The aim of these pages is to provide an introduction to health and safety management in the University of Glasgow and to help Heads of Unit and others with safety responsibilities to understand the processes and system that they need to have in place at a local level.

It is sometimes said that safety is "just commonsense” and whilst commonsense is very helpful, it is clearly insufficient to rely only on the good sense of individuals. This is particularly the case in a large organisation such as the Universuity, with wide and varied risks.

Systems and procedures therefore have to be established to help identify the dangers that exist, to decide what needs to be done to prevent harm from occurring and to put these measures in place in an effective way.  This is the goal of safety management and is usually underpinned by systems of risk assessment, training, communcation and monitoring. These elements are explained in the following sections and those with with safety management responsibilities should try to make sure that suitable systems are in place for each safety element discussed.  These elements broadly align with more formal safety management systems such as HSE's HGS65 guidance and ISO systems such as ISO 45001.

Review of the elements described within the University's safety management framework forms part of our internal safety auditing system.  Our safety management audting process is intended to support units to achieve and maintain suitable safety arrangements and to provide assurance to the University that such systems are in place. 

Within these pages the term ‘health and safety’ is used to encompass the health and safety of our staff and students, of the public and visitors who may be affected by our activities and also of the environment, both natural and built.

The structure of the University includes a variety of organisational units.  These include Colleges and their Schools and other subsidiary units as well as University Services and its component parts. Within this document the term “management unit” is used to cover all of these organisational structures.

Similarly, those who lead management units within the University have a variety of titles. The term “Head of Unit” has been used to refer to those in such positions.  This term should be taken to include Heads of College, Heads of School and those who lead units within University Services.

The guidance in this document is primarily aimed at School and Services level.  However, where risks are common across Schools, it may be appropriate to apply the suggested framework at College level.  Conversely, where larger management units consist of identifiable and functionally independent sub-units with unique risks, it may be appropriate to apply the structure at the level of the sub units.  This is a matter for local managers to agree based on what is functionally most suited to their local structures and management arrangements. This should be discused with SEPS if guidance or advice is required.

Whatever the structure, all staff who hold managerial positions bear a moral and a legal responsibility for management of health and safety within their unit to ensure the health safety and wellbeing of those under their management.  This document has been prepared to help support those in such positions by providing an appreciation of the safety organisation and arrangements that the University expects them to establish and operate.  It is also aimed at Safety Co-ordinators and other staff who may be appointed by Heads of Unit to carry out some of the practical duties associated with the development and operation of health and safety systems and will often be charged, in practice, with setting up systems on behalf of the Head of Unit. 

The systems described within this document are of general application but are not technical safety advice. They should be regarded as the framework though which the more detailed elements of safety management can be controlled and monitored.  More detailed guidance on individual safety topics is available from the units within Health, Safety and Wellbeing and also from external sources.  Such information will be needed by local managers for development of local procedures and technical control measures that will sit within the management framework outlined here.

University central health and safety advice and support

Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) forms part of the central administration of the University and the team working within that unit provide professional advice and support on occupational health and safety to managers and staff at all levels within Colleges, Schools and Services and to the institution’s senior management.  HSW includes the Safety and Environmental Protection Service and Radiation Protection Service. People and Organisational Development and host an Occupational Health team, who provide clinical occupational health advice and services such as employee health surveiilance.   Further details of the function and roles of these services is avialble on each unit’s website.