Agenda item

Health and Safety: Annual Assurance Report 2022


A report of the Director of Legal and Governance Services (Monitoring Officer) was presented to outline the Council’s approach to health and safety management and summarise activity in the past year and planned activity for 2023, in order to provide the Committee with assurance that the Council has robust arrangements in place, as required by the Health and Safety Act 1974.


The Council had a governance framework structure in place to oversee health and safety, ensure compliance with legal requirements and deliver ambitions in relation to Health and Safety.


The digitised health and safety management application (My Compliance)

continued to be developed and its processes embedded within day-today

risk management.  As a significant level of data had built up in the system it had enabled the Council to improve the intelligence it could develop from:


  • incident reporting and investigation;
  • health and safety audits;
  • fire risk assessment; and
  • action tracking.


This had been used to improve understanding of the impact of violent incidents, unblock systematic issues to improve compliance and increase

Officer and Member visibility and oversight.  Regular reviews of underpinning documentation with the governance framework were undertaken.  


During 2022 the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) procedures were refreshed.   Reporting content for oversight of health and safety had also been refreshed, utilizing the new capabilities of My Compliance and Power BI to enable reports to focus on the lessons to be learned, trends and areas of concern, while providing assurance as to the robust datasets in place to track health and safety compliance.


A key focus of the team during 2022 had been the ongoing transition from Covid-19 to the new way of working and ensuring appropriate health and safety measures were embedded within that, as well as supporting the move of a significant number of staff and Members to Fountain Court.


The Council continued to deliver training and support to staff to ensure compliance with health and safety obligations and understanding of roles and responsibilities. In addition to the suite of e-learning materials that were already available to all staff, during 2022:


  • Leadership and Management Team members attended an accredited one day IOSH Leading Safety Course.
  • Face-to-face incident investigation awareness, evacuation chair and fire warden courses were delivered to supplement e-learning.
  • e-learning resources were refreshed to enhance Manual handling training.


During 2023, further work would be undertaken to build on progress made within the previous action plan as part of the Council’s commitment to continual improvement in health and safety management.


The health and safety unit would continue to monitor and assist in developing the digital solution linking Power BI and My Compliance, to further develop business intelligence capabilities.


The following policies and procedures will be produced, reviewed and uploaded onto the intranet:


  • Personal Protective Equipment policy.
  • Noise Procedure.
  • Vibration Procedure.


In order to be compliant with legal duties, the Council must have a Legal register in place which provided details of legislation applicable to the Council.   A gap analysis was currently underway to map leads for pieces of legislation, policies and procedures in place to regulate compliance and any gaps in those.  Once complete and verified, actions would be brought forward if necessary to provide assurance around compliance.


Underpinning the procedures and training, as set out in the governance structure, were a series of audits that allowed the Council to test compliance with health and safety good practice. These would continue to be delivered during the year, with outcomes and actions tracked and used to shape future priorities.


In addition to the annual assurance report to the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee, information on health and safety compliance was reported on a quarterly basis to:


  • Departmental teams.
  • The Leadership Management Team.
  • The Corporate Health and Safety Steering Group which comprises

            Members and Trade Union representatives.


There was also Trade Union engagement.


AGREED that the arrangements in place to manage health and safety within the Council, progress within the last year, and plans to further strengthen those arrangements were noted.

Supporting documents: