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Health and Safety Responsibilities of Heads

Heads are responsible to the University Court for the management of health and safety matters within the areas(s) under their control. Heads should therefore take appropriate steps to ensure that the codes and procedures contained in this document are implemented and that due account is taken of relevant items of guidance. The term "Head" does not only relate to the Head of Academic Schools/Divisions, but also to other managers of autonomous units within the University. The successful performance of delegated health and safety functions may be achieved by a combination of the following managerial factors:

  • seeking, receiving and taking good health and safety advice from the University Safety Adviser, or other 'central' safety staff as appropriate, and from the School/Unit/Building Safety Co-ordinator or other School safety staff as appropriate;
  • setting up a School/Unit Health and Safety Committee;
  • developing a School/Unit Health and Safety Policy;
  • formally delegating the tasks (and the associated record keeping aspects), such as those of the School and/or Building Safety Co-ordinators, Manual Handling Assessor, First-Aider, etc., to appropriate members of the School/Unit staff;
  • convincing each individual concerned of the importance of their particular role in the overall scheme;
  • establishing good lines of communication between all persons;
  • encouraging and supporting the attendance of appropriate members of the School on relevant internal and external health and safety training events;
  • making full use of the technical knowledge, professional advice and skills available;
  • locating the necessary resources - both in terms of time and money - to staff appointed to perform health and safety duties;
  • for problems, which cannot be resolved at one particular time, devising and implementing phased order of priority plans for expenditure of finance or effort;
  • ensuring the carrying out of School/Unit risk assessments and reacting to the 'significant findings' identified;
  • monitoring that School/Unit health and safety tasks, such as running fire drills, are being carried out to a satisfactory standard;
  • taking personal action - or empowering members of the School/Unit staff to act - to suspend or stop any School/Unit activiity which is dangerous or not carried out within School/Unit Health and Safety Policy;
  • co-operating fully with the University Safety Adviser and other relevant staff in the University's central inspection, monitoring, auditing and review arrangements as they affect the School/Unit.


Environmental Health and Safety Services contact details

University of St Andrews
Bute Building Queens Terrace
St Andrews
KY16 9TS
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1334 462750
Fax:44 (0)1334 462747