1.1 Water Orton Parish Council recognises and accepts its responsibility as an employer for providing safe and healthy working conditions for all its employees, contractors, volunteers, councillors and the general public. In addition, due consideration to our Employees welfare is also paramount.
1.2 The Parish Council will comply with the provisions of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and all-subsequent Regulations, including those implementing EU Directives.
1.3 The Parish Council will take steps, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure that any property owned or leased by the Council is a safe and healthy environment in which its employees, contractors, members of the public and others can work.
1.4 The Parish Council take all reasonable steps within its power to meet this responsibility, paying particular attention to the provision and maintenance of:
- Plant, equipment and systems of work designed and maintained to operate and function safely.
- Arrangements for safe handling, storage and supervisory functions where appropriate to enable all employees and volunteers to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety at work.
- Sufficient information, instructions, training and supervision to enable all employees and volunteers to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety at work.
- A safe place of work with safe access and egress.
- A healthy working environment and systems of work with access to expert advice as necessary.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) issued and used where necessary.
- Arrangements for the periodic survey and report on workplaces and methods of working and the implementation of any corrective action necessary.
- Risk Assessments required under the Management of Health and Safety at Works Regulations 1999 will be undertaken, with these revised as necessary.
- All aspects of health and safety remain the Parish Council’s responsibility. However, a safe and healthy workplace can only be achieved with the full co-operation of every employee and volunteer. Employees are duty bound to act responsibly and do everything possible to prevent personal injury to themselves or others. They must also safeguard all those to whom the Parish Council owes a duty of care, namely people who may come into contact with the work of the Parish Council.
To achieve this, employees and volunteers must:
- Comply with all the safety rules and procedures, including the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the use of protective devices if they are issued and/or specified.
- Exercise their awareness, alertness, self-control and common sense at work.
- Report promptly to the Parish Clerk or if unavailable, the Chairman of the Parish Council/Parish Councillors all hazards, potential hazards, defects in equipment or any shortcomings in the Parish Council’s work systems or procedures.
- Any employee who is in breach of the Parish Council’s Health & Safety policy may be subject to disciplinary procedures.
- This policy will be revised by the Parish Council on an annual basis, or where there have been changes to work activities/systems and for ratification to the Parish Council.
- The Parish Council has overall responsibility for the implementation of the policy and will ensure that sufficient finance is available to support the policy.
- In order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Health & Safety policy, all relevant issues will be brought to the attention of the Parish Council during their formal meetings.
- A copy of the policy will be given to all employees and councillors when they join. When changes have been made to the policy, all concerned will be notified.
Section 2 – ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- The Chairman of the Parish Council will be responsible in ensuring:
- There is an annual review of the policy completed by the Parish Council
- That the risk assessments are completed on an annual basis, and following any change in risk status or incident.
- Induction of any new Employees, employed by Water Orton Parish Council.
- It is recognised that ultimate responsibility of Health & Safety lies with the Parish Council.
- The Clerk to the Parish Council will be responsible for :
- Ensuring that the public liability insurance is renewed as required, and certification is shown to the Council Members.
2.3 A designated Parish Councillor who is identified at the Annual Parish Council meeting will, with the Parish Clerk, be responsible for;
- COSHH Assessments & with records retained by the Parish Clerk.
- Conducting the bullet points above, as directed by the Chairman of the Parish Council
2.4 The Parish Councillors will be responsible for:
- Ensure that matters arising of health and safety nature are discussed & actioned at Council meetings
- Ensuring that the Council reviews its risk assessments at least annually and following any incident.
2.4 Employees, Contractors or Volunteers will be responsible for :
- Ensuring the compliance with and adherence to safe methods of work to minimise any risk of injury either to themselves or others
- Safeguarding all those to whom the Parish Council owes a duty of care.
- Ensure that they are fully conversant with the latest policy requirements.
2.5 Members of the Public
- The general public have a responsibility to highlight to any member of the council matters which they believe give rise to cause concern in respect of Health & Safety.
Councillors will in turn, report to the parish clerk.
Section 3 – ARRANGEMENTS FOR HEALTH & SAFETY
It is of the utmost importance that there are open channels of communication between all concerned parties within the Parish (i.e. Employees, Contractors, Members of the Public, Volunteers and the Parish Council).
Each Parish Councillor at the meeting should consider & raise any incidents that may have occurred in the past month.
The public forum is everyone else’s opportunity to formally raise an issue or concern.
The Parish Clerk holds the Employers Liability Certificate.
3.2 Accidents & Incidents
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
(RIDDOR), place a legal duty on Employers, Self Employed People and People in Control of Premises to report work related deaths, major injuries or over three day injuries, work related diseases and dangerous occurrences (or near miss accidents).
The purpose of reporting is to allow the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities to identify common trends, how risks arise and investigate serious accidents.
It is the responsibility of the Clerk to keep a record of, any reportable injury, disease or dangerous occurrence in the accident book.
The designated Councillor will or in their absence the Chairman of the Parish Council, in conjunction with the Parish Clerk has the responsibility to carry out any accident investigation & reporting.
3.3 First Aid
A First Aid box is held by the Clerk.
It is important that these are inspected on a regular basis and at least 6 monthly to ensure that all expected provisions are maintained. First Aid Regulation 1981 –(SI1981/917)
3.4 Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your employees and general public as well as complying with the law. The purpose of the assessment is to focus on the risks that really matter – the ones which have the potential to cause harm. Through a process of careful examination to assess whether enough precautions have been undertaken to prevent harm.
In most instances, it is acknowledged that straightforward measures can be undertaken to readily control risks – for example – ensuring draws are kept shut, trailing flex avoided through planning which may minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls.
The law does not require you to eliminate the risk, but merely to protect people as far as reasonably practical.
The designated Health and Safety Parish Councillor will conduct the risk assessments of the owned assets of the parish and the roles and functions of the Parish Council employees.
3.5 Emergency Procedures
The Chairman of the Parish Council that covers all aspects of emergency contact and escalation procedures has ensured a Community Emergency Plan has been adopted by the council.
3.6 Fire Safety
The Parish Council has limited instances when fire would be an issue however It is important to acknowledge Fire Safety and to reduce risk (e.g. such as waste paper, electrical heaters being left on, overloading of electrical circuitry etc) which can be common causes of fire.
3.7 Electrical Safety
3.7.1 Portable Appliance Testing. (The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989)
For low risk environment the law does not require an elaborate and frequent system of testing. A visual inspection looking for any damage or faults and putting them right will in the main prevent any electrical incident from occurring. It is important that a record of these inspections is maintained.
Portable Appliance equipment refers to equipment that has a lead and plug and can easily be moved around – e.g. Kettle, Heater, laptop, vacuum cleaners, fans, televisions, monitors, desk lamps, photocopiers, fax as well as desk top computers.
3.7.2 Examples of risks are trailing wires, damaged equipment (or poorly maintained), pulled plugs, incorrect fuse ratings & broken plugs.
3.8 Hazardous Substances
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. This can be prevented by
3.8.1 Finding out what the health hazards are
3.8.2 Completing a risk assessment – how to prevent harm to health
3.8.3 Providing Control measures to reduce the harm to health
3.8.4 Making sure they are used
3.8.5 Keeping all control measures in good working order
3.8.6 Providing information, instruction and training for employees in contact with risk items
3.8.7 Providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases
3.8.8 Planning for emergencies
Within our area consideration for any cleaning materials that could give rise to dermatitis, allergies and asthma, corrosive products, adhesives, paints or stripping products that could be used either by employees or contractors. The contractor needs to demonstrate a safe method of working which includes COSHH.
COSHH responsibilities lie with the designated Health and Safety Officer.
3.9 Manual Handling
Systems of work where manual handling is involved will be identified in the Risk Assessment process in compliance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
3.10 Managing Contractors
Accidents happen more easily when the contractor’s job is excluded from your usual methods of safe working if:
- the hazards of their job haven’t been identified and steps have not been taken to minimise risks;
- No one is around to ensure that the contractor follows the method of works statement and health and safety rules of the site.
The contractor shall present their health and safety policy, method of works and a risk assessment for the job being undertaken. Common accidents for contractors are for example falls from ladders through improper use.
3.11 Safe Use of Equipment
3.11.1 It is the responsibility of the clerk to ensure all equipment is serviced annually.
3.11.2 The groundsman will advise the clerk if any equipment is not safe to operate.
3.12 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & High Visibility (HV)
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 require employers to assess the risks to their employees. Employers risk assessments should include whether HV (High Visibility) or PPE clothing should be worn for certain processes or conditions.
Where risk assessments deem it necessary for either PPE or HV clothing, these will be supplied.
Maintenance of PPE and HV in effective working condition together with the recording of inspection, maintenance and repair is undertaken by the user and should be supplied to the clerk at least annually.
The Law requires that the employer provides whatever information, instruction and training are needed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the health and safety of employees.
The Parish Council will provide all relevant training and information to its employees, and where necessary to members of the Parish.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 expand on the requirements from 1974 identifying when training is particularly important, for example new employees starting work, on exposure to new or increased risks, and where existing skills have become rusty or need updating. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the training undertaken has worked in order to minimise risk.
Employees of the Parish Council will complete an induction process, which includes training in all relevant Health & Safety Matters. The Induction process is the responsibility of the Chair of the Parish Council and will be delegated to the designated Health and Safety Officer
- Refresher Training An annual “refresh” on matters of Health & Safety will be considered and conducted if determined as necessary.
- An annual risk assessment to identify any training requirements.
Review existing risk assessments to see where information and /or training have been identified in factors controlling risks.
Consult with employees and representatives to gain their views
To learn by following review of any near misses, injuries or cases or ill health.
3.14 Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations 2005)
Loud noise can damage hearing and lead to hearing loss. Under the 2005 regulations, there is a requirement to protect your employees from noise.
As an employer, there is an obligation via risk assessment to assess the risk to the employees of the Parish from noise at work and limit those risks.
The regulations however do not apply to members of the public exposed to noise from their non-work activities or making an informed choice to go to noisy places or from low level noise (e.g. wind turbines, low flying aircraft) which could be seen as a nuisance but pose no risk to hearing damage.
Approved by council: 25th March 2021 – min. ref:431b
Last reviewed: 26th January 2023 – min. ref: 22/112a)ii.
Next review due by 27th July 2023