Organisation and Responsibilities

The responsibility for safety rests with everyone, from the Board of Governors and the Principal (Vice Chancellor) through to each individual member of staff, student, contractor and visitor. This statement sets out responsibilities to support the principles of the Policy Statement for Health and Safety.


It is the responsibility of the Executive to:


  • Provide health and safety leadership throughout the University
  • Approve significant health and safety policies and procedures
  • Review, regularly and after major changes, the effectiveness and relevance of the Health and Safety Policy and Arrangements, and the application of the Health and Safety Management System.
  • Ensure that all Executive decisions reflect the intentions as stated in the Policy Statement for Health and Safety, and ensure the Policy Statement for Health and Safety reflects current strategic thinking.
  • Engage the active participation of staff in improving health and safety.
  • Regularly (at least annually) review health and safety performance throughout the University.


  • “Champion” the University’s health & safety ethos and decisions throughout the University.
  • Provide health and safety leadership for the organisation by ensuring that all actions and decisions of the Board, relevant Committees and the Executive are implemented in their areas of responsibility.

Vice-Principal (Corporate Operations)

Taking cognisance of the USHA, UCEA and HSE guidance on leadership and management, the Vice-Principal (Corporate Operations) is appointed as the Health & Safety Director with the following responsibilities in addition to the Executive and Board of Governors.

  • To ensure that the Executive reviews, at least annually, the University’s health and safety performance, and that the Policy and Arrangements documents reflect current Governors’ and Executive priorities.
  • To ensure that the Policy and Arrangements documents reflect current Governors’ and Executive responsibilities.
  • To inform the Executive about any significant failures and the outcomes of relevant audits and investigations.
  • To ensure that the health and safety implications of all Executive agenda items and decisions are fully considered and addressed at that forum.
  • To report to the Executive on the effectiveness of the Health & Safety Management System and the consistency of application across the University.
  • To ensure that the Executive regularly receives and reviews relevant reports on current health and safety performance.
  • To present annually a health and safety plan.
  • To inform Executive timeously of any statutory notices.

The Health and Safety Director also has responsibilities to the Board of Governors:

  • To prepare an annual report summarising levels of performance across the University
  • To report directly to the Board of Governors on specific health and safety issues in the following circumstances:
  • Where the Principal authorises action by Executive members or others that, in the view of the Health and Safety Director, prejudices the University’s compliance with Health & Safety Law or otherwise exposes the University to criminal prosecution or civil action.
  • Incidents that caused, or came close to causing death, multiple major injuries, significant property damage, or which are likely to result in adverse publicity.
  • Any other circumstances under which the Health and Safety Director decides it would be prudent to report.
  • To inform the Board of Governors timeously of any statutory notices.

Directors and Heads of School, Department or Subsidiary Company

Heads of School, Department and Section and Company Managers are, as part of their contract of employment, responsible for ensuring that all activities under their control are carried out in accordance with the University Policy Statement for Health and Safety, standards and procedures; and in compliance with statutory provisions, by:

  • Developing local health and safety objectives and targets derived from the Corporate Health and Safety Plan, and other strategic plans.
  • Preparing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing their annual safety plan.
  • Developing the organisation and controls such that all activities are performed in accordance with the health and safety management system.
  • Preparing, maintaining and reviewing relevant risk assessments and the identification and implementation of control measures as a result of the assessment.
  • Maintaining procedures for effective emergency response and ensuring that staff are aware of the actions required of them in the event of an emergency.
  • Ensuring that staff understand their individual responsibilities for health and safety.
  • Ensuring staff are trained and capable of performing their duties safely.
  • Selecting contractors who can meet University health and safety standards, and monitoring their work to ensure these standards are met.
  • Making suitable arrangements for consulting with staff and students on health and safety matters, including involvement in the relevant Health and Safety Committee or equivalent group.
  • Ensuring that all incidents involving, or having potential to cause, injury or impaired health to persons, or damage to property are investigated and reported, and that appropriate corrective actions are taken.
  • Setting a clear leadership example and promoting a high degree of health and safety awareness.
  • Ensuring effective communication with the central Health and Safety Department is maintained.

Heads of School and Department also have a network of health and safety coordinators who fulfil a support role, whilst also carrying a substantive job in the School/Department.


Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that work under their control is carried out in accordance with the University Policy Statement for Health and Safety, standards and procedures; and in compliance with statutory provisions.

This is achieved by ensuring that: 

  • the safety plan is implemented.
  • staff and students understand their responsibilities for safety.
  • work is allocated only to persons who are competent and capable of performing the work to the required safety standards.
  • workplaces are kept clean and tidy and all emergency routes and equipment are unobstructed.
  • equipment is maintained in a safe condition and in good working order.
  • suitable precautions are taken when using, and disposing of, articles or substances to prevent injury, or a risk to safety.
  • hazards and incidents are properly reported, investigated and corrected, and brought to the attention of staff and students who might be affected.
  • staff and students are encouraged to participate in maintaining and improving safety performance.
  • a clear leadership example is set and a high degree of safety awareness promoted.


Employees of the University are responsible for ensuring that: 

  • they are aware of their safety plan and co-operate fully with their supervisor in its implementation.
  • they are aware of the actions required of them in the event of an emergency.
  • they keep workplaces clean, tidy and emergency routes and equipment unobstructed.
  • they report to their supervisor immediately, any incident or dangerous situation which has come to their attention.
  • they support their Trade Union Appointed Safety Representative/Safety Coordinator in carrying out their functions.