HEALTH & SAFETY BICS ULTIMATE GUIDE HEALTH SAFETY

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1 BICS ULTIMATE GUIDE TO HEALTH & SAFETY

2 Health and Safety is an integral part of the management of any activity. The Societies Office is committed to health and safety and this dedication cannot be met without willingness on behalf of the societies themselves to adhere to safety regulations. Familiarise your committee with the contents of your institution s Health & Safety Statement, which should be available either online or from the relevant office. Be aware that your institution may have additional health and safety recommendations or documents; consult with your Societies Officer for further information. Duty of care: Organising the activities of any society is a demanding task in terms of commitment, both time and resources. As the organiser of any society you have a legal responsibility to ensure that all activities are undertaken in a safe and healthy manner, as far as reasonably practicable. If you are the convenor of a public event, you must demonstrate a duty of care to the participants of your activity. By identifying potential hazards and threats, the risk of an accident or incident happening is reduced. It is therefore necessary for procedures to be in place that will aid in the management of health and safety. By doing so, you will have demonstrated a duty of care. As part of this duty of care, society committee members should attend a Health and Safety workshop if and when one is facilitated by the Societies Office. This handbook covers the following areas: 1. Safety Statements 2. Fire Safety 3. Equipment Safety 4. Event Safety 5. Travel Safety Sample Supplementary Forms (Risk Assessment, Equipment Log, Travel/Activity form etc. can be printed from the CD which accompanies this guide. Safety Statements Best practice recommends creating a safety statement for every major event, in order to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their members. Societies can follow the following steps in order to create a safety statement. 1. Draw up a Health and Safety Policy: The Health and Safety Policy should be a simple statement of how the society intends on managing its events safety. It should include a commitment to comply with all relevant health

3 and safety legislation and provide a framework for continual improvement by setting targets and objectives. 2. Identify the Hazards: Checking for hazards is common sense, but also a necessary task. If you are not confident, get help from a competent source. Consult and involve all members including the safety representatives as necessary. But remember YOU as a committee member are responsible for seeing it is adequately done. Focus less on the trivial and concentrate more on significant hazards which could result in serious harm or affect several people. Ensure that there is no hazard which could harm members. 3. Draw up a Risk Assessment: 'Risk' is the likelihood, great or small, that someone will be harmed by the hazard. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to you, your members or the environment. By identifying hazards in any environment you can either eliminate or control the hazard. Each society is responsible for carrying out its own risk assessment. Ongoing risk assessments ought to become an integral part of the operation of any society. The assessment of risks is subjective but must be based on the knowledge and experience of relevant personnel. 5 Steps to Risk Assessment: 1. Look for the hazards 2. Decide who can be harmed 3. Evaluate the risks and consider existing precautions 4. Record your findings 5. Review assessments While many events organised by societies fall into the low risk category and are open to the general public, it is strongly advised that if your event falls into the potentially hazardous category that the activity is only open to your registered members. Lists of members involved in the specific activity including details on location, activity and date should be lodged with the Societies Officer. 4. Decide what precautions are needed: You may already have some safety measures in place. Your risk assessment will tell you whether these are adequate or if more should be done. You also need to ask yourself if you have fulfilled all the relevant legal requirements. Remember: all health and safety laws provide guidance on how to assess the potential risks and the appropriate safeguards. If you find that something needs to be done, ask yourself:

4 "Can I get rid of the hazard altogether?" If not: "What safety precautions are necessary to control the risk?" What does controlling risk mean? It means (and the law requires) that you do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure the hazard will not injure anyone. Common sense tells us that life cannot be totally risk free; however you are required to do all that is reasonably practicable to minimise the risk of injury. 5. Record your Findings: The Safety Statement is the place to record the significant findings of your risk assessment. This means writing down the more significant hazards and recording your most important conclusions. Some common causes of accidents are: Manual handling (e.g. heavy, awkward or hard to reach loads); Equipment (e.g. which is poorly maintained or whose guards have been disabled). Ensure society members know how to use equipment properly before you allow them to do so. Falling objects; Slipping/tripping hazards (e.g. poorly maintained floors or stairs); Fire (e.g. from flammable or combustible materials, hay, waste material) Always ensure you and your members know where the fire exits are located. Electricity (e.g. poor wiring or residual current device); Hot substances or surfaces. Fire safety In the event of a fire: 1. Raise the alarm by operating the nearest fire alarm call point. 2. Call campus security or the fire brigade using the 999/112 system. (On internal university phones dial 9 first to get an outside line.) Dial 122 on mobile phones. 3. Extinguish the fire only if possible and only if trained and it is safe to do so, using the equipment provided. 4. Do not take risks. The continuous ringing of the fire alarm: indicates a fire emergency in the area you are in - proceed as follows: 1. Evacuate the building by the nearest exit route and proceed to the nearest fire assembly point.

5 2. Close all doors after you. If time permits turn gas supplies and electrical equipment off but leave lights on. 3. Do not use lifts. 4. Do not re-enter the building. The intermittent ringing of the fire alarm: indicates a fire emergency in an adjacent area - proceed as follows: 1. Investigate the source of the alarm. 2. Do not take risks. 3. Do not use lifts. 4. Prepare to evacuate the building. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the location of: 1. The fire exits. 2. The fire alarm call point(s). 3. The fire assembly point. Safe Codes of Practice for society meetings and events: 1. Make a safety announcement at the beginning of all of your meetings or events and draw attention to safety exits. 2. Ensure fire exits are free from obstruction. 3. Ensure your committee members are familiar with the exits. 4. In the event of an emergency ensure that everyone evacuates the building. 5. Avoid overcrowding which could present a hazard in the case of an emergency. Equipment Safety Whilst equipment will remain the property of the institution s Societies, all societies are responsible for maintaining their equipment. Societies must maintain the following records: Place and date of purchase When it was used When safety checks were carried out Where repairs were carried out All safety and repair certification Storage locations for insurance and security purposes.

6 In the event of an accident, these records will be required. Failure to produce such documentation may indicate a breach of the duty of care principle. Equipment forms are available (on the BICS Guide CD-ROM) to help societies ensure that equipment does not become a potential sourc5e of hazard. Trip Hazards: ensure that all aisles and exit routes are kept clear; trailing flexes are to be avoided or secured so as not to be a trip hazard (use cable conducting tape). Ensure that all displays (including stands) are secure and avoid any potential trip hazards. Any special hazards (such as kettles) are to be kept in a secure area to prevent accidental injury. Food Hygiene: If you are bringing food on your trip or organizing a party where food is to be stored, ensure that there is adequate refrigeration for perishable food. Follow basic food hygiene regarding the correct storage of raw and cooked meat etc. If you are the designated cook be sure that meat is fully cooked and that no raw meat comes in contact with any other food which is to be consumed without first being cooked. Food which could be potentially risky should be stored below five degrees, to halt growth of bacteria. Additional information on food hygiene can be obtained from the Societies Office. Specialised Training: It is vital that all committee members are briefed and instructors have training and instruction on health and safety applicable to their activity. Teachers of physical activities where there is a potential risk should be qualified to give instruction. Separate insurance is available for instructors, check with the Societies Officer for details. Note: It is the individual society s duty to ensure that all instructors/teachers are fully qualified before they give classes to members. Accident Response: All accidents/incidents must be reported to the relevant office(s). This is essential for prevention and insurance purposes. Major accidents should be detailed in an accident/incident report form available from your institution s Health & Safety Office(r). If you have any specific queries regarding arrangements for the safety of an event - including an excursion - please check with the Societies Office. In the event of an excursion you should insure that the relevant travel form has been completed before the commencement of the trip. Note: While the above general health and safety advice covers the main safety issues relevant to your society, you must ensure that all likely hazards have been considered. If your society is involved in activity the safety aspects of which are not covered by the above procedures (e.g. potentially hazardous

7 fundraising or promotional event) then you must ensure that the activity is properly planned and managed. Travel and Activity Safety From the perspective of health and safety, some activities will be classified as a higher risk and therefore subject to more stringent planning. When going on trips societies should: Appoint an event leader and safety officer for the trip. The safety officer should insure the transport is insured and that the driver is competent and is not under the influence of alcohol. On arrival at the accommodation ensure that the group is aware of fire escapes and that all fire escapes are in working order. Depending on the nature of the trip the committee should give some thought to any other procedures that need to be in place e.g. if safety equipment is needed ensure that it has been checked and has been put on the bus, if members are socializing that the group returns to the accommodation safely. Care should be taken near open water and if engaging in physical activity of a hazardous nature. Check the competency level and experience of participants before engaging in potentially hazardous activities which require training. To facilitate activities, all clubs and societies are now required to complete an Activity/Trip Registration Form. This form demonstrates that planning has gone into an activity and the necessary arrangements made to meet health and safety criteria. On the Activity/Trip form you will be asked to fill in date and time of departure and expected return. There is also space for the names, student ID and a contact number for next of kin in case of emergency while on the trip. In addition there is space for those travelling to include any relevant medical information which may be vital while away from the university. The safety officer should get this form filled in at the start of the trip and then return it to the Societies Officer at the end of the trip with a brief report, stating that the trip was a success. This form is kept on file in the event of subsequent insurance claims. In the event of an accident please refer to Accident Response. Some Tips when organising a trip:

8 Get your members to pay non-refundable deposits before you book any flights; the society will not get the flight price back from the airline and name changes can be expensive. Check and see if they have their own insurance as insurance can be purchased with the flight. Be aware of hidden charges with budget airlines. Make no mistakes when booking as they can be expensive. Spell names correctly (as on passport), When booking groups be aware the cost can increase with the number so it can be economical to book a certain number at the lower fare. Make sure you book the correct times and destinations for all flights. When booking accommodation make sure you pay all deposits to the one hostel as sometimes names can be confusing and mistakes can be made. Event Management Checklist for Risk Assessment Use this checklist to aid you in filling out your Risk Assessment.

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