Organisation and Safety Arrangements

Organisation and Safety Arrangements

In order to implement the above policy, the following organisational arrangements are made at University level:

Organisation of Safety responsibility as set out in the Safety Policy Statement and in Appendix 1. Safety advice as set out in Appendix 1. Governing Body oversight of policies and procedures as referred to in Appendix 2.

Ultimate responsibility for safety in the University rests with the Governing Body. The President has overall responsibility to the Governing Body for the implementation of policy on Health and Safety in the University. This is discharged in conjunction with the senior executive management and Heads of College. Safety is an executive management responsibility throughout the University,  its constituent Colleges and campus companies.

Departmental Heads
The term 'Departmental Head' includes all Heads of Function, V.P's, Heads of College, all Senior executive, Deans, Directors, General managers, deputy heads/ managers, Librarian,  Officers of the University or a constituent College who are directly responsible for their own work and that of their subordinates, if any. Besides the Heads of Academic Schools/Departments/ Centres and Units, the term is taken to include Heads of Administrative and Service Departments and Sections/Units therin ( all titles), Wardens of Halls of Residence and Managers of any campus company, premises or service operated or administered by the Governing Body.

Departmental Heads are responsible to their Functional Manager ( Head of Functional Area) and the President for all aspects of health and safety in the work/ projects that they control at the places of work concerned from time to time. In particular, should be mindful of the following requirements laid down in the University Safety Policy:

    1. Departmental Heads must ensure the existence of an effective system for managing H&S at local level, identifying hazards, assessing and controlling risks and complying with SHWW law and fire safety law. Conducting written risk assessments, maintaining these and having a well publicised policy for securing health and safety, (based on the risk assessments), is an essentail departmental task. Department Heads must ensure that employees and students are aware of their role in the fulfilment of this policy/ safety management systement. The policy must be in the form of a Departmental Safety statement (e.g. safety management system),  that follows the advice and templates issued by the H&S Office. Departmental Heads must assist their employer and co-operate with and act upon the advice of Safety Officers/ persons with a statutory protective and preventative role under the SHWW Act 2005. 
    2. Departmental Heads must periodically verify the effectiveness of this policy and must ensure the carrying into effect of any changes as may be required.
    3. Departmental Heads must ensure the adequate provision of information, instruction and training in safety matters and such supervision as is necessary for members of the department on commencing work and as required thereafter.
    4. Departmental Heads must ensure that all fires, accidents and dangerous occurrences within the Department are recorded, investigated and reported to the University Safety Officer; that lessons are learned and that corrective actions are taken.  Records must be regularly reviewed to ensure prompt corrective action.
    5. Departmental Heads may, at their discretion, (without delegating their responsibility for H&S), appoint Departmental Safety Advisers from amongst the departmental staff to assist in the general supervision of day to day safety matters within their department or building.
    6. Departmental Heads may, (without delegating their responsibility for H&S),  appoint a Departmental Safety Action team/Committee to assist or advise both themselves and the Departmental Safety Adviser on specific matters. Such Committees should include members of the academic, administrative and technical staff and a representative from the student body.
    7. Departmental Heads must ensure that all members of departmental staff, students, visitors and contractors are instructed in the action to be taken should a fire break out; that escape routes are kept free of storage, sources of ignition, soft furnishings, and all forms of loose impediments; that the emergency exits are usable ( both internally and externally), are kept in working order, known to staff and students, and that a free passage to them is kept open. Departmental Heads must ensure that fire drills are held, at least annually, within the department and each College Building. Departmental Heads should ensure that well publicised information is available on the procedures to be adopted if an accident occurs during the evening or weekend. Departmental heads must ensure the existence of fire marshalls and occupational first aiders. 
    8. Departmental Heads should ensure that all departmental equipment is kept in a safe condition and that proper steps are taken to repair faults in equipment and to remedy any defects which occur in the services and fabric of the department.
    9. The responsibility of Departmental Heads and Safety Research Units operating in premises in joint ownership or joint occupation is described in the Department safety statement and the SHWW Act 2005. Co-ordination, co-operation, sharing of information, and prevention of risks arising are pre-requisites.
    10. The Governing Body cannot delegate its own responsibilities or duties under the law, but in order to fulfil its legal obligations arising from overall responsibility, it must monitor the effectiveness of all arrangements made to secure compliance with the law. The GB Committee on staff ( see Appendix 2) discharge such an oversight role. 
    11. As of 2006 all senior heads of Functional Area (FA) are required to report annually to the President on the implementation of the safety policy within their area of responsibility (standardised FA safety report and KPIs) and must produce an prioritised action plan for the year ahead.
    12. Additionally as of 2011, as a key corporate assurance measures, each Head of Function must submit a signed assurance assurance statement to Governors  verifying  safety compliance within their Functional Area for the previous year and listing the top 5 occupational h&s risks within the FA. As of 2011, the Corporate Secretary, then submits an annual safety report to Governing Body based on these assurances and other metrics.
  1. Departmental Safety Advisers 
    see above previously. 
  2. Safety Representatives (see also Appendix 1)
    The employees at a place of work are entitled to select and appoint one of their number to act as Safety Representative. Safety Representatives are appointed primarily to represent a particular group of employees in consultation with the employer or his representatives in all matters relating to Safety, Health and Welfare. Safety Representatives have entitlements/ rights but no extra duties as a result of their appointment (beyond their normal duties under the Act as employees). They have functions which they are given a legal right to perform for which the Employer must give them sufficient time and support. Their functions cover matters directly related to staff Safety, Health and Welfare, although their concern with welfare is limited to seeing that statutory requirements are complied with. They have a right to investigate notifiable accidents, to investigate complaints from any employees they represent and if the complaint's are valid to take them up with the employer. They are entitled to keep a day to day look-out and if they observe anything detrimental to call it to the employer's attention. They are given the right to consult at the workplace with the Health and Safety Authority or the Inspector, or any other enforcing authority, and the Inspector is required to supply them with certain information including a statement of any action he/she has advised management to take or that he/she intends taking himself/herself.
  3. Safety Officer(s) 
    see Appendix 1. Under the SHWW Act 2005 a Safety Officer(s) must be appointed from within the staff as a competent person(s), to discharge a statutory protective and preventative role. Adequate resources, assistance and information must be provided to discharge this role.  Departmental Heads, managers, supervisors and staff must co-operate with and act upon the advice of Safety Officers/ persons with a statutory protective and preventative role under the SHWW Act 2005. Contractors and non employees such as students, visitors also have a duty to co-operate.
  4. Employees

Employees have an important role in working safely and preventing accidents and ill health either to themselves or to to those who may be effected by their work or the work that they control. UCC aims to provide staff with the skills and competencies to do their work safely. Employees have statutory duties as set out in the SHWW Act. These include assisting their employer comply with their statutory duties, attending H&S training, using this training and any information given, reporting dangerous situations, following safety rules, using PPE and work equipment correctly, not endangering others by their actions.

Foot Note: SHWW law affords Safety Reps, and Safety Officers/ persons with a statutory protective and preventative role protection from disadvantage. 

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