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AHDS2013 WS14 HSE

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AHDS2013 WS14 HSE

  1. 1. Health and Safety Executive Sensible health and safety management in schools AHDS Annual Conference – 8 November 2013 David Bryant Public Services Sector Health and Safety Executive
  2. 2. Today’s workshop 1. Our priorities 2. Health and safety in your school – health check 3. Sensible health and safety in schools – any different from strong leadership? 4. Myth busting 5. What did I miss out?
  3. 3. The reform agenda • • • • • Common Sense Common Safety – Oct 2010 Good health and safety, good for everyone - March 2011 Red Tape Challenge - April 2011 Löfstedt - Independent review - Nov 2011 and Jan 2013 Triennial Review Outcomes • • • • Refreshed regulatory framework A changed regulator Increased media and public focus on burdens Strategy remains relevant
  4. 4. Refreshed regulatory framework Some key aspects: • • Simplify legislation • • Extend cost recovery Streamline and simplify guidance - Review of ACoPs Reduce burden – RIDDOR reports – Some exemption for self-employed – easier to find competent consultants
  5. 5. Progress so far • Management Regulations – Health and safety management /Learn • Accident reporting – October 2013 – New guidance on line • First Aid – October 2013 – Needs assessment to identify level of first aid provision
  6. 6. …..and a changed regulator? Where we are now? • Resource & Inspector focus on high risk sectors – construction, agriculture, some manufacturing, waste and recycling, quarrying – fewer inspections • Fewer inspectors and policy staff – maintain investigation & enforcement activity • • • Charging regime for ‘material breach’ No Infoline – refreshed website More attention to myth-busting and rebuttals
  7. 7. …..and in schools • Asbestos management – access to competent advice; management plans; information • Building maintenance – refurbishment, work at height staff and contractors • • • Slips, trips and falls – cleaning regimes; kitchens Vehicle movements – contractors; deliveries Working with government departments to give clear message on real risk in schools
  8. 8. Updated and new guidance • • SSERC – sensible health and safety • Work experience – guidance revised • • High level statements – eg play and leisure RIDDOR – – revised October 2013 – ASN - revised web guidance – Slips & trips – new web guidance on the way Asbestos – frequently asked questions; checklist
  9. 9. Health and safety leadership in your school Quick health check 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. A B C A B C A B C A B C A B C A B C A B C
  10. 10. In your school…….. 1. Health and safety is about: A. Providing a framework to ensure that risks are prioritised, so that resources are directed at significant risks B. Ensuring that all risks and all activities are assessed and recorded C. To enable each individual member of staff to deal with risk as they see fit – they are professionals
  11. 11. In your school…….. 2. The safety culture in your school: A. All risks are eliminated to create an environment of absolute safety B. Pupils are allowed to experience risks in a managed way C. There isn’t a good understanding about risks, priorities and risk management – though we are very safety conscious
  12. 12. In your school…….. 3. Making decisions about new activities: A. Sometimes we have to say we can’t run an event for health and safety reasons B. Health and safety is not seen as a barrier to activities. Rather than banning activities – we make sure sensible solutions are identified C. If we had to follow health and safety rules we wouldn’t be able to do anything novel – so we just ignore some rules
  13. 13. In your school…….. 4. The Health and safety policy: A. Is detailed guidance with requirements for written procedures and rigorously overseen with regular checklists or audits. B. Is site specific, practical and endorsed by the senior team C. Is generic, provided by the local authority so does not need to school specific in any way
  14. 14. In your school…….. 5. Health and safety training A. We aim to provide detailed training for all activities so we are safe B. Training and advice is provided to support staff to enable them to control the significant risks C. All our members of staff are able to make decisions without support and advice
  15. 15. In your school…….. 6. Risk assessment: A. Detailed written risk assessments are required and provided for every activity. This is repeated on annual basis B. The precautions necessary for significant risks are clearly documented – the actions staff need to taken are straightforward and simple C. Assessments are in place for most classroom activities, but precautions for off site activities have to be more fluid in nature
  16. 16. In your school…….. 7. Involving staff: A. Novel solutions suggested by our staff are helpful – if only we were able to implement them B. Staff are consulted and involved in finding practical and sensible solutions C. We rely on our health and safety lead to stay on top of our concerns
  17. 17. HSE’s intervention plan • • Collaborative working with stakeholders The focus is on: – Leadership – Competence – Dealing with real risk – Tackling misunderstandings
  18. 18. In other words – sensible risk management • In schools, sensible health and safety: – is about creating a safe learning environment and allowing pupils to experience risk in a managed way – it is not about the elimination of all risk but about doing what is reasonably practicable and proportionate • Fine words… … but what does it mean in practice?
  19. 19. Strong health and safety leadership • Encouraging stronger leadership and understanding about sensible health and safety • Getting this right means: • understanding the risks the school faces • understanding how to rank issues in order of importance • ensure controls are in place to manage the real risks
  20. 20. Encouraging a balanced approach School trips: www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/school-trips.htm
  21. 21. Tackling the myths
  22. 22. 3 main types of stories: Myths and blatant untruths
  23. 23. 3 main types of stories: Genuinely risk-averse behaviour
  24. 24. 3 main types of stories: Health and safety as a convenient excuse
  25. 25. Is a triangle more dangerous than a square?
  26. 26. HSE’s efforts to bust the myths and restore focus on real risks Putting the record straight "We often come across half-baked decisions taken in the name of health and safety, but this one takes the biscuit. The real issue isn't what shape the flapjacks are, but the fact that pupils are throwing them at each other – and that's a matter of discipline, and has got nothing to do with health and safety as we know it. We're happy to make clear that flapjacks of all shapes and sizes continue to have our full backing” Judith Hackitt’s blog Myth busting Challenge Panel
  27. 27. Myth busting We can all help…. • Effective leadership – encourage focus on real risks not trivia – proportionate risk management • Provide relevant information for school managers, head teachers, heads of departments, estates staff • Sensible risk management for the next generation
  28. 28. Questions so far
  29. 29. In your school…….. 1. Health and safety is about providing a framework to ensure that risks are prioritised, so that resources are directed at significant risks.
  30. 30. In your school…….. 2. The safety culture enables pupils to experience risks in a managed way
  31. 31. In your school…….. 3. Making decisions about new activities health and safety is not seen as a barrier to activities. Rather than banning activities – we make sure sensible solutions are identified
  32. 32. In your school…….. 4. The Health and safety policy is site specific, practical and endorsed by the senior team.
  33. 33. In your school…….. 5. Health and safety training is provided to support staff to enable them to control the significant risks in the school
  34. 34. In your school…….. 6. Risk assessment in our school means the precautions necessary to manage significant risks are clearly documented – the actions staff need to taken are straightforward and simple
  35. 35. In your school…….. 7. Involving staff - staff are consulted and involved in finding practical and sensible solutions
  36. 36. Myth busting “School production cancelled because of health and safety”
  37. 37. School production cancelled because lighting operator had not attended ladder training course Issue • A school production, contributing to students GCSE exams was not going ahead because the lighting operator had not had attended a fixed ladder training course. Panel decision • This is not a proportionate or sensible decision and is an unnecessarily rigid interpretation of working at height regulations. It's a good idea to move the box in the longer term and in the meantime ensure that anyone who accesses the box takes reasonable and sensible precautions.
  38. 38. Another example?
  39. 39. How would you deal with ……..?
  40. 40. Is it really about health and safety? • • • • • • • • Promoting the welfare and wellbeing of pupils Communicable diseases Behaviour and discipline of pupils Criminal record checks Food hygiene Driving school minibus Use of seat belts on buses Waste and pollution control
  41. 41. Does it make sense • Where do the precautions come from – Legal requirement – Internal policies or procedures – External advice – A local manager • Do the precautions match the actual risk?
  42. 42. What can you do about it? • The right action has been taken, and properly communicated • The precautions are sensible – but were not properly explained • The precautions are disproportionately high for the level of risk • The risk is not managed
  43. 43. Finally • • • • Find out if it really is a health and safety concern Look for health and safety solutions - not for obstacles Ensure that your precautions pass the test of being sensible and proportionate Communicate your risk management decisions clearly and honestly.

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