Health, Safety, Welfare and Environment Committee

1. Purpose

1.1 This document defines the governance arrangements for managing and monitoring the Oxford Brookes University (OBU) Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management System.

1.2 The procedure establishes the arrangements for the:

  • Oxford Brookes Health Safety and Welfare Strategy Committee (HSWSC)
  • Oxford Brookes Health Safety and Welfare Operational Committee (HSWOC)
  • Faculty/Directorates (Local) Health, Safety and Welfare Committees/Meetings (LHSWC)

1.3 Health and Safety Committees at University and Faculty/Services level are the primary means of achieving consultation with staff, with the HSWSC being the main mechanism for consultation with Safety Representatives and Employee Representatives to meet the requirements of The Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 (as amended) and the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (as amended).

2. Scope

2.1 This procedure defines the Terms of References (ToR) for the meetings at 1.2, specifically outlining:

  1. The responsibilities for chairing and management of the Committee meetings
  2. Authority levels for the HSWSC
  3. Recommended membership of the Committees
  4. Minimum frequency of the meetings
  5. The process for escalating items within the University.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 The Vice-Chancellor’s Group lead for occupational health and safety (Chair of the HSWSC) is responsible for ensuring that HSWSC meetings are held on a quarterly basis in accordance with this procedure.

3.2 The University’s Director of Occupational Health and Safety is responsible for ensuring that OHS policy and procedure documents forwarded for approval by the HSWOC have been developed in line with the appropriate document control requirements.

3.3 Pro Vice-Chancellor/Deans/Directors are responsible for ensuring that Faculty / Directorate H&S meetings are held on a quarterly basis with any outputs produced and forwarded for inclusion into the HSWOC schedule.

3.4 Where a committee member is unable to attend a meeting, it is their responsibility to ensure that an appropriate deputy attends in their place.

4. Authority

4.1 The chair of the HSWSC has the delegated authority from the VCG to make decisions for those matters within its remit:

  • The chair has the authority to approve Policies and Procedures agreed via 3.2 above.

4.2 Matters unresolved at the HSWSC will be escalated to the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

5. Governance arrangements

5.1 Appendix 1 illustrates the relationship between the relevant bodies with H&S responsibilities. The key elements of the governance framework may be summarised as follows:

Oxford Brookes University Health, Safety and Welfare Strategy Committee (HSWSC)

5.2 The strategic group responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, operation and review of the University’s Health and Safety Management System. Terms of reference and composition are shown in Appendix 2. A summary report from this committee will be provided to the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and the Board of Governors, as required.

Oxford Brookes University Health, Safety and Operational Committee (HSWOC)

5.3 Chaired by the University’s Safety Manager, the group comprises stakeholders from across the University. Its purpose is to achieve a coordinated approach to OHS management across OBU and to provide professional guidance to the HSWSC. Terms of reference are shown in Appendix 3.

Faculty/Directorate Health, Safety and Welfare Committees/Meetings

5.4 Faculties or Directorates with a higher hazard profile either due to the nature of activities or those affected by their activities (i.e. students), are expected to hold formal health and safety committee/meetings quarterly in advance of the HSWOC. These areas are:

  • Oxford Brookes Business School
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
  • Estates and Campus Services.

5.5 The majority of Directorates would generally be considered to have a lower hazard profile and as such would not be required to hold a formal health and safety committee meeting. However, in advance of the HSWOC committees, they are expected to include H&S as an agenda item as part of their normal management meetings.

5.6 Appendix 4 provides a recommended set of ToRs for these committees/meetings.

6. Communication

6.1 Minutes and actions arising from HSWOC and HSWSC will be published on the intranet. The chair of each committee reserves the right to redact any information considered ‘sensitive’.

6.2 The H&S team will provide an update to all Faculties and Directorates of the outputs from the HSWOC and HSWSC. Pro-Vice Chancellors and Directors must ensure there are mechanisms in place to cascade this information to all staff in their Faculty/Directorate.

7. Records and documentation

7.1 Copies of the minutes and actions from the meetings covered by this procedure will be held for a period of three years.

7.2 This procedure will be reviewed every three years or earlier where there are significant changes to the structures or organisation of the University.

8. References and links

8.1 OHS Policy (TBC)

8.2 OHS Organisation and Arrangements (TBC)

Document control

  • Title: Occupational Health and Safety Governance
  • Number: OBU-OHS-PROC-03.00
  • Version number: V1
  • Originator name/owner: Paul Bradley
  • Professional Service Unit/Department: Occupational Health and Safety
  • Implementation/effective date: 14 September 2023
  • Date of this version: 14 September 2023
  • Date of next review: September 2026