Agenda Item: 8
HEALTH AND SAFETY MONITORING FOR 2003
Report of the Strategic Director (Support)
1. PURPOSE OF REPORT
1.1 To report to Members on Health and Safety monitoring for 2003, including accidents /
incidents reported by staff and the work of the Safety Risk Management Group
relating to health and safety.
1.2 Health and Safety is an issue affecting all staff and all areas of responsibility, so
impacts on all 4 corporate priorities.
2.1 The council has in place a safety management system, which includes
Health and Safety Policy which sets out responsibilities for H&S
Policies and procedures relating to specific H&S issues
Guidance to managers on specific issues
Safety Risk Management Group which meets regularly and includes union
Safety Advisor post which acts as the H&S competent person
Health and Safety training including general induction training and training
specific to work responsibilities
Monitoring of accidents/ incidents and other H&S issues
2.2 The Safety Risk Management Group meets regularly throughout the year to consider
health and safety and insurance risk issues, with representatives from each
directorate, the insurance officer, the Safety Advisor and Unison Safety
representatives. A report of accidents or incidents reported by staff since the previous
meeting is considered at each meeting, with any action taken or required noted and
2.3 The Safety Risk Management Group also has a planned work programme for review
of policies and procedures to ensure that Spelthorne meets its responsibilities for
ensuring a safe and healthy workplace. Management Team receive regular reports
from the group noting the work programme and issues or concerns raised or
discussed at the meetings. The key issues discussed in 2003 are noted in the report
2.4 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are undertaking an Inspection of Spelthorne
on 1st and 2nd March 2003. The Inspector will look at the safety management system
in place and at H&S in practice. We will receive feedback after the inspection, which
will identify any points for improvement.
3. ACCIDENTS / INCIDENTS
3.1 Under the Council’s Safety Policy all accidents, incidents and near misses which
result in injury or ill-health, or have the potential to do so, must be reported and
investigated. Occasionally more serious incidents/accidents occur resulting in time off
work or injury/ill-health. These accidents are reported to the Health and Safety
Executive in accordance with the requirements of the Reporting of Incidents, Disease
and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).
01869988-b5ce-4354-aec2-177a239fec71.doc Last Updated: 25/06/2011
3.2 Accidents / incidents are reviewed by managers, with more formal investigations
taking place if required. Each Safety Risk Management Group meeting considers
reports on the accidents / incidents reported since the last meeting, noting any
remedial actions taken and learning points for the future. The frequency or pattern of
accidents may indicate further action required including the need to further develop
policy or guidance, or for additional staff training.
3.3 There were 76 accidents/incidents reported in 2003, 8 of which were reported to the
HSE. This compares with 71 (7 to HSE) in 2002 and 83 (9 to HSE) in 2001.
Appendix A, A1 and A2 shows the number of accidents reported each of the last 3
3.4 Appendix B shows the accidents reported in 2003 by accident type, and Appendix
C shows the accidents for 2003 split between staff and others.
3.5 In 2003 the largest category of accident was falls on a level, covering slips, trips and
falls (31% of reported accidents). The second largest category was violent incidents,
at 17% of the reported accidents/incidents.
3.6 Accident / incident reporting and monitoring has highlighted the increasing number of
cases of verbal abuse / threatening behaviour towards staff, particularly in the
housing advice service. Some of the increase is due to a change in the client group.
Changes to work practices have been introduced and modifications agreed for the
housing advice reception area in order to improve the protection available to staff.
Work is also on-going to develop a Spelthorne policy on preventing and alleviating
violence at work, with accompanying guidance for managers and staff.
3.7 The training programme includes regular workshops on dealing with difficult
customers and personal safety for staff. Additional training has been provided for
affected sections, and specialist briefing is being arranged for staff on recognising
and dealing with mental health problems. Guidance on referral mechanisms and
inter-agency working is also being improved.
3.8 There continue to be a number of accidents relating to manual handling, contact/
sharps injuries and collision/striking. There has been a review of risk assessments
and consideration of alternative working practices in some areas, with training
4. H&S ISSUES CONSIDERED BY THE SAFETY RISK MANAGEMENT GROUP
4.1 The Safety Risk Management group meets every two months and is chaired by the
Head of Direct Services. The group sets a work programme to prioritise action for the
coming year and considers updates of progress in reviewing, or introducing new,
health and safety policies and procedures in the light of new regulatory requirements
or identified need. Much of this development work is initially undertaken by the Safety
Adviser, who reports back to the group and to Management Team as appropriate.
4.2 The health and safety work programme for the year has included the following areas :
Review of Health & Safety induction training for staff, with the introduction
of a separate workshop for H&S induction to include a fire safety briefing, brief
guide to manual handling, brief guide to display screen use and ‘Guide to
staying safe in Spelthorne’ booklet.
Review of accident reporting procedures with incident forms available on
the intranet for completion on screen. Publicity for managers and staff on the
importance of post-accident investigations and review of risk assessments in
Guidance on use of mobile phones while driving – issued to all staff with
pay slips, and revised guidance for staff who drive on Spelthorne duty to take
account of change in law
New arrangements for eye-sight testing for display screen users to comply
with requirements and improve system for staff
European H&S week – hazard and risk awareness was used as the theme at
Spelthorne (as the national theme of chemicals in the workplace is of less
importance at Spelthorne). Publicity for managers and staff and circulation of
Workplace Inspection checklist.
Revised guidance on risk assessments and plans for training – guidance
for managers improved, confirmation that risk assessments should be
forwarded to Safety Adviser so that a central record can be maintained.
Worked examples to assist in completion.
Introduction of risk assessment checklist for homeworking
Draft policy and managers guidance to prevent and alleviate violence in
the workplace – draft policy and guidance considered by the group, with a
meeting arranged for wider discussion by all service heads. Further
amendments required which will be reported to Management Team.
4.3 Other health and safety issues considered by the group have included:
Action required during fire brigade strike
Role and responsibilities of union safety representatives under H&S
Fire alarm procedures
Electrical testing procedures
Liability inspection of staircases by insurance company – following a
number of accidents. Confirmation that it remains a low risk area.
Evac chair provision and training – evac chairs are provided for the safe
evacuation of disabled visitors as well as staff.
Resource levels for Safety Adviser – the council officer restructure
identified a need for increased H&S resource, with the increase in hours to full
time. The additional time will enable increased assistance to managers and
more on-site support, particularly for the depot.
4.4 The minutes of the Safety Risk Management Group are reported to Management
Team regularly, and are available on the Council’s intranet.
5. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
5.1 Expenditure relating to health and safety matters is covered by existing budgets.
Failure to meet Health and Safety requirements would leave the Council vulnerable to
challenge and potentially liable for damages payments.
6. LEGAL IMPLICATIONS (/ OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
6.1 The Council has responsibilities under health and safety legislation and regulation.
Failure to meet those obligations could lead to enforcement action by the Health and
Safety Executive and/or damages claims from individuals. In extreme cases criminal
action can be taken against individuals or the Council for health and safety breaches.
6.2 The Safety Risk Management group considers any changes to requirements and
recommends changes to Management Team as appropriate.
7.1 The Committee is recommended to note the report.
Contact: Jan Hunt, Head of Human Resources 01784 444264 or
Portfolio Holder: Ed Searancke
Background Papers: None