Health and Safety Policy (OBUHSN 01)

Statement of intent

Oxford Brookes University will act positively to minimise the incidence of all workplace risks as required by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and other associated legislation. All activities shall be carried out with the highest regard for the health and safety of all staff, students, visitors and the public at large. Our aim is excellence in health and safety, by means of continuous improvement of standards and systematically removing the causes of accidents/incidents and ill-health. Wherever possible, legal requirements should be regarded as the minimum standard to be achieved.

The Board of Governors and The Vice-Chancellors Group (VCG) are committed to providing the financial and physical resources necessary to ensure that a high standard of health and safety is achieved. Within their areas of responsibility Pro-Vice Chancellor (PVC)/Deans of Faculties and Directors of Directorates will make provision from within their budgets for adequate resources to maintain and improve a healthy and safe working environment. People are our most valuable resource, and the safeguarding of human as well as other resources through health and safety is important, not only for its own sake, but also as a way of minimising costs.

The successful implementation of this policy requires total commitment from all members of staff, students and visitors.

This policy will be reviewed annually or in the light of legislative or organisational changes.

Organisation of health and safety

The Board of Governors and the Vice-Chancellor have overall responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of all the University’s employees, students and visitors. The authority to implement this policy is delegated to the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer and is implemented through the PVC/Deans of Faculties and Directors.

  • PVC/Deans and Directors accept the employer’s responsibility for compliance with legislation and the University's Health and Safety Policy in the areas under their control.
  • All employees and students shall take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work or study.
  • All employees are required to co-operate with the University so far as is necessary to enable health and/or safety requirements to be performed or complied with.
  • Visitors and external contractors will be given sufficient information and supervision to ensure that they comply with this policy and any/all other relevant Oxford Brookes University Health and Safety Notices.
  • Oxford Brookes University has appointed competent persons to advise all staff on health and safety issues and assist in meeting, and where appropriate exceeding the minimum statutory legal requirements.
  • Emergency procedures are designed to ensure the safe access to and egress from the premises and to give warning of imminent danger to allow all staff, students and visitors to move to a place of relative safety.
  • Health surveillance and monitoring will be provided for specific workers where required by legislation and best practice.
  • Oxford Brookes University will consult staff, student and Trades Union representatives on arrangements for co-operating in the promotion and development of health and safety at work.

Arrangements for health and safety

The University will take all reasonably practicable steps to provide places of work that are safe and healthy and meet the health, safety and welfare needs of each member of staff.

  • PVC, Deans and Directors are responsible for the training and supervision of staff and students in their respective Faculties/Directorates in accordance with health and safety regulations and Oxford Brookes University policies. In particular, they will ensure that new recruits are given induction training on their first day. They will also ensure that appropriate information is available to all staff, students and/or visitors. The University Safety Officer and/or University Senior Occupational Health Adviser will advise as necessary on specific safety training and the provision of relevant information.
  • The University will consult with Safety Representatives as provided for in Section 2(6) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 and other relevant statutory instruments. Oxford Brookes University will provide adequate facilities for them to perform their functions.
  • The Health, Safety and Welfare Committee is established in accordance with the provisions of Section 2(7) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.  It reports to the Executive Board, Vice-Chancellor and the Board of Governors. The Committee is scheduled to meet at least twice per semester. Its statutory duties include advising on setting health, safety and welfare standards and objectives, the monitoring of health and safety performance, and reporting non-compliance with the University's Health and Safety Policy.
  • Each Faculty/Directorate will appoint one or more Safety Adviser(s) whose duties are to advise the Deans of Faculties and Directors of Directorates on health and safety matters and to liaise with the Safety Manager and/or Occupational Health Adviser.
  • Risk assessment is a key element in the process of successful health & safety management. It requires line managers to be proactive, identify risks and, more importantly, do something to reduce them. Risk assessments can identify weakness and, when acted upon, lead to a safer, healthier and more productive work force.
  • Procedures will be implemented to ensure that all plant, machinery and equipment are designed, constructed, operated and maintained in a safe manner.
  • The University will provide trained first-aiders to treat staff, students and visitors who require attention while at University sites.
  • Detailed procedures to implement the provisions of this Statement of Policy are published as Oxford Brookes University Health and Safety Notices and are periodically revised
  • Health and Safety Notices may be downloaded from the Oxford Brookes University website at
  • All these notices together constitute the Oxford Brookes University Health and Safety Manual. It is the responsibility of individual staff and students to acquaint themselves with all relevant Health and Safety Notices.

Issue: 14 June 2021