Agenda item

Update on the Health and Safety Service

Member briefing by the Occupational Health and Safety Manager


K Lough, Occupational Health and Safety Manager was in attendance to give an update on the Health and Safety Service as at the end of year 2015/16.


The Officer informed Members that end of year statistics showed a reduction in RIDDOR reportable accidents by 13% and in the total number of accidents by 4.8%. It was pleasing to report that days lost had also reduced which could be attributed to the work undertaken by the Team with the Occupational Health Service to introduce self-referral or Manager referral to services such as physiotherapy sessions. Councillor Clark made the point that self-referral may be more difficult for those employees without access to a computer yet who may also be more likely to require access to physiotherapy because of the physical nature of their work. K Lough advised that this had been addressed through working with Managers of at-risk groups. Following a further question from Councillor Robinson, Members were informed that GP referral was not necessary.


In response to a question from Councillor Blakey, K Lough advised of work to be undertaken with Public Health in 2016/17 to implement mental health and wellbeing interventions which would include training to help Managers recognise signs of mental health problems.


The Chairman considered that the reduction in accidents was commendable and asked about the recording of ‘near-misses’ which could provide useful information for the prevention of accidents in future. K Lough acknowledged this and advised that figures had shown an increase in the number of ‘near misses’ which may be due to the improved accident reporting process. The Team would continue to encourage employees to report ‘near misses’.


In the year almost 100 proactive audit and inspections had been carried out with in excess of 240 accident investigations. Over 4400 employees had received training in areas such as noise and asbestos management, and workplace transport improvements had been made at depots. 50% of mining legacy inspections had been completed and a corporate lone working system had been introduced.


A key highlight for the year was the completion of Phase 1 of work on open water safety. Phase 2 would be completed during 2016-2017 with the development of education and awareness initiatives throughout the year. He informed Members of the recently launched Open Water Safety Campaign, a multi-agency collaboration which in excess of 250,000 people had already viewed, and which other local authorities had expressed an interest in using in their areas. 3500 schoolchildren had attended special assemblies about the campaign and it had been shortlisted for the Public Sector Campaign awards.


For 2016-2017 the Team would be drafting a new Health and Safety Strategy to reflect changes to Corporate Management Team. Scheduled risk based proactive audits and inspections would continue, as would the review of fire related risks within Council and multi-occupied premises, and the mining legacy inspection programme.




That the information given be noted.