Staff Handbook: 2.6 Health and Safety Manual

Original Approved: Not yet approved
(Significant changes since approval will be in red.)
Link to Previous Version: Version 1.0
Relevant University documentation: University Health & Safety Policy
University Guidance on Travelling and Working Abroad
Relevant School documentation: Health & Safety Annual Report 2009
Version Number Notes on Changes Author(s) Date
2.0 General update, organogram K Marlow 22 Jan 2010


1. Introduction

This Manual specifies the School of Computer Science's aims and objectives for addressing Health and Safety matters, together with associated organisational arrangements.

The School's Health and Safety Policy is adjunct to University Health and Safety Policy (Ref. UHSP/0/01) and is reviewed annually to affect relevant changes.

2. Policy Statement

The School is committed to providing and maintaining a healthy and safe working environment for its staff, students and anyone who may be affected by its activities. The Head of College is responsible to the University for ensuring that risks to health and safety are properly identified and controlled in conformity with University policy. This responsibility extends to School activities performed away from university premises.

Key objectives for the School are to:

  • assess and control risks;
  • inform staff of the risks and to provide training where necessary;
  • ensure that adequate resources are allocated;
  • involve all staff in the management of health and safety risks; and
  • review the effectiveness of the arrangements.

To help achieve these objectives two Health and Safety Co-ordinators are appointed within the School. Appropriate training and resources are given to the Co-ordinators. There is no specialist Safety Officer (radiation, biological, etc.) as such hazards are not present in the School.

Fire Wardens are appointed by the Co-ordinators for areas of the building and First Aiders are also appointed and given training as required and recommended by the University's Health and Safety Unit.

All staff are obliged to comply with this policy and procedures implemented under its authority.

3. Organization

The School comprises principally office accommodation, open-plan computer rooms, and seminar rooms.

The local organisation structure is shown in the figure below and is updated as and when changes are made.

Local structure

There is effective consultation with an appointed Trade Union Safety Representative and staff and students can raise health and safety issues at School Committee, where there is an established agenda item.

The School is aware of the specialist advice from the Health and Safety Unit so that it may benefit from advances in knowledge and application to new areas (particularly in relation to the extensive use of Display Screen Equipment within the School.)

Safety Personnel

The main Safety Personnel are listed in 2.3 Officers and Committees §1.

4. Local arrangements

The Health and Safety Policy of the School of Computer Science is set by the Head of Budget Centre with advice provided by the Health and Safety Co-ordinators. First aid aspects are encompassed in the policy but dealt with entirely by the First Aiders. First aid training is arranged directly by the University Safety Unit. All other health and safety matters are supervised by the Co-ordinators.

All staff receive appropriate instruction on the hazards associated with their work through information disseminated from the Co-ordinators. The mechanism for raising safety issues is through the School Committee which meets once per term. All sections of staff and students are represented at the committee.

New member of staff are made aware of the School Safety Policy by the Co-ordinators. Induction is provided on a personal basis, where items – such as advice regarding Display Screen Equipment use – are outlined as well in addition to University Fire Safety Policy. Their attention is drawn to the Staff Handbook, available via the School's web site. (A paper copy can be made available on request.)

Students receive instruction and material from the Co-ordinators and an induction session is held during their first week of attendance. Safety matters can be raised through the Staff Student Consultative Committee, which is recorded and made public, or directed to the Co-ordinators.

Health and Safety information is displayed on a dedicated notice board in the lower atrium. Fire and unforeseen emergency evacuation procedures information is displayed in all public rooms and main corridors.

5. Risks

The School of Computer Science teaching and research activities carry similar risk categories to a general administrative department: the nature of all work in staff rooms and student rooms may be classified as low risk. Poor postural ergonomics, repetitive strain injury and eyesight strain is the principle risk since the majority of activities involve extensive use of Display Screen Equipment.

No dangerous substances are handled or stored and no electrical hazards greater than those covered by the regulation of domestic and professional computer equipment are present. Support Staff have from time to time during their normal duties to use ladders, electric and hand tools and move equipment and deliveries of goods. These are covered by the University's general rules and training.

Risk assessments are carried out for all activities according to the timetable set out in safety policy. Equipment provided for use at work must be suitable for purpose, maintained in a safe condition and any associated risks adequately controlled. The workplace has to be arranged so that it is safe for the tasks carried out and not deleterious to the safety or health of its users. This is of particular importance for Display Screen Equipment including associated keyboard and mouse input devices but should also be applied to any new peripheral devices.

6. Procedures and Arrangements

Local Health and Safety monitoring is ensured by inspection once per year. Inspection is undertaken by the Health and Safety Co-ordinators accompanied by the Trade Union Safety Representative. All rooms and communal areas are covered by the inspections and records kept. From the inspection reports, actions and responsibilities are circulated to the relevant parties with a copy sent to the Health and Safety Unit. A check is undertaken at each inspection that previous remedial actions have been completed.

Fire evacuation exercises are undertaken twice a year during term times.

A Risk Assessment exercise is conducted annually.