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Safety Training Recommendation

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					                                                                             Agenda Item: 7



                        HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE
                              RESOLUTION REQUIRED
                       Report of the Strategic Director (Support)
1.    PURPOSE OF REPORT
1.1   To note the final report following the HSE Inspection and the actions planned to
      comply with the Improvement Notice.
1.2   Health and safety is an issue affecting all staff and all areas of responsibility, so
      impacts on all 4 corporate priorities.
2.    BACKGROUND
2.1   Two HM Inspectors of Health and Safety from the Health and Safety Executive
      inspected Spelthorne on 1st and 2nd March 2004. They visited Knowle Green, the
      Depot and Benwell Day Centre speaking to over 20 staff about Spelthorne‟s
      approach to the management of health and safety, including training. The feedback at
      the end of the 2 days was generally very positive, although we were advised that an
      Improvement Notice would be issued in relation to manual handling training. The
      final report from the HSE and the Improvement Notice were received on 1st April
      2004. Planned actions in response are noted below.
3.    RESPONSIBILITY FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY
3.1   Responsibilities for Health and Safety at Spelthorne is set out within the Health and
      Safety Policy, which is reviewed regularly. Overall responsibility for the health and
      safety of staff lies with the Chief Executive. All management posts have a
      responsibility for ensuring, as far as is reasonably practicable, health and safety
      within the areas under their control, working to procedures set out. All employees
      have a general responsibility to ensure that they take reasonable care for their own
      health and safety and for working in a safe manner.
3.2   Members have a responsibility to monitor the arrangements in place to ensure that
      statutory requirements are met and to this end health and safety issues are included
      in reports to members where appropriate. Regular reports on the monitoring of health
      and safety, including accidents and incidents reported, will be made to the
      Performance Monitoring and Review Committee.
4.    IMPROVEMENT NOTICE – MANUAL HANDLING OPERATIONS
4.1   HM Inspector of Health and Safety issued an Improvement Notice dated 1st April
      2004, which must be complied with by 1st October 2004. The notice (attached at
      Appendix A) is in relation to manual handling operations including risk assessment
      and training. It applies across all the Council‟s operations.
4.2   Employers can appeal against Improvement Notices issued by the HSE. However
      this is not considered to be a constructive approach, and effort is more usefully put to
      ensuring continued improvement in our approach to eliminating or minimising risks
      and ensuring that staff are properly trained.
4.3   Actions planned to ensure that Spelthorne can demonstrate that the requirements are
      met are:
            General risk assessments are due to be completed by managers with a copy
             forwarded to the Safety Adviser by the end of April 2004. These should
             identify any manual handling risks.


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            The Safety Adviser will review all risk assessments copied to her to identify
             staff / work areas where additional consideration may be required and to
             identify training required. Information on accident/incidents and from site
             inspections will be taken into account to help determine the appropriate level
             and frequency of training. Information from training needs following appraisal
             will also be considered.
            The Safety Adviser and Contract Supervisor from Direct Services attended a
             „train the trainer‟ course for manual handling training from 19th – 22nd April
             2004. We now have 2 staff qualified to undertake training and instruction of
             staff in safe methods of manual handling work, as an alternative to using
             external trainers.
            New staff will receive Initial manual handling training as soon as possible after
             appointment. In some higher risk areas (eg refuse, Knowle Green caretaking)
             this will take place „on the job‟ at the earliest opportunity, including for agency
             workers.
            A series of manual handling training sessions will take place at the depot for
             Direct Services staff (the first was on Saturday 17th April, with further sessions
             planned for May).
            Arrangements are being finalised for manual handling refresher training with
             specialist sessions for caretakers, day centre staff and general office
             environments. Staff will be required to attend the appropriate sessions. Dates
             are planned for June and July.
            Where risk assessments identify that manual handling training is a control
             measure to minimise risks from manual handling operations, staff will be
             required to attend appropriate initial training and regular refresher training.
             This will not be optional.
            Manual handling refresher training will be a regular feature on future annual
             training plans.
4.4   The HSE will undertake a further inspection later in the year to ensure compliance
      with the Improvement Notice.
5.    RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE HSE REPORT
5.1   The final report from HM Inspector is attached at Appendix B. It notes that overall
      the Council has in place suitable H&S policies and managers are clear about their
      roles and responsibilities. Employees generally are aware of the H&S policy and
      there is an active health and safety plan. A number of recommendations for
      improvement were included in the report.
5.2   Specific recommendations are noted below, with comment and actions already
      planned to improve arrangements. These will be considered by the next Safety Risk
      Management Group on 24th May, with recommendations for action reported to MAT
      in due course.
5.3   Some other comments / suggestions relating to particular areas of work were also
      made in the report. These have been referred to appropriate officers for consideration
      including the Safety Adviser and particular Service Heads.
5.4   The Inspector provided information on consultation with staff of health and safety
      issues. The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
      requires employers to consult with employees on matters to do with their health and
      safety. This can be by way of a formal safety committee or directly with employees.
      At Spelthorne a Safety Risk Management Group meets every two months and
      includes nominated safety representatives (currently there are two). There is also

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      direct consultation with individuals about health and safety matters directly affecting
      them, including regular meetings with Direct Services staff.
5.5   The HM Inspector of Health and Safety has asked that all Spelthorne employees be
      informed of the results of the inspection. This has been done at regular staff meetings
      in April.
5.6   Recommendation 1 – targets for health and safety
      The Council should review how the performance of managers with
      responsibilities for health and safety could be assessed. Smart targets should
      be set for completion of risk assessments, training, and monitoring.
      Targets for Service Heads and other managers could include a target relating to
      health and safety responsibilities, along the lines of the target adopted last year for
      corporate risk management. A suggested wording could be :
      “To actively manage relevant health and safety risks as evidenced by completion of
      risk assessments, identification of necessary training, investigation of any
      accidents/incidents occurring and taking remedial action. To review risk assessments
      regularly at least annually with copies of general risk assessments and DSE
      assessments submitted to the Safety Adviser to the timetable set”.
      Additional targets relating to H&S should be set in appropriate cases. Targets for the
      Safety Adviser include monitoring of overall council performance eg in relation to
      reported accidents/incidents.
5.7   Recommendation 2 – measuring performance
      Proactive monitoring of the implementation of preventive and proactive
      measures should be carried out to ensure continued effectiveness. Health and
      safety performance should be measured against set targets to assess how the
      Council is performing in terms of health and safety and to work towards
      continued improvement
      There are regular reports to the Safety Risk Management Group, MAT and
      Performance Management and Review Committee on health and safety issues
      including monitoring of accidents/incidents reported and remedial actions taken. In
      future these reports will also include monitoring of the risk assessment process and
      health and safety training.
      The Safety Adviser will be reporting to the next meeting of the Safety Risk
      Management Group on H&S performance statistics including proposals for
      improvement, which will come forward to MAT. This will enable relevant performance
      measures to be drawn up. These are likely to include reviewing the impact of the
      introduction of the Violence at Work policy and difficult customer / violence at work
      briefings on the level of reported incidents.
5.8   Recommendation 3 – audits and reviews
      The Council should carry out structured independent audits and performance
      reviews on the health and safety management system and results should feed
      into the organisation’s health and safety plan or programme of works
      Options for independent audit and performance reviews will be considered, including
      the frequency of audits and whether they are undertaken by the Safety Adviser or
      externally.
5.9   Recommendation 4 – manual handling (refuse)
      Refuse collection in bags should be risk assessed and reviewed. Note that the
      top of the hierarchy of controls is elimination where reasonably practicable



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       The Head of Direct Services and Strategic Director (Community) to take into account
       in future plans for refuse collection service. The elimination of bagged refuse could be
       achieved by the introduction of wheelie bin collections. Arrangements are in place
       (noted above) to ensure that initial and refresher manual handling training is arranged
       for this group of workers.
5.10   Recommendation 5 – workplace transport (Depot and Benwell)
       Effective preventive measures should be implemented to control the risk. Such
       measures include suitable marking out of traffic routes, parking bays, provision
       of clear traffic signs, use of pedestrian pavements and use of a one-way
       system on site
5.11   The Head of Direct Services, Head of Community Services and Benwell Centre
       Manager are considering options. At the depot options are being considered for
       security access to restrict traffic access, with the yard being fully marked to designate
       pedestrian walk-ways, parking and visitor parking areas. The Head of Direct Services
       is also considering options for the relocation of some vehicles. Benwell Centre are
       also looking at road marking and other ways to clearly designate pedestrian areas.
6.     PROPOSALS
6.1    That the Committee note the issues raised in the final report, the recommendations
       from the Health and Safety Inspector and the terms of the Improvement Notice issued
       on 1st April 2004, and the actions planned to address them.
6.2    Future reports on health and safety performance will include an update for Members
       on progress in addressing the points raised by the HSE.
7.     FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
7.1    There is a cost for the training planned to comply with the Improvement Notice, which
       will be more extensive than normally planned in one year. This will be met from the
       In-house training budget. A request has been made to carry forward monies unspent
       in 2003/4 to help meet the cost.
8.     LEGAL IMPLICATIONS / OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
8.1    Spelthorne has a legal duty to ensure, as far as practicable, the health and safety of
       its staff. The Improvement Notice is a legal document requiring remedial action to be
       taken within the time scale specified – in this case by 1st October 2004. Failure to
       comply with the improvement notice is an offence under the Health and Safety at
       Work etc. Act 1974, which could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 or, on conviction on
       indictment in the Crown Court, to an unlimited fine.
8.2    There is an obligation under the Act to keep staff informed of matters affecting their
       health and safety and to consult them. Formal consultation on H&S is via the Safety
       Risk Management Group.
9.     RECOMMENDATION
9.1    That the Committee note the issues raised in the final report from the HM
       Inspector of Health and Safety, the terms of the Improvement Notice issued,
       and the actions planned to comply with the Improvement Notice


       Contact:       Jan Hunt, Head of Human Resources Telephone 01784 444264
                      Email j.hunt@spelthorne.gov.uk
       Portfolio Holder:
       Background Papers: There are none


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