This policy applies to all VQ Solutions offices, operations and activities, and to all VQ Solutions employees at all levels. The Aims, Organisation and Arrangements of this policy will equally apply to all VQ Solutions operations and activities conducted on sites beyond VQ Solutions' control wherever VQ Solutions employees are designated to perform their contractual duties.
In particular, VQ Solutions will:
- Comply fully with the requirements of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (2006) and all other relevant legislation, regulations, codes of practice and guidance pertaining to Health and Safety in the workplace in all operational activities.
- Ensure that, on a continual improvement basis, Health and Safety hazards and aspects are identified, risks assessed and suitable management controls put in place to prevent injury, ill-health or other adverse impacts.
- Develop its management processes to ensure that Health and Safety factors are fully considered during the planning and implementation of any project or activity.
- Engage with employers, employees, contractors and visitors to further reduce Health and Safety risks and impacts associated with working for, with, or on behalf of VQ Solutions
- Engage with apprentices and embed sound Health and Safety knowledge and awareness in all learning undertaken for their chosen vocation.
- Provide a safe and healthy learning environment where apprentices feel safe from risk or intimidation.
- Ensure that exercising due diligence in respect of Health and Safety responsibilities is a condition of employment.
- Maintain a commitment to inform, instruct and train all employees in all Health and Safety matters.
- Ensure all employees are aware of, and fulfil, their statutory and contractual duties to safeguard their own health, safety and welfare, and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
- Require all employees to co-operate with VQ Solutions in all matters related to health and safety.
- Ensure, where required, sufficient resources are made available in the pursuance of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
- Review the Health and Safety policy at least annually.
All employees are responsible for promoting Health and Safety compliance across the organisation and their respective departments or areas of responsibility. The day-to-day management of Health and Safety on sites and premises beyond the control of VQ Solutions is delegated to persons in charge of such work in accordance with the organisation’s structure and their operational responsibilities. The Managing Director has overall operational responsibility for health and safety management and performance across the organisation, with assistance from the Director.
All employees at all levels of the organisation are responsible for their own Health and Safety performance and levels of compliance. All employees are required to co-operate fully with the organisation in all matters related to Health and Safety to enable VQ Solutions to fulfil its legal duties. Such responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Meeting the statutory requirements set out in section 7 and 8 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974.
- Using any equipment provided in accordance with the training and instruction given.
- Reporting any unsafe act or unsafe condition to the Health and Safety Manager.
- Reporting any concerns where there are identified shortcomings in the organisation’s Health and Safety arrangements. Such responsibilities are
absolute and cannot be transferred to others.
Instructions on the procedures in the event of a fire should be displayed in all teaching rooms and if they are missing the Health and Safety Advisor should be informed. All learners must comply with these instructions when the alarm is sounded. It is company policy that three drills will occur per year. All learners using the VQ Solutions training centre should be made aware of the contents of this document and be able to follow the primary and secondary escape routes for the rooms used by them.
Learners must not interfere with any fire prevention/detection/extinguishing equipment and if faults are observed these should be reported to the course tutor who, where necessary, will bring it to the attention of the Health and Safety Advisor who will arrange rectification.
Fire doors should not be propped open without an authorised reason.
It is a legal requirement that the VQ Solutions records all accidents occurring on its premises and first aiders are available. Lists of first aiders will be displayed at appropriate places around our buildings.
All injuries however minor should be reported to a supervising staff member who will decide whether to summon a first aider or record it. The emergency procedure should be displayed in all rooms.
A first aid box is kept in the VQ Solutions training centre and is accessible to treat minor injuries.
Both staff and learners have a responsibility towards each other for safety when not engaged in formally tutored sessions. The following behaviour is not acceptable on health and safety grounds:-
Leaving spillages or materials on floors where they will cause a trip or slip hazard. Please report any seen to a staff member.
Gathering in confined spaces so that access for others is blocked or a trip hazard is created. Blocking of fire exits is strictly forbidden. Please remember that VQ Solutions is an equal opportunities company and that some learners may have mobility problems that make a situation dangerous to them even though others may find it easy to negotiate
The Company has a no smoking policy. Smoking is prohibited in all company buildings to all occupants and therefore matches or lighters should be used only when a legitimate activity requires them.
Aggressive behaviour can cause intense alarm to some people and therefore will not be tolerated
The carrying of equipment which could cause injury during an assault must not be carried by any person on company premises.
What employees must do
All employees must:
- Comply with the Health and Safety Policy
- Observe the safety rules
- Report any safety hazard within their work area or defect in any machinery, plant or equipment
- Comply with all written or verbal instructions given to them to ensure their personal safety and the safety of others
- Dress sensibly and safely for their particular working environment or occupation.
- Conduct themselves in an orderly manner in the workplace and refrain from any form of horseplay
- Use the safety equipment and / or protective clothing provided
- Avoid improvisation in any form, which may create a risk to their safety and to the safety of others
- Maintain all tools and equipment in good condition and report any defects immediately.
All accidents, incidents or near misses must be reported without delay to a relevant Manager or qualified First Aid Person and the Health and Safety Manager.
A “near miss” is an event where no injury or damage is caused but did have the potential to do so. The accident/incident report form is available on the company intranet and from the Health and Safety Manager. All employees will ensure that all accidents, incidents or near misses under their area of control are duly recorded and reported.
Specific injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences are reportable by law under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013. Where such an occurrence arises, the Health and Safety Manager, in conjunction with Directors, is responsible for submitting the required report to the relevant enforcing authority.
All VQ premises have fully trained First Aid Persons on-site to provide any suitable first aid in the event of an injury or instance of ill health. In the absence of a qualified First Aid Person, a relevant Manager will act as an Appointed Person to take charge of the situation and, where necessary, summon professional emergency assistance. An Appointed Person may not render any first aid unless they are qualified to do so. Where any serious accidents or incidents are reported, the Health and Safety Manager will conduct an appropriate and timely investigation to establish cause and determine suitable corrective or preventive actions. Revised operational controls resulting from such investigations will be communicated to all.
The means of establishing effective operational controls across the organisation will be achieved through risk assessment.
Risk assessment will identify potential hazards, who may be harmed and level of risk, document existing controls, and advise on further controls that may be required to reduce such risk to an acceptable level. Risk assessments will be reviewed at least annually, or where a change to operations has been identified. The requirement for risk assessments may be generated by, but are not limited to:
- Accident and incident reports or investigations.
- External compliance audits.
- Internal compliance audits.
- Lone Working arrangements.
- Disclosures of medical conditions.
- Introduction of new processes, equipment or substances.
- Works carried out by external contractors.
All risk assessments will be recorded and made available to all relevant or interested parties.