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Health and Safety Policy – December 2021

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HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY STATEMENT BY MELTON PARISH COUNCIL

As an organisation with fewer than five employees it is not a legal requirement to have a written Health and Safety Policy setting out the Council’s approach to managing health and safety.

However having such a policy statement affirms the Council’s commitment to the prevention of harm and the promotion of safe working practices.

PART 1: STATEMENT OF INTENT

This is the health and safety policy statement of Melton Parish Council (hereinafter “the Council”)

The Council recognises and accepts its obligations to provide a safe and healthy working environment (as far as is reasonably practical) for all employees, volunteers, councillors and other visitors to its premises under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and subsequent and other relevant legislation and the common law duty of care.

Our health and safety policy is to:

  1. Take all reasonably practical steps to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of all persons on its premises.
  2. Provide adequate working conditions with proper facilities to safeguard health and safety and to ensure that any work or other activity undertaken produces no unnecessary risks.
  3. Encourage all persons on its premises or engaged in its activities to fully co-operate with the Council in all safety matters, including the identification and reporting of any hazards.
  4. Maintain safe arrangements for plant and equipment and the handling and use of substances.
  5. Maintain safe manual handling operations and those involving working at height.
  6. Prevent accidents and cases of work related ill-health.
  7. Provide clear instructions and information, and adequate training, to ensure employees and volunteers are competent to do their work.
  8. Provide, where appropriate, suitable clothing and protective equipment which must be worn by all operatives as required.
  9. Enable sufficient information, training and instruction as required to be available for employees having specific health and safety responsibilities or duties.
  10. Ensure (as far as is reasonably practical) protection against risks to the general public arising from activities of the Council and its employees / volunteers.
  11. Make suitable assessments of risk to the health and safety of employees, volunteers, councillors and any other persons likely to be affected arising out of the Council’s activities or facilities provided, including in respect of persons under the age of 18, and implement such measures identified as necessary and proportionate to the hazard identified.
  12. Maintain and implement emergency procedures including evacuation from our premises in case of fire or other significant incident.
  13. Maintain compliance with the requirements for recording and reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous incidents at work as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 and other legislation.

Health and safety performance targets are normally an important part of any health and safety policy statement focused on areas that need improving. Staff absences at the Council through sickness are negligible, and only minor incidents have occurred; nor have there been any civil claims or enforcement action taken against the Council. Only 4 accidents relating to outdoor working have been recorded since February 2020, 3 of which might have been alleviated or the impact reduced by the wearing of protective clothing. No specific reduction targets are therefore proposed at this stage, but there will be monitoring in respect of the relevant provisions in the policy statement above.

This policy statement and / or the procedures for its implementation may be altered at any time by the Council’s Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee. The statement and the procedures shall be reviewed annually by FERM Committee.

PART 2: RESPONSIBILITIES AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY WITHIN THE ORGANISATION 

This sets out the overall responsibility for health and safety within the Council.

FERM Committee

FERM Committee will assume overall responsibility for health and safety within the Council. Their remit will include:

  • A broad overview of health and safety matters.
  • Keeping policies and procedures under review.
  • Monitoring the carrying out of risk assessments.
  • Taking such actions as may be required to ensure that the Council’s responsibilities for health and safety are fulfilled.

 Clerk and Executive Officer

 The Clerk and Executive Officer will assume day-to-day responsibility for ensuring that this policy is put into practice.

All employees / councillors / volunteers

They should co-operate fully on all health and safety matters, take reasonable care of their own health and safety and report all health and safety concerns to the Clerk and Executive Officer. They should not use work items provided by the Council unless properly trained and with full safety equipment / arrangements in place.

Accident Book

Any injury suffered by an employee / volunteer / councillor in the service of the Council, however slight, must be recorded, together with such other particulars as are required by statutory regulations, in the Council’s accident book.

Fire precautions

All users of the Council’s premises must familiarise themselves with fire / emergency escape routes and procedures and follow them as required.

Equipment and appliances

No equipment / appliance shall be used other than in accordance with its instructions and only by persons trained in its use. All directions for use must be followed precisely.

Display Screen equipment

The Council recognises its responsibility under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 for the well-being of its employees who use display screen equipment for a significant part of their normal work. It will:

  • Regularly review workstations to assess and reduce risks
  • Provide information and training.

Employees are advised to ensure that they take a five minute break from the display screen equipment at least once an hour and are advised that, if they experience vision defects or other discomfort that they believe may be wholly or in part a consequence of their use of such equipment, they have a right to an eye test at the Council’s expense.

PART 3: THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY: HOW RISKS ARE MANAGED  

The Council commits to managing the risks to health and safety by the following measures:

  1. We will risk assess all relevant areas of activity and take action to mitigate risks as far as possible.
  2. We will review all risk assessments as working practices change or there are changes in policy or regulations.
  3. We will properly maintain and service all equipment and PAT test electrical equipment.
  4. We will provide staff with all appropriate safety and personal protective equipment.
  5. We will provide or arrange for employees / councillors / volunteers to access all training / induction required for the safe performance of their duties / activities.
  6. We will put in place arrangements for staff working remotely.
  7. We will maintain / review the Council’s policy for lone working which covers working away from the office as well, which affects all staff at some time.
  8. We will continue to provide appropriate accommodation for office staff and meetings which includes welfare requirements that meet current requirements.
  9. We will ensure that all the Council’s activities comply with Government regulations relating to Covid 19 as they continue to change and undertake specific reviews and risk assessments as required.
  10. We will ensure that all the Council’s contractors have specific policies and procedures for health and safety and monitor them for compliance.
  11. We will consult all staff routinely on health and safety matters and when the policy is reviewed.

Signed:                                                       Chair of FERM Committee

Date of Policy:  8 December 2021

Approving Committee:   FERM Committee

Policy version reference: v1

Date for next review: