Local health and safety committees
Local health and safety committees should be appointed to oversee specific health and safety issues within a school or management unit.
The requirement to set up local health and safety committees comes from the University Health and Safety Policy - Part 1 Framework, Section 4.6.6, extract of which is provided below.
As specified, if a school or management unit is deemed as low risk, then health and safety should be a standing item on the agenda of management committees/meetings.
Extract from University Health and Safety Policy - Part 1 Framework, Section 4.6.6
A Head of School must appoint a School Safety Committee to advise both himself or herself and the School Safety Adviser on specific matters whenever justified by the nature and extent of risks. Such committees should include members of the academic and technical staff, Trade Union Safety Representatives (if appointed) and representatives from the student body.
In Schools where risks are low, and the appointment of a School Safety Committee is not justified, health and safety should be a standing item on the agenda of management meetings, at School level or below.
Multi-occupancy Building User Group
If the building has a Multi-occupancy Building User Group (MOBUG), then safety could be a standing item on their agenda and no separate local health and safety committee needs to be established. However, if the activity in the building could be deemed as high risk (for example laboratory work) then a separate health and safety committee may be more appropriate.
Further guidance for MOBUGs is available.
The convenor of the school safety committee should be an appropriate member of staff with sufficient seniority to ensure items brought to the committee are followed up on and dealt with.
It would be a benefit if the convenor has some health and safety training, for example IOSH Managing Safely. This training can be provided by the Health and Safety Department. Please contact the Training and Audit Unit for further details.
A secretary should also be appointed to undertake the minute taking as well as manage the schedule of meetings.
Suitable members, including any local union safety reps, should be appointed by each section of the school/management unit to sit on the committee.
Frequency of meetings
Meetings should be held as often as deemed necessary by the Convenor but at least once a year. If the need arises, for example a serious incident, then a meeting should be called as soon as is reasonably practicable.
Liaison with the University Health and Safety Committee
The central Health and Safety Committee would seek to encourage local committees to bring forward items of particular significance and/or general interest or value from their own committees to the University Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee, and to help disseminate locally messages/information coming from the central Committee.
Please email the Secretary to the University Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee with any issues you would like considered.
Individuals wishing to highlight an area of concern
In addition, a flow chart has been produced which highlights possible routes for an individual employee to take forward a health and safety query/issue. This flow chart has been approved by the University Safety, Health and Wellbeing Committee and is available below. The chart was sent to all convenors of local safety committees on 6th April 2011 with a covering letter by Alastair Reid.