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Health and Safety Policy

Purpose of policy:

CentreVR takes health and safety issues seriously and is committed to protecting the health and safety of its staff and all those affected by its business activities and attending its premises. This policy is to intended to help CentreVR achieve this by clarifying who is responsible for health and safety matters and what those responsibilities are.

This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. This policy may be amended at any time by CentreVR in its absolute discretion. CentreVR will review this policy at regular intervals to ensure that it is achieving its aims effectively.

Who is responsible for workplace health and safety?

Achieving a healthy and safe workplace is a collective task shared between CentreVR and staff. This policy and the rules contained in it apply to all staff and the employer, CentreVR irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all employees, directors and officers, consultants and specific responsibilities of staff are set out in the section headed “Responsibilities of all staff” below.

Employer responsibilities

The employer is responsible for:

  1. Taking the reasonable steps to safeguard the health and safety for all staff, people affected by CentreVR’s business activities and of people visiting the premises;
  2. Identifying health and safety risks and finding ways to manage or overcome them;
  3. Providing a safe and health place or work and safe entry and exit arrangements, including during an emergency situation;
  4. Providing and maintaining safe work areas, equipment and systems and, where necessary, appropriate protective clothing;
  5. Providing safe arrangements for the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
  6. Providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to enable all staff to do their work safely, to avoid hazards and to contribute positively to their own health and safety at work. CentreVR will give you the opportunity to ask questions and advise who best to contact in respect of those questions, if you are unsure about how to safely carry out your work;
  7. Ensuring any health and safety representatives receive appropriate training to carry out their functions effectively;
  8. Providing a health and safety induction and appropriate safety training to your role;
  9. Promoting effective communication and consultation between CentreVR and staff concerning health and safety matters and will consult with staff directly relating to health and safety;
  10. If an epidemic or pandemic alert is issued, providing instructions, arrangements and advice to staff as to the organisation of business operations and steps to be taken to minimise the risk of infection; and
  11. Regularly monitoring and reviewing the management of health and safety at work, making any necessary changes and bringing those to the attention of all staff.

Responsibilities of all staff:

General staff responsibilities

All staff must:

  1. Take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions;
  2. Co-operate with the Health and Safety Officer and CentreVR generally to enable compliance with health and safety duties and requirements;
  3. Comply with any health and safety instructions and rules, including instructions on the safe use of equipment;
  4. Keep health and safety issues in the front of their minds and take personal responsibility for the health and safety implications of their own acts and omissions;
  5. Keep the work place tidy and hazard-free;
  6. Report all health and safety concern to the Health and Safety Officer or Centre Manager promptly, including any potential risk, hazard or malfunction of equipment, however minor or trivial it may seem; and
  7. Co-operate in the employer’s investigation of any incident or accident which either has led to injury or which could have lead to injury, in CentreVr’s opinion.

Staff responsibilities relating to equipment

All staff must:

  1. Use equipment as directed by any instructions give by representatives given by representatives of management or contained in any written operating manual or instructions for use and any relevant training;
  2. Report any fault with, damage to or concern about any equipment (including health and safety equipment) or its use to the Health and Safety Officer, who is responsible for maintenance and safety of equipment;
  3. Ensure that health and safety equipment is not interfered with; and
  4. Not attempt to repair equipment unless suitable trained and authorised.

Staff responsibilities relating to accidents and first aid

All staff must:

  1. Promptly report any accident at work involving personal injury, however trivial, to the Health and Safety Office so that details can be recorded in the Accident Book and cooperate in any associated investigation;
  2. Familiarise themselves with the details of first aid facilities and trained first aiders;
  3. The Health and Safety officer is responsible for investigating any injuries or work-related disease, preparing and keep accident records, and for submitting reports under the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), where required.

Staff responsibilities relating to emergency evacuation and fire

All staff must:

  1. Familiarise themselves with the instructions about what to do if there was a fire which;
  2. Ensure they are aware of the location of the fire extinguishers, fire exits and alternative ways of leaving the building in an emergency;
  3. Comply with the instructions of firewardens if there is a fire, suspected fire or fire alarm (or a practice drill for any other scenarios);
  4. Co-operate in fire drills and take them seriously (ensuring that any visitors to the building do the same), fire drills will be held at least once every 12 months;
  5. Ensure that fire exits or fire notices or emergency exit signs are not obstructed or hidden at any time;
  6. Notify the Health and Safety Officer immediately of any circumstances which might hinder or delay evacuation in a fire. This will allow the Health and Safety Officer to discuss a personal evacuation plan for you, which will be shared with the fire wardens and colleagues working near to you.

On discovering a fire staff must:

  1. Immediately trigger the nearest fire alarm and, if time permits, call 999 and notify the location of the fire; and
  2. Never attempt to take the fire; nominated members of staff will be trained in the use of fire extinguishers

On hearing the fire alarm staff must:

  1. Remain calm and immediately evacuate the building, walking quickly without running, following any instructions of the fire wardens;
  2. Leave without stopping to collect any personal belongings;
  3. Stay out of any lifts; and
  4. Remain out of the building until notified by a fire warden that it is face to re-enter

The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring fire risk assessments take place and changes made where required, and for making sure there are regular checks of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, escape routes, signage and emergency lighting.

Risk assessments, display screen equipment and manual handling

  1. Risk assessments are simply a careful examination of what in the workplace could cause harm to people. The employer will assess any risks and consider measures to best minimise any risk. The employer will carry out general workplace risk assessments when required or as reasonably requested by staff. Managers must ensure that any necessary risk assessments take place and the resulting recommendations are implemented. The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for workplace risk assessments and any measures to control risks.
  2. Staff who use a computer for prolonged periods of time should try, where possible to organise short breaks every few hours away from the computer screen, but may request a workstation assessment.

Non-compliance with health and safety rules

  1. Any breach of health and safety rules or failure to comply with this policy will be taken very seriously and is likely to result in disciplinary action against the offender, in accordance with CentreVR’s disciplinary policy, up to and including immediate dismissal.