Agenda item

Revised Health & Safety Policy (Agenda Item 7)

Report of the Public Protection Manager.


The Public Protection Manager presented the report. 


It was a statutory duty for the Council to have a Health & Safety Policy and responsibility for the Policy and service had been moved from HR to Public Protection.  The Policy had been reviewed and a few basic changes had been made to reflect the changes in the Council’s structure, the role of the Council and the changes in CMT roles and responsibilities.


The Policy was an overarching document which would be complimented by more detailed procedures on areas such as Lone Working, Driving and Mobile Phone use, etc.  Those procedures were all being refreshed in accordance with an agreed programme.


Councillor Williams (Chairman of LJCC) reiterated the points highlighted at the LJCC meeting, most of which had been raised by the Staff Side representatives:


·         The position of the defibrillator had been questioned and it had been requested that another could be purchased to be placed upstairs on the other side of the building.  The money could be raised by the staff forum.

·         There was a perception that there were not enough first aiders and there was no way of knowing which first aiders were in the building. 

·         The review process needed to be clearly imbedded in the Policy and all other Health & Safety related policies should be included in a matrix which made clear what their review dates were.


The Chairman pointed out that this was an overarching policy which provided a starting point for work on other procedures to be done.


Councillor Borrett thought that common sense needed to prevail.  It should not be necessary to specify behaviour in the Policy which was required by the law and there should just be a paragraph at the start of the Policy to say that all employees were expected to adhere to the law and to National legislation.


Councillor Williams asked a question about the quasi judicial nature of the Committee and the Legal Co-ordinator clarified the position for Members.


The Public Protection Manager responded to the suggestions from LJCC:


·         It was not a statutory obligation for the Council to provide a defibrillator.  It had been located in the lobby to the Committee Suite to provide out-of-hours access.  He would take the request for an additional defibrillator forward to the Health & Safety Steering Group.


·         The Council was fully compliant in terms of the number of first aiders.  A telephone ‘hunt group’ unique to first aiders was being investigated and updated photographs of first aiders would be put on the information posters. 


·         There was a procedural refresh schedule in operation and part of that process would be to determine the regularity of reviews.


·         It would not be a problem to add a headline to the Health & Safety Policy advising employees that they were expected to abide by the laws of the Country.


Councillor Bambridge, Executive Member for Democratic Services & Public Protection, pointed out that Corporate Health & Safety had only recently moved to Public Protection.  He was aware that some policies were out of date and the need for them to be updated and therefore it had been agreed that a Contracted service would be used going forward to assist with the Corporate Health & Safety function.


Councillor Richmond was very pleased that the Council had a defibrillator.  He asked how many staff were trained in its use and was advised that it could be used by anyone as it talked the user through each step.  All first aiders had received training on its use.


The Chairman noted that Members were not mentioned in the Policy.  He acknowledged that they were not Council employees but they spent a lot of time in Council buildings and needed some training on Health & Safety.


The Public Protection Manager said that part of the Contract service role would be to provide training and Members would be invited to that.  That was currently planned to follow the May elections.


Councillor Carter suggested that a list of Members trained in first aid should be included in the information provided to staff.


RESOLVED that subject to the issues raised being taken into account, the revised Health & Safety Policy be adopted.

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