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INTRODUCTION - Middlesbrough Council

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INTRODUCTION - Middlesbrough Council Powered By Docstoc
					 Environment Group

Community Protection
     Service


 HEALTH & SAFETY
      PLAN
    2005 - 2006




                       1
                                     INTRODUCTION

      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.


NATIONAL PRIORITIES

      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
          managed;
         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
      controlled'.

      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




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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
       activities.

      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
       area.

      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.



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1.0   BACKGROUND

2.1   Profile.

      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.
      1
       '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.




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                                       Community Protection Service

                                                    Ed Chicken
                                         Head of Community Protection Service




                                                                                                     Consumer Services
                                                Sarah Ratcliffe (Judith Hedgley)
                                                                                                     Community Safety
                                                Environmental Health Manager
                                                                                                     Sport and Leisure
                                                                                                     Public Protection


                     Philip Slack       Judith Hedgley (Melissa Clapham/Jane Aislabie)   Licensing
                    Principal EHO                       Principal EHO
                  (Food and Safety )               Food and Public Health


            Food Safety
            Food Standards
            Feedingstuffs
            Animal Welfare
            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
      scrutinised.

2.3   Demands on the Health & Safety Service

      As of the 1st April 2005* the health and safety premises profile of
      Middlesbrough was:


                    Type of Business                                     No.
                    Retail Shops                                         1183
                    Wholesale/Warehouse                                  109
                    Offices                                              591
                    Catering                                             447
                    Provision of Residential                             27
                    Accommodation
                    Leisure/Cultural                                     121
                    Consumer Services                                    378
                    Residential Care Home                                24
                    Other                                                42
                    Total                                                2976

      The following details the backlog of inspections as of 1st April 2005*.

                    Category                               No.
                    A                                      0
                    B1                                     7
                    B2                                     24
                    B3                                     77
                    B4                                     0
                    C                                      72
                    Un-rated                               1972
                    Total                                  2152

      *Estimated based on figures from 25th January 2005.




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      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
      interview complainants.

      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
      System.'

      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


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      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.

      Accidents

      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.

3.3   Liaison

      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
      consistency.

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
          customer’s home.

         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


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          requirements of the new licensing legislation. Where contraventions were
          found, the officer dealt them with accordingly to reduce risks to staff and
          customers alike.

         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
          appropriate.

         Contributed health and safety material to the Catering Sector Partnership
          newsletter.

         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
          asbestos notifications.

         Introduced internal procedures for dealing with applications for tattooing/
          body piercing.


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.




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         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.

      Premises Backlog

      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
      continued

      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.


5.0   RESOURCES

5.1   Financial Allocation

      The total amount allocated for the Food and Safety team for 2005 - 06 is
      £393,859.

5.2   Staffing Allocation

      As of the 31st March 2005, the Food and Safety Team was constituted as
      follows:

         1 Group Manager - shared with the licensing unit



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         1.75 Principal Officers (Health & Safety, Food Safety, Food Standards and
          Healthy Living)
         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
          difficulties)

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
      April 2005.

      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




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