Managing health and safety is an integral part of good management. The University/UECS Codes of Practice Managing Health and Safety set out our arrangements for managing health and safety in accordance with the HSE's Plan – Do – Check – Act management system framework. Our arrangements for managing health and safety are outlined below.
Our Health and Safety policies express our commitment to the achievement of high standards of health and safety and its objectives for the coming years. It also sets out the health and safety responsibilities of the University’s leaders, managers, staff and students.
Each department/section or business unit will also have a Health and Safety Management Statement, which details local health and safety responsibilities and arrangements.
Health and Safety Plan 2019-2025
The University of Essex Health and Safety Plan 2019-2025 was last approved by Council on 28 November2022.
The University’s Health and Safety Plan 2019-2025 has been developed within the context of the University’s Strategic Plan, which has re-framed to reflect our commitment to putting people (staff and students) at the centre of everything we do.
The Plan sets out the University’s vision, aims and objectives in relation to health and safety at work and actions to be taken to address the following opportunities and challenges:
The Plan will be reviewed annually and further developed to take account of the University's Research and Education Strategies and the University’s sub-strategies.
The impact of changes brought about by strategic plans or specific projects on the health and safety of staff and students need to be considered as part of planning processes. WHSW should be consulted in good time on projects and plans that will have a significant health and safety impact, so that timely advice can be given.
Areas for consideration include:
Plans should also address the need to:
The following tools will help you to consider health and safety as part of your project plans:
All staff need to be competent to meet their responsibilities and carry out their work safely and in accordance with the health and safety standards related to their work.
Those with management responsibilities need to be aware of relevant health and safety legislation and how to manage health, safety and wellbeing in accordance with the University’s policies and standards.
All staff need to be able to work in a safe and healthy manner. New staff need an induction into health and safety procedures relating to their role.
Find out more about training and induction.
Good communication systems are essential to ensure that everyone:
In addition to this website, important health and safety information is communicated through:
If you would like a health and safety and fire safety adviser to attend a meeting to give a presentation on an aspect of health and safety, please contact HSAS.
Staff need to be involved in health and safety decisions that affect them and the risk assessment process. Their input is valuable in helping to identify health and safety concerns and develop safe workplaces and systems of work that are practical and have their support. It means that adjustments needed to address legitimate concerns can be planned and budgeted for.
Consultation is also a legal requirement under the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations and Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations.
Where the activities of one department/section/business may affect other users of the University’s premises, it is necessary to share information and co-ordinate arrangements for health and safety. Those involved in organising joint activities and events need to be clear on what their health and safety responsibilities are.
Staff working in shared workspaces need to understand who is responsible for their health and safety. This should be detailed in the staff member’s or host department's Health and Safety Management Statement. Unless otherwise stated the following will apply:
Risk assessments help us to identify how people can be harmed from our work, study and organised leisure activities and what needs to be in place to protect staff, students and other users of our premises from harm.
We have generic risk assessments for a range of risks that are relevant across the University. You will find them by searching for the relevant subject area on the Staff/Student Directory, or using the broad links listed below.
We also provide guidance and training on risk assessment or WHSW can offer advice on specific risk assessments.
Health and Safety Standards describe how we do things safely at the University. Subjects have been grouped into the following broad areas:
Your line manager or HSLO will be able to direct you to departmental health and safety standards relating to your area of work.
Monitoring is an essential part of health and safety. It helps us to ensure our health and safety standards have been implemented and are adequately protecting people from harm.
All departments are required to carry out annual health and safety inspections. These include a review of health and safety records and physical inspection. In higher risk areas regular safety tours or daily walk around may also take place to ensure the physical environment is safe.
Reporting and investigating accidents and incidents helps us to learn why someone has been harmed and so put into place measures to prevent it happening again. We also monitor trends in incidents to identify areas where further risk controls may be needed.
An audit involves collecting information about the health and safety management system and making judgements about its adequacy and performance. It is a proactive method to monitor whether risk controls and processes put in place to manage health and safety across the University are adequate and effective in practice, or whether improvements could be made.
Health and safety auditing gives further information on auditing at the University and current audits being undertaken.
It is important that health and safety risk assessments and standards are regularly reviewed to ensure they are current. Health and safety standards must be dated with the last review date and the review should take place in a reasonable timescale, taking account of the nature of the risk and changes to legislation and work practices.
Health and Safety Management Statements and notice board information should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that the names of those given health and safety responsibilities remain current.
Reporting on health and safety performance is necessary to enable Council and USG to fulfil their leadership responsibilities. They need to be kept aware of health and safety risks and any potential shortcomings that could result in prosecution or a serious health and safety incident.
Progress with implementing the University’s Health and Safety Plan (.pdf, Essex users only) will be measured in the following ways:
Similar processes of annual reporting on health and safety occur in UECS and Wivenhoe House, with annual reports presented to their boards. HSG also has oversight of annual reports from USG, Wivenhoe House Hotel and the Students' Union.
The University’s current KPIs are approved annually by Council. Departments are notified by Health and Safety Bulletin (usually in August ).