Health and Safety Organisational Responsibilities
Last Updated 11 May 2023 in Health & Safety Statement and Arrangement
All colleagues have a responsibility to work safely. This policy describes the organisational arrangements adopted by the Chief Executive through which health & safety responsibilities are delegated throughout the Society.
The Chief Executive recognises that he / she holds the ultimate responsibility for all matters relating to the Society’s legal obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of its colleagues and others who may be affected by its business activities.
The following describes the organisational arrangements adopted by the Chief Executive through which health & safety responsibilities are delegated.
Criteria for Delegation of Responsibilities
The delegation of responsibilities for health & safety will extend through all levels of the business to individuals who will be responsible on a day-to-day basis for the implementation of the Society’s Health & Safety Policy and Procedures at department level.
In order to achieve a satisfactory organisational arrangement, the following criteria have been applied:
The term ‘responsible’ has not been used unless commensurate authority has also been delegated.
The person to whom responsibilities are delegated will in all cases be competent to carry them out through training and / or experience, or a combination of both.
Responsibilities are clearly defined and understood by those who carry them out through training and experience.
In order to avoid frequent changes and revisions of the organisational arrangements, responsibilities are delegated to job positions rather than named persons
While responsibilities are delegated to job positions, arrangements are in place for liaison between disciplines where appropriate.
Health & Safety Roles & Responsibilities
These agreed role requirements relate to the line management accountabilities and responsibilities.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors has an overall, strategic authority for providing health & safety leadership for the Society. It will hold the Chief Executive absolutely accountable for health & safety governance.The Board of Directors will use its influence to ensure that the Society business decisions reflect the broad intentions of the Health & Safety Policy and associated procedures document, which it has approved.
The Board of Directors will review the Society’s health & safety performance against the policy objectives and plan for delivery that are agreed by the Chief Executive and the Executive on an annual basis.
The Chief Executive is the management representative accountable for protecting the health, safety and welfare of all persons employed by the business and that of others who may be affected by its business activities. He / she is the principal signatory to the Health & Safety Policy and associated procedures. He / she is supported and advised in this role by the nominated Health & Safety Representative.
The Chief Executive will, together with the Board of Directors and the Executive, allocate such financial resources as are required to ensure that the business operates in full and complete compliance with UK Health & Safety Laws. He / she will seek continuous improvement aligned with Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidance document HSG65, the strategy described within the Health & Safety Policy Statement, and the procedures which support and give details of this Health & Safety Strategy.
Whilst retaining overall accountability for health & safety, and to ensure that the standards laid down in their policies and procedures are applied throughout all levels of the business, the Chief Executive has adopted the organisational arrangements described as follows.
As examples of this leadership, the Executive will:
Hold senior managers (i.e. operational, regional, district and area managers, internal support group senior managers and line management) responsible for planning and implementing health & safety tactics within their areas and in line with their health & safety training.
Keep up to date with relevant health & safety issues and review the Society’s health & safety performance on a regular basis, no less frequently than annually.
Ensure that anyone contracted to carry out work within the business shows due regard to the health, safety and welfare of all colleagues, customers and others who may be affected by their actions whilst on Society premises.
Encourage workers at all levels to become actively involved in health & safety.
Health & Safety Representative
The GCFO is the appointed Health & Safety Representative (as in accordance with INDG 417) and carries delegated responsibility as the Health & Safety Representative at strategic Executive level.
This will include presenting technical and tactical procedures for approval and providing technical and procedural support to the Society Executive.
He / she will advise the Executives as to the standards required to achieve and maintain compliance with UK law on health & safety.
Health & Safety Manager
The Health & Safety Manager carries delegated responsibility as the ‘competent person’ appointed under Regulation 7 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
The role is there to advise the Society nominated Health & Safety Representative directly on existing or proposed health & safety requirements, standards or arrangements (as adopted or proposed from time to time) within the business and liaise directly with other GGM’s as required.
These requirements will be met through investigation and continuous review of the Society’s health & safety legal obligations and various other external requirements, and through identifying opportunities for improvement.
Where a significant risk to colleagues or others is discovered or is believed to exist, the Health & Safety Manager will liaise with, and recommend in writing to the Society nominated Health & Safety Representative the resource and requirements to reduce the risk, where reasonably practicable, to an acceptable level.
The Health & Safety Manager may request the assistance of external specialist support where required.
Group General Managers and COOs (GGM’s)
GGM’s will carry overall responsibility for health & safety planning within their group, taking into account the Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.
They will ensure the implementation and continuous improvement of health & safety within their group. They will lead by example and hold senior managers responsible for planning and implementing health & safety requirements in their respective areas in line with their health & safety training.
When budgetary expenditure is required within the group, the GGM will include health & safety and any compliance requirements in the decision making process.
Senior Managers – Trading Groups
Senior managers (operational, regional, district and area) have overall responsibility for health & safety planning in their districts and areas, taking into account the business’s Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.
Senior managers will regularly monitor the implementation of health & safety plans in their district or area to ensure continuous improvement.
Senior managers will lead health & safety implementation by example and hold site managers responsible for planning and implementing health & safety requirements at their respective sites in line with their health & safety training.
Senior Managers – Internal Support Groups
Senior managers and line managers working within the internal support groups have overall responsibility for health & safety planning in their departments or areas of control, taking into account the business’s Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.
Senior managers and line managers will regularly monitor the implementation of health & safety plans in their departments to ensure continuous improvement in health & safety.
Where an internal support group operates from a site (i.e. Co-operative House), a designated person will be responsible for the building maintenance and fire safety of the site, and in doing so will take into account the Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.
Site Managers & Other Managers
Site managers and other managers, and those deputising and taking charge of premises, are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of policy and procedures within their sites, assisted by deputy and duty managers, as well as department and line managers, and supervisors.
In particular, site managers will provide annual assurance to their line managers that Health & Safety Procedures are effectively implemented. The site manager will also ensure that they liaise regularly with all colleagues and nominated trade union safety representatives. The site manager will carry out, assist with, authorise and periodically review risk assessments for work-related activities.
They will also be responsible for carrying out a formal Health & Safety Audit at pre agreed intervals and take action to resolve any areas that require improvement and inform their line manager / Health & Safety Team where items cannot be resolved or require expenditure.
They will ensure that they:
Keep themselves informed and familiar with all relevant arrangements for health & safety at work, which are contained in this policy document or otherwise communicated.
Ensure that, in their absence, persons left in charge are able to assume the necessary responsibilities required.
Advise their line manager or other senior management, immediately if necessary, of any matter beyond their authority or control or which cannot be dealt with effectively at site level.
Keep this policy document up to date and available for use at all times.
Adequately train, instruct and supervise all colleagues under their control and inform the district or area manager of any inadequacies in relation to these aspects of health & safety.
Arrange training, instruction and supervision applicable to the:
- Maintenance of good health & safety practices and procedures.
- Prevention, reporting and investigation of accidents.
- Identification and reporting of hazards.
- Use of dangerous tools, machinery and equipment.
- Use of access equipment (access to heights).
- Techniques of manual handling, including the handling and use of roll containers or any other work equipment used.
- Emergency procedure, including evacuation.
They will also be responsible for:
Maintenance of fire safety, conducting weekly fire alarm tests and six monthly fire drills, and recording details in the fire log book. See – Fire Precautions
Ensuring that all colleagues complete the annual colleague ‘Fire Safety Training Record’
Carrying out a fire risk assessment in accordance with businesses policy and recording their findings.
Reporting inadequacies in relation to fire precautions and means of escape from the building; ensuring fire-fighting equipment is in good working order and is inspected and dated annually via the arrangements put in place by the Health & Safety Team.
Ensuring fire exits are kept unlocked and available whilst the premises are in use.
Conducting daily checks and other health & safety checks in an efficient and professional manner and recording and reporting the results.
Using the appendices within this policy document to keep safe important documents such as site asbestos reports (if applicable) and safety reports in connection with lifts, escalators, any other lifting equipment, boilers, and compressors.
Investigating and dealing with the causes of accidents and, where required, requesting the assistance of the Health & Safety Team to make further investigations. Reporting and recording all accidents on the Society Accident / Incident Report form.
Reporting all near misses and, where possible, eliminating the cause of the near miss.
Making adequate provision for assessing the level of risk regarding personal safety at work issues and including them where necessary as an area on the site risk assessment.
Keeping first aid facilities and provisions in good condition and adequately stocked; ensuring that any lack of trained first aiders against the assessed requirement is brought to the attention of the line manager, who will inform the groups Learning & Development Manager.
Maintaining good housekeeping and standards of cleanliness.
Ensuring that any protective clothing and equipment is properly used and well maintained.
Ensuring that any hazardous substances are safely handled, stored and used and those colleagues receive adequate training on their use.
Maintaining awareness among colleagues of the need to follow safety procedures and liaise as necessary with the Health & Safety Team and any workplace representatives.
Conducting regular checks upon the activities of all concessions and contractors operating on the site to ensure the maintenance of health & safety standards and reporting any deficiency in connection with health and safety. Also, informing all visitors and contractors of the safety procedures, such as accident reporting and emergency procedures
Reporting immediately to PSG / Health & Safety Team any matter that may pose a significant or imminent risk to any colleague or the public (this includes fire risk, bomb scares, attempted robbery, and personal safety at work incidents). Also, reporting to Health & Safety any involvement by local authorities, the HSE, Fire Authority, or Solicitors, in connection with health & safety matters. Any correspondence received from any of the above authorities must be sent to Co-operative House, for the attention of the Secretary & Head of Governance.
Seeking immediate advice from PSG regarding any colleague who reports or is known to be pregnant or nursing or is affected by any medical condition or infection, which may affect their or others’ health & safety at work.
Deputy, Department & Line Managers & Supervisors
All those who deputise for site managers or who carry out a supervisory role over colleagues, departments or general activities, will carry out the responsibilities assigned to their immediate manager in his / her absence and will also:
Advise their immediate manager regarding any matter that requires attention within their supervisory role in health & safety.
Ensure persons under their control:
- Work safely and in accordance with the contents of this policy document.
- Are kept informed, trained (with reference to the appropriate manual or literature) and supervised as necessary to achieve safe working conditions.
- Are encouraged to report hazards and potential safety problems immediately.
- Are familiar with safety requirements, any safety signs displayed, and other information issued.
- Understand that all machinery may only be used and cleaned by trained and authorised persons and that all machine guards must be fully used, correctly fitted and kept in good order.
- Know the location of first aid boxes and the names of any authorised first aid colleagues.
- Are familiar with site emergency and evacuation procedures.
- Have available and use the protective clothing and equipment required for their work.
- Understand that all accidents (however minor) must be reported and recorded, including incidents of verbal or physical abuse.
- Are aware that all near misses, faulty equipment and defects must be reported and recorded.
- Keep their area clean and tidy and place goods, stock, equipment etc. so that it may be safely retrieved and accessed.
All colleagues are required to:
Take account of the safety features associated with their work and the site and comply with all relevant instructions and risk assessment requirements.
Take care for the health & safety of themselves, other colleagues and customers whilst carrying out their work.
Carry out manual handling manoeuvres within the guidelines set by the business.
Ensure all safety devices and machine guards are correctly used at all times and refrain from interfering with anything provided for the protection and safety of persons at work.
Follow safe working methods and use any equipment, tools and machinery in accordance with instructions, including any equipment provided to avoid manual handling.
Refrain from using equipment, tools and machinery (including vehicles) unless trained and appropriate authorisation has been given. In particular, refrain from cleaning dangerous machinery unless trained, authorised and 18 years of age or over.
Use protective clothing and equipment supplied.
Report all accidents as soon as possible (including near misses - incidents which do not result in injury) and also any verbal or physical abuse incidents.
Remain vigilant and report safety hazards without delay.
Wherever possible remain at the site of and immediately arrange the removal of spillages and debris from the sales area (and elsewhere) which may cause persons to slip.
Co-operate as required with management, supervisors and others in order that the Society’s legal obligations and procedures for safety may be fulfilled.
Report to their manager or supervisor immediately any medical condition, including pregnancy, or association with an infection, which may affect their ability to work safely.
Where a colleague of the Society is found to be in breach of their health & safety responsibilities in a manner that may or has the potential to endanger themselves or others due to their actions, they may face disciplinary action, which could result in instant dismissal.
Society Health & Safety Structure
Note - This Manual and its associated documents cover Corporate Health and Safety in relation to trading groups and the relevant support functions only. It does not cover the Health and Safety requirements of the Property Group function in terms of New Builds / Refits etc. and the use of external contractors to carry out any such works. The Property Group carry full responsibility for areas such as CDM works and obtaining method statements, risk assessments, information on environmental factors etc. and also for all maintenance works carried out on our premises.