About Us - Health and Safety Services
Who are we?
Health and Safety Services is a central Support Department, comprising of staff who specialise in health and safety. Our work is directed, in the main, by the Health and Safety Task Group and the University Health and Safety Committee, by developments in legislative requirements, increasing expectations and by new and developing activities at the University.
Why do we exist?
Good health and safety management is essential within a large, complex organization such as the University. However, we know it is impossible for individual managers and supervisors to be conversant / aware of all relevant and developing legislation and practices due to the inordinate amount of health and safety legislation out there.
Therefore, Health and Safety Services exists, to satisfy the legal requirement for a competent source of health and safety advice and promote good standards in all areas of health and safety by assisting Colleges, Schools and Departments to meet their health and safety obligations and the expectations placed upon them.
What do we do?
Primarily the Department keeps the University informed and up to date with all appropriate health and safety legislation, requirements, good practices and to ensure suitable advice is provided across the Institution to ensure the University remains compliant with legislation to ensure the safety and health of its staff, students and visitors. Our advice is impartial and independent of any budgetary or political pressure; elements crucial to the success of the University's health and safety management system.
Health and Safety Services works to Strategies and Objectives that not only consider 'compliance' but promote and develop excellence in all areas of Health and Safety at Work. It also provides competent and authoritative health and safety advice, supports managers and staff, and prepares guidance to help Colleges and Departments comply with relevant legislation and good practice. We also undertake periodic audits and reviews of health and safety systems within individual Colleges and Departments, provide training, assistance and where necessary carry out incident and accident investigations and cases of work related ill health.
Finally, we liaise with HM inspectorates, eg the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency, and deal with investigating authorities and bodies on health and safety issues, incidents, accidents and complaints.
Is Health and Safety Services responsible for health and safety?
No, as we do not have managerial control of the
University or its Colleges and Department, we are there to help with matters of health and safety, but are not ultimately responsible for the management of health and safety.
The law makes is clear that individuals and organisations have collective and personal responsibility for health and safety and the University's Health and Safety Policy clarifies this by identifying responsibilities throughout the Institution. For example, the University's Research Office is not responsible for the quality of a research activity within a College, the College is, but the Research Office will guide, direct and assist.
Health and Safety Services acts as secretariat to the local Health and Safety Group; which has over 50 local employers as members. Meetings are held throughout the year and the activity is seen as part of the University's commitment to support local business and promote health and safety beyond the confines of the University.
Health at work
Health support services at the University are provided by both the team and an Occupational Health Practitioner. Specific details on Health at Work and promoting good health are available on the 'Well-being' section of this website.