Deans of Colleges / Heads of Departments

So what do I need to do?

Each Dean of College / Head of Department is responsible for the planning, implementation, monitoring and review of measures to control risk arising from the activities of their College or Department and ensuring the allocation of resources necessary for this. But you're not alone, the HSS team will be there to help you throughout.

This sounds an immense task, where do I start?

Managing health and safety risks is no different to managing any other aspect of a business risk in that the same management systems and practices apply.

Whether it be the "Plan-Do-Check-Act" method or a similar system, health and safety risks must be managed - just as you would manage anything else. 

Your Health and Safety Policy

Each College / Department should firstly produce a suitable and sufficient health and safety policy which addresses all key aspects of its activities and risks.  This should detail how health and safety is managed within the College / Department. The Policy should be based on an initial risk assessment of your College / Departmental hazards and risks and be structured in a way that is easy to understand so the document is useful and does not end up living on bookshelves gathering dust.

Organising for Health and Safety

Your Policy should state clearly how health and safety risks are managed within the College / Department and your organisation for health and safety management should reflect the College's or Department's general management system. 

Planning and Measuring Performance

There should be a planned and systematic approach to implementing your health and safety policy through an effective health and safety management system. This system should include performance measurements to reveal when and where improvement is needed.

Auditing and Reviewing Performance

Your College / Department should learn from all relevant experiences and apply the lessons learnt to ensure there is a systematic review of performance based on data from monitoring and audits of the whole health and safety management system.

Training Saff

You, your staff and your students all require an element of health and safety training, reflecting the potential hazards you may be exposed to.  Training requirements should also be assessed at least annually and possibly as part of your staff review process.

Your Safety Coordinator should receive specific training for his / her role and be prepared to continually update and develop his / her expertise and value to yourself and your College / Department. Also, each member of staff who is exposed to a specific risk must be instructed and / or trained in how to avoid and / or control that risk; often this can be done through a supervisor or directly through the Safety Coordinator.

Each College must ensure that each and every student receives a suitable health and safety induction at the start of their studies. This talk should be as long and as comprehensive as the risks require and, where appropriate, should be supplemented throughout the academic years by more specific instruction relevant to particular tasks and activities (such as field work and overseas travel).

Specific advice on health and safety training can be obtained from Health and Safety Services.

Appointing Key People to Help

The appointment of a College / Departmental Safety Coordinator will be one of your key appointments. A good knowledgeable Safety Coordinator will relieve you of a potentially significant burden as you will know that the day-to-day task of overseeing health and safety within your College / Department is being undertaken properly. However, your Safety Coordinator will need help and time and support to undertake this role, but more importantly they will need the cooperation of all within the College / Department.

Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what, in your College / Department, could cause harm to people, so that you can assess whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm occurring.

Risk assessments should be undertaken for all significant hazards and reviewed regularly.