Health and safety structure and general health and safety responsibilities of postholders in the University.

Details of specific responsibilities are given, where necessary, in topic-specific Codes of Practice which are included under Arrangements.

The leadership and management of health and safety in higher education developed by USHA in partnership with UCEA gives guidance to all leaders and managers in HEIs to embed good health and safety management at each tier of the University.

The Health & Safety Organisation Chart [PDF document] provides visual summary of the health and safety structure.

The central H&S training matrix provides details of H&S training requirements for all staff and particularly those with specific H&S responsibilities.  This ensures that the University achieves the agreed staff competence levels as set by the University Health & Safety Committee. There will also be additional local requirements for health and safety training and these will be agreed at Faculty/Directorate/Unit level.

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  • The Governing Body

    The Governing Body is ultimately responsible for health and safety matters in the University. The Governing Body ensures that its decisions reflect the health and safety objectives of the University, including ensuring that resources for the management of health and safety are adequate.

    The Governing Body receives an annual report from the University Health and Safety Committee in addition to a report from the University Head of Health & Safety on health and safety management issues.

  • The Vice-Chancellor

    The Vice-Chancellor is the Health & Safety Director of the University Governing Body and is responsible for ensuring that health and safety issues are properly addressed by the Governing Body and throughout the University. The Vice-Chancellor is executively responsible for the success of the University health and safety management system, which includes the implementation of the University Health & Safety Policy, and ensures that senior managers and other personnel adequately discharge their duties in accordance with the Policy. The Vice-Chancellor is advised by the University Secretary (Health & Safety Champion), the University Head of Health & Safety and the University Health & Safety Committee.

  • The University Secretary

    The University Secretary is a Vice-Chancellor Group member with defined responsibilities, as the Health & Safety Champion, for:

    • Supporting the Vice-Chancellor in the discharge of their responsibilities by promoting the health and safety management system, maintaining a positive health and safety culture throughout the University, providing leadership and promoting debate/awareness of health and safety issues and risks in the Vice-Chancellor Group discussions;
    • Ensuring that arrangements are in place to secure compliance with statutory provisions and the University stated aims;
    • Ensuring that adequate resources are allocated to the management of health and safety across the University;
    • Ensuring the University Head of Health & Safety, Fire Safety Officer, Radiation Protection Adviser, Radiation Protection Officer, Laser Safety Adviser, Biological Safety Adviser and other specialist roles, as required, are appointed;
    • Co-ordinating the activities of the University with respect to health and safety including monitoring and enforcing the University Health & Safety Policy to ensure that targets set by the University health and safety management system and plans are met within the relevant time frames;
    • The production of an annual health and safety report to the Governing Body;
    • Chairing the University Health & Safety Committee.

    In this role, the University Secretary will be supported by the:

    • Vice-Chancellor's Group;
    • University Health & Safety Unit.
  • Senior Staff of the University

    Senior staff (Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Chief Operating Officer, University Secretary, Pro Vice Chancellors, Faculty Operating Officers and Directors of Professional Services), by individual and collective leadership, are accountable for ensuring that effective local health and safety arrangements are in place. The University health and safety management system (which includes and supports the Health & Safety Policy), procedures and supporting documentation are implemented and health and safety ownership is present amongst staff, students and others throughout the University.

    The Faculty Operating Officers/Directors of Professional Services, in particular, are additionally responsible for ensuring that:

    • Adequate resources are available to the management of health and safety, including the formal delegation (in writing) of key health and safety roles, to enable competent individuals to meet their health and safety responsibilities and providing appropriate staff development for each individual concerned;
    • Necessary information, instruction, training and supervision for their staff, students and others to carry out their responsibilities;
    • All management decisions reflect the intentions of the policy;
    • All actions and decisions of the Governing Body, University Health & Safety Committee, and relevant committees are implemented and communicated in their areas of accountability and establishing clear lines of communication for dealing with health and safety issues locally and University wide;
    • Continuous monitoring and revising local health and safety arrangements which is in line with the University health and safety management system;
    • Personal action or empowering members of staff to act, suspend or stop any activity that is hazardous and not carried out in line with relevant health and safety arrangements;
    • All Faculty/Directorate health and safety committees are chaired by the relevant Faculty Operating Officer/Director of Professional Service, or in small Offices placing health and safety as a regular standing item on the agenda of an appropriate Office management committee.
  • The University Head of Health & Safety

    The University Head of Health & Safety is the University's lead competent person for the management of health and safety and is accountable to the University Secretary (Health & Safety Champion) for ensuring that the University has appropriate health and safety professional management and advice on health and safety matters and performance and a defined/maintained health and safety management system. This role also acts as the adviser to the Vice-Chancellor, or representatives, on health and safety matters, including relevant new health and safety legislation

    In addition, the University Head of Health & Safety and staff are responsible for:

    • Providing advice on strategic and operational health and safety issues and developing and recommending policies, procedures and compliance strategies in line with best practice to ensure that the University complies with its obligations under health and safety legislation;
    • Supports the University in the development of the Health & Safety Strategy and Plan to address significant risks which will be approved by the University Health & Safety Committee;
    • Reviewing and updating arrangements for implementing the Health & Safety Policy including monitoring compliance;
    • Providing professional advice and support to Health & Safety Managers, Health & Safety Local Officers and other health and safety posts on health and safety matters and performance, such as on the development of risk assessments and workplace inspections;
    • In consultation, establishing training programs, facilitating improvements and auditing performance in Faculties and Directorates;
    • Supporting the professional development of staff with health and safety accountability;
    • Establishing networks and forums for exchange of good practice and collaborates with Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service, Estates & Facilities Directorate and other professionals;
    • Managing the University's first aid arrangements;
    • Administering the accident reporting system and reviewing its data for measuring performance and identifying trends and investigating significant accidents and reports under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) on behalf of the University;
    • Seeking the involvement and co-operation of other professionals/specialists within or outside the University in the examination of general or specific problems relating to health and safety;
    • Liaising with and be the University's point of contact with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other relevant organisations on health and safety matters;
    • Reporting to the University Health & Safety Committee as an ex-officio member.

    The University Head of Health & Safety will prepare the annual health and safety report, in conjunction with the Health & Safety Champion, each November to the Governing Body covering health and safety arrangements and assurances from Faculties/Directorates. The objective of the report is to identify those areas where improvements have been made, where significant hazards are being controlled or areas that are in need of consideration.

  • University Fire Safety Officer

    The University Fire Safety Officer supports the Head of Health and Safety in the provision of University specific fire safety information and best practice guidance to staff and students.  The Fire Safety Officer is also responsible for liaising with the Estates & Facilities Directorate to ensure that up to date fire risk assessments are in place for University buildings.

    For the full responsibilities of fire safety management, see Estates & Facilities Directorate.

  • The University Biological Safety Advisor

    The University Biological Safety Advisor is appointed by the University Secretary and is responsible for advising the Vice-Chancellor and the University Secretary on matters of biological safety, including genetic modification. The University Biological Safety Advisor gives an annual report to the University Health & Safety Committee.

    Related topics include:-

    Click the relevant link for full arrangements including detailed responsibilities of the University Biological Safety Advisor.

  • The University Laser Safety Advisor

    The University Laser Safety Advisor is appointed by the University Secretary and is responsible for advising the Vice-Chancellor, University Secretary, and Laser Safety Supervisors on matters concerned with laser safety. The University Laser Safety Advisor gives an annual report to the University Health & Safety Committee.

    See Laser Safety for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of the University Laser Safety Advisor

  • The University Radiation Protection & Radioactive Waste Advisor

    The University Radiation Protection & Radioactive Waste Advisor is appointed by the University Secretary and is responsible for advising the Vice-Chancellor, Secretary and Radiation Protection Supervisors on matters concerned with ionising radiations. The University Radiation Protection & Radioactive Waste Advisor gives an annual report to the University Health & Safety Committee.

    See Ionising Radiations for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of the University Radiation Protection & Radioactive Waste Advisor.

  • Radiation Protection Officer

    The Radiation Protection Officer (RPO) is appointed by the University Secretary. The role of the RPO is to support the University's work with ionising radiations by ensuring arrangements are in place to manage radiation risks, so that work is carried out safely and in compliance with Regulations and so that University employees and the public are protected from harmful effects. The RPO is responsible for advising the Faculty Operating Officer of the adequacy of current arrangements.

    See Ionising Radiations for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of the Radiation Protection Officer

  • Heads of Departments or Services

    The Head of Department or Service is responsible for:

    • Ensuring that health and safety risks are assessed before new work/protocols are introduced;
    • Ensuring that identified precautions are costed, implemented and regularly reviewed;
    • Ensuring that induction of new staff includes necessary health and safety information (including regular refreshers for existing staff);
    • Discussing health and safety issues at appropriate department staff/student meetings; 
    • Including health and safety activities/developmental needs during staff appraisals (where appropriate)
    • Working with the Health & Safety Manager to achieve the above arrangements.
  • Faculty Directors of Research and/or Enterprise

    The Faculty Directors of Research and/or Enterprise are responsible for:

    • Ensuring that research staff and students receive necessary health and safety information;
    • When reviewing grant applications ensuring that health and safety risks, precautions and associated costs are considered before submission;
    • Assisting the Faculty Operating Officer in implementing a health and safety management system and good practice in research;
    • Working with the Health & Safety Manager to achieve the above arrangements.

    The Guidance document 'Responsible Research. Managing health and safety in research: Guidance for the not for profit sector' is available from UCEA.

  • Principal Investigators/Supervisors

    The Principal Investigators/Supervisors are responsible for:

    • Ensuring health and safety arrangements (including the assessment of risks and training) are included in all phases of the projects that is from planning to completion;
    • Working with the Health & Safety Manager to achieve the above arrangements.
  • Health & Safety Managers

    This role is a senior manager appointed by the relevant Faculty Operating Officer or Director of Professional Service to implement effective health and safety arrangements (which include risk management) and provide information on health and safety performance. It typically includes:

    • Working with the Faculty Operating Officer or Director of Professional Service to appoint key health and safety roles, which will enable competent individuals to meet their health and safety responsibilities, and provide appropriate staff development for each individual concerned;
    • The oversight of health and safety within their specified area and ensuring that issues are considered at senior management level where appropriate;
    • The oversight of the consistency of delivery of health and safety matters within their area of responsibility and identify and pursue significant issues;
    • Evaluating and monitoring health and safety communication to validate their effectiveness for the level of risk in the area;
    • Co-ordinating allocated resources for the management of health and safety.

    In some faculties/offices the role of the Faculty Operating Officer or Director of Professional Service will have one or the same person as this role. This arrangement is the same for small Offices.

    Health & Safety Manager Training

    Please see the Health & Safety training page for latest information on available courses

  • Health & Safety Local Officers

    Health & Safety Local Officers are appointed by the Health & Safety Manager to assist them in health and safety matters. They are accountable to the Health & Safety Manager for local health and safety activities and assists the Health & Safety Manager in the allocation of resources for the management of health and safety. Typically, they co-ordinate and advise on:

    • Risk assessment of academic, research and support activities;
    • Drawing up of local codes of practice;
    • Health and safety training;
    • Monitoring health and safety performance;
    • Keeping of appropriate records.

    Model description Health & Safety Local Officers - role and responsibilities

    Health & Safety Local Officer Training

    Please see the Health & Safety training page for latest information on available courses.

  • Laser Safety Supervisors

    Laser Safety Supervisors are appointed by the Health & Safety Manager. They advise and assist the Health & Safety Manager in ensuring that the work is done in accordance with local rules.

    See Laser Safety for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of Laser Safety Supervisors.

  • Radiation Protection Supervisors

    Radiation Protection Supervisors are appointed by the Faculty Health & Safety Manager. They have a supervisory role in assisting the University to comply with the requirements of relevant Regulations; are directly involved with the work with ionising radiations in their Faculty; and advise and assist the Health & Safety Manager in ensuring that the work is done in accordance with local rules.

    See Ionising Radiations for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of Radiation Protection Supervisors.

  • Display Screen Equipment Assessors

    Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessors are appointed by their Health & Safety Manager to assist them in health and safety matters, especially in the dissemination of information on good practice for DSE work, carrying out DSE assessments for staff, and keeping of appropriate records through WorkRite.

    See Display Screen Equipment for full arrangements, including detailed responsibilities of Display Screen Equipment Assessors.

  • Fire Wardens

    Fire Wardens are appointed by their Health & Safety Manager to assist in the safe evacuation of buildings in the event of fire alarm activations.


    See Fire for the University Fire Policy and Procedures

  • First Aiders

    A general first aid provision is in place on all campuses at all times that they are occupied. This is provided by the Estates & Facilities Directorate via the Campus Security personnel (staff and contractors) and the Resident Assistants in the student residences. All these personnel are required to be qualified First Aiders. Sports Attendants in the sports facilities have successfully completed at least Emergency First Aid at Work training. Faculties and Directorates may make additional provision where required by an assessment of first aid needs which is based on the level of risk.

    First Aiders may also be appointed by their Health & Safety Manager to provide first aid where required in their local work area.

    See First Aid for full arrangements.

  • Estates & Facilities Directorate

    The Director of Estates & Facilities is responsible for the maintenance of the built estate, including the grounds, internal environment and sustainability, which provides a safe and secure environment for staff, students and others. This includes that it is fit for purpose and incorporates statutory compliance. They additionally advise on the design of all new facilities and are responsible for the implementation of standards within new build, replacement and maintenance of buildings, plant and infrastructure.

    Where premises are located at shared campuses or buildings, Estates & Facilities Directorate will carry out these responsibilities through consultation and cooperation with third parties as necessary.

    The Director of Estates & Facilities has the responsibility to:

    • ensure up to date fire risk assessments on University buildings
    • ensure the installation and maintenance of fire detection and warning systems, fire fighting equipment, and emergency signage and lighting
    • ensure that periodic fire evacuation drills are carried out
    • ensure adequate means of escape from University buildings in the event of fire
    • provide the fire incident reports for each University Health and Safety Committee.

    See Estates & Facilities Services for further information on their services and functions.

  • Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service

    The University's Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service is responsible for:

    • advising management and employees on all matters relating to the effects of health on work and work on health
    • working closely with the University Head of Health & Safety, members of senior management, University Occupational Health Physician and the Human Resources Office for employment health assessments, staff wellbeing, fitness to return to work and ill-health retirement and with Faculties/Directorates for involvement in individual arrangements
    • Promoting staff wellbeing and prevention of illnesses and injuries arising from work activity

    The University's Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service provides an annual report to the University Health and Safety Committee.

    The Service is managerially accountable to the Director of Human Resources but is professionally independent so that an objective and confidential advisory service is available to all staff irrespective of grade or duties.


    Related topics:-

  • Other Health & Safety Posts

    Based on the level of risk these posts will be appointed by the Health & Safety Manager.

  • Individuals

    Staff

    All University staff are required by law, and in this Policy, to:

    • Take care that their actions while at work do not put themselves or other people at risk;
    • Co-operate with management to enable the University to fulfil its statutory duties by complying with all legal requirements and University Health & Safety policy, procedures and practices;
    • Co-operate with the University in respect to any duty imposed on the University or employee by any health and safety provision;
    • Immediately report all accidents, hazardous conditions, dangerous occurrences or near misses and any inadequacies in any safety procedures to their Health & Safety Local Officer and by cooperating with any subsequent investigation with the objective of learning lessons and prevention of a recurrence;
    • Undertake any necessary training, as directed by their line manager, to enable them to carry out their work without risk to health and safety;
    • Use equipment, chemicals, etc., provided, in accordance with training and instruction given;
    • Be familiar with procedures for emergency evacuation of the building where they work;
    • Report any faults or shortcomings in arrangements for health and safety to their supervisor or Health & Safety Local Officer. 

    University Students

    Students while on University premises or field trips have similar responsibilities to employees in this Policy. Students must:

    • Take care that their actions do not put themselves or other people at risk;
    • Follow health and safety instructions/rules;
    • Report any faults or shortcomings in health and safety arrangements to their academic supervisor.

    Contractors

    The term Contractors will include agency staff and consultants.

    Contractors are required to comply with the University's Code of Practice for Appointment and Control of Contractors working on University Premises, and any other health and safety arrangements applying to the work. The University requires that contractors ensure their activities will not endanger University staff, students or others.

    All contractors will be required to:

    • Comply with the University's Health & Safety Policy, practices and procedures as applicable to their operations;
    • Comply with the health and safety conditions specified in the contract and with all statutory requirements;
    • Employ persons competent to carry out their duties without risk to the health and safety of themselves and others.
    • Contractors must treat the University's arrangements and procedures as minimum standards to adhere to and they will be expected to follow appropriate industry guidance and best practice at all times. Failure to comply could prejudice awarding of future contracts by the University.

    University staff that appoint contractors are responsible for managing their relevant contractors who provide services and/or work in premises occupied by or on behalf of the University.

    See Contractors for full arrangements.

    Visitors

    All visitors to the University are required to follow health and safety instructions given to them.

  • Students' Union

    The Greenwich Student Union and the Greenwich & Kent Union are separate employers and are required as such to have their own health and safety policy.  Information and advice provided to the University is also available to Student Union Officers to help them develop and review their own policy.

  • Trades Union Safety Representatives

    Functions of Trade Union appointed Safety Representatives are set out in the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations, as amended by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

    See here for information on Consultation with Trade Unions.

The content of this section is reviewed annually, last reviewed 2019