HEALTH & SAFETY
2005 - 2006
This is the fourth Health and Safety Service Plan made under the guidance
issued to Local Authorities under Section 18 of the Health and Safety at Work Act
1974 (the Act) by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), the body with overall
responsibility for seeing the Act is properly enforced.
The HSC have issued a new document in February 2004 'A strategy for
workplace health and safety in Great Britain to 2010 and beyond'. This strategy
is designed to promote the vision, which is to see health and safety as a
cornerstone of a civilised society and, with that, to achieve a record of workplace
health and safety that leads the world. This strategy builds on the success and
develops the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement of June 2000.
The aims are to:
Develop new ways to establish and maintain an effective health and safety
culture in a changing economy, so that all employers take their
responsibilities seriously, the workforce is fully involved and risks are properly
Do more to address the new and emerging work-related health issues;
Achieve higher levels of recognition and respect for health and safety as an
integral part of a modern, competitive business and public sector and as a
contribution to social justice and inclusion; and
Exemplify public sector best practice in managing our resources.
1.0 SERVICE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Health and Safety enforcement is delivered through the Food and Safety Team
of the Community Protection Service. Its mission in respect of this activity is to:
'Ensure that risks to peoples health and safety from work activities are properly
This will be achieved by:
Targeting our resources at the areas of highest risk
Assisting and facilitating compliance with the law and best practice
Detecting and taking action against non-compliance
Specifically, we will:
Maintain an intelligence lead approach to enforcement. We will continue to
single out and tackle rogue, exploitative and neglectful businesses that aim to
prosper to the significant detriment of others, with a view to disrupting their
Provide support, training, advice and assistance to legitimate businesses with
a view to helping them thrive and expand. Particularly, we will aim to assist
small businesses, new businesses starting up and businesses moving into the
Make provision for giving effective advice to consumers. Particularly making
access to the Food and Safety Team as easy and widespread as possible.
We intend to achieve the above by:
1. Inspecting all our businesses using 'risk' as a measure to determine what
businesses should be inspected when. We will concentrate our efforts on the
highest risk businesses and activities.
2. Responding appropriately to all accident reports.
3. Investigating all notifiable dangerous occurrence reports.
4. Investigating all notifiable disease reports
5. Responding appropriately to all notifiable works involving asbestos
6. Responding appropriately to all complaints
7. Promoting and advocating the councils 'Certificate of Inspection' scheme and
encouraging businesses to participate.
8. Working with partners.
Links to Corporate Objectives and Plans
The Health and Safety Plan is produced annually as part of the Corporate
planning process. It is developed alongside and in harmony with the Food
Safety Plan. Both these plans feed into and support the Corporate
Performance Plan and Community Protection Service Plan.
In being creative in its approach to Health and Safety Law enforcement, the
Food and Safety Team will continue to positively contribute to the community
to help achieve the wider Corporate Performance Plan aims of 1) Improving
Health and Social Care and 2) Promoting the economic vitality of
Middlesbrough Council is a unitary authority in the North East of England. It
has a resident population of 139,0001 in 55,200 households. The non-white
population is estimated at 6.3%.
Covering an area of 5,390 hectares (20.81 sq. miles), it sits on the banks of
the River Tees.
The majority of employees working in the town (83.3 %)(Annual Business
Inquiry (NOMIS) 2000) work in the service sector.
'The recorded population of Middlesbrough at the 2001 census was 134,800,
corrected in September 2004.
2.2 Organisational Structure
Middlesbrough Council is a democratically elected body having 48 elected
members from 23 wards. The key decision making body is the Executive
board. Members of the Executive Board are appointed by the Mayor. Cabinet
members are individually responsible for key strategic areas. Councillor Barry
Coppinger is the Executive Member responsible, providing political oversight
for Food Law Enforcement.
The Management Organisation is lead by the Chief Executive, Mr. Brian
Dinsdale. Council services are organised into five service groups, each
reporting to an Executive Director.
The constituent services each have a Head of Service, and may be further
subdivided into teams and units.
The Food and Safety Team is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Principal
Environmental Health Officers– Philip Slack (Food and Safety) and Judith
Hedgley (Food and Public Health) and is part of the Environmental Health
Group lead by the Environmental Health Manager –Sarah Ratcliffe who is also
part of the service management team for the Community Protection Service.
Ed Chicken is the head of the Community Protection Service.
The Community Protection service is a component of the Environment Service
Group. The Director responsible for Environment is John Richardson, who
chairs the Environmental Services Group Management Team (ESGMT) of
which the Head of the Community Protection Service is a member.
Community Protection Service
Head of Community Protection Service
Sarah Ratcliffe (Judith Hedgley)
Environmental Health Manager
Sport and Leisure
Philip Slack Judith Hedgley (Melissa Clapham/Jane Aislabie) Licensing
Principal EHO Principal EHO
(Food and Safety ) Food and Public Health
Health and Safety
The Environmental Health Manager took a period of maternity leave during
Oct 2004 – March 2005 and the staffing arrangements during this period are
shown in the brackets in the above structure.
ESGMT meets weekly and, on a quarterly basis holds management clinics to
which the performance of the Environmental Health Group is reported and
2.3 Demands on the Health & Safety Service
As of the 1st April 2005* the health and safety premises profile of
Type of Business No.
Retail Shops 1183
Provision of Residential 27
Consumer Services 378
Residential Care Home 24
The following details the backlog of inspections as of 1st April 2005*.
*Estimated based on figures from 25th January 2005.
The number of inspections in the backlog dramatically increased in 2004. This
was because the total number of health and safety premises increased from
1186 to 2947 (an increase of 148%). As planned in autumn 03, an extensive
review of the database was carried out, identifying a large number of premises
that were not on database and a number of premises that were rated
incorrectly. A strategy was developed for 2004/5 and will continue in 2005/6 to
address the large number of un-rated and overdue inspections. This strategy
is detailed in future objectives.
Where a business tends to open outside traditional business hours the Food
and Safety Team inspects it out of hours. As a rule, all visits, including those
done out of hours, are unannounced. Exceptions are made however e.g.
when a particular process needs to be audited.
The health and safety service is delivered from Vancouver House in central
Middlesbrough. There are no out-stations or sub-offices, although occasional
use may be made of the Consumer Advice Centre on Corporation Road to
An officer is generally available Monday to Friday, from 8.00am to 5.30pm.
There is an out of hours rota in operation to deal with public health related
emergency situations. An officer is contactable 24 hours per day via a pager
for emergencies - telephone 07659 135951. Officers can also be contacted
via the Warden Centre.
2.4 Enforcement Policy
The Council has formally adopted the Cabinet Offices Enforcement Concordat
and the Community Protection Enforcement Policy has been approved by
cabinet and is freely available.
2.0 SERVICE DELIVERY
3.1 Inspection Programmes
The Food and Safety Team operates a planned inspection programme using
risk as an indicator of when businesses should be inspected. The Flare
computer software calculates inspection frequencies using a system that
complies with Local Authority Circular (LAC) 67/1 (revision 3) - 'Advice to
Local Authorities on Inspection Programmes and an Inspection Rating
In 2004 / 2005, 314 Health and Safety inspections or visits/ evaluations* were
carried out. 217 of these were programmed inspections.
In terms of meeting our inspection programme, 11% of the businesses due to
be inspected were actually inspected, this falls low of our predicted rate of
35%. This was as a result of the database review, as previously mentioned,
and almost 2000 additional premises being added. Of those premises
categorised as the highest risk (Category A), the inspection rate was 100%.
The number of premises overdue for inspection stands at 2152.
In 2005/ 2006 we aim to inspect/evaluate* 35% of the businesses due for
inspection. 100% of the Category A inspections will be completed.
We will participate in Health and Safety Week and any other national
initiatives, as well as any projects arranged through the Tees Valley Health
and Safety Liaison group.
*Evaluation will be carried out using alternative enforcement strategies.
3.2 Reactive Work
Complaints / Service Requests
In 2004/2005 the Food and Safety Team received 237 health and safety
related service requests.
In 2004/2005, 125 notifiable accidents were reported. 18% (23) of these were
subject to a detailed investigation.
In 2005/2006 we aim to investigate 100% of all health and safety service
requests as necessary. We aim to complete a preliminary investigation of all
notifiable accidents with 5% subject to a detailed investigation.
The Food and Safety Team continues to fully participate in local and regional
liaison bodies, including The Tees Valley Health and Safety Liaison Group.
This enables the sharing of ideas, technical expertise and for greater
3.4 Health and Safety Promotion / Education
In 2004/ 2005 the following work was undertaken:
To improve on partnership working, a joint working initiative was set up
with Local Authorities in the Tees Valley area and the Health & Safety
Executive. Middlesbrough was the only LA in the region to progress this.
This entailed a joint inspection with the HSE inspector, and involved
assessing manual handling operations within a builder’s merchant and at a
To prepare for the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003 an inspection
survey was undertaken of late night take away premises in the Town
Centre. Health and safety standards were assessed from both the
customer and staff’s perspective. Information was also offered on the
requirements of the new licensing legislation. Where contraventions were
found, the officer dealt them with accordingly to reduce risks to staff and
We have made available guidance leaflets for the catering sector in various
different languages including Bengali, Urdu, and Turkish. These are
available electronically and are sent to relevant businesses where
Contributed health and safety material to the Catering Sector Partnership
Produced a guidance leaflet for the public on asbestos.
3.5 Other Achievements
Completed full inspections of all un-rated residential care homes from the
backlog of premises.
Continued to train staff in line with the Enforcement Management Model
and adopted the computerised EMM model produced by Oldham MDC
Introduced internal procedures for receiving and dealing with formal
Introduced internal procedures for dealing with applications for tattooing/
4.0 FUTURE OBJECTIVES
The main objective is to raise the profile of Health and Safety in
Middlesbrough. In 2004/2005 there will be 1.5 FTE Environmental Health
Officers and 1 full time Technical Officer for Health and Safety enforcement.
Priorities for the year have been identified as:
To implement the HSC’s priority areas, being: slips& trips, falls from height,
workplace transport, musko-skeletal disorders, stress. Staff will adopt a
different inspection technique, focusing their efforts on these specific areas
in order to hope to achieve the 2010 targets. This will involve the creation
of new documentation, to include inspection sheets and standard phrases.
To continue to take part in joint initiatives set up with the HSE and other
bodies involved in health and safety.
To undertake internal officer training in health & safety, particularly in
relation to slips, trips and falls.
The provision of promotional material for businesses in order to raise the
profile of the need to manage the risks associated with slips, trip and falls.
To provide assistance to the licensing department as required in order to
comply with the requirements of the new licensing regime.
To introduce a customer satisfaction survey to be given to proprietors
following inspections. This will enable us to get feedback from our
inspections and gain the views of stakeholders.
To participate in European Safety Week.
The backlog of un-rated premises is now 2152. Using accident and incident
data from sector specific HSE reports 2003/2004 the sectors have been
prioritised in terms of risk with residential care homes having the highest risk
and offices/consumer services the lowest: 50 self-assessment questionnaires
will be sent out per month to individual premises within a specific sector. Each
questionnaire will be assessed and may be followed up by a full inspection.
Unfortunately, due to administrative staffing changes in 04/05, this alternative
inspection method proved problematic. However, this is being addressed and
administrative staff will be trained and the programme will be resumed and
An alternative enforcement strategy is to be implemented for offices, this
equates to almost 600 premises, of which 526 are currently un-rated. These
premises are considered low risk. Since stress is one of the main issues
affecting this sector (HELA – National Picture 2004. Health and Safety in
Local Authority enforced sectors) we plan to send information to offices on
stress awareness and how to deal with cases of stress, in conjunction with the
self-assessment questionnaire. This will allow the premises to be risk rated
and the contact made to be classed as alternative enforcement as opposed to
the traditional inspection.
5.1 Financial Allocation
The total amount allocated for the Food and Safety team for 2005 - 06 is
5.2 Staffing Allocation
As of the 31st March 2005, the Food and Safety Team was constituted as
1 Group Manager - shared with the licensing unit
1.75 Principal Officers (Health & Safety, Food Safety, Food Standards and
4 Environmental Health Officers - (1 is responsible for health and safety, 2
food posts are empty as unable to recruit)
1 Food Safety officer
3 Technical Officers (1 responsible for Health and Safety)
1 Technical Support Officer (temporary post to address recruitment
5.3 Staff Development Plan
Health and safety training has now been given greater emphasis to coincide
with the competencies set out in Section 18 Guidance. In order to comply with
this it is important that the staff involved in health & safety enforcement
undertake a suitable and sufficient level of training. In 2004/5 staff attended;
Legal training course run by the Health & Safety Executive.
Asbestos training including the new “duty to manage”.
Seminar for Local Authorities and HSE working together seminar
Priority Programmes Joint Training Event.
The Environmental Health Officer and Technical Officer in the health & safety
section both successfully completed the theory part of the Health & Safety
Enforcement Diploma. The technical officer will now complete the logbook
element of the Enforcement Diploma. A Food Safety Officer has also
undertaken the NEBOSH (General) Certificate which is due to be completed in
A needs based Training Plan has been prepared for the Food and Safety
Team and includes both professional development training and general
update training for each member of the team.
If there are any questions or comments about this Health and Safety Plan,
they should be directed, in the first instance, to Sarah Ratcliffe/Judith Hedgley
on (01642) 728215