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General Statement

Health and Safety Policy

Queen’s University Belfast is committed to the highest standards of excellence in education and research and this commitment applies equally to the management of the health and safety for staff, students and others who may be affected by matters within its control. The University will adopt best practice in all areas of health and safety management through continuous improvement in the control of risk.

For a detailed overview of our Health and Safety Policy, click here

The Health and Safety Policy details the University's commitment to health and safety, how the organisation is structured, and the day to day arrangements in place for its implementation.

ORGANISATION AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Senate, as the governing body of the University, has ultimate responsibility for the Health and Safety Policy and for monitoring the effectiveness of supporting systems.

The Vice-Chancellor has executive responsibility for ensuring the implementation and monitoring of the Health and Safety Policy, including the provision of adequate resources and for ensuring that the University complies with all relevant statutory requirements and associated codes of practice.

Health and safety is an integral part of the management of the University’s undertakings and a core function of University Managers who, through the organisational structures, will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that:

  • the risks to health and safety throughout its undertaking are properly assessed
  • there are safe systems of work in place
  • there is a safe environment in which to work
  • managers and supervisors have appropriate knowledge and competence to deal effectively with health and safety issues
  • staff, students and others are given adequate supervision, information, instruction and training in order to carry out their work and studies safely
  • there is an effective mechanism through which Safety Representatives are consulted in good time on health and safety matters

The Safety Service will provide all necessary professional support and advice to University Managers.

Staff and students have a duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Staff and student co-operation and commitment is essential to ensure successful implementation of the health and safety policy.

Please click here for the University's general arrangements for Health and Safety

Structure and Commitments

For further information on our Health and Safety structure and commitments, please see our detailed policy.

Responsibilities and Commitment

Reporting through the Health and Safety Management Group and to the Director of Estates, the function of the officers of the University Safety Service is to help achieve a high standard of health and safety throughout the organisation, providing appropriate specialist training and support services. The Service will also inform the Director of Safety where improvements in safety management should be made. Assuring the Health and Safety of staff and students is an integral part of all activities within the University and all staff and students have a personal responsibility to help ensure that high standards of health and safety are achieved and maintained. Our policy contains a full account of responsibilities and committments assigned to individuals and groups across the university.

Audit and Review

The University Safety Service will, with the co-operation of Heads of School and Directors of the Support Directorates, establish and maintain a range of performance indicators that will be considered by the appropriate Health and Safety Committees and Management meetings. The Health and Safety Management Group will, with the co-operation of the relevant Heads of School and Directors ensure that a programme of safety audits is conducted by the University Safety Service on a regular basis. The Health and Safety Management Group will also review health and safety performance on an annual basis.

Committees

Various health and safety committees are in place for management review, policy development, consultation with employees and the provision of specialist technical advice. These committees are detailed below:

  • Health and Safety Management Group

    The Health and Safety Management Group is responsible for making recommendations, through the University Operating Board, on policy and strategy relating to the management of health and safety, including:

    • the development of policy and procedures;
    • the structures and systems for the effective management of health and safety;
    • the plans and objectives for continuous improvement;
    • the resources for the achievement of plans and objectives;
    • the monitoring of the implementation of policies and procedures;
    • the development of health and safety training programmes;
    • the review of health and safety performance and making recommendation for improvement to management.
  • Health and Safety Compliance Committee

    The Health and Safety Compliance Committee, reporting to the Health and Safety Management Group, is responsible for reviewing health and safety risk and assessment of legal compliance as well as overseeing the development of health and safety policies/procedures for control and management of risk.

  • Biological & Infectious Agents Advisory Committee

    The Biological and Infectious Agents Advisory Committee is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor as the statutory committee to oversee work involving genetic modification and the development of policies and procedures for work involving pathogenic organisms and infectious agents.

  • Health and Safety Consultative Committee

    This statutory committee provides the opportunity for employees to participate in the development of strategic health and safety policies for the University.  Its purpose is to provide a forum for the formal consultation and communication with employee representatives on health, safety and welfare matters at work.

  • Local Safety Committees

    Heads of School/Directors are responsible for ensuring that, within their School/ Directorate, there is an effective health and safety forum for consultation with staff and students regarding health and safety at work.  This may include creating a Safety Committee.

Guidance and Advice

Policies and Procedures Library