Health and safety induction - policy and procedure
The University is committed to ensuring that staff and students receive adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to enable them to work with minimum risk to their own or other people’s health and safety. An important element in achieving this is a health and safety induction programme which, if carried out properly, will ensure essential information is transmitted and inculcate a positive attitude to health and safety in newcomers to the University. The following policy must therefore be implemented fully.
All new staff, whether they be full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary or casual workers, will be instructed in school/departmental procedures for emergencies such as fire or injury on the first day of work in the school/department and will receive other necessary health and safety induction information and training within the first week of employment.
The task of providing this information and training will be shared between the appointing office and the new or re-deployed employee’s school/department.
The Safety, Health and Environment Unit will provide more generalised health and safety induction information to all staff with contracts longer than three months; this will be given within six months of employment. Supplementary information is available via this link.
New undergraduate and postgraduate students will receive adequate health and safety induction information and training within two weeks of the start of their course and, if pertinent, residence. This will be provided by their school/department and by those responsible for residences.
Contractors and, where appropriate, visitors will receive adequate health and safety induction information from their employing or hosting school/department.
The induction process should incorporate procedures, such as a simple test, to confirm that the required information has been assimilated.
- Records of health and safety inductions will be made and maintained within each school/department.
3.1 Duties of appointing offices
3.1.1 Human Resources Department
The Human Resources Department must inform the appointee of the name of the person in the appointing school/department to whom (s)he must report on the first day of employment to start health and safety induction.
Before the start-of-work date, the Human Resources Department must send to the appointing school/department a general health and safety induction pack, containing web links to the University’s policy statement, Safety Guidance and Information, general instructions on emergency procedures, the no-smoking policy statement and general advice on electrical safety, so that these can be issued to the appointee on the first day of employment.
3.1.2 Other appointing offices
Procedures for appointments made by Kent Hospitality, the Estates Department, Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation, Kent Union and any other appointing office must ensure that new employees have access to copies of the appropriate health and safety documents, at least those listed above in section 3.1.1. They may be sent prior to start of work or issued on the first day of employment. New employees must also be given the name of the person to whom they must report for health and safety induction.
3.2 Duties of Heads of Schools/Departments
Heads of Schools/Departments must:
- allocate responsibility for the induction process to the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator;
- ensure that the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator and sufficient other staff are adequately informed and trained to undertake the process, given the size and complexity of the school/department; some of this information and training will be provided by the Safety, Health and Environment Unit but some will be school/department-specific;
- ensure that all staff with induction duties are allocated sufficient time to enable them to discharge their duties;
- set, enforce and maintain standards, at least to those set in this policy, for the discharge of induction duties;
- ensure that records of training are made and maintained. For employees and postgraduate students, individual records should be integrated with school/departmental personal files; undergraduate training should be recorded as appropriate, with collective rather than individual records in some circumstances being the most suitable.
- ensure that monitoring of the induction process is carried out by
- spot checks via chats with new employees and students
- reports to managerial meetings and safety committee meetings
- checks on record-keeping.
Monitoring should be documented.
3.3 Duties of School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators
Although the responsibility for ensuring that the induction process is adequately carried out in their department will usually be delegated to the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators, they will not necessarily provide the information and training themselves, since it may be more appropriate to delegate this task to other (supervisory) staff.
School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators should:
- attend training organised by the Safety, Health and Environment Unit;
- ensure that new and re-deployed employees, new students, visiting academics, contractors, etc., receive the necessary health and safety induction information and training from an appropriately trained person;
- notify the Safety, Health and Environment Unit of the names of new staff so that they can be allocated places at the general health and safety awareness training organised by the Safety, Health and Environment Unit;
- ensure that school/departmental records of induction training are kept
- make appropriate arrangements to cover their absence.
3.4 Duties of the Safety, Health and Environment Unit
The duties of the Safety, Health and Environment Unit are to:
- provide information and training for those who have health and safety induction responsibilities and duties;
- provide appropriate health and safety information and training for new members of staff within six months of their start of work at the University.
4.1 Induction for new or re-deployed staff
School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators (or where necessary, suitable deputies) must see new staff on the first day of employment, to start the process of health and safety induction. They must check that the new appointee has received copies of the University’s policy statement, Safety Guidance and Information, the general instructions on emergency procedures, the no-smoking policy statement and the general advice on electrical safety. They must issue a copy of the induction check list (see below), the school/departmental health and safety policy and any other relevant school/departmental documentation, e.g. safety handbook, codes of practice, etc.
On the first day of employment, the new staff member must receive information about emergency procedures, viz. the sound of the building’s fire alarm, the action to take on discovering a fire and on hearing the alarm, and what to do should they have an accident. Other less urgent instruction may be delayed but must be carried out within the following seven days. The School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator can either do the instructing personally or delegate the task to someone else such as a line-manager or supervisor. If the task is delegated, the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator must ensure that the training given is adequate. At this point, if appropriate, advice can be sought from the Safety, Health and Environment Unit.
Because there is certain basic health and safety information which all staff, irrespective of their grade or employment status, i.e. full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual, etc., must receive, a check list has been devised to assist those carrying out the induction process; a copy of this is shown in the Appendix. This is intended to form the basis of the induction process. School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators may wish to use their own version, particularly if they have some specific departmental induction matters to add to the list; they may do so but they must retain all the points on the basic check list.
4.2 Induction for new postgraduate students
These students may or may not be familiar with the University and therefore those carrying out the induction may need to tailor the information and training appropriately. However, as with new or re-deployed staff, the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator must be satisfied that the new student is familiar with and has received instruction in all matters on the check list within the laid-down time scale.
The instruction and training may be given collectively to the new cohort of students and this will be an economical use of time, particularly at the start of the academic year. However, an individual check list, with input from the academic supervisor of the student, should be used as confirmation that all matters have been covered.
4.3 Induction for undergraduate students
School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators must ensure that arrangements are in place so that undergraduates receive timely information and, if necessary, training in procedures and reporting arrangements covering fire, accident and ill-health emergencies.
School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators in those schools/departments where students engage in practical work must ensure that a suitable health and safety induction programme is in place at the start of the practical work.
Induction information and training for undergraduates is likely to be given to groups rather than individuals and collective rather than individual records will normally suffice in these cases. However, individual, signed records are more appropriate for induction training associated with practical classes.
4.4 Induction for visitors, honorary appointees, etc.
Heads of Schools/Departments and/or School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators will need to make a judgement in each particular case about the induction programme for such people. Obviously, a long-term visitor will need to be treated in the same way as a newly-appointed employee but an academic visiting for a few days only should not require formal health and safety induction. The key factor to consider is how "independent" visitors will be during their time at the University; those who are likely to spend substantial periods working by themselves will require instruction in emergency procedures, at least.
4.5 Job-specific induction
Although all staff and students need instruction in fire safety and the general matters noted in the check list (see Appendix), job-specific induction will obviously vary from individual to individual or group to group. Heads of Schools/Department and/or School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinators should ensure that an adequate programme is drawn up for each inductee.
In many cases, the most appropriate person to give this job-specific induction training will be the immediate line-manager/supervisor. Matters which should be covered are the hazards associated with the work, the risks arising from these hazards, the safe system of work resulting from the control measures required to minimise the risks, any necessary safety checks to be made before starting work and the correct starting-up and stopping procedures of any equipment to be used.
A note should be made of any further health and safety training required beyond the induction process and the School/Departmental Safety Co-ordinator should ensure that this is received within a specified time.
4.6 Record keeping
Records of inductions must be made and retained within schools/departments. The check list will act as a record once it has been signed and dated by both the Induction Officer and the inductee. The completed check list and any other relevant documents are most sensibly stored within school/departmental personal files.