Chalkwell Hall Junior School

Health and Safety Policy

 

  1. Introduction

This policy contains two sections, the policy statement and the organisational arrangements for managing health, safety and wellbeing.

The policy statement is the mission statement of the school with respect to health and safety. It sets out the approach of the school to its health and safety responsibilities. It demonstrates the commitment of the Headteacher and the Governing Body to the effective management of health and safety. This document will be reviewed regularly, and amended where necessary, to ensure it remains relevant.

The organisational arrangements set out the effective management of health, safety and wellbeing within the school, including the allocation of responsibilities for health and safety.

  1. Background and Legislation

The writing of a health and safety policy is a legal obligation (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, section 2(3)) for any organisation employing five or more people. Its purpose is more than satisfying a statutory duty, it communicates the beliefs and the commitment of the school to the principles of protecting and promoting health, safety and wellbeing amongst its workforce.

 

General Policy Statement for the management of Health and Safety

As Headteacher, I am responsible, with the Chair of Governors, to the Governing Body and all employees for the school operating within the requirements of our health and safety management policies.

My Senior Staff and I will ensure that a management system has been developed and implemented to:

  • meet the school’s health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities for safeguarding for our pupils
  • ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff and others who could be affected by the school’s activities

To meet these aims we will ensure that health and safety management objectives are an integral part of all our school activities and school improvement programmes.

To support this commitment we will regard current legal or statutory requirements as setting the minimum standard we must achieve.  Whenever required, these will take precedence over all other school activities, which will be suspended until appropriate control actions are implemented.

We recognise that the minimisation of all work related accidents, which result in injury, illness or damage to premises, material or the environment is a major contribution to the quality and efficiency of the school’s performance.  For this reason all aspects of health, safety and wellbeing are management activities and this policy will be formally reviewed, on an annual basis, and enhanced whenever appropriate.  Additional management reviews will be carried out whenever we have reason to believe that our arrangements or the level of resources provided may be inadequate to meet our responsibilities.

It is a principal duty of all managers to actively maintain, and improve, the health, safety and wellbeing of all persons in their area of accountability.  I expect the full co-operation of employees at all times in this endeavour.

In order to meet these commitments we will ensure that we will:

  • Systematically use risk assessments to ensure that we provide and maintain a safe place of work.
  • Provide and maintain management, operational and maintenance procedures and systems of work designed to protect individuals and the environment.
  • Design and maintain suitable and sufficient safety arrangements for the use, handling, storage, transport and disposal of all substances and articles.
  • Ensure that workplace standards are regularly monitored by a system of planned inspections and whenever required that suitable remedial actions are implemented.
  • Encourage the reporting of accidents and ensure that all reported accidents are thoroughly investigated (commensurate with the seriousness of the consequences of the accident) and suitable remedial actions are promptly and effectively implemented.
  • Ensure that systems are in place to provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction and supervision.
  • Regularly consult with our employees in order to monitor health, safety and environmental management performance and aid the ongoing improvement of existing standards.
  • Ensure that employees have clearly assigned health, safety and environmental responsibilities.
  • Ensure employees are competent to carry out delegated tasks by identifying training needs and providing suitable and sufficient training.
  • Ensure the health of all employees, pupils and visitors by controlling their exposure to hazardous substances (e.g. chemicals) and physical agents (e.g. noise).
  • Devise and implement appropriate risk assessment based proactive monitoring systems supported where appropriate by employee health surveillance via our Occupational Health provider.
  • Positively consult with all employees to ensure that they can fully participate in the identification of hazards, assessment of risks, the development and use of suitable control measures.
  • Ensure that competent technical advice is available to support the management team and staff by providing health, safety, environmental and emergency management assistance.
  • Ensure that adequate financial provision is made available to ensure that the school is able to comply with its statutory health and safety duties.
  • Capture and co-ordinate near miss information so that it can be used to strengthen and enhance health and safety throughout the school.
  • Take all reasonable steps within its power to ensure the health and safety of pupils and other persons not in its employment are not at risk of injury arising from its activities.

 

………………………….                               …………………………..

Headteacher                                    Chair of Governors

Date                                                    Date

 

Scope

·                    This policy applies to all employees of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in schools.

·                    Community schools will be bound by the principles of this agreement.

·                    In educational establishments with fully delegated budgets it is for the relevant governing body to decide whether or not it is appropriate to apply this policy. Where it is decided that it is not appropriate, the governing body is reminded of its obligation as an employer to satisfy the requirements of the law and, where appropriate, the requirements of specific conditions of service.

 

Delegation

By the Governing Body to the Headteacher and Chair of Governors for actions under this policy

Note:  This Policy will be subjected to an Annual Review

 

Leader of Cabinet

Organisational Arrangements for Health and Safety

The purpose of this document is to describe and define the responsibilities of individuals and groups in the organisation, planning, implementation and review of the health and safety management system.

Responsibilities for Health and Safety Management

Governing Body

The Chair of Governors and Governing Body have overall responsibility for the control, direction and allocation of resources that are made available to manage health and safety.

Where necessary, they will ensure that they take competent advice when considering matters relating to health and safety matters.

Governors are legally responsible for health and safety matters. Failure to comply with the requirements of current health and safety legislation will render them liable to prosecution under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Headteacher

The Headteacher is legally responsible for health and safety matters at the school site and when staff and pupils are engaged on school activities off site. Failure to comply with the requirements of current health and safety legislation will render them liable to prosecution under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They have overall responsibility for the development, implementation and review of the school’s health and safety policy and the development, implementation and review of its health and safety management system.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Providing leadership and direction so that the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, pupils and other persons affected by school activities is assured and ensuring that all management decisions reflect the principles of the school’s Health and Safety Policy.
  • Ensuring the development, implementation, monitoring and review of the school’s health and safety management systems through clearly defined:
  • Structures
  • Procedures
  • Resources
  • Improvement Plans

They must establish detailed plans and strategies to implement the school’s health and safety plans, policies and procedures.  These will:

  • Meet the school’s health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities for Safeguarding pupils
  • Cover both normal activities and foreseeable emergency situations.
  • Identify priorities.
  • Ensure the allocation of resources.
  • Set deadlines.
  • Allocate responsibilities to individuals and or groups to achieve health and safety objectives, and ensure these have been agreed with each designated individual and or group.
  • Ensure there are formal arrangements for consultation with employees or their representatives on health and safety issues that may affect them.
  • Ensure that there are arrangements to ensure the health and safety competency of all employees and contractors, and to nominate suitably qualified persons to carry out the duties of the school’s “Health and Safety Co-ordinator”.
  • Ensure the establishment of a proactive risk assessment system and the development and implementation of required risk control systems.
  • Ensure there are arrangements in place for the systematic auditing of the health and safety management system.
  • Prepare, and submit to the Governing Body, an annual report that provides an overview of the significant Health, Safety and Wellbeing issues that have arisen during the preceding year.

Members of staff have a duty to inform the Headteacher of any decisions by the Governing Body, or any other significant contraventions, that may constitute a contravention of health and safety legislation or is not in accordance with the principles of the school’s Health and Safety policy.

Senior Staff and Line Managers

Senior Staff and Line Managers must ensure that all new employees are made aware of the school’s Health and Safety Policy and relevant procedures at their induction briefing.  This information must include the name(s) of the employees who have specific health and safety duties. Line managers are also responsible for:

  • Ensuring all activities for which they or their staff are responsible meet the school’s health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities for Safeguarding pupils
  • Ensuring that health and safety matters brought to their attention (whether these are their/their staffs’ responsibility or not) are dealt with expediently and appropriately.
  • Ensuring adequate supervision of employees within their area of responsibility.
  • Ensuring that risk assessments are undertaken for the area and activities for which they have responsibility.
  • Personal participation and accountability in planned inspections and accident investigation activities.
  • Ensuring that adequate provision has been made for first aid and emergency evacuation within their area of responsibility.

As part of the school’s staff Performance Management arrangements, line managers will make a suitable and sufficient appraisal of every employee, (who reports directly to them) to ensure that they are able to undertake their work without undue risk to themselves and others.

Line managers will attend such training as is considered necessary for them to carry out their duties effectively.

They will also provide or contribute to reports on health and safety performance, including successes and failures, at specified intervals to senior management to help the review of the school’s health and safety management system.  This will include information concerning any deficiencies in health and safety plans, standards, procedures and systems and any action taken to rectify these.  Where an issue poses an immediate serious risk to persons or property this feedback will be provided by the swiftest possible means.

Line managers will ensure active participation of their staff (and as appropriate other persons in health and safety activities) and that health and safety is a standing agenda item on all team meetings.

They will also ensure that all their staff are competent to carry out their assigned duties in a safe manner.

All Employees

The school recognises that employees are a key resource and no health and safety policy is likely to be successful unless it actively involves the employees of an organisation. Although the main responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of all persons who could be affected by school activities lies with managers, each and every employee must play their part, otherwise satisfactory levels of safety will not be achieved.  In the context of this document the reference to employees should be regarded to include all employed individuals including temporary workers and trainees. All employees must be aware of health and safety requirements relevant to their work and comply with these.

The general duties of employees include:

  • Taking reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves, pupils and other persons (including members of the public) who may foreseeably be affected by their acts or omissions whilst at work. This includes ensuring the school’s health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities for Safeguarding pupils are met.
  • Not to intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for the purpose of health, safety and wellbeing in pursuance of a statutory requirement.
  • Co-operate with their managers or any other person, (e.g. contractors working on site) to enable duties or requirement imposed on them to be complied with to the required standard. This requires employees to follow established safe systems of work and any verbal work instructions given by their immediate line manager.
  • Not to use machinery, equipment, substances, transport or other work equipment or safety device except in conformity with training and instruction provided by the school.
  • Reporting accidents to their line manager by the swiftest possible means and co-operating in any investigation, in order that remedial actions can be developed to prevent a re-occurrence.
  • Notifying their manager immediately of any situation at the school or when working off site of which they become aware that has the potential for serious and imminent danger to health and safety including Safeguarding risks.
  • Notifying their manager of any shortcomings in protective measures of which they become aware.
  • Receive sufficient health and safety instruction to enable them to carry out their duties with the minimum of risk to themselves or others.
  • To consider and, where necessary, comment on information provided to them when consulted on the measures taken by the school to reduce the risks to the health and safety of employees whilst at work.
  • Employees who visit other places of work as part of their duties are required to comply with the requirements of any Safety Policy relating to those premises which are over and above those of the school.

Where necessary specific additional roles will be defined and formally communicated to the relevant persons.

School Health and Safety Co-ordinator

The Headteacher will be responsible for co-ordinating Health and Safety work within the school or, where appropriate, they will designate a suitable member(s) of staff as the school’s Health and Safety Co-ordinator(s). Where there is more than one Health and Safety Co-ordinator, there will be a clear division of responsibilities between them to ensure no issues are missed.

The person(s) responsible for Health and Safety Co-ordination will:

  • Act as the school’s liaison officer on all health and safety matters, working with the school’s Health and Safety advice provider and assisting senior staff, the Headteacher or Governors.
  • Where appropriate, arrange in consultation with the Headteacher for suitable persons from within the school to be appointed as “Competent Persons”. Arrange for those so appointed to receive adequate training and instruction to enable them to carry out, where necessary, risk assessments as required by health and safety regulations. Liaise with the school’s appointed “Competent Persons” on health and safety matters.
  • Ensure that proper records of accidents and incidents are maintained in accordance with the Council’s procedures;
  • Bring any serious incident, or significant breach of any health and safety legislation, to the immediate attention of the Headteacher.
  • Assist the Headteacher to prepare an annual Health, Safety and Wellbeing summary report.

Health and Safety “Competent Persons”

Employees appointed as Competent Persons will be required to:-

  • Undergo such training as is necessary to provide them with the knowledge required to carry out the specific health and safety duties assigned to them.
  • Assist the school’s Health and Safety Co-ordinator(s) to carry out the duties assigned to them in respect of health and safety matters.
  • Assist managers to carry out risk assessments.
  • Co-operate with other employees appointed as a Competent Person on health and safety matters.
  • Report any significant and uncontrolled hazard or any serious breach of health and safety legislation to the appropriate line manger or direct to the Headteacher.
  • Provide information or instruction, where qualified to do so, to any person who may be at risk from the work area or work activity within their area of responsibility.

Health and Safety Arrangements

Health and Safety Advice

The School’s Health and Safety Advice provider will:

  • Advise on all health and safety matters at the school or advise where specialist support may be obtained.
  • Advise on an overall Health and Safety Policy for the school and on health and safety policies, procedures and documentation which ensure that the school complies with current health and safety legislation.
  • Advise on possible training for all staff to assist them to understand and carry out their Health and Safety related duties effectively.
  • For Community schools and/or as appropriate, liaise with relevant external bodies on behalf of the school.
  • For Community schools and/or as appropriate, investigate and report on accidents and incidents involving either the workplace or work activity of the school.
  • Provide advice and guidance to the Headteacher and/or Governing Body on all health and safety matters.
  • Advise on procedures to ensure that the school fully meets its obligations to carry out risk assessments as required by current health and safety legislation.

Advise on or, if appropriate, undertake audits of the school’s health and safety arrangements to ensure they are adequate and procedures are being fully implemented

Consultation with recognised trade unions

The school recognises that under the “Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977” (as amended) and the “Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996” (as amended) it is required to consult with employees and their elected representatives on health and safety matters.

Representative of recognised trades unions can be consulted on health and safety matters via the forum that has been convened by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (regular meetings with Professional Associations and Trade Unions) or by arrangements set up by the school.

Health and Safety Representatives

Health and safety representatives will be appointed by the recognised trade unions.

The school will provide all elected health and safety representatives with reasonable time off on paid leave to enable them to attend health and safety training and undertake their duties.

As part of their duties a health and safety representative may be made aware of, or discover, a condition or action that may constitute a risk to health.  The representative should then ensure that the employee or employees, considered to be at risk, are made aware of the situation and also notify the appropriate supervisory staff of any action or condition that they consider constitutes a risk to health and safety.

Health and safety representatives will be given assistance when carrying out workplace inspections according to The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.