Mission & Services

Mission of the Health and Safety Office

The Health and Safety Office through its advisory remit and support function, endeavours to ensure that the Functional Heads of the University and their constituent Colleges/Schools/Departments/Centres/Units comply, as appropriate, with current and developing health and safety legislation.  The Office endeavours also, in accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, to promote the proactive prevention of accidents\ill-health of UCC employees and those who may be effected by the work of those employees.

The University Health and Safety Office reports to the Corporate Secretary.  The Office is led by the University Safety Officer Mr. John Ring and is assisted by a team of two administrative staff, supported subject to funding, by an occasional/ sessional consultant OHP and a number of safety trainers.

Areas of Activity

The Health and Safety Office advises the Corporate Secretary and the management of  Functional Areas/ Colleges and their constituent Schools/Departments/Centres/Units on:                                  

  1. Managing and conducting H&S as an integral management function on a functional area, school and departmental basis, per the provisions of the SHWW Act 2005 and University Safety policy.
  2. Pro active approach to accident and ill health prevention at work and avoidance of recurrence through corrective measures/ controls- AFARP
  3. Implementation/compliance with existing and developing Health & Safety Legislation including implementation and generation by each Functional Area, of School/Departmental Safety Statements and all risk assessments required by law.
  4. Health and Safety Management strategy and Health & Safety issues 
  5. HSA guidelines, National Standards and Codes of Practice.
  6. Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Guidance, Best Practice.
  7. Overall priorities and direction covering risk reduction measures at the corporate level
  8. Legislative requirements (minimum standards) and H&S best practice.
  9. Safety aspects of proposed reserch work and building modifications, adaptations.

The Health and Safety Office directly provides various support services to Schools/Departments as described in the sections following below.

The Health and Safety Office also:

  • Liaises with the Presidents Office and the Corporate Secretary re the initiation of the Functional Area Annual Safety Reports and GB assurance statements by Heads of Function.
  • Collates FA annual returns and organises the benchmarking of the Functional Area Annual Safety Reports by an independent consultant
  • Collates the compilation of the Annual Safety Report to the GB on behalf of the Corporate Secretary.
  • Liaises with other UCC safety preventative advisory roles ( Fire, Radiation, Biological, Dept Safety Officers etc)
  • Liaises with with staff elected/selected Safety Representatives (8 No.) and organises their safety rep training as appropriate to HSA guidelines and UCC systems & structures.
  • Liaises with OCLA insurance, HR, B&E and Regulatory Bodies as appropriate.
  • Liaises with the Student Health Officer and supports the bystander (volunteer) AED initiative introduced into UCC in 2007 by providing training for staff First Aiders (including AED).
  • Administers the H&S aspect of UCCs Accident/Dangerous Occurrence Reporting system and generates comparative statistics for the UCC senior mangement KPI dash board .
  • Administers the staff training records database (for courses executed via the H&S Office)

Details of the Quality system in operation since 1994 is given in the QA link on the side bar on the right hand side of this web page.

Services Available from the H&S Office

Summary of the key support services available to UCC Schools/ Departments via the H&S Office:

  • Advice on statutory H&S responsibilities, statutory compliance (SHWW Act 2005 and Fire Services Act 2003), best practice with respect to accident and ill health prevention, safety reviews – New Projects/Buildings, new research areas, building adaptations, special events.
  • Ongoing Programme of selected Core Health & Safety Training (for staff) - Core/ universal course ONLY of common application to a majority of departments- subject to funding and cross charging of depts./centres in certain circumstance or in event of part/nonattendance. This includes two innovative E-learning programmes for staff with a three year refresher cycle, that are available 24/7 (a UCC bespoke fire safety package and a VDU workstation ergonomics package.)To view current staff training programmes please click the following section link Core Training Overview & Schedule (Note: Specialised course or Non-core courses or off programme courses are a direct provision matter for relevant Schools/Depts. across UCC)
  • Sessional (occasional) Occupational Health & Safety Support Services, using experienced consultants in the following areas:
  • Occupational Health advice (Proactive prevention, Occ. Health risk assessment advice. Occ. Health medical services including work specific vaccinations, audiograms, spirometry, allergy tests and blood tests); (1/2 day every 6 weeks excluding summer recess). Note: Work related medical surveillance test services and work related inoculations costs are bourne by the depts. availing of same.
  • Occupational Hygiene (Risk Assessment advice, Evaluation and Control of Exposure to Noise and Hazardous Substances, Work Environment). Note: This expensive service is no longer available and such costs must be borne by departments.

Areas of Contribution to UCCs corporate mission

Areas of contribution to the corporate mission of UCC

The substantive role of the University Health and Safety Office is advisory and relates to staff occupational H&S, UCC's corporate compliance with current and developing occupational H&S legislation and change management with respect to managing H&S as an integral core management value throughout the University. 

In support of the academic function and overall student experience, the University Safety Officer as a senior manager reporting to the Corporate Sectary contributes significantly to executive managers in all areas of University business both academic and service and to Corporate & Legal Affairs (OCLA) and Buildings and Estates in particular. High level health and safety management and fire engineering expertise and input is given w.r.t:

    • Regulatory compliance and best practice
    • Risk management, loss control and targeted HEA funding submisions.
    • Functional area benchmarking (F.A. annual safety reports) 
    • Strategic planning and development of the Universities estates and infrastructure;
    • The planning and delivery of capital projects, minor works and major events
    • Property assessments and advice to B&E & OCLA on H&S aspects of the UCC risk register.
    • Facilities, estates and infrastructre enhancements 
    • Corporate compliance with safety regulations, building regulations and related safety legislation, universal access principles  
    • Review of  arrangements for UCC events with major public safety implications.
    • H&S aspects of business operation and continuity planning. 

To view the services available from and the principal areas of activity of the H&S Office please click the preceeding sections.

Ancillary Areas of Contribution

The Health and Safety Office contributes significantly to the Corporate Secretary and the Office of Corporate & Legal Affairs in relation to risk management, loss prevention and control, support of insurers/ risk managers, accident reporting and prevention, minimization of claims, response to claims and optimization of  risk profile conditions to facilitate procurement of competitive rates of insurance   

The Health and Safety Office also contributes significantly to:

  • the activities of the HR department in relation to  appropriate staff policies in the H&S area, OHP evaluation of  UCC work related staff occupational health issues and the University’s achievement of the ATHENA SWAN award and the Excellence Through People Gold Standard Award.
  • Buildings and Estates - Project reviews of new buildings and refurbishment projects ( see further details on the section following below).

The H&S office also supports the goals of  the UCC bystander AED scheme and H1N1 influenza precautions administered by the Student Health Officer  

The Health and Safety Office also facillitates Campus Companies to participate in cost effective access to centralised core H&S training programmes for staff.  

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork