Health & Safety Policy

Health & Safety Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council believes that Health & Safety is an integral part of the efficient and cost-effective discharge of its duties and is aware of its responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and other relevant statutory provisions. The Parish Council therefore intends to meet those responsibilities as far as is reasonably practicable by incorporating good health and safety management within all its operations.

The objective of the Parish Council policy is to minimise risks to health, safety and welfare of its employees, voluntary workers, general public and others affected by its activities and to minimise risks to the environment. All reasonable measures will be taken to ensure that a safe working and community environment is created.

Roles & Responsibilities 

The Parish Council has the ultimate responsibility for health and safety, but whilst ensuring health and safety considerations are always given priority, discharges this responsibility to the Clerk.

The Clerk is the designated person with overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with Health and Safety legislation, reporting to the Human Resources committee on a regular basis

All employees, voluntary workers and contractors associated with any works carried out by the Parish Council have a responsible and legal duty to ensure their own safety and the safety of others (for example, colleagues, visitors, contractors) under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

All employees therefore must:

  • comply with this Health and Safety Policy
  • conform to all written or verbal instructions given to them to ensure their personal safety and the safety of others.
  • dress sensibly and safely for their particular working environment or occupation
  • conduct themselves in an orderly manner in the work place.
  • use all safety equipment and/or protective clothing as directed.
  • avoid any improvisations of any form which could create an unnecessary risk to their personal safety and the safety of others.
  • maintain all equipment in good condition and report defects to the Operations Manager or Clerk
  • report any safety hazard or malfunction of any item of equipment to the Operations Manager or Clerk report all accidents or near misses to the Operations Manager or Clerk whether an injury is sustained or not.
  • seek medical treatment for work related injuries they receive by contacting a designated first aider.
  • ensure that any accident or injury treatment is properly recorded in the Accident Book.
  • attend as requested any health and safety training course.
  • observe all laid down procedures for processes, materials and substances used.
  • observe the fire evacuation procedure and the position of all fire equipment and fire exit routes.
  • co-operate with the Council and Clerk in fulfilling the legal obligations in relation to health and safety.
  • must not intentionally or recklessly interfere with anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare.
  • notify the Clerk of any unsafe activity or situation.
  • not operate any item of equipment unless they have been trained and authorised.
  • not smoke except in prescribed areas.
  • comply with all hazard/warning signs and notices displayed on the premises.
  • notify the Clerk of any medical condition or medication which could affect the safety of themselves or others.
  • carry out prescribed checks of Council vehicles prior to use and in conjunction with the laid down checking procedure.
  • not drive or operate any vehicles for which they do not hold the appropriate driving licence or permit.
  • not carry unauthorised passengers or unauthorised loads in Council vehicles.
  • not use vehicles for unauthorised purposes.
  • not load vehicles above the stated capacity.

The above list is not exhaustive.

Reporting Procedure

An accident is an unplanned event that causes injury to persons, damage to property or a combination of both.

A near miss/incident is an unplanned event that does not cause injury or damage but could do so.

A work-related illness is a prescribed illness that is obtained by an employee through the course of work or from a non-employee as a result of activities carried out by the Council.

All accidents resulting in personal injury must be recorded in the Council’s Accident Book, which is located in the Parish Council office.

All accidents, near misses, incidents and work-related illness need to be reported to the Clerk must be recorded in the Council’s Near Miss Book, which is located in the Parish Council office.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and the Social Security Act 1975 require the Parish Council to investigate certain work-related accidents and to report the incident to the nearest office of the Health and Safety Executive. It is the responsibility of the Clerk or, in their absence, the Assistant Clerk to report the following –

The death of any person
All deaths to workers and non-workers, with the exception of suicides, must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.

Specified injuries to workers
The list of ‘specified injuries’ in RIDDOR 2013 replaces the previous list of ‘major injuries’ in RIDDOR 1995. Specified injuries are (regulation 4):

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes
  • amputations
  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight.
  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs.
  • serious burns (including scalding) which:
    covers more than 10% of the body.
    causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs.
  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment.
  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia.
  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:
    leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness.
    requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker
Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven-day period does not include the day of the accident but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Over-three-day incapacitation
Accidents must be recorded, but not reported where they result in a worker being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. A record in an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979 will be enough.

Non-fatal accidents to non-workers (e.g. members of the public)
Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances. There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

Occupational diseases
These diseases include certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • severe cramp of the hand or forearm;
  • occupational dermatitis;
  • hand-arm vibration syndrome;
  • occupational asthma;
  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;
  • any occupational cancer;
  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

Dangerous occurrences
Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;
  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;
  • the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.

All gas incidents

Asbestos
St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council will comply with the management of Asbestos in Premises, and other associated regulations.

If asbestos is found and requires any form of treatment or movement, the Environmental Health department or a specialist contract will be informed.

Dangerous Substances
All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure dangerous substances in the workplace are controlled to minimise risks of fire and explosion.

Definition
The term ‘dangerous substance’ covers any substance that could cause harm to people from fire or explosion as a result of its properties or the way it is used. This includes petrol, LPG, paints, varnishes, solvents and dusts that could cause an explosive atmosphere with air.

Implementation
The Council will assess the risks from dangerous substances in conjunction with assessments for health risks and fire and where necessary provide measures to eliminate or reduce them so far as is reasonably practicable.
Where hazardous explosive atmospheres may be present, those places will be classified into zones and marked accordingly. If working in these areas then employees must ensure that any electrical or mechanical equipment to be used are suitable and compliant with the Council procedures.

Display Screen Equipment
All reasonable steps will be taken by the Council to secure the health and safety of employees who work with display screen equipment.
To achieve this objective the Council will carry out an assessment of each user’s workstation and implement necessary measures to remedy any risks found as a result of the assessment.

Electrical Safety
St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council will comply with current Electricity at Work Regulations and guidance.

St Stephen in Brannel Council will have its electrical wiring checked periodically or when new work is undertaken.  Installation records will be held in the Parish Office.

All portable electrical appliances will be inspected and tested regularly by a competent qualified person. (PAT testing)

Fire
All reasonable steps will be taken to prevent a fire occurring. Fire risk assessments will be conducted annually for all Council premises, In the event of fire, the safety of life will override all other considerations, such as saving property and extinguishing the fire.

All employees have a duty to take steps to ensure they do not place themselves or others at risk of harm by assisting in identifying fire hazards as they emerge and reducing all fire risks by working in accordance with approved safe practices. The Council does not require persons to attempt to extinguish a fire but extinguishing action may be taken if it is safe to do so and the person has the appropriate training.

Immediate evacuation of the building must take place as soon as the fire alarm system sounds. All occupants, on evacuation, should report to the pre-determined assembly points. Emergency plans, including evacuation plans, will be established for the Brannel Room building. The Assistant Clerk is responsible for ensuring all fire safety tests and drills are logged in a records book.

Re-entry of the building is strictly prohibited until the fire brigade officer or the senior person (normally the Clerk) present declares it is safe to do so.

The senior person present will meet and liaise with the emergency services and any other interested parties, giving them pertinent information related to the emergency situation, such as location and details of emergency, location and presence of hazardous and flammable materials, head count statistics, etc

Employees are encouraged to report any concerns regarding fire procedures so the organisation can investigate and take remedial action if necessary.

First Aid
First aid boxes are be provided and should be kept stocked. If you use any of the contents please inform the Parish Office.

First aid boxes are located as follows:

Parish Office
Crib Hut, Nanpean
Tool shed, Nanpean
Crib Hut, St Stephen
Brannel Room
With the public toilet cleaner
Within the works vehicle

The Council is committed to providing sufficient provision for first aid to deal with accidents and injuries that arise at work. To achieve this objective the Council have appointed and trained a high number of first aid personnel to cover all work patterns.

Grave Digging
Council will ensure that all staff employed in the Councils burial grounds are provided with the necessary protective equipment and that they receive the relevant training for the correct procedures.

Prior to excavation, employees are expected to carry out and complete the relevant risk assessment paperwork.

All excavations will be covered over when not attended with a lockable cover which is capable of withstanding the weight of an adult.

Hazardous Substances Including Pesticides (COSHH)
All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure all exposure of employees to substances hazardous to health is prevented or at least controlled to within statutory limits.

The Council will give sufficient information and training to ensure full understanding of the hazards to health posed by substances in the workplace and the importance of the control measures provided. Information will also be given to others who may be affected such as contractors, temporary staff and visitors where appropriate.

Employees should not use any hazardous substance unless they have received the information and training for the safe use of that substance.

Infection Control
For some work activities, staff may be at risk of infection or of spreading infection. The Council aims to prevent the spread of infection through work based activities by adopting suitable control measures.

Employees must:

  • follow any procedures set out and good hygiene practices
  • wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed

All employees should ensure that all suggested vaccinations e.g., tetanus are up to date.

Manual Handling
To prevent injuries and long-term ill-health from manual handling the Council will ensure that operations which involve manual handling are eliminated, so far as is reasonably practicable. Where it is not practical the Council will carry out an assessment to determine what control measures are required to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. In considering the most appropriate controls, an ergonomic approach to designing the manual handling operation will optimise the health, safety and productivity associated with the task.

Machinery Maintenance
The Council will take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of all employees maintaining the machinery as well as the safety of those affected by the maintenance work. The Council will liaise with the suppliers of all new machinery to establish how that machinery should be maintained safely.
The Council will give sufficient information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of all maintenance staff and any others affected by maintenance of the machinery.
No employee must carry out any repair or operate any machinery for which they have not been trained.

Noise
The Council will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that the risk of hearing damage to employees who work with noisy equipment or in a noisy environment is reduced to a minimum.

Outdoor and Peripatetic Working
The Council will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that employees who work outdoors or away from their normal base are not put at any additional risk to their health and safety.

Staff working outdoors, or away from base, are responsible for ensuring that:

  • if working on a third-party site, they report to a responsible person to ensure familiarisation with safety precautions relating to the particular site
  • they report any problems or shortcomings to the Clerk as soon as possible. If, during work, the conditions change or any aspect of the task changes in such a way to increase the risk, work should stop, unless doing so presents a greater risk.
  • the appropriate personal protective equipment provided is worn correctly and when required to do so.
  • they are familiar with the emergency arrangements and that these are in place prior to starting work.

Personal Protective Equipment
The Council provides personal protective equipment (PPE) when the risk presented by a work activity cannot be eliminated or adequately controlled by other means. When it is provided, it is because health and safety hazards have been identified that require the use of PPE and it is therefore necessary to use it in order to reduce risks to a minimum.

Employees provided with PPE must:

  • wear the PPE as instructed or where indicated by signage.
  • maintain it in good condition.
  • report any defects to the Operations Manager or Clerk
  • ensure the PPE fits correctly, is comfortable and fully adjusted.

Risk Assessment
The management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations impose wide ranging responsibilities on St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council including the requirement to assess the risk to health and safety to employees and others arising out of St Stephen in Brannel Parish Councils undertaking.

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council will carry out risk assessments in accordance with the approved code of practice and published guidance.

General risk assessments will be carried out on all Council workplaces and on all activates organised by the Council.  Risk assessments will be carried out using a team approach by involving employees who are familiar with the work areas.

Risk assessments will be used to determine where action is required to achieve or maintain adequate control of risks. Any action taken will be in accordance with the principles of prevention detailed in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.   Namely by;

  • Avoiding the risk.
  • Evaluating and reducing the risk as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Combating the risks at source.
  • Adapting the work to the individual.
  • Adapting to technical progress.
  • Replacing the dangerous with non or less dangerous.
  • Implementing safe systems of work.
  • Providing adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Providing appropriate information, instruction and training.

Vibration
Regular exposure to continuous vibration from a work process has the potential to cause long term ill health including a range of occupational diseases collectively known as hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or whole-body vibration (WBV).

Activities which may give rise to HAVS or WBV will be assessed, and employees will be informed of any measures necessary and given appropriate training and instruction.

Welfare
The Council is committed to providing suitable health, safety and welfare facilities in line with current legislation, in particular the provision of:

  • adequate maintenance of workplace and equipment
  • appropriate ventilation, temperature control and lighting
  • suitable cleanliness and housekeeping standards
  • adequate workspace allocation
  • properly designed workstations
  • well maintained traffic routes and floors
  • appropriate fall protection
  • suitable glazing
  • safe access including well maintained exits and entrances
  • appropriate sanitary and washing facilities
  • separate toilet facilities for men and women
  • plentiful drinking water supply and cups
  • seating with an incorporated back rest
  • accommodation for keeping clothing clean and dry
  • facilities for changing, rest periods, hot drinks and meals preparation
  • appropriate first aid provision
  • appropriate emergency, fire and evacuation equipment and procedures

Working at Height
The Council will take all reasonable steps to provide a safe working environment for all employees who may be affected by work at height activities.

The need to undertake work at height will be eliminated whenever it is reasonably practicable to do so. Where not practical, then the Council will ensure that all work activities that involve work at height are identified and assessed.

If working at height employees must ensure that:

  • the task has been assessed.
  • suitable safety measures are in place.
  • any equipment being used has been erected by a competent person and is safe to use.
  • you only use equipment for which you have been trained and are authorised to use.

Ladders are permitted for light, short duration work only and must be secured to prevent displacement.

Monitoring Procedures
The Clerk or an appropriately appointed person will carry out regular safety inspections to ensure that safety standards and housekeeping best practices are maintained.

Additional health and safety arrangements will be developed as indicated by further risk assessments.

If you have any queries regarding this policy, in the first instance please refer to the Clerk. Alternatively, the local Health & Safety Executive’s office is located at and will only receive visitors with a prior appointment:

Health & Safety Executive
1st Floor
Cobourg House
32 Mayflower Street
Plymouth
PL1 1QX

The HSE head office is located at:

Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L20 7HS

Alternatively, information can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/index.htm

 

Adopted by Full Council at the meeting held on Wednesday 2nd August 2023 under minute number FPC205/23. Due for review in August 2026.