Agenda item

Health and Safety Update

This matter is the responsibility of the Portfolio Holder for Communications and Corporate Resources, Cllr Benet Allen


Report Author: Sean Papworth, Assistant Director – Corporate


The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with to provide the Audit and Governance committee with progress updates on theHealth & Safety Performance Framework anddelivery of the H & S Management System (HSMS) Improvement Programme.  



Sean Papworth, Assistant Director Corporate and Mike Barter, Health & Safety Business Partner introduced the report

·       The purpose of the report was to provide the Committee with an update on the H&S framework and performance scorecard, as well as the improvement programme.

·       Mike Barter gave the progress update as set out in Appendix A, with key points being:

o   Accidents show a steady decline compared to previous years. Most common cause still remains due to slips, trips and falls at the same level (rather than falls from height), with 6 so far this year (3 members of the public and 3 employees)

o   Incident frequency is increasing markedly, this may be partly due to more people being aware and reporting. 50% of the incidences this year have been vehicle related. The remaining serious incidents have involved contractors.

o   Near miss reporting was looking good at the start of the year but did increase. However, in last couple of months it has dropped off considerably.

o   Safety Action Notices (SAN) main reasons for issue are failed risk assessments, risk assessment not being present or failure to report incidents

o   A lot of work has been done on the vetting and management of contractors

o   Workplace inspections have been taking place including regular un-announced audits of both staff and contractors

o   Links between Health & Safety and Human Resources have been galvanised to work together on developing a robust Health & Safety framework for the new unitary council

Sean Papworth gave an update on the improvement programme:

·       Various audits had led to the improvement programme. A recent follow up audit confirmed that considerable progress has been made with nine actions completed and two remaining in progress.

·       The new H&S system is due to be rolled out in the run up to Christmas.

·       A joint review of insurance claims had been superseded by the Local Government Reorganisation (LGR) work.

·       Risk Management work-stream – our risk assessment reviews are now fully completed. Those risk assessment will be shared with the business and will populate the risk element of the new system.

·       Lone working – work continues on this with officers doing a lot of work with colleagues in terms of LGR.

·       People work-stream - one of core elements is around compliance training. Huge amount of work done by Learning and Development. Know what training everyone has had and when tickets expire. 

·       Member health and safety training has been delayed due to staff absence. The Health and Safety Team is working alongside the Governance Team on a risk assessment for Councillors. Once completed, training will take place on the risks that are relevant.

·       Contractor work-stream - a big piece has been done to work through Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) contractors who normally do the highest risk work. Working to ensure that their documentation is all up to date and health and safety training and insurance is in place. This includes getting relevant documentation from the contractors, and they have until early October to comply before safety action notices are issued for non compliance.

·       Health and safety software solution. This will give ease in reporting and better view of data. Good test product as we move into unitary.

·       The team are engaged in LGR Health and Safety workstream. Making sure work we have done in not lost during the transition to the new council.


During the debate, discussion took place around:

·       Whether the accidents had been in the same place or area and whether any of them related to pavements.  The officer confirmed that the majority of the staff accidents occurred when they were moving around the workplace.  The other accidents mostly related to potholes.  Accidents are looked at on a case by case basis and where appropriate, details of the pothole would be passed to Highways.

·       The fact that there are noticeboards in the reception at Deane House with information about lone working.

·       How the Health & Safety process works when people are working at home, e.g. whether they have their computer at the right height or right chair to sit on?  Officers confirmed that there is a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) module built into mandatory training.  Also, if there are particular individuals that need a more personalised assessment officers would go out and do that with them.

·       Whether a copy of this information could be shared with Councillors to help them with their work environment at home

·       Who would be responsible if an employee tripped over a cable whilst working at home?

·       The Council has a responsibility for DSE, lone working, stress and mental health and have a duty of care to stay in touch with employees to monitor these areas.

·       The risks around abuse and threatening behaviour towards Councillors and how Councillors could keep themselves safe.  Officers confirmed that information on personal safety was sent around to all councillors recently and that they would revisit the information on the Local Government Association website and circulate any further useful information including how to de-escalate a situation.


Cllr Baker asked Sean Papworth to pass the committees thanks on to the team for the good work they have been doing.


The Committee resolved to approve the recommendations in the report:


The Committee is asked to note and endorse:

a.    The Health and Safety performance scorecard data, together with the observations/ recommendations/ conclusive summary (Appendix A)

b.    The Health and Safety Management System Improvement Programme progress update (detailed in section 4.4)


(Proposed by Cllr Simon Coles and seconded by Cllr Janet Lloyd)


Supporting documents: