Example safety duties - management roles

Head of College

The role of the Head of College is the strategic management of health and safety across the College.  The following general duties are suggested.

  • Demonstrate strong leadership in respect of health and safety management (including environmental elements) ensuring that a commitment to development and maintenance of a high standard of health and safety is actively promoted.
  • Ensure that adequate resources are allocated to enable compliance with both legal requirements and with relevant University and College safety policies.
  • Ensure that effective arrangements for consultation on health and safety matters with employee representatives exist and are actively supported.  Form a College Health and Safety Committee or, if more appropriate to the nature and diversity of risks within the College, a structure of School Committees.
  • Ensure each Head of School/Director of Research Institute within the College has established and documented suitable local organisation, arrangements and procedures for management and monitoring of health and safety within their unit.
  • Ensure that health and safety arrangements across the College are periodically reviewed and periodic reports on health and safety provided to University management as required.


Head of School/Head of Service

Members of staff at this level within the University will have the main day-to-day responsibility for managing the unit they head and, as such, will also have a significant health and safety role in setting up, managing and monitoring the safety arrangements within the unit.

Tasks may be delegated to other unit staff but key responsibilities of the Head of Unit will include the following:

  • Demonstrate leadership and commitment to the development and maintenance of effective standards of health and safety/environmental protection practice.
  • Ensure that health and safety/environmental legal requirements affecting the work of the unit are identified and taken account of within the unit strategic and operational plans and practices.
  • Ensure the production of suitable documented procedures and arrangements for the management of health and safety/environmental protection within the unit.  Ensure that all staff clearly understand their individual safety responsibilities both as individuals and with regard to any supervisory or managerial role that they may hold.
  • Formally appoint and adequately resource suitably knowledgeable, experienced and competent individuals within their management unit to assist with particular health and safety related tasks and functions. e.g. Safety Co-ordinator, Fire Safety Coordinator, Radiation Protection Supervisor, other specialist safety co-ordinators/advisers.
  • Where appropriate, set up a local health and safety committee to advise on the formulation and monitoring of local health and safety arrangements.
  • Ensure that staff and student training and information needs have been assessed and that appropriate health and safety training is provided and recorded.
  • Ensure that local risk assessments are conducted, recorded and reviewed and that any risks so identified are adequately controlled.
  • Ensure that systems are in place to periodically inspect all equipment managed by the unit and to maintain this in a safe condition, whether by in-house staff or by specialist contractor.
  • Ensure that suitable emergency procedures have been established.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for periodic monitoring of the local safety arrangements e.g. by activities such as inspection, auditing and review.
  • Ensure that systems are in place to record, investigate and report on any accidents and incidents that occur.