Deans of Colleges / Heads of Departments

How do I know if it's working?

Ask yourself:

  • Do I know what my College / Department's significant risks are - if you assume 'I have none' then ask yourself again?
  • How many days are lost due to staff sickness absence?
  • How many staff and students had an accident or near miss at my College / Department last year?
  • When was the last time I met with my Safety Coordinator and when was the last annual report produced? Has this been acted on?
  • Have all significant risks been assessed and are improvements being implemented?
  • Is continuous improvement and risk reduction encouraged?
  • When was the last time I took part in a health and safety inspection within my College / Department?
  • Are health and safety inspections happening regularly and are recommendations being acted upon?
  • Is there a College / Departmental Health and Safety Committee and is it working?
  • Do my staff and students receive suitable and sufficient health and safety information and training?
  • What is my health and safety management system and am I confident that all that needs to done is being done?

You really should be in a position to respond positively to the above or be confident that you have sufficient systems and people in place to ensure simple issues such as these are being addressed successfully.

However, sometimes it just boils down to this - can you answer the following positively?

  • If a HSE Inspector was to request a  meeting with you tomorrow are you satisfied that you will be able to demonstrate you have systems in place within your College / Department that not only identifies risk, but also ensures these risks are suitably managed and reduced so no one is harmed?

Self-auditing

Every year you and your health and safety monitoring team should undertake a College / Departmental-wide self-audit of your activities and controls. Normally this will take the form of completing a checklist and undertaking sample inspections to prove to yourselves that what's being said is actually happening.

The results of this self-audit should highlight what your College / Department is doing well and what areas require more effort or support. A copy of this self-audit should be forwarded to Health and Safety Services.

Health and Safety Services Auditing

Health and Safety Services will undertake periodic audits of health and safety management systems across the University and of selected Colleges and Departments. Such audits may be themed (subject / item specific) of be a formal audit to monitor compliance against University policies and applicable legislation within your College / Department. 

Summary Reports of Health and Safety Services audits are presented to the University's Health and Safety Committee and are considered in greater detail by the Health and Safety Task Group.