Health & Safety Policy

Introduction

It is the policy of Activfirst, as far as reasonably practicable, to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all our employees and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose. We also accept our responsibility for the health and safety of other people, including visitors and contractors, who may be affected by our  activities.

Policy on Health and Safety at Work

Activfirst is committed to do all that is reasonably practicable to provide a safe and healthy place of work for all employees. Activfirst has produced a Health and Safety Policy which applies to all workplaces used by the Company.

Activfirst is also committed to achieving appropriate standards of Health and Safety at Work.
The implementation of this Health and Safety Policy is the primary responsibility of Management. Employees have an important part to play in creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment. They also have a legal responsibility of care for their own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by their actions.

  • Activfirst will fulfill its responsibilities by taking steps to work in accordance with relevant Health and Safety legislation, Approved Codes of Practice and Good Working practices.

This will be achieved by:

  • Seeking at all times to provide safe working procedures, good working conditions and a healthy working environment.
  •  Ensuring that employees know of the potential hazards connected with the various activities undertaken by Activfirst and are aware of how to avoid the associated risks Providing training and instruction to enable employees to perform their work safely and efficiently.
  • Promoting the maximum individual attention and effort on the part of employees at all
    times to avoid and prevent accidents.

Activfirst has produced this Health and Safety Policy Document setting out personal responsibilities and the organisation and arrangements to ensure satisfactory standards of Health and Safety at Work. Careful evaluation of all work activities, by way of Risk Assessments, has been undertaken in accordance with legal requirements.

Activfirst places particular emphasis on the responsibilities of employees to co-operate fully on Health and Safety matters. It is vital that employees pay due regard to undertaking all work activities in a way which is safe and does not present risks to their own safety or that of other persons, including fellow employees.

Health and Safety Responsibilities and Authority

Introduction

The ultimate responsibility for safety and health is vested in the senior management of the Company. The Company Director will have the overall responsibility for the implementation of the Company Health and Safety Policy.

Each Line Manager will be responsible for the maintenance of safe and healthy working conditions in the area, process or function over which he/she exercises control. The Line Manager is also required to report any circumstance where this cannot be achieved to the
Company Director, without delay.

Every person employed has legal responsibilities, which are covered in their health and safety policy. All requests, suggestions or complaints concerning matters of health and safety must, in the first instance, be referred to the employee’s immediate Line Manager who
will decide the appropriate course of action.

The Organisation and Reporting Structure for the management of health and safety is the same as for all other aspects of business, as shown on the organisation charts posted in all workplaces. In order to ensure the effective management of health and safety at work, the
following specific responsibilities and authorities are allocated.

Managing Director – Neil Murray

  • Overall responsibility for the implementation of the Health and Safety Policy and monitoring its effectiveness.
  • Liaison with his fellow Line Managers, as necessary, to ensure that adequate resources are allocated to Health and Safety at Work.
  • Ultimate authority for approval of policy, organisation and arrangements.
  • To have overall responsibility for the safety of contractors on site and to ensure that all contractors obey site safety rules.
  • To ensure that assessments of all hazards and risks associated with buildings and premises have been undertaken and are adequately recorded – and to ensure that adequate Control Measures are in place.
  • Authority to interpret this policy in accordance with the opening general policy statement where specific issues are not covered.
  • The employer is responsible for supplying employees with any personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required.

Line Managers

  •  To ensure that suitable and sufficient Risk Assessments of all hazards and risks within his department have been undertaken and recorded. This will include consultation with the Safety Officer as necessary.
  • To ensure that employees in the area for which they are responsible are aware of safety standards and follow the safety rules and established systems of work.
  • To ensure proper control of fire matters, including setting standards for the correct storage and use of highly flammable liquids and other flammable and/or combustible materials.
  • To ensure that the accident and first aid treatment records are kept up to date and that accidents are investigated in accordance with established procedures.
  • To ensure that adequate records of issue of Personal Protective Equipment are kept, together with associated training records.
  • To receive comments from employees on health and safety matters and to refer items to the Safety Officer for corrective action to be taken.
  • To ensure that correct procedures are followed during Fire Drills and monitor the actions of Fire Marshall’s.

Safety Officer – Neil Murray and Beth Murray

  • To collect all relevant Safety Data Sheets for chemicals used in the Company, up-date the master set of Safety Data Sheets and bring any changed information to the notice of the appropriate Line Manager.
  • To evaluate and validate the Risk Assessments undertaken by Line Managers and ensure that they are adequate.
  • To ensure that satisfactory standards of housekeeping and storage are maintained, by undertaking routine Checklist Safety Inspections.
  • To ensure that appropriate training is provided and keep a list of the training provided in relation to First Aid, Fire Marshals etc.
  • To keep essential Health and Safety reference documents, registers etc. and ensure the display of appropriate Safety Signs and Posters (including fire notices).
  • To select appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, First Aid and other Safety Equipment.
  • To monitor and audit all necessary records, including records of accidents, maintenance and testing of the Fire Alarm and other statutory record keeping requirements.
  • To act as an appointed Competent Person under Regulation 6 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations by providing relevant assistance to Line Managers.
  • Authority to interpret this policy in accordance with general policy statement where specific issues are not covered.

Employees

  • To take reasonable care for their own health and safety and for the health and safety of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
  • To make proper use of all machinery, chemicals, safety devices and other equipment (including Personal Protective Equipment) provided for their health and safety.
  • Not to interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety and welfare.
  • To co-operate with Activfirst to enable the requirements of the law to be observed.
  • To report all accidents, no matter how minor, to the Line Managers.
  • To report any dangerous conditions, inadequately controlled risks and any incidents to the Line Manager so that remedial action can be taken.
  • To work in accordance with the safety rules and procedures established for Activfirst.
  • If an employee does not have the appropriate PPE for a specific task then the employee should inform the employer immediately and not perform that task until the PPE is available.
  • The employee is responsible for taking care of the PPE that has been issued. If any PPE is damaged the employer should be informed immediately.

Administration of Health and Safety at Work

Introduction

This section of the Health and Safety Policy sets out the systems and procedures which have been established to ensure satisfactory administration of Health and Safety at Work in Activfirst. In establishing these procedures, due regard has been paid to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Health and Safety Legislation

The Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that Activfirst is kept up to date with changes in Health and Safety at Work legislation. Details of changes should be discussed with the Line Manager and/or the Safety Officer, as appropriate.
When appropriate, Activfirst will obtain copies of new Health and Safety at Work publications. These publications will be added to the basic library of health and safety publications held by the Safety Officer.
The reference documents held by the Safety officer are available to all Line Managers for inspection. Individual employees may also have access to these reference documents, on request to the appropriate Line Manager.

Reporting accidents at work

All injuries sustained by a person at work must be reported to your Line Manager or the Health and Safety Officer and recorded in the accident book. Accident records are crucial to the effective monitoring of health and safety procedures and must therefore be accurate and comprehensive. The Health and Safety Officer will inspect the accident book on a regular basis and all accidents will be investigated and a report prepared, with any necessary action being taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

It will be the responsibility of the First Aider providing first aid treatment to ensure that details of the treatment are recorded. Employees are obliged to report every injury (no matter how minor) to a First Aider for treatment.

A record of any reportable injury, over three-day injury, disease or dangerous occurrence must be kept.

Activfirst will follow the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)

Safety Notices and Communications

A copy of the General Statement of Policy on Health and Safety at Work will be displayed on appropriate notice boards.

The Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that all statutory and other safety notices and placards are displayed, including the Public Liability Insurance and Health and Safety Law (also displayed on OneDrive). The Safety Officer will co-ordinate safety campaigns, including the display of safety posters, when necessary.

Employees will be encouraged to report safety concerns to their Line Manager. Reporting of safety concerns is a legal responsibility placed on employees and the Company will ensure that all such reports receive due consideration.

Disciplinary Procedures

As part of ensuring that employees adhere to the safety rules and procedures established by the Company, the established Disciplinary Procedure will apply to Health and Safety at Work matters.

Any employee, irrespective of seniority, failing to follow established safety standards and procedures will be liable to disciplinary action. This will include first warning, final written warning, and other appropriate disciplinary measures. Records will be kept of all disciplinary
warnings and the Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring the correct and consistent application of disciplinary procedures to safety matters.

Fire Safety

The Safety Officer has overall responsibility for Fire Safety at Work, including organising fire drills, organising testing of the fire alarm, recording findings, evacuation plan, signage and ensuring full compliance with the Fire Certificate.

The Fire Marshall should be aware of fire risks and report matters of concern to the Company Director. The Fire Marshall should also assist the Safety Officer with the maintenance and checking of the fire alarm, as requested.

In the event of a fire or Fire Drill, the Fire Marshall will ensure that established fire procedures are followed. This will include ensuring that the building has been evacuated in the event of fire or a Fire Drill. Any difficulties encountered during a fire evacuation or drill should be reported to the Safety Officer, as soon as possible after the event. All employees use Occupancy Notification System when on Activfirst property, this will be used as checklist to ensure building empty on evacuation. Activfirst will provide training and guidance. Please see the Fire Alarm Test and Emergency Lighting Procedures for more information.

First Aid at Work

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.

Activfirst will provide:

  • First aid boxes. Please familiarise yourself with the location of First aid box. The First aid box will have an easy snap, tie wrap (not to be seen as a barrier) to ensure items are replaced on usage.
  • Company Accident Book. Please document accidents in the Company Accident book, then place a copy in a sealed envelope and send to the HR officer.
  • Monitor Accidents. Accidents will be analysed 6 monthly.
  • A list of current First Aid Personnel, which will be posted at each first aid box and a copy will be kept by the Safety Officer.
  • The Safety Officer will also ensure that refresher training of First Aid personnel takes
    place, as appropriate.

 

Slips and Trips

Slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work.
The Company will:

  • Assess the risks and record the findings.
  • Choose only suitable flooring.
  • Keep floors in good condition.
  • Make sure adequate lighting.
  • Keep work areas tidy and free from obstruction.
  • Act on any concerns or incidents reported.

The employee will:

  • Keep work stations tidy and free from obstruction.
  • Inform the Line Manager of any concerns/ incidents.

COSHH

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Activfirst will provide data sheets for all chemicals used, provide personal protective equipment.

Employees will follow the guidance provided by the data sheets.

Electrical Safety

Activfirst will:

  •  Encourage employees to look at the electrical equipment and at the supply cable to the electrical equipment before they use it (user check).
  • Make sure that all portable equipment is visually inspected (user check).
  • Ensure that damaged or faulty equipment is recognised, removed from use without delay and either repaired by competent person or disposed of to prevent its further use, consulting with the local authority about disposal.

Employees will perform visual checks, prior to use, to consider if the electrical equipment is safe to use, manufacturer’s instructions are being followed and the equipment is suitable for the job.

A user check will look for:

  • Damage to the lead including fraying, cuts or heavy scuffing.
  • Damage to the plug.
  • Tape applied to the lead to join leads together.
  • Coloured wires visible where the lead joins the plug.
  • Damage to the outer cover of the equipment itself, including loose parts or screws.
  • Signs of overheating, such as burn marks or staining on the plug, lead, or piece of equipment.
  • Equipment that has been used or stored in unsuitable conditions, such as wet, dusty environments.
  • Cables trapped under furniture or in floor boxes.

Working with display screen equipment (DSE)

DSE are devices or equipment that have an alphanumeric or graphic display screen and includes display screens, laptops, touch screens and other similar devices.

These Regulations only apply to employers whose workers regularly use DSE as a significant part of their normal work (daily, for continuous periods of an hour or more). These workers are known as DSE users.

For DSE users, Activfirst will:

  • Analyse workstations to assess and reduce risks.
  • Make sure controls are in place.
  • Provide information and training.
  • Provide eye and eyesight tests on request.

Activfirst will collaborate with employees to help to manage the potential health problems associated with DSE in a practical way by:

  • Helping spot the risks.
  • Making sure health and safety controls are practical.
  • Increasing the level of commitment to working in a healthy way.

Employees will:

  • Follow Display Screen Equipment Guidance Document.

If a user or a potential user requests an eye test Activfirst will provide one. If the test shows that the user needs glasses specifically for DSE work, Activfirst will pay for a basic pair of frames or lenses. Users are entitled to further tests if DSE work is considered to cause them visual fatigue and at regular intervals after the first test.

DSE assessments will be reviewed when:

  • Major changes are made to the equipment, furniture, work environment or software.
  • Users change workstations.
  • The nature of work tasks changes considerably.
  • It is thought that the controls in place may be causing other problems.

Manual Handling at Work

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as amended in 2002 (‘the Regulations’) apply to a wide range of manual handling activities, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. The load may be either animate, such as a person or an animal, or
inanimate, such as a box or a trolley.

Activfirst will:

  • Avoid the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Assess the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that can’t be avoided.
  • Reduce the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable.
  • Record risk assessment.
  • Provide a safe Manual Handling Guidance Document.
  • Provide aids as required from the risk assessment.

Employees have duties too. They should:

  • Follow systems of work in place for their safety.
  • Use equipment provided for their safety properly.
  • Cooperate with their Company on health and safety matters.
  • Inform their Line Manager if they identify hazardous handling activities.
  • Take care to make sure their activities do not put others at risk.

Lone Worker

The Company has an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work (etc.) Act 1974 (HSWAct) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW Regulations) to provide a safe, secure environment for every employee. This includes the risk of employees working alone.
Employees should bear in mind that although it is the legal responsibility of the Company to provide safe systems of work, individuals have a responsibility to follow safe working practices. In the wider community where individuals work alone, or in small groups, they do
need to remain alert to their own safety and that of their colleagues.
Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. They are found in a wide range of situations:
Although there is no general legal prohibition on working alone, the broad duties of the HSW Act and the MHSW Regulations still apply. Lone workers should not be more at risk than other employees. This may require extra risk-control measures. Precautions should take
account of normal work and foreseeable emergencies, e.g. fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents.

Activfirst will:

  • Assess risks, avoid as far as is reasonably practicable and record findings.
  • Although lone workers cannot be constantly supervised, it is still the Activfirst’s duty to ensure their health and safety at work. This could be done through regular contact between the lone worker and another employee by telephone.
  • Assess whether the workplace presents a special risk to the lone worker?
  • Provide a Lone Worker Guidance Document.
  • Provide working telephones for all lone workers.
  • Take action to eliminate, minimise or transfer any risk.
  • Ensure that in difficult situation employees may be accompanied by another employee.

Employees will:

  • Ensure they do not take unnecessary risks, adhere to the Lone Worker Guidance sheet.
  • Make their Line Manager aware of any medical conditions that might have developed.
  • Seek and follow advice from their Line Manager.
  • Follow all Health and Safety procedures.
  • Maintain a weekly online diary of all proposed visits including name and contact and actual building location of the meeting and notify your Line Manager of changes (ensuring your Line Manager has access at all times).
  • Make sure that your Company provided mobile phone is charged, in working order
    and set up with emergency numbers and Find My Friends is active.
  • Report any incidents including threats and potentially dangerous situations.

If a person becomes ill, has an accident or there is an emergency?

A risk assessment should identify foreseeable emergencies. The Line Manager should then ensure that:

  • Emergency procedures should be established, and employees trained in them.
  • Information about a dangerous situation/area should be given to lone workers.
  • Employees should have access to first aid facilities.
  • Mobile workers should carry a first-aid kit suitable for treating minor injuries.
  • The risk assessment may indicate that lone workers need training in first aid.

Stress at Work

We are committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of our employees. We recognise that workplace stress is a health-and-safety issue and acknowledge the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors.

The law requires employers to tackle work-related stress.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to assess the risk of stress-related ill health arising from work activities, as with any other hazard. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires an employer to take measures to control that risk.

This policy will apply to everyone in the Company. Line Managers are responsible for implementation and Activfirst is responsible for providing the necessary resources.

Definition of stress

HSE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them’. This makes an important distinction between pressure, which can be positive if managed correctly, and stress, which is likely to be detrimental to physical or mental health if it is prolonged. Work related stress can be tackled by working with your employer to identify issues at source and agreeing realistic and workable ways to tackle these.
If the pressure is due to what your Line Manager is doing, talk to your Human Resource Manager, or GP.

There are six main areas of work design which can affect stress levels.

They are:

  • Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment.
  • Control – how much say the person has in the way they do their work.
  • Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues.
  • Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
  • Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.
  • Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.

Activfirst will:

  • Conduct risk assessments to identify all workplace stressors and eliminate or control the risks from stress. These risk assessments will be regularly reviewed.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of measures to address stress by collating sickness absence statistics.
  • Ensure that bullying and harassment is not tolerated within their jurisdiction.
  • Be vigilant and offer additional support to an employee experiencing stress outside work, e.g. bereavement or separation.
  • Will sign post to relevant organisations for counselling.

Responsibilities

Managers will:

  • Conduct and implement recommendations of risks assessments within their area.
  • Ensure good communication between management and employees, particularly where there are organisational and procedural changes.
  • Ensure employees are fully trained to discharge their duties.
  • Ensure employees are provided with meaningful developmental opportunities.
  • Monitor workloads to ensure that people are not overloaded or underutilised.
  • Discourage work-related contact with employees outside normal working hours or whilst on holiday.
  • Monitor working hours and overtime to ensure that employees are not overworking.
  • Monitor holidays to ensure that employees are taking their full entitlement.
  • Attend training, as requested, in good management practice and health and safety.
  • Sign post to seek medical help if a concern is raised

Employees will:

  • Raise issues of concern with the Human Resources Manager or Line Manager.
  • Take an active part in the process of assessing the risk, e.g. completing surveys or providing honest feedback when requested.

Human Resources Manager:

  • Must be meaningfully consulted on any changes to work practices or work design that could precipitate stress.
  • Must be able to consult with Employees on the issue of stress.
  • Must be meaningfully involved in the risk assessment process.

Visitors and Contractors on Site

Visitors on site are the responsibility of their host.

Visitors to the offices should be accompanied at all times and they remain the responsibility of their host during fire evacuation or other unusual or unplanned circumstances. Health and Safety information for visitors is displayed in the entrance to 75 St Johns Street Office.

Visits to Other Locations

From time to time, employees will be required to visit locations under the control of another employer. In these circumstances, the host employer is responsible for ensuring the safety of Company personnel.

Company employees should ensure that they are given sufficient information by the host to protect their own health and safety at host premises. Safety problems should be reported to the host so that suitable remedial action may be taken.

The Company personnel who are on host premises must obey the safety standards laid down by the host.

If the standards set down by the host are lower than normal Company standards, then the Company standards and procedures should be followed. If this gives rise to difficulties which cannot be resolved locally, then the matter should be referred to the appropriate Line
Manager, for action.

Monitoring and Auditing of Health and Safety at Work

Safety standards for all work activities undertaken at the Company have been established. Appropriate Risk Assessments have been undertaken, as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 and other legislation. To ensure this policy is
kept up to date, particularly when changes in business practice, nature and size occur. We will also ensure that this policy, its arrangements and the way it has operated is reviewed annually.

IOSH Qualifications

Neil Murray – ‘Managing Safely’ approved and validated by The Institution of Occupational Safety & Health December 2002

Andrew Leeman – ‘Managing Safely’ approved and validated by The Institution of Occupational Safety & Health June 2010

Beth Murray – ‘Managing Safely’ approved and validated by The Institution of Occupational Safety & Health Currently in Training