University Health and Safety Policy

Statement of University Health and Safety Policy

1. Scope

This policy applies to all employees, students, premises and activities under the control of the University, including staff and students travelling off and between campuses in the UK or overseas on University business.  If the policy is implemented effectively, not only will the risk of injury and damage be reduced, but also our students will carry forward a positive attitude to health and safety in their working lives.

2. Aims

Council, as the governing body of the University, recognises and is committed to its legal duty and responsibilities for the health and safety of employees, students and others affected by its operations.  The University of Kent recognises its legal duty for providing a safe and healthy workplace and suitable working environment for its staff, students and others (contractors, visitors and the public) who could be affected by its work or undertakings.

Council delegates operational responsibility and authority for the implementation of health and safety policy to the Vice-Chancellor as Chief Executive Officer of the University.  The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for the provision and maintenance of a framework that will provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions for all those for whom the University is responsible.  To this end, the Vice-Chancellor will ensure that there is a management organisation competent to fulfil the requirements of this policy and will also ensure that:-

  • there is strong and effective health and safety leadership to the University
  • adequate resources are made available for assuring health and safety
  • decisions made reflect the intentions of the Policy
  • active participation in improvement of health and safety is encouraged and recognised
  • there are effective routes for consultation with staff and students on health and safety matters
  • health and safety performance is continually reviewed and assessed at least annually.

Health and safety is a key line management responsibility and the University is committed to ensuring that it is an integral part of the core management activity of the University.  The Executive Group will lead by example in communicating and promoting this policy and the aim will be to strive for continuous improvement in health and safety performance.  The University requires all managers to demonstrate positive leadership in the promotion and management of health and safety.  All staff are required to co-operate with management arrangements to address these responsibilities, including attendance at health and safety training.

In support of this policy, a strategic plan will be developed by the University with specific objectives and will set targets with the aim of:

    • reducing accidents and cases of work-related ill-health,
    • improving the health of the workforce,
    • complying, as a minimum, with all relevant health, safety and environmental legislation and best practice,
    • developing a positive health and safety culture throughout the University.

The plan will form part of the overall strategic planning of the University.

Sufficient resources will be made available to support implementation of this policy and the strategy.

3. Key Objectives

In order to achieve these aims the University is committed to implementing the following in order to achieve the key objectives for which the management organisation will be held accountable:

  • a proportionate and common sense approach will be adopted to maintain respect and compliance
  • the integration of health and safety planning into the University’s core activities
  • the provision of support for the development of a positive health and safety culture throughout the University
  • defining health and safety responsibilities of staff
  • ensuring that staff understand and are competent to discharge their individual responsibilities through the provision of sufficient information, instruction, training
  • holding staff accountable for meeting their individual responsibilities through a system of supervision, monitoring and review
  • securing the competence of staff and their supervisors
  • ensuring that competent specialist advice on health and safety is available to the University
  • maintaining an effective and properly resourced health and safety management system
  • ensuring that those staff who have direct responsibility for students actively encourage them to exercise a duty of care for their own safety and that of others around them
  • encouraging students to become risk aware
  • actively involving staff, including especially safety representatives, in health and safety
  • ensuring effective communication and consultation with staff, students and others affected by University activities
  • co-ordinating and co-operating with other employers where:
    • University employees or students share premises and/or facilities and undertake activities with persons working in other organisations
    • Persons from other organisations, including contractors, are working in University-controlled activities
  • measuring and reviewing health and safety performance regularly at both University and school/department levels with the aim of continuous improvement.

4. Organisation for Implementation of the Policy

A member of the Executive Group shall be designated with particular responsibility for ensuring that the health and safety management system is properly implemented and performing to requirements in all locations and spheres of operation within the University.

The University will define specific health and safety responsibilities of managers and staff in areas of policy making, executive line management and specialist competent advice.  Organisational arrangements are detailed in the University document entitled University Health and Safety Policy Part 2 - Management Organisation, document number HSPol 002.

5. Arrangements for Implementation of the Policy

Heads of School/Department are responsible for the management of health and safety in their school/department and are therefore also responsible for implementing this policy in school/departmental health and safety management arrangements.  These arrangements will be based on identification of hazards and the control of risk.

The University Safety, Health and Environment Unit will develop performance standards for approval by the Safety, Health and Environment Executive Committee, which will assist schools/departments in implementing various elements of their health and safety management systems.  The arrangements in place are detailed in the University document entitled University Health and Safety Policy Part 3 – Management Arrangements, document number HSPol 003.

Arrangements will be monitored and audited regularly.

6. Review

The University is committed to reviewing and developing its policy, organisation and arrangements for implementation to ensure that it remains both current and relevant.  To achieve this it will document a review process that will be undertaken annually, with additional reviews initiated if a major change to premises or activities were to occur.  No alterations to the Health and Safety Policy, Organisation or Arrangements will be made without formal consultation through both the Safety, Health and Environment Executive Committee and the Health, Safety and Environment Consultative Committee.  Final agreement must be sought by Council.

Council and the Vice-Chancellor require all University managers and employees to read this policy and give effect to the commitments contained within it.


Sir David Warren                                                                  Julia Goodfellow

Chair of Council                                                                    Vice-Chancellor
October 2015                                                                       October 2015

Link to health and safety policy statement in pdf

Link to signed health and safety policy statement in pdf