The aim of self-inspection is for each School/Unit to assess its own health and safety performance against pre-determined standards in order to ensure compliance with legislation, to recognise achievement and, where necessary, to take remedial measures.
Schools/Units should regularly carry out a wide range of safety checks as part of normal procedures. Formal inspection is not intended to be a substitute for this regular checking. Indeed, one function of the inspection is to monitor the conduct of the more specific checks and tests.
The Head of School/Unit should ensure that:
- School/Unit safety committees and trade union safety representatives, where appointed, are consulted on the precise arrangements for inspection;
- inspection teams are appointed and appropriately trained;
- inspection teams have sufficient authority and are familiar with both the working practices of the School/Unit and the health and safety standards relevant to the premises and activities;
- staff time is allocated to the members of the inspection team to carry out inspections and associated work;
- inspections are completed on schedule;
- appropriate remedial action is undertaken promptly;
- records are kept of the inspections and of the completion of remedial action;
- copies of all records are sent to the University Safety Adviser for monitoring purposes.
It is recommended that the inspection teams be small in number; comprising of two or three people including the Safety Co-ordinator, who has a key role and who is responsible for preparing the report of the inspection. The Safety Co-ordinator should also attempt to provide continuity and ensure consistency with previous inspections while, at the same time, developing the quality of the inspection process. Heads may wish to consider inviting trade union safety representatives and/or a suitable person from outside the School/Unit if they believe it will improve the quality of the inspection.
The University recommends the use of a basic checklist for completing the inspection (example checklist is given in following section). The checklist should be reviewed regularly and developed in the light of experience and to take account of any significant changes including legislation and standards. A checklist is only the basis for an inspection and inspection teams should not confine themselves solely to these points when carrying out an inspection.
In conducting the inspection, the team should attempt to discover the root causes of any unsatisfactory conditions found and, where possible, should make positive recommendations in its report for addressing the underlying problems as well as their symptoms.
The report on the inspection should include:
- the date, names of team members and a list of the precise areas/activities inspected;
- positive findings, as well as details of the location and significance of any failings discovered;
- recommendations for remedial action, including timescales and priorities;
- details of who should carry out particular remedial actions;
Any delay in preparation of the report should not delay remedial measures or prevent immediate action. (An example Report Form is given at the end of this section).
The frequency of inspections should be based on an assessment of the risks in each School/Unit and can be agreed in consultation with the University Safety Adviser. The interval between inspections should never be greater than one year.
Heads of Schools/Units are advised to make their own occasional spot checks to demonstrate managerial commitment to the process and to check directly that remedial works have been completed.
The University is required to aim at progressively improving the quality of inspections, as these form a basic element on the health and safety management system. Improved quality should occur as the staff gain confidence and competency in conducting practical inspections and with appropriate training.
(Topics and issues which should be considered when drawing up checklists)
1. Safety policy and general
a) School/Unit Safety Policy
b) School/Unit Safety Committee:
- progress and achievements
c) Previous inspection reports
d) Rolling programmes of improvements - are they on schedule?
e) Accidents, incidents and ill-health:
f) Induction and safety training of Supervisors, employees and students
g) Risk Assessments:
- are those in existence followed?
- are more needed?
h) The health, safety and control of contractors
- first-aid personnel;
- boxes and facilities;
j) Fire Precautions:
- fire certificate (if required);
- alarm system/test;
- means of escape;
- provision of extinguishers;
- special hazards;
- dates of fire drill;
- storage of highly flammable liquids and explosives.
a) Statutory/Other Notices and Signs;
d) General Ventilation;
- storage of materials;
f) Toilet and Washing Facilities;
g) Means of access:
a) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH):
- COSHH assessments;
- use of control measures;
- inspections, examinsations and tests of engineering controls and personal protective equipment;
- health surveillance;
- training and information.
b) Biological Hazards;
c) Ionising and non-ionising radiations;
d) Noise and vibration;
f) Manual Handling;
g) Control and disposal of hazardous wastes.
4. Machinery, plant and equipment
a) Guarding dangerous parts;
c) Electrical equipment:
- inspection and test;
- live working;
- workshop repair facilities;
d) Plant examinations and records:
- pressure systems;
- lifting machines and tackle.
5. Other Significant Hazards in School/Unit
A copy of the inspection report form can be downloaded from School / Unit Self-Inspection Forms (RTF, 67 KB)
The completed report should be returned to the School/Unit Safety Co-ordinator and a copy fowarded to the University safety Adviser for monitoring purposes.
A copy of the inspection report form can be downloaded from Residence Self-Inspection Form (RTF, 23 KB)
The completed report should be returned to the Residence and a copy fowarded to the University Safety Adviser for monitoring purposes.