Health and safety policy

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (Sec. 2(3)) requires employers to draw up and bring to the notice of their employees a statement of safety policy. The University's statement of health and safety policy is detailed below.

Heads of department and institutions, including faculty board chairs in the Humanities Division, are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of all persons who are lawfully in the buildings under their charge. They must produce a written statement describing their department's safety organisation and arrangements. This must be brought to the attention of all employees in their department.

The department’s statement of safety organisation must reflect both the managerial and advisory organisation. A pro-forma is provided below and provides an example of a health and safety structure suitable for a large department. Departments should modify the pro-forma to reflect their own specific arrangements.

A copy of the statement, and any revision, must be sent to the University Safety Office. A copy should also be sent to the senior safety representatives of the recognised trades unions operating in the department.

The 2023 Management Standard for Leadership and Management of Health and Safety in Higher Education Institutions, published by the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA), sets out what all managers and supervisors need to do and how to do it to ensure the safety of their colleagues. The requirements of the Standard are integral to the University's health and safety policy.

Everyone in a leadership, management or supervisory role needs to familiarise themselves with the Standard to understand their legal and practical responsibilities and actively engage in health and safety. Watch our short video which helps explain the Standard and how it applies to Oxford's management of health and safety.