Health and Safety Policy

1. Statement of General Policy

The Thanet Youth & Community Centre (The Thanet) fully accepts the obligations placed upon it by the various Acts of Parliament covering health and safety. The Thanet requires all directors, employees, and volunteers to ensure that the following policy is implemented and to report annually on its effectiveness.

2. Management Organisation and Arrangements

This policy has been prepared and published under the requirements of Health & Safety at Work legislation. The purpose of the policy is to establish general standards for health and safety at work and to distribute responsibility for their achievement to all directors and other employees and volunteers through the normal line management processes.

3. Management Responsibilities

The Board of Directors

The Directors have overall responsibility for the implementation of The Thanet’s policy. In particular, they are responsible for ensuring that the policy is widely communicated and that its effectiveness is monitored.

Safety Officer

The Safety Officer (Victoria Green, Coordinator) is responsible for co-ordinating effective health and safety policies and controls across the organisation.  In her absence, Fiona Brown, Director, will assume responsibility.

The Safety Officer is responsible for:

  • the production and maintenance of The Thanet’s policy;
  • its application;
  • procuring the annual production of a health & safety risk assessment by external advisers and circulating the results of that assessment to the directors for action;
  • monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the policy;
  • the provision of general advice about the implication of the law;
  • the identification of health and safety training needs. The safety officer also acts on behalf of the Directors, as The Thanet’s formal link with the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Health Departments and other external agencies;
  • the production and maintenance of Health and Safety Codes of Practice for each aspect of the services within The Thanet.

4. Health and Safety Management Process

The Thanet believes that consideration of the health, safety and welfare of staff is an integral part of the management process. The provision of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, associated Codes of Practice and EU Directives will be adopted as required standards within The Thanet.

Responsibility for health and safety matters shall be explicitly stated in relevant individual job descriptions.

The Thanet requires staff to approach health and safety in a systematic way, by identifying hazards and problems, planning improvements, taking executive action and monitoring results to The Thanet’s Directors.

The Thanet’s directors will formally consider health and safety issues and overall compliance concerns and developments in a formal manner. This is best achieved by ensuring that Health and Safety is a formal mandatory item to report on at director meetings at least once a year.

5. Health, Safety and Welfare Guidelines

It is the policy of The Thanet to produce appropriate health and safety policies or guidelines relevant to the activities of The Thanet’s users. These should embody the minimum standards for health and safety for The Thanet and the work organised within it.

It shall be the responsibility of the Safety Officer to bring to the attention of all members of staff, and volunteers the provisions of the guidelines, and to consult with them as appropriate about the updating of these guidelines.

6. Identification of Health and Safety Hazards

It is the policy of The Thanet to require a thorough examination of health and safety performance against established standards, at least annually. The technique to be adopted for such examinations will be the ‘Safety Audit’. The Audit requires review of:

  • standards laid down in the policy;
  • relevant regulations;
  • environmental factors;
  • staff and volunteer attitudes;
  • staff and volunteer instructions;
  • methods of work; including lone working
  • contingency plans;
  • recording and provision of information about accidents and hazards and the assessment of risk.

The information obtained by the Audit will be used to form the basis of the plan for The Thanet for the following year.

The responsibility for ensuring that audit activity is carried out as part of this policy rests with the Board of Directors and will be carried out by the Safety Officer.

It is the management’s responsibility to ensure that any deficiencies highlighted in the Audit are dealt with as speedily as possible.

In addition to carrying out Safety Audits, it is the responsibility of the Safety Officer to check, at least quarterly, all portable equipment, including electrical appliances, in their area, and to ensure that all problems are immediately dealt with.

The Directors have a continual responsibility for the elimination of hazards in order to maintain a safe working environment and will also be expected to carry out regular risk assessments in line with the Health and Safety Executive Guidelines; that is follow the 5 steps:

  • 1. Identify the hazards
  • 2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  • 3. Evaluate the Risks and decide on precautions
  • 4. Record the findings and implement the precautions
  • 5. Review the assessment and update when necessary

7. Safety Officer

The Thanet will support its Safety Officer in carrying out their role and give all reasonable assistance. The Safety Officer will be encouraged to discuss specific health and safety issues with the relevant Directors.

8. Training

Health and Safety training shall be incorporated within annual training programmes, as part of the development of a systematic training plan. Health and Safety training needs will, therefore, be identified and planned for in the same manner as other training needs.

Four areas of need shall be given special priority:

  • training for volunteers and staff, to equip them with an understanding of their responsibilities under this policy;
  • training for all members of staff to acquaint them with the main provisions of the law and its practical implication, the main features of this policy and key safety rules;
  • induction and in-service training for staff and volunteers to acquaint them fully with new requirements and hazards.

9. Records, Statistics and Monitoring

The Thanet will operate systems for recording, analysis and presentation of information about accidents, hazard situations and untoward occurrences Advice on systems will be provided by the Safety Officer, in conjunction, where appropriate with specialist advisory bodies for example local Environmental Health Departments, and the responsibility for the operation of these systems rests with the Directors. Information obtained from the analysis of accident statistics must be acted upon where necessary.

10. Reports to the Board of Directors

The responsibility for meeting the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 to the Health and Safety Executive, shall rest with the Directors as delegated to the Safety Officer.

11. Specialist Advisory Bodies

Certain bodies and the individual members of those bodies, have always had a Health and Safety role, most notably, the Health & Safety executive, or local Environmental Health Departments. If further specialist advice is required, this may be obtained from expert individuals or bodies outside The Thanet.

13. First Aid

It is the policy of The Thanet to make provision for First Aid in accordance with the First Aid Regulations (1982). The Safety Officer is nominated for those Regulations’ purposes as the Responsible Officer whenever on site, and is responsible for ensuring the Regulations are implemented and ensuring that the first aid box is adequately stocked with supplies within their marked expiry dates.

14. Fire

The Directors are responsible for ensuring that the staff and volunteers receive adequate fire training.

In addition The Thanet will nominate a Fire Officer (this may be the Safety Officer)

  • report and advise on the standard of fire safety in The Thanet’s premises and the standard of fire training of its staff;
  • undertake overall responsibility for fire training;
  • assist in the investigation of all fires in The Thanet’s premises and to submit reports of such incidents.

15. Food Hygiene

The Directors are responsible for ensuring that any staff or volunteers who assume responsibility for food acquisition, storage, processing and serving, undertake these functions are undertaken to the necessary legal standards and have received the appropriate training.

Where The Thanet staff assist with the preparation or delivery of food to Service Users they must act in a way which keeps the Service User as safe as possible from food poisoning and related food associated illness by the adoption of high standards of food hygiene and food preparation. Poorly prepared, stored or contaminated food can be the source of potentially fatal infections such as salmonella and listeria.

Any suspected outbreak of food poisoning or other unexplained and possibly food related incidents must be reported to the Safety Officer. Staff or volunteers involved in food handling who become ill should see their GP and should only return to work when their GP states that they are safe to do so.

16. Lifting and Handling

More than a quarter of all accidents reported each year at work are associated with manual handling – the transporting or supporting of loads by hand or bodily force.  The Manual Handling Operations Regulations were introduced to replace a number of old pieces of legislation to provide a comprehensive approach to reducing back problems at work.

The Directors are responsible for informing staff of safe lifting techniques. The Safety Officer will identify specific training needs.

17. Non-Smoking On Thanet Premises

Legislation now exist which makes it illegal to smoke in enclosed public spaces. Smoking is therefore strictly prohibited on all The Thanet premises (including entrances and exits).

18. Computer Installations and Visual Display Units

All new computer installations must adhere to the British Standard Specifications and comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. All new employees operating VDUs are issued with a copy of the Health and Safety Executive Booklet entitled ‘Working with VDUs’. New employees who regularly use VDUs will be required to undergo sight screening.

19. Control of Working Time

The Thanet is committed to the principles of the Working Time Regulations. No member of staff is expected to work more than 48 hours per week (including overtime) unless there are exceptional circumstances. Similarly all other requirements of the regulations e.g. in relation to breaks, night workers etc. will be complied with.

20. Health and Safety and the Individual Employee

The Health and Safety at Work Act requires each employee ‘to take reasonable care for the Health and Safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by their acts and omissions’ and co-operate with management to enable management to carry out their responsibilities under the Act. Employees have equal responsibility with The Thanet for Health and Safety at Work.

21. People Working On Thanet Premises Not Employed By The Thanet

Persons working in The Thanet premises who are employed by other organisations are expected to follow Thanet Health and Safety Policies with regard to the safety of The Thanet employees and volunteers, their own personal safety (and that of other parties such as the general public if appropriate) and their method of work. This responsibility will be included in contracts or working arrangements. Similarly seconded The Thanet employees working in other host premises will be expected to follow the host employers Health and Safety Policy.

22. Visitors and Members of the Public

The Thanet wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Welfare of visitors The Thanet will be of the highest standard.

Any member of staff or volunteer who notices persons acting in a way which would endanger other staff or volunteers, should normally inform the Safety Officer or, if not present, a director. If the danger is immediate, common sense must be used to give warning, call for assistance or give aid as necessary. It is equally important not to over-react to a situation.

23. Contractors

The Thanet wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Welfare of Contractors working in The Thanet will be of the highest standards. In addition, Contractors and their employees have an obligation so far as is reasonably practicable to ensure all equipment, materials and premises under their control are safe and without risks to health.