Health and Safety Policy
Veritas University College (VUC) health and safety policy aims to provide information on it’s commitment to safeguard the health and safety and welfare of staff and students at VUC and persons coming into the campus of VUC
This Policy aims to reveal to both staff and students and all those coming onto the campus of VUC that VUC takes its responsibilities towards securing safety and safeguarding health of those persons, is of paramount concern to VUC. It further stipulates the expectations placed upon employees, independent contractors and students to work together in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and academic educational institution.
This policy is just one of the many policies of VUC and should be read in conjunction with VUC’s other policies that frames VUC’s good practices and safety and well being as a provider of education and a place of work for it’s employees.
Undertaking: it is the responsibilities shouldered by persons who are assigned or employed to carry out specific tasks. It includes persons employed to carry out the tasks of cleaning the campus of VUC to simply carrying out maintenance works within the premises. The key to understanding undertaking is who has the duty of care.
Competence: means having the required skills, specialization, experience and sufficient training to execute the tasks for which the person is employed.
For VUC most senior management, hereafter shall be referred to as “the employer”, this responsibility, or duty of care, extends to cover anyone who could foreseeably be harmed by any activities associated with their undertaking. Whilst “the employer” may delegate the performance of certain tasks to others, for example through the line management structure or by contracting out to third parties, the responsibility for ensuring that the duty of care has been met remains with them. Consequently, the employer needs to implement suitable governance arrangements to provide the necessary reassurance that delegated tasks, including those contracted out to third parties, have actually been carried out, and to take appropriate corrective action where this is found not to be the case. The extent of any monitoring should be proportionate to the degree of risk created.
Undertaking: Case law has established that, in the context of health and safety law, “undertaking” has a very wide-meaning and includes not only core business activities and functions, but also any ancillary activities, such as the cleaning and maintenance and repair of buildings, plant or equipment associated with the employer’s business regardless of who performs these activities.
This principle is applied to the management of risks and whether a duty holder has done enough to meet their duty of care.
Competence: There is no legal definition of competence. However, in a health and safety context this is generally understood to mean having the required skills, expertise, experience and training to carry out a required task safely.
VUC understands and values good health practices, safety and welfare of all staff and students as an important aspect of VUC management. The core principle of VUC as a centre for academic excellence and a place where continued growth in research and teaching is promoted, having a safe campus is paramount to enable students to acquire knowledge in a safe campus.
We strive to attain and maintain a University College that embraces values on health, safety and welfare by:
- Ensuring a team of good leaders and providing resources and access to guidance throughout the organisation to ensure health, safety and welfare standards are achieved.
- Defining the responsibilities placed upon those within the department of health and safety under the purview of the Senior Management Committee in securing health and safety within the University College;
- Complying with the laws of the land;
- Assessing apparent and core risks that is associated with the business activities of VUC and implementing measures to reduce the risk of injury and ill-health and damage to property or the environment;
- Recognising all risks regarding health and safety when planning the business to provide for early identification of unacceptable risks and the implementation of satisfactory control measures;
- Providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to our employees, students, partners and contractors by providing knowledge on health, safety and welfare matters and to ensure that each person carries out their responsibilities;
- When risks are identified, measures should be immediately taken to prevent such risks and an on- going audit should be carried out periodically to ensure no further risks are prevalent.
Roles and Responsibilities of members of VUC
VUC is made up various departments who individually and collectively commit to providing a campus that staff and students safety and well- being are secured and valued. The following departments and personnel are committed to this end.
VUC’s Senate is the body that is responsible for the health and safety of all those within the University College. The Senate as VUC’s governing body is responsible for:
- Formulating and enforcing all VUC Policies and as such is responsible for its health and safety policy
- Maintaining and ensuring the performance of health and safety measures
- Proposing positive changes in situations where it discovered that health and safety performance is below standards.
The Senate may delegate the responsibility of executing and enforcing health, safety and welfare matters to the Vice-Chancellor.
The Vice–Chancellor who is answerable to the Senate is responsible for the implementation and execution of all VUC policies including VUC’s health and safety policy. The Vice-Chancellor would then delegate this responsibility of executing specific aspects of day-to day health and safety matters to the Senior Management Committee (hereafter referred to as the SMC) and its line management. The role of the Senior Management Committee is set below:
Senior Management Committee
VUC’s Senior Management Committee and management departments carry out the day to day operations of VUC. The Senior Management Committee under the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor proposes changes to policies and processes including health and safety policy and it’s execution. The SMC shall continually review the operation of the health and safety policy and make changes where necessary. The SMC is responsible to provide regular reports on health and safety performance to the Senate.
Executive Committee Members
Members who make up the SMC are set out below:
- Deputy Vice-Chancellor
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor is accountable to the Vice-Chancellor for the health and safety management in each of the University College’s academic faculties comprising of Deans of schools and the Heads of the Programmes. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor would then make enquiries from his direct reports to ensure that health and safety tasks are being correctly carried out. If there emerge issues on health and safety performance, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor should with consultation and cooperation of the Deans, provide feedback on health and safety issues to the Vice-Chancellor.
- Deans of Schools
The Deans of Schools are responsible to ensure that the health and safety policy is implemented and carried out within their respective schools. They are accountable to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor who is then accountable to the Vice – Chancellor. They provide useful feedback on improvements being closest to the faculty.
- Line Management
- Heads of Department and Faculty Heads
The responsibility of all staff both academic and administrative rests with the Heads of Department and Faculty Heads.
The manner in which heads of departments and faculty heads carry out their responsibilities is set forth below:
- They would have had to read and understand the University College health and safety policy.
- They would have to understand the processes involved that relate to the work of their department, directorate or service.
- They would have to understand and appreciate the significant risks that is attached to the work carried out by their department, and ensure that significant risks have been assessed and appropriate measures are taken to eradicate the risks
- A good practice would be to develop a departmental health, safety and welfare handbook articulating steps for securing the health, safety and welfare of staff and the health and safety of students and anyone else coming into the department, directorate or service’s activities, emphasising the responsibilities for health and safety within their department, directorate or service.
- Human Resources Department should appoint sufficient competent people, such as a Department Health and Safety Warden, to assist with the management of health, safety and welfare matters.
- Departmental and divisional staff and students should receive necessary information, training and guidance to carry out their work safely.
- Health and safety inspection of the campus should be carried out throughout the year to ensure compliance to this policy and health and safety standards and the results should be recorded.
- Finally should there exists any gaps in the operations of health and safety, appropriate action should be recommended.
- Line Managers and Supervisors
- Those in supervisory positions are responsible for the health and safety of staff and students they supervise including projects. All significant risks must be recognised and measures should be taken to ensure that health and safety principles and guidelines are implemented and observed. The greater the project or more hazardous, the greater the risks and greater the responsibility to ensure that all risks on health and safety are eradicated.
- The responsibility rests with all staff of VUC to ensure that they carry out their activities in accordance with VUC’s health and safety policies and relevant statutory provisions. Delegation of this responsibility is strictly forbidden.
- Students who are employed to carry for University College are considered to be members of VUC staff whilst carrying out that activity.
- Students are not exempt from complying with VUC’s policies and regulations and with health and safety instructions. There are health and safety equipment located on the campus premises. Students are strictly forbidden to misuse or damage such equipment.
- It is a legal requirement for the owners and occupiers of a premises to ensure that those coming onto the premises are safe. Hence, contractors coming onto VUC campus are provided a safe working environment. Contractors on the other hand, are required to respect and comply with VUC health and safety policy, standards, and processes.
- Director of Accommodation and Hospitality Services and Director of Sports
- These named directors have additional accountabilities to their respective line managers in that they have responsibility for health and safety matters associated with the buildings and infrastructure falling under their control. This includes the provision and maintenance provision of safe buildings, safe facilities and safe grounds, and encompasses any statutory testing or monitoring of building fabric, services and infrastructure.
- They carry out the tasks associated with their building-related maintenance and repair duties. However, this delegation of tasks does not remove the accountability on each of these for the actual delivery of these duties.
- Head of Human Resources Department
- The Head of VUC’s Human Resource Department is responsible to appoint a “Competent Person” to ensure the implementation of this Policy and it’s execution on a day to day basis.
- Head of University College Health, Safety and Environment Team.
- The “Competent Person” shall be the Head of VUC Health, Safety and Environment Team (VUCHSE) and shall take the lead on occupational health, safety and welfare matters. The Vice Chancellor shall delegate his authority to the head of VUCHSE to stop activities that put people at imminent risk of harm.
- The Head of VUC’s Health, Safety and Environment is :
Arivinth Subramaniam at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heads of Department and Faculty Heads
The Head of VUCHSE is responsible for:
- Giving directions and guidance on all matters of occupational health, safety and welfare, including fire safety.
- Drafting and executing a safety management system.
- Ensuring that competency requirements are met.
- Advising and communicating on the application of relevant health and safety legislation.
- Creating a system of control in the use of radioactive substances.
- Investigating incidents, dangerous occurrences or reports of occupational ill health in order to identify the potential for legal consequences and to identify action required to prevent recurrence.
- Being the lead on VUC’s Occupational Health.
- Supporting VUC’s Health and Safety Committee
- Monitoring health and safety performance across the University College and providing quarterly reports to University Health and Safety Committee and an annual report to Senate.
- Ensuring the professional development of staff and providing advice on health and safety within their Faculty/Directorate.
- Liaising closely regulatory authorities on matters of health and safety.
VUC’s Health and Safety Committee
A forum or venue must be set up whereat staff may discuss health and safety issues, hence the establishment of VUC’s Health and Safety Committee. The committee shall:
- Convene a forum for discussions on health and safety policy, standards and guidance and matters relating to the policy
- Carry out checks on workplace standards and health and safety performance and to deliberate improvements to health and safety practice.
- To highlight issues and promote areas of good or best practice.
- Provide a committee for staff and students to raise concerns over workplace and campus hazards or unsafe practices.