Human Resources

Health and Safety

Health and Safety Newsletters

April 2017

New Health and Safety Policy Statement and Organisation

Approved Arrangements Policies

Weapons and Firearms Awareness Group

Manual Handling

Reportable Accidents

Health and Safety Team News

Health and Safety Coordinators

Fire Liaison Officers and Fire Marshals

Portable Appliance Testing

Previous Issues of the Newsletter

New Health and Safety Policy Statement and Organisation

In order to help the University to maintain its reputation as an ambitious and responsible institution and to fulfil the values set out in the University Strategy for 2015 - 2020, the Health and Safety Office has completed a full review of the University’s Health and Safety Policy Statement and Organisation.

The review included an in-depth analysis of the existing policy statement and organisation in order to produce a health and safety policy that was in keeping with the needs of Higher Education institutions and the University’s Strategic aims for 2015 – 2020. This process began in March 2016 and involved research, consultation with staff across all departments and several draft documents before the final draft was approved by the University’s Board of Governors in January 2017.

Evaluation of the original policy led to a decision being made to adopt the format provided in guidance from the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) and to implement  a ‘bottom - up’ structure with regards to health and safety responsibilities, providing clear guidance for staff at all levels across the University.

The policy conforms to the latest USHA guidance for best practice for managing health and safety within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), this is approved by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA). 

An additional benefit to using this approach is that the  policy can be audited using the USHA Health and Safety Management Profile (HASMAP) tool, with standards for meeting compliance clearly identified and directly applicable to the policy. Therefore health and safety performance can be audited in a clear and systematic manner to ensure areas for improvement are identified.

The Health and Safety Office will be working with Faculties and Departments across the University to facilitate the implementation of the policy.

Approved Arrangements Policies

Following the review of the policy statement and organisation, the Health and Safety Office are reviewing the arrangements sections of the Health and Safety Policy. The following policies, which are part of the University’s health and safety arrangements were approved by the University Health and Safety Committee on 8 March 2017 and have been published on the Health and Safety Office A-Z Webpages:

  •  Control of Substances Hazardous to Health:  This policy has been reviewed and amended in light of the change in the organisational section of the Health and Safety Policy.  There are no major changes to the  policy content.
  • Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work: This policy has been reviewed and amended to incorporate the use of equipment and processes that result in the production of both artificial optical radiation and ultraviolet radiation (UV-R).  This includes laser radiation.

Weapons and Firearms Awareness Group ‌Weapons and Firearms Awareness Group

‌The Health and Safety Office has produced Guidance for Weapons and set up a Weapons and Firearms Awareness Group (WAFAG) and produced guidance to monitor the use of weapons on University premises for theatrical, artistic and research purposes.

‌The guidance was launched on 3 March 2017.  Further information will be published on the Health and Safety Office A-Z Webpages.‌‌

Manual Handling

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHOR) require employers to:

  • Avoid - the need for hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable;
  • Assess - the risk of injury from any hazardous manual handling that can’t be avoided; and
  • Reduce - the risk of injury from hazardous manual handling, so far as is reasonably practicable.

The Health and Safety Office has reviewed the Manual Handling risk assessment form and this can be found on the Manual Handling web page, along with the Policy and the HSE produced guidance - it is the policy of the University of Portsmouth to follow this best practice guidance.

Please contact the Health and Safety Office for further information, email:

Information on risks and training on safe handling is offered to all employees who carry out manual handling operations.  Training needs should be identified and reviewed by Managers / Supervisors.  Refresher training will also be given at 3 year intervals.  Please email the Health and Safety Office to arrange or enquire about training

Reportable Accidents

For the third year running the University of Portsmouth Reportable Accident Rate is below the national rate for Universities.

One measure of an organisation’s health and safety performance is to calculate the Reportable Accident Rate and bench mark the result against the sector rate.

A reportable accident is either a serious injury caused by a work related accident or an accident that resulted in the employee being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days.

Accidents that fall in to these categories may have to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Examples of Reportable Accidents are: fractures (other than to fingers, thumbs and toes) any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight or any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia.

In order to bench mark the University, the annual number of Reportable Accidents per 1,000 employees was calculated and compared to the National Rate for Universities. The staff data was supplied by the HR Department and was based on the University’s Higher Education Statistics Agency returns, whilst the National Accident Rate for Reportable Accidents in Universities was taken from University Safety and Health Association reports.

The data (as shown in bar chart) shows that since 2013/14 the University of Portsmouth Reportable Accident rate has been below the national average for Universities.

Health and Safety Team News

Laura Sayers, the University Fire Safety Officer, is currently on maternity leave. Her role is being covered by Dave Collins, who has been appointed as a Fire Safety Consultant and Kevin Luce who has been appointed as a Fire Safety Technician.

Carol Newlyn, Health and Safety Administrator has applied for flexible retirement which will commence on 1 April 2017.  Carol will then be working 3 days.  We have appointed Holly Green, from Cosmology on a secondment /job share basis.   Carol intends to leave us at the beginning of June after working at the University for 9 years.  She is a valued member of the team.  We will miss her very much and wish her the very best for the future.

Health and Safety Coordinators

There have been a lot of changes over the past 12 months. The Health and Safety Office would like to thank all former Health and Safety Coordinators for their contribution and welcome those who have been recently appointed. An up to date list of Health & Safety Co-ordinators can be found on the Health & Safety web pages.

Fire Liaison Officers and Fire Marshals

The Fire Safety Policy and Procedures requires the University to appoint a Fire Liaison Officer for each building and sufficient Fire Marshals to assist in the safe evacuation of all persons present in the University buildings when the fire alarm sounds.

Additional Fire Marshals are required for: Burnaby Terrace, Denis Sciama Building, Halpern House, Hampshire Terrace and Langstone Campus.

Additional Fire Liaison Officers are required for: James Watson West, Langstone Campus and Middle Street.

If you would like to volunteer to be a Fire Marshal or Fire Liaison Officer please email the Health and Safety Office for more details Training for these roles is provided.

Portable Appliance Testing

The University Portable Appliance Testing Policy lays out the responsibilities and duties of the University and its employees and the procedures for fulfilling them in relation to Portable Appliance Testing.

There are four options for who should carry out portable appliance testing at the University of Portsmouth:

a) In house using competent members of staff

b) Outsource using University approved contractor and managed by the department

c) Outsource using University approved Contractor and managed by Estates

d) A combination of the above

If you have any queries about this policy for your department, please email the Health and Safety Office

A training seminar has been organised in May 2017 for members of staff who are responsible for electrical safety testing of portable appliances with Seaward, the company who supply the University with portable appliance electrical safety testing equipment. The seminar will focus primarily on getting the full potential from the Apollo 600 portable appliance tester; however other aspects of electrical safety testing will also be covered.   This seminar will count towards refresher training as required in the Portable Appliance Testing Policy.

Previous issues of the newsletter

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