This webpage is essential reading for those who the University deems responsible for leading and managing health and safety. It is of particular relevance to senior managers and leaders but also applies to line managers and supervisors.
A proactive approach to health and safety management is imperative for legal, financial, and moral reasons. The primary legal requirements arise out of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992. These are supplemented by many codes of specific regulations, often related to a particular hazard or activity. Significant penalties can be incurred for non-compliance with health and safety legislation. There is also provision for enforcement notices to prohibit activities immediately or to make specific improvements within a certain timescale.
Effective and engaged leadership is integral to developing and maintaining good standards that enable innovative work to be undertaken safely and in compliance with regulatory requirements.
(See Related Links for relevant presentations.)
The University Health and Safety Policy delegates duties to the heads of the management units to enable the statutory responsibilities to be discharged. These relate to establishing, and being effectively involved in, an organisational structure within the management unit that enables safety arrangements to be devised, implemented, monitored and reviewed.
The University health and safety management standard "Effective Safety Management" describes the framework for achieving this. For leaders and managers, the key elements are:
The offence of Corporate Manslaughter has been introduced for the most serious situations involving a fatality where the safety management system, or culture (i.e. custom and practice or "the way things are done around here"), falls far short of expected standards. The attitudes and actions of those in positions to direct or control workplace standards and activities would be scrutinised. Relevant factors include:
A 10-minute Podcast on the Legal Services webpage provides an overview. This is supported by information for managers and principal investigators in managing health and safety. University policies and guidance are aimed at managing the risks to ensure that the correct standards are in place and thereby avoid situations that could result in enforcement activity of which corporate manslaughter is at one extreme.
Further information is also contained in sector guidance on leading health and safety at work that has been developed by UCEA and USHA. This is derived from the Institute of Directors/HSE guidance. The key features of this are:
Strong and active leadership from the top:
Assessment and review:
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