Health & Safety Policy
1.1 We recognise and accept our responsibility as an employer to maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and health of our employees and of other persons who may be affected by our activities. The management of health and safety is an integral part of our business and is given the highest priority.
1.2 The aims of this policy are to:
- ensure the prevention of personal injury, damage to health and damage to property and equipment
- ensure the prevention of and protection from foreseeable work hazards for everyone, including our staff, students, their parents, business partners, suppliers, contractors, visitors to our premises and members of the public in so far as they come into contact with us or our services
- ensure that all equipment is safe and that we provide personal protective equipment (PPE) where appropriate and necessary
- provide appropriate training and information about any particular hazards or dangerous substances related to individual roles
- display clear and prominent safety notices throughout the workplace.
1.3 This policy is not contractual, but aims to set out how we normally deal with such issues.
2.1 This policy can only work with the full co-operation and understanding of all our employees, workers and partners and therefore applies to everyone.
2.2 Any neglect of health and safety requirements will be regarded as a serious disciplinary matter. Where an action or neglect is so dangerous as to constitute gross misconduct, the employee concerned will be liable to summary dismissal and even prosecution.
3.1 Employer’s duties
3.1.1 We will:
- provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions which meet the standards laid down by legislation
- provide training, instructions and information to employees which enable employees to carry out their work safely and without risk to health
- make available appropriate control measures, safety equipment and protective equipment and give instruction in their use
- provide suitable and adequate first aid facilities
- adopt a proactive approach towards the prevention of health and safety risks
- maintain equipment in good working order and ensure that statutory inspections are carried out
- maintain records of accidents and dangerous occurrences as required by law and investigate the causes of these
- ensure that managers and directors are aware of their roles and responsibilities in health and safety matters and that they lead by example in terms of compliance with all health and safety procedures
- ensure that each new employee is given induction training which covers the precautions and procedures appropriate to their specific job and familiarises them with this policy and any safety rules and procedures and equipment
- advise all workers, agency workers and contractors of the health and safety rules on commencement
- consult with employees on an individual basis or through our health and safety committee and inform them of any changes to working practices, amendments to health and safety procedures or changes in legislation
3.2 Employees’ responsibilities
3.2.1 All employees have a duty by law to co-operate with us to achieve the aims of this policy by:
- ensuring they are aware of all their responsibilities regarding health and safety
- following safe working practices and not removing or altering any safety devices on equipment
- ensuring that they are fully trained in the use of all equipment that is relevant to their job
- recording all accidents or injuries or "near misses" that occur in the workplace by completing an Accident Report Form and seeking first aid treatment where appropriate; also reporting any accidents or injuries to them which occur at any site away from the school’s main address for example, client’s or student’s business address to the appropriate authority on those premises, as well as to our Health and Safety Officer
- informing the Health and Safety Officer of any serious or imminent danger and reporting any shortcomings that they see in our safety arrangements
- seeking guidance from their manager if they are in any doubt concerning any health and safety issue
- following our general safety rules and maintaining a good system of housekeeping, including keeping workspaces tidy
- informing any visitors with whom they are meeting of any health and safety risks and precautions they must take
4.1 Effective safety performance will only be achieved by enthusiasm and interest at all levels within our business. We will consult with staff via our health and safety committee by informing them of any changes to working practices, amendments to our safety procedures or changes in legislation. In addition, all employees and workers are encouraged to raise any issues regarding health and safety with their manager or with the Health and Safety Officer.
5 Safety information and insurance
5.1 The Health and Safety at Work poster is displayed in reception near the kitchen and teacher’s room. All employees and workers are provided (by email) with a copy of our health and safety policy and rules on joining our business; these are also displayed in reception near the kitchen and teacher’s room. All workers, agency workers and contractors should also be advised of these and be required to comply with them.
5.2 We will provide and display relevant safety warning signs throughout our premises to highlight any hazards and control measures.
5.3 Any significant hazards and risks identified will be assessed and the findings recorded in writing. Copies of our risk assessments and COSHH assessment are kept securely online and will be supplied to individuals as appropriate. Our risk assessments will be regularly reviewed to check whether any new hazards have been introduced into the workplace, to ensure existing control measures are still adequate and to incorporate any changes of legislation or best practice. Additional individual assessments of risk will be undertaken for pregnant employees, young workers and any disabled employees or workers and updated when necessary. Where employees work from their home, an individual risk assessment will be carried out for their home working activities by their manager or the Health and Safety Officer.
5.4 Our fire regulations and evacuation procedures are displayed next to the fire alarm call points; in the main entrance and on each landing. All employees and workers are instructed to read these carefully and to know what to do in the event of a fire. Details of our fire wardens Steve Austin, Elena Logara-Panteli, Terry Panteli and Natalie Chisnall, will be circulated to all employees through this policy and also displayed in prominent positions throughout our premises for the benefit of all workers and visitors.
Fire Wardens: Steve Austin, Elena Logara-Panteli and Terry Panteli
5.5 The names and contact details of our first aiders are listed below and also next to the Health and Safety at Work poster in reception near the kitchen and teacher’s room.
- Steve Austin
- Elena Logara-Panteli
5.6 A copy of our current employers’ liability insurance is stored securely online and is also displayed in reception near the kitchen and teacher’s room. Copies of certificates and of our insurance details will be kept for 40 years.
6 Fire safety
6.1 We have a legal duty to ensure that adequate precautions are taken against fire.
6.2 Fire risk assessments will identify the fire hazards on and around our premises and we will put in place any control measures needed to reduce fire risks to as low as reasonable practicable.
6.3 Fire wardens will be appropriately instructed and trained to carry out their designated fire safety tasks. Details of our fire wardens will be circulated to all employees and also displayed in prominent positions throughout our premises for the benefit of all workers and visitors.
6.4 Evacuation drills will be held once a term and recorded in the fire logbook. Any remedial action required to improve the effectiveness of evacuation drills will be carried out where practicable. All inspections, maintenance and safety checks will also be recorded in the fire logbook.
6.5 This includes keeping escape routes free from obstruction, regular fire drills, appropriate and regular servicing of fire alarms and extinguishers, fire resistant furniture and fittings, fire notices.
6.6 The procedures in the event of a fire or emergency evacuation are issued separately as part of our induction procedure. These include details of any fire wardens. All employees and workers are instructed to read these carefully and to know what to do in the event of a fire. Any changes in the evacuation plan or fire risk assessment will be immediately circulated to all relevant employees and workers.
6.7 Appropriate fire safety training will be provided as necessary.
7 First aid and procedure in the event of an accident
7.1 We have 2 trained first aiders and 2 first aid kits available. The name and contact details of our first aiders are listed below and next to the Health and Safety Poster in reception, near the kitchen and teacher’s room. The location of first aid kits are in the kitchen (1st floor) and also above the fire extinguishers (2nd floor).
First Aiders: Steve Austin and Elena Logara-Panteli
7.2 In the event of an accident or need to use the first aid equipment, a first aider or the appointed person should be advised immediately.
7.3 Employees should use their discretion in the event of an accident, using whatever equipment/means to assist the injured person as required.
7.4 First aiders are responsible for recording details of any accidents occurring on our premises in the Accident Book (see below) and for checking there is an adequate supply of first aid equipment. Users are requested to inform the school management if any replacement items are needed.
7.5 Employees are requested to inform any first aider or appointed person of any pre-existing medical conditions they have which the first aider, appointed person or emergency services may need to be made aware of in the event of an accident or injury. Such information will be kept in confidence.
8 Hazard and accident reporting
8.1 All employees and workers must report any potential hazard or unsafe working practice to the Health and Safety Officer – Steve Austin or their manager.
8.2 If the hazard or unsafe working practice presents an immediate danger, it should be reported to the most senior person present at the time. This person has the authority to take immediate action to alleviate the danger, including the stopping of any work until further action is taken.
8.3 Any damaged or defective equipment should be reported to the appropriate manager immediately.
8.4 All accidents must be reported in the Accident Book which is kept above Health and Safety Officer’s desk in the teacher’s room. No personal information will be kept in this book; once an entry has been made the completed entry will be removed, reviewed, and then kept confidentially in the school office in a separate location away from the Accident Book for future reference.
8.5 All reported accidents and incidents will be investigated by the Health and Safety Officer – Steve Austin and the findings passed onto the school’s management.
9 VDU users
9.1 VDU users are defined under the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations as those who regularly use a computer or other visual display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work.
9.2 Regular risk assessments will be carried out for those who use display screen equipment (such as desktops, laptops, ipads or tablets) on a regular basis and reasonable measures taken to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury. An assessment of each workstation will be undertaken, and reviewed whenever new equipment is introduced or a workstation relocated. In addition, training will be provided to the users on the safe use of the equipment.
9.3 Users who are experiencing visual difficulties must request an appropriate eye and eyesight test. This test should take account of the nature of the work undertaken, including the distance at which the screen is viewed. The test is not a substitute for other regular and more comprehensive tests that may be carried out through an optician.
9.4 We will pay for the test and, if special corrective glasses or lenses are prescribed for work with display screens, we will pay for the cost of the appropriate prescription glasses or lenses, provided they are solely to be used for this work. Users who are experiencing visual difficulties before their next test is due must speak with their manager in the first instance. The user is personally responsible for the safe keeping of any glasses or lenses that are supplied.
9.5 Employees who use laptops for prolonged periods of time can request a docking station to allow their laptop to be set up at an appropriate height and distance.
10 Personal safety and security
10.1 The safety of our people is our priority and we will do everything in our power to protect them from assault and to prevent unauthorised entry onto our premises.
10.2 All visitors will be required to report to reception on entering our premises. All visitors must be informed of the relevant health and safety rules and procedures to be followed whilst on our premises.
10.3 Children are only permitted to visit our offices when accompanied by their parents or an adult in charge of them and must be supervised at all times.
10.4 Access to any potentially hazardous areas is limited to authorised persons.
10.5 When leaving work at the end of a shift, employees are responsible for locking away confidential documents or valuable items.
10.6 Employees should avoid being alone in the building. Where lone working is unavoidable, they must make themselves aware of our lone workers’ policy and ensure that they comply with the safety rules relating to lone workers.
10.7 Employees should not go alone to visit clients in their own homes or work places unless the client is well known to them or us and a risk assessment has been undertaken. Information on the name and address to be visited and estimated time of return must be given to the appropriate manager when home visits are arranged.
11 Personal protective equipment (PPE)
11.1 Where appropriate, employees will be provided with suitable and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This will be provided free of charge where employees and workers are exposed to risks.
11.2 Where PPE is provided, employees must wear this as and when instructed to do so and keep it clean and tidy at all times.
12 Electrical safety
12.1 All electrical equipment will be maintained to ensure it is safe for its intended use and does not present additional risks.
12.2 All portable electrical appliances will be inspected and tested by a trained and competent person as required.
12.3 No one is permitted to carry out maintenance on electrical equipment or plugs without prior training and permission.
13.1 High standards of housekeeping are essential to ensure personal safety as well as good working conditions and presentation. Particular attention should be paid to the following points.
- Regular cleaning of equipment and the removal of waste from the local work area.
- Cleaning floors and placing refuse in the bins provided, ensuring that these are emptied frequently.
- Removing any obstructions to passageways and doors.
- Returning tools to their designated location.
- The facilities in the kitchen are there for the use of all employees and students. It is the responsibility of every employee and student to keep the kitchen area as clean as possible. Particular attention should be paid to spillages on the floor, which must be cleaned up immediately to avoid accidents
- All staff should be made aware of the dangers of emptying paper shredders.
14 Smoking, including electronic cigarettes
14.1 Smoking is not permitted anywhere on our premises (other than in designated areas) or in any of our vehicles or when using a private car if a client/customer or a fellow employee is present as a passenger.
14.2 Smokers must smoke within the designated areas outside the buildings.
14.3 Smokers who are driving one of our vehicles must stop in a proper place (ie a designated car park, layby, etc) and get out of the vehicle to smoke. They are not allowed to smoke in the vehicle. Having the window open to smoke is in contravention of the law.
14.4 We also ban the smoking of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) within our premises or vehicles and these therefore should only be used as outlined above. Electronic cigarettes and vapers may not be charged in the workplace.
14.5 For more information, see our smoking policy, a copy of which can be found in our Staff and Student Handbooks.
15 Alcohol, drugs and substance abuse
15.1 Alcohol, unlawful drugs or any substances such as “legal highs” are not allowed on our premises. Any employee who is found with any unlawful drugs or substances or whose ability to work is impaired due to their use may be suspended and subject to disciplinary action that could lead to their dismissal.
15.2 Any employee who has an addiction should speak in confidence initially to their manager who will assess the situation and provide relevant guidance and referral to professional assistance.
15.3 For further information, see our drugs, alcohol and substance abuse policy, a copy of which can be found in our Staff and Student Handbooks.
16 Driving on business
16.1 Employees who drive on business must ensure that their vehicles are clean, roadworthy, with a valid MOT and up to date road tax.
17 Pregnant women and those of child-bearing age
17.1.1 When we are informed that an employee/ student is pregnant or breast-feeding, a specific risk assessment will be undertaken by their manager.
17.2 All necessary steps will be taken to reduce any risk to the employee or her unborn child.
18 Young workers
18.1 Specific risk assessments will be carried out before employing a young person (any person who has not attained the age of 18), and also for any work experience placements. These will consider the inexperience, lack of awareness or risks and immaturity of young persons; the fitting-out and layout of the workplace and workstations; the nature, degree and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical agents; the form, range and use of work equipment and the way it is used; the organisation of processes and activities; the required training as regards health and safety and other specified risks.
18.2 In addition, we will provide the parent and/or school/college with comprehensible and relevant information on any risks to health and safety identified by the assessment and the preventative and protective measures taken.
19 Manual handling
19.1 All reasonable effort is made to limit the need for manual handling. However, where necessary, any employee who is at risk from manual handling activities will be provided with information and training on safe handling to prevent potential injuries.
20 COSHH Regulations
20.1 We will undertake the relevant risk assessments for any substances that are hazardous to health and put in place any appropriate control measures.
20.2 In line with the COSHH Regulations, and to minimise risks, the least hazardous type of substance will be purchased and used. Cleaning materials, such as bleach and methylated spirits, will always be kept in their original containers with the caps secured and in a suitable storage area.
20.3 Copies of any COSHH data sheets and assessments are kept in a folder in the lockable cleaning materials cupboard on the 2nd floor landing.
21 Medical checks and health surveillance
21.1 If any medical tests are necessary prior to commencement of employment this will be set out in the offer documentation.
21.2 It is a term and condition in all employment contracts that employees should undergo a medical examination at any time should we have concerns about their health or safety and feel this to be necessary.
22 Stress at work
22.1 We will do all we can to reduce work-related stress and to offer support to any employees who may be affected by this.
22.2 We view stress as an adverse reaction to excessive pressure and not a disease or weakness. An employee who feels that the demands of their job are causing them pressure or stress, either temporarily or permanently, should discuss this with their manager who will recommend appropriate guidance and assistance.
22.3 We also appreciate that on occasions, situations may arise outside of work which can result in additional pressure on the individual. We will aim to react appropriately to any circumstances we are made aware of.
23 Related legislation, policies and documents
The following pieces of legislation apply to this policy:
- Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA)
- Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
- All regulations and Codes of Practice relevant to our individual business activities and working environment.
Specific policies, such as our Disciplinary policy, Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse policy, Fire safety policy, First aid at work policy and Health and safety rules are expanded on in the following documents:
- Staff & Teacher Handbook
- Student Handbook
- Staff & Teacher Contracts
- Student Terms and Conditions of Enrolments
The above list is not exhaustive.
24 Further information
Any queries or comments about this policy should be addressed to the Health and Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
25 Policy owner
This policy is owned and maintained by the management at Lexis School of English.
26 Policy review date
26.1.1 Date last reviewed: 11/11/2019
26.1.2 This policy will be reviewed annually. The next review is scheduled for 10/11/2020