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Managing Health & Safety

The heads of the FA (functional area) and the heads of school/department of said FA must prevent work related accidents and ill health and with the execution of the 4 constant challenges which they/their executive team must manage to achieve effective health & safety standards and arrangements required under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. (The full measures required are set out in School/Dept. Safety Statements and SHWW Act).

Please follow the link to the Overview of Safety,Health & Welfare at Work at UCC

4 Constants for executive managers to focus upon

  1. Managing and conducting Health & Safety (24/7) - actions and uniformity.
  2. Risk Assessment completion and risk controls in place for all work activities (both within & outside UCC).
  3. Staff and management Health & Safety ethos & training completions.
  4. Recording of the above. Up to date training records, risk assessments and customised Safety Statement - for the current work activities of each unit.

The management of occupational H&S and discharge of common law duties at the FA and School level requires:

  • Management commitment and leadership
  • Allocation of resources.
  • To identify all the hazards associated with work activities, as conducted both in fixed places of work and at temporary places of work (both within and outside of UCC).
  • Completion of adequate task specific risk assessments for the hazards arsing in all work activities, use of places of work, use of equipment and substances etc, arising in maintenance
  • Effective controls and procedures/ safe systems of work and emergency procedures
  • Annual or where necessary updates of the safety statement and review risk assessments.
  • Provide adequate training (for the Risks, emergency procedures and content of risk assessments/ controls.)
  • Provide adequate Information in line with the risks and risk assessments.
  • Ensure adequate supervision commensurate with the risks.
  • Consult with staff in a timely manner re work changes and adaptations to work at places of work (including work load and on H&S issues arising, causes of work related accidents or ill health.)

These duties must be observed prior to work commencing and are statutory obligations of staff/employees of other employers at the place of work. Common law duty applies to Students.

UCC Safety policy (renewed 2021) sets out the required safety policy and that safety responsibility is vested in the executive line management structure across each Functional Area.

Under Common law and the 2005 Act and terms of employer’s liability insurance, all employers, have a duty to prevent accidents and ill health arising in all activities (As far as is reasonably practicable) and to manage and conduct occupational health & safety as an integral management activity throughout the undertaking.

Preventative legal duties arise from the SHWW Act and Regulation and general common law duties of care to all employees, visitors and contractors that visit, study or work at UCC or in the vicinity of UCC activities. These must be discharged by executive managers in control, on behalf of the employer and uniformly discharged, across all areas of responsibility and activity. This includes work activities, premises, staff, student and contractor activities that they control and manage. Statutory duties are mandatory and are not discretionary or subject to selective implementation or deferral.

Regulation 8 and 80 of the 2005 Act and related University Safety Policy requires this to be continually discharged via the executive management structure at all levels. Prime responsibility resides with senior Heads of Functional Areas, College Management and Heads of School/Departments.

This responsibility includes:

  • adequately resourcing and funding of duties and policy,
  • implementation of common and specific compliance measures,
  • staff training and effective management measures,
  • specifying safety responsibilities in all contracts of employment,
  • providing adequate staffing and resourcing,
  • effective management of staff and student activities, vehicle movements and contractors conducting physical works,
  • maintenance of equipment and facilities/premises.
  • Arrangements for emergencies

All employees and managers have a duty under the SHWW Act 2005 to co-operate with their employer to discharge their legal responsibilities, utilise necessary safety measures and training provided, attend necessary training, report accidents and dangerous incidents,  comply with the relevant laws and protect their own health and safety and not endanger the health and safety of anyone who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work, cooperate with persons discharging protective and preventative advisory roles.

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork