Health and Safety Committee

Terms of Reference

 To consider, comment on and approve the University health and safety strategy, policies, and management arrangements, to ensure that the University meets all legislative requirements and best practice standards. To seek assurance in relation to health and safety performance and promote a positive health and safety culture. To act as the formal consultative forum for the University in relation to health and safety.

It is important to note that, whilst an important function, the Committee does not merely exist as a consultative forum but is established to ensure that significant actions are identified and implemented in such a way as the University can demonstrate that Health and Safety are being effectively managed as a strategic priority. Attendees at Committee are expected to add value to the process and contribute to the outputs produced as a result of the Committee’s activities.

The Health and Safety Committee, in line with university policy, has the ability to form and disband sub-committees as required.

Main Activities

The Committee shall be responsible for the overseeing of strategic Health & Safety Management, and will have functions including, though not restricted to:

  • Consideration of the University Health and Safety Strategy through oversight of plans to ensure adequate resourcing and implementation at all levels of the University.
  • Ensuring the Health and Safety Strategic Delivery Plan is actively engaged and embedded in all areas of the University’s undertakings through oversight of a regular series of audits and reviews of safety practice and procedure in the University.
  • Oversight of the development of departmental Health and Safety Arrangements and Work Plans to ensure the Health and Safety Strategy is being delivered in line with agreed timelines.
  • To monitor and drive the University’s performance in terms of health and safety compliance.
  • To monitor the occurrence of health and safety related incidents including near misses, reports of any enquiries into them under the approved procedures and identify any implications for the development of health and safety policies and procedures.
  • To receive reports of non-compliance and non-conformity from external agencies, including enforcing authorities
  • Monitor the University’s compliance with fire precautions (workplace) regulations across both residential and non-residential estates.
  • Reviewing key risks associated with university activities relating to health and safety and reviewing the arrangements in place for managing these risks.
  • Considering reports arising from audit and monitoring activities and agreeing any necessary corrective actions.
  • Ensuring the Health and Safety sub committees are structured, resourced and report in a manner consistent with the University Health and Safety Strategy.
  • Receive and review reports from sub-committees, ensuring all statutory required reporting is in place, and coordinate provision of relevant safety advice or information on good practice across the University.
  • To act as the formal consultative committee of the University in relation to health and safety
  • To discuss issues of health and safety policy and practice raised by the trade unions.
  • To be kept informed of trends and developments in health and safety and to comment on their adoption and possible implementation.
  • Review and approve safety policies and arrangements, where required for submission to the Council, and monitor their implementation.
  • Identify matters of concern to staff and students and encourage their support for and engagement with securing appropriate workplace health, safety, and welfare standards.
  • To consider and comment on projects and work that have significant health and safety implications.
  • To provide regular reports to Audit and Risk Committee and UEB on matters of health and safety, including apprising of any accidents and incidents posing major risks.


The University also seeks to achieve best practice around health and safety and so:

  • A Biological Safety Sub-Committees will be convened to cover local areas of work.
  • A University Radiation Protection Committee for ionising radiation and one for non-ionising radiation will be convened.
  • A Health and Safety Sub-Committee will be convened to oversee the review, amendment and approval of Health and Safety policies and guidance.
  • A Health and Safety Sub-Committee will be convened to cover Estates, Infrastructure, and statutory compliance.

Measures and Outputs

  1. Health and Safety Strategic Deliver Plan
  2. Faculty and Professional Services Departmental Health and Safety Arrangements documents reviewed annually and associate work and improvement plans.
  3. 6 monthly metric updates from faculties, professional service Departments, estates and infrastructure and statutory compliance
  4. Reports submitted by Committee members.
    1. Annual report from each of the faculties
    2. Annual report from each of the Professional Services Departments
    3. Occupational Health
    4. Health and Safety Services
    5. Annual review of Health and Safety Competence and Training Plan
    6. Risk Register review and report by exception
    7. Audit and Monitoring Reports submitted by the Health and Safety Services team.
    8. Sub-Committee minutes and Annual reports for each of the key risk topics



Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engineering)

Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors

Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts)

Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Medicine and Health Sciences)

Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Science)

Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Social Sciences)



Chief Financial Officer

Director of Estates and Facilities

Estates Operations Director

Deputy Director of Human Resources

External member of University Council

External member of University Council

Director of Health and Safety

8 Health and Safety Representatives as follows reflecting the spread of workplace hazards

UCU (2 representatives):

UNITE (3 representatives):

UNISON (3 representatives):


Director of Health and Safety

The Director of Governance and Assurance will attend meetings but is not a member of the Committee.


Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors are permitted to nominate either their Faculty Operations Director or Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor to attend meetings on their behalf in exceptional circumstances only and to be agreed with the Chair. Union representatives can send a deputy on their behalf in exceptional circumstances only and from a pool of pre-submitted persons.

Other members are not able to nominate a Deputy to attend on their behalf.


A quorum will be half the regular membership plus one.


  • The University must publish meeting dates at least one term in advance where staff can see them.
  • Meetings should not be cancelled or postponed except in exceptional circumstances when the rearranged date should be announced as soon as possible.
  • Minutes and key actions should be circulated to all invited members of the Committee and made available for all staff to view as soon as possible after the meeting.


The University recognises its legal duty to consult with staff and trade union representatives. Relevant legislation includes:

  • the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974,
  • Trade Union Safety Representatives (Safety Representative & Safety Committees Regulations (SRSCR) 1977 and
  • Health and Safety [Consultations with Staff] Regulations (HSCER) 1996.

Reports to

Audit and Risk Committee 2 times per year at six monthly intervals and onward to Council.


(membership updated 20 November 2023)

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