Arrangements for Health and Safety Management
Information on the strategic and operational management of Health and Safety at Robert Gordon University
Objectives targets and plans
The University plans its health and safety activities at all levels, setting objectives, targets to meet the objectives and planning activities to meet the targets. The following levels of activity are particularly relevant:
- The Board of Governors (the Board) sets the University’s strategic direction. All strategic priorities stem from this and are also approved by the Board.
- The Staff Governance Committee approves the annual plan and policies required to achieve the Health and Safety objectives of the University, these having first been considered by the Executive Group and Deans.
- The Executive Group and Deans prioritises operational policies and endorse other arrangements, required to achieve the agreed strategic direction.
- The University’s appointed “Health & Safety Director” oversees the development of the core "Health and Safety Policy Statement", "Organisation and Responsibilities Statement", "Arrangements for Health and Safety Management Statement" and the "Supporting Safety Management Statement".
- Health and safety priorities and targets are incorporated in to the University Health and safety Plan and in to School/Department Health and Safety local plans.
- Standard University-wide policies, procedures and guidance are developed by the Head of Occupational Health and Environmental Safety, in collaboration with Heads of Schools and Departments and other stakeholders.
- All Deans of Faculty and functional Directors set local health and safety objectives relevant to their areas of accountability, for inclusion in local plans.
- Heads of Schools, Departments and subsidiary businesses set local H&S objectives. These are then communicated throughout their area of responsibility in the form of management action plans.
- Members of the Executive and Deans, Heads of School/Department are responsible for the communication of objectives, targets and plans to their staff.
Communication and consultation
Communication on Health and safety matters will be through the most appropriate medium for the issue concerned, including the weekly RGU and other bulletins, the Principals weekly news release, formal and informal correspondence and other appropriate means.
Where more formal communication is required the responsibility is defined in the relevant procedures. On specific operational health and safety matters at School and Departmental level the responsibility for consultation, where it is required, rests with the Head of School and other senior departmental managers.
RGU will seek to ensure that no employee, student, visitor, contractor or other person is exposed to an unacceptably high level of risk from any of the property, equipment, processes or activities undertaken, for which the University has a legal responsibility for mitigation.
In view of this commitment, RGU aims to:
- Provide an environment where risk is mitigated to an acceptable level for all employees, students, visitors, contractors or others.
- Ensure compliance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and all other relevant legislation and guidance.
- Undertake suitable and sufficient assessments of all workplace risks, through the application of a suitable risk assessment system.
- Record the findings of these assessments.
- Provide information on the outcomes of assessments to those involved in the process being assessed.
- Provide suitable information and training to enable suitable risk assessments to be developed and implemented.
- Regularly review the risk assessment system, to ensure it is suitable and sufficient.
In particular, the following principles will be embodied procedurally:
- The person, Department, Subsidiary Company or School creating, or giving rise to, the risk is responsible for ensuring that the risk is assessed and effectively controlled.
- Risks will be assessed, as far as possible by, or in consultation with, those who will be charged with using, or supervising the use of, controls implemented as a result of the assessment.
- Adequate information and instruction related to the significant findings are made available to those involved/undertaking the task, activity, process or other risk criteria.
Health and safety related training will, so far as possible, be planned and organised with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders. However, responsibility for appropriate health and safety training for key personnel (see later) and day-to-day operational activity rests with the Head of School or relevant senior departmental manager.
RGU will determine and specify relevant health & safety training requirements for key staff at all levels. The EPR process and discussions with Line Managers highlight training requirements and appropriate training will be provided, where there is a requirement by RGU or the School or Department.
Investigation and Reporting
It is the University’s aim to develop a “no automatic blame” culture whereby all accidents, incidents and ill-health are reported without prejudice. The system will be accessible to all staff and students.
All such reports will be investigated to an appropriate level with a view to finding the root cause and incidental failures, and to learn lessons and take improvement actions where appropriate. Line management will be engaged in this process. Information will be analysed in order to develop meaningful statistics on performance and trends.
Statutory reports to relevant authorities will be submitted in good time.
Monitoring and Review
Monitoring occurs at 3 levels:
- The annual report to the Board and quarterly report to the Executive Group.
- A programme of specific health and safety audits is maintained and acted on.
- Heads of Schools, Departments and subsidiaries are responsible for ensuring each workplace is inspected regularly and that the outcomes are recorded. Furthermore, they must ensure that an action plan is developed to prioritise and mitigate risk and that the necessary remedial actions are carried out timeously.
The review process also occurs at 3 levels:
- The Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Department keeps the health & safety management system under constant review, making consequential amendments to the published system.
- Reviews resulting in changes to and development of significant policies and procedures are subject to RGU’s consultation arrangements and require to be approved by the Staff Governance Committee (having first been endorsed by the EG and Deans) in consultation with the Occupational Health and Safety Forum.
- The Health and Safety Policy Statement; Organisation & Responsibilities; Supporting Safety Management, and Health and Safety Arrangements documents are reviewed on an annual basis by the Executive Group, signed and dated by the Principal and formally endorsed by the Board of Governors.
Emergency Preparedness and Response
The Robert Gordon University has developed, and will keep under review, plans and procedures to prepare for reasonably foreseeable emergency situations. These are currently detailed under separate procedures and guidance covering:
- First aid arrangements
- Fire precautions and emergency evacuation
- Major incidents
Planning for other contingencies that do not threaten life, health or safety, and for business continuity planning, is not part of the Health and Safety Management System. These issues are dealt with under Estates, Finance and other relevant procedures.
Audits, accident and incident investigations, internal inspections, complaints, investigations, fire drills and alarm activations all produce actions. Where actions for improvement are identified and agreed, implementation is to be monitored until the actions are complete.
All agreed actions must be given a low, medium or high priority. Progress will be monitored against the following targets:
6 months to close out
3 months to close out
1 month to close out or make satisfactory progress
Low and medium priority actions that are not achieved within the target period will be automatically reprioritised into the next, higher category. All high priority issues that are not completely closed out in 1 month shall be reported to the Health & Safety Director, who will assess progress towards completion and decide what further instruction, action or reporting is required.