly and cost effectively respond to significant changes in the environment.

4.2 Inspections

Each site carries out routine programmed Health and Safety inspections. They provide a useful check before things go wrong. Among other things inspections consider:

  • The working environment (including access and egress routes)
  • Plant, equipment and materials
  • Who use the area
  • Working methods (including training and housekeeping)
  • Maintenance and cleaning standards (and records)

4.3 Accident reporting and investigation

Definitions (source: Health and Safety executive)

  • An occupational disease is an illness or disease caused or aggravated by exposures arising out of or in the course of work
  • An accident is any unplanned event that results in injury or ill-health to an individual
  • A near miss is an event which could have caused personal injury or damage to equipment or property

You should report all accidents, even minor ones, to your line manager or Health and Safety advisor and see that they are properly recorded. You should also report near misses.

The Health and Safety advisor will review all accidents, near misses and occupational diseases and serious issues will be investigated. This is to find the root causes and introduce management action to prevent the incident recurring. The Health and Safety Advisers will analyse this data on a annual basis to see if there are any trends and consider what further action they could take.

We also report certain accidents and cases of ill health to the Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). The Health and Safety Advisor will complete form F2508 with your help and a copy will be sent to the Health and Safety team at BBSRC Office.

5. Auditing Health and Safety

Health and Safety Management Audits are used to check that our policy, organisation and systems are effective and relevant.We will use audit and review to improve our ability to manage risk, especially by:

  • Checking levels of compliance with our Health and Safety performance indicators against legislation and good practice
  • Analysing near misses, work-related ill-health and injuries for cause and trends
  • Identifying areas of good practice and where performance can be improved
  • Feeding audit findings into a management action plan with a timetable for implementation
  • Checking that agreed objectives are achieved within a given time scale
  • Communicating audit outcomes
  • Reviewing audit reports and management action plans and monitoring their implementation

Health and Safety audits are arranged by the BBSRC office Health and Safety team. Reports on these audits will be submitted to the Director of Human Resources, who will send them to the establishment Director and to the Chair of the respective governing body (where appropriate). These reports will be discussed at Joint Health and Safety advisors meetings. Each establishment should use these audits as management tools to find opportunities for improvement and develop action plans.

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Last updated 09/12/09
Amendment 86 - December 2009