Agenda item

Health and Safety Update

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


Report Authors: Sean Papworth, Assistant Director – Corporate and Mike Barter, Health and Safety Business Partner


The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with progress updates on the Health and Safety Performance Framework and delivery of the Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) Improvement Programme.


Sean Papworth, Assistant Director – Corporate and Mike Barter, Health and Safety Business Partner presented the report:

·       Quarterly health and safety update

·       In terms of the performance scorecard (page 140):

o   Year to date - 28 accidents, 26 incidents and 19 near misses. Most common type of accident remains slips, trips and falls. 9 so far this year - 5 members of the public and 4 employees.

o   Incident frequency has dropped off markedly over the last three months. Near miss reporting has increased significantly likely due to the introduction of assure software system which has made reporting easier and significantly increased the engagement of staff.

o   Safety Action Notices have been issued for failed risk assessment or no risk assessment or failure to report incidents - contractors have been the main recipient of these in the last three months.

o   Managers have recently completed a lone worker risk assessment which resulted in 29 staff being identified as high risk.

o   Contractors - some work with managers to ensure they are going through the right process to vet contractors to ensure they are safe to work with us.

o   We’ve had two RIDDORs since September. One was for a 7 day absence for a back injury and one was for an asbestos release when working on a void property. This was reported to the HSE and a Safety Action Notice was issued.

o   Continuing regular unannounced audits of contractors

o   Continuing to build links with HR around occupational health issues relating to staff.

·       Entering the end phase of the Improvement programme following the audits in 2021. The audit actions have all been completed with the exception of the full implementation of the Assure Health and Safety system. Other than the system, a small amount of risk and policy work remains.

·       Next module of Assure will be available shortly giving access to dynamic risk assessments that can be completed in the field. It will also give the opportunity to report hazards.

·       Third module of Assure will launch after Christmas, which relates to contractor management, giving officers prompts to ensure they have the right documents when contractors are set up.

·       Business as usual - driving improvement in the culture and people being more proactive. Starting to see that people are coming to the Health and Safety team frequently with questions ahead of works. Examples of mitigating risks before they become risks which is testament to the culture we being built.


During the debate, discussion took place around:

·       The good piece of work identifying members of staff who are high risk lone workers. 

·       Whether the person that injured their back would require further training.  The officer confirmed that the individual and their team are all fully trained and have regular manual handling training. The Health and Safety Team look at statistics in teams and act accordingly if there is a pattern suggesting more manual handling training is needed.

·       Whether any accidents, slips or trips have taken place at the Norton Firtzwarren site where work is taking place to create a football pitch and tennis courts beside the playing field.  The officer confirmed that none of the accidents reported related to that site and that the engaging manager is being very proactive with managing the risk for that site.

·       What sort of roles were the 29 lone workers where lone working is an issue. The officer confirmed that the main roles have been on the lettings and estates teams. Teams that are out there and could face awkward scenarios with customers. They are the main ones. Also, Environmental Health who could be out in the middle of nowhere taking samples.

·       Red cards to contractors and whether that means they are off the job, and we have a situation where we are looking for another contractor?  The officer confirmed that the red cards stop work until the appropriate measures are in place so they can work safely. It’s not a case that they are off the contract but that they stop work.

·       How the Council compares to other similar organisations in terms of culture. The officer confirmed that so far, the focus has been internal to improve our culture. The next step would be to measure and obtain data relating to our culture, and then to do a comparison of outside organisations. Important to take what we’ve done and learnt into the new Council.


The Committee resolved to approve the recommendations in the report:

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 Janet Lloyd; seconded by Cllr Tom Deakin) 


Supporting documents: