- Company Responsibilities
- Your Responsibilities
- Procedure in the Event of an Accident
- First aid
- Fire Procedures
- Electrical Safety
- Eye Examinations
- Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
- General Points
- Driving on Company Business
- Referral to a Doctor
- Infectious Diseases
- Tiredness and driving
- Drink and Drugs
- Eye Tests
- Adverse Weather Conditions
Health and safety policy
We recognise and accept our responsibility as an employer to maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and health of our employees, and of other persons who may be affected by our activities.
It is your duty not to put at risk either yourself or others by your acts or omissions. You should also ensure that you are familiar with the Company’s health and safety arrangements. Should you have concerns over any health and safety aspects of your work, this should be brought to the attention of your manager immediately.
It should be recognised that you cannot be effective if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs; these must not be taken whilst at work. Where deficiencies in safety standards or equipment are noted, then these should be reported immediately to the member of staff responsible for health and safety.
The Company has a detailed health and safety policy, a copy of which is available upon request. You are required to read the policy and take all necessary steps to comply. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action and, in serious cases, dismissal.
- To provide information, instruction and supervision to enable all employees to contribute positively to their own health and safety at work.
- To ensure that electrical equipment and systems of work are safe and do not endanger health.
- To provide safe arrangements for the storage, handling and movement of materials and substances.
- To provide welfare facilities and benefits so far as is reasonably practicable.
- To provide safe means of access to and from places of work, which are under the Company's control.
- To take reasonable care for your own health and safety and of others who may be affected by your acts or omissions at work.
- To co-operate fully with the Company to enable it to comply with any relevant legislation regarding health and safety at work.
- To report and co-operate in the investigation of accidents or incidents that may have led or may lead to injury.
- To refrain from intentionally or recklessly interfering with or mis-use anything provided by the Company in the interests of health, safety and welfare in pursuance of the relevant legislation.
Procedure in the Event of an Accident
The Company keeps an Accident Book and it is the responsibility of each individual employee to report and record any accident at work involving personal injury. Any accident or near miss occurrence (i.e. no one was injured but the incident had the potential to injure) at work should be reported immediately to your manager.
All employees who are absent from work following an accident must complete a self-certification form, which clearly states the nature and cause of the injury.
If you suffer an injury at work which results in you being away from work, or unable to do your normal work, for three days or more (including weekends, rest days or holidays) it is important that your manager is informed and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also needs to be informed by the Company. To notify HSE of the incident the relevant form should be completed in conjunction with your manager. You are not expected to complete this form yourself.
In the event of medical assistance being required, Kate Rawlins, who is the appointed First Aider, should be contacted. The First Aid Box is kept in the office cabinet and in the event of an ambulance being required, a 999 facility is available on any telephone extension. Your manager should be informed as soon as reasonably practical afterwards.
In case of fire, you must evacuate the building in accordance with the Fire Instructions. It is your responsibility to be aware of these instructions and where the nearest Fire Exit and Fire Appliances are located. The assembly point available for the building is detailed on the posted notices.
Although regular electrical tests and inspections are carried out at our premises, we still have a duty of care and responsibility towards the ongoing maintenance and safety of electrical equipment. The Electricity at Work Regulations contain a responsibility that employers and many employees have for electrical systems. Plug-in electrical adaptors should not be used at all. Correctly sized extension leads may be used instead.
Special care must be taken to ensure that electric leads/cables are not in danger of being damaged by trapping them between items of furniture such as cupboards, cabinets etc. You are also asked to be mindful of plugs, cables and cable entries to equipment and report any concerns you may have.
It is the responsibility of the last person leaving to lock and secure all windows and doors in the office space (not just those in the individual’s working room), and to set the alarm for the office.
In accordance with the smoking ban in England, smoking is not permitted in any part of our premises. This is applicable to all employees and visitors, and includes smoking from tobacco-based cigarettes, cigars and pipes, e-cigarettes and vaping. The smoke-free law was introduced to protect employees and the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
Employees breaching this policy are likely to face disciplinary action through the disciplinary procedure and a fixed penalty notice or fine for non-compliance with the smoke-free law.
Regular eye examinations will be offered to all “habitual” DSE and other computer screen users; normally every two years. We will pay for the cost of the eye examination. We will also contribute towards DSE specific spectacles as prescribed by the optometrist.
Managers must ensure that personal data, including information about individuals' health, gathered when arranging eye and eyesight tests is handled in accordance with the Company’s Data Protection Policy / policy on processing special categories of personal data.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
The Company provides DSE equipment, which comply with health and safety legislation.
All users should experiment to find the most comfortable position – normally arms should be bent at the elbows at an angle of 90 degrees with the forearms. Wrists and hands should be parallel to the work surface and the floor.
It is important that DSE users report any of the following faults to their line manager for immediate correction:
- Images/characters which are unclear or difficult to see.
- Flickering screens.
Wherever possible, screens should not be sited adjacent to a window. If this is unavoidable, the screen should be positioned at right angles to windows thereby reducing the likelihood of glare or reflection on the screen.
- Never place drinks near electrical equipment.
- Do not cover or obstruct ventilation grilles.
- If there are trailing wires near workstations, please report them to your line manager who will ensure that the necessary action is taken.
- Avoid rapid repetitive movements of the head or eyes.
- Remember to blink regularly and to glance away from the screen to rest eyes and to stop the surface of the eye from becoming dry.
- Most jobs incorporate tasks, which require the employee to move away from the keyboard and screen. Breaks should be taken away from the equipment to provide the opportunity to change posture and to rest both eyes and hands.
- If the lighting surrounding the workstation is too bright or too dim, please report it.
Driving on Company Business
Health and Safety Law requires employers to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and well-being of their employees and to safeguard others who may be at risk from their work activities. This includes when they are undertaking work related driving activities.
The Company is constantly aware of the dangers surrounding any vehicle driver. Employees are required to comply with the following rules for their own safety and that of others.
The use of a mobile phone while driving is illegal and prohibited.
It is a specific offence to use a hand-held phone, or similar device whilst driving. This means that you cannot hold the phone in your hand or cradle it between your shoulder and ear. If the phone is in a fixed cradle, you may press the buttons. Drivers still risk prosecution, for failure to have proper control, if they use hands free phones whilst driving.
For the avoidance of doubt the term “whilst driving” includes any period where the car engine is running. The car must be parked in a safe location for the use to be entirely free from risk. In emergency situations where to stop would increase the risk, a 999 call is allowed.
Referral to a Doctor
If we raise concerns about your health, it is possible during the course of your employment that we may require your consent under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 to apply to your GP or consultant for a report on the current state of your health, or request that you undergo a medical examination by an independent medical examiner.
If we make a request of this nature, we will explain to you why we are seeking to process this information and the legal basis we are relying upon to do so. It is possible that you may be asked to see a medical practitioner or to give your consent to us receiving a medical report in order to (i) assist our investigations into an ongoing case of sickness absence, (ii) to determine whether you should continue to receive Company pay, (iii) to make a decision with regards to your capability to perform your role (iv) to determine if you require any reasonable adjustments or (v) in relation to another legitimate reason that we will communicate to you at the time.
If we deem it necessary to ask for access to a medical report, or for you to visit a medical practitioner, you will be asked to sign a medical consent form stating whether you consent or not, and if you wish to see a copy of any medical report in advance of its disclosure to the Company. Regardless of whether you provide your consent or not, you will be asked to acknowledge that you have been notified of the reason under data protection law as to why we are seeking to process this information and the legal basis for doing so.
Any personal data collected in relation to this policy is held securely and accessed by, and disclosed to, individuals only for the purposes of managing the sickness procedure. Inappropriate access or disclosure of employee data constitutes a data breach and should be reported in accordance with the Company's Data Protection Policy immediately. It may also constitute a disciplinary offence, which will be dealt with under the Company’s Disciplinary procedure.
The menopause is a natural event in most women's lives during which they stop having periods and experience hormonal changes such as a decrease in oestrogen levels. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and typically lasts between four and eight years. However, each woman's experience will differ, and menopausal symptoms can occasionally begin before the age of 40. Peri-menopause, or menopause transition, begins several years before menopause. Women may start to experience menopausal symptoms during the final two years of peri-menopause.
While symptoms vary greatly, they often include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Memory loss
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Joint stiffness, aches and pains
- Reduced concentration, and
- Heavy periods
Each of these symptoms can affect an employee's comfort and performance at work. The Company has a duty to provide a safe working environment for all employees and therefore commits to ensuring that adjustments and additional support are available to those experiencing menopausal symptoms.
The Company aims to facilitate an open, understanding working environment. Employees are encouraged to inform their manager that they are experiencing menopausal symptoms at an early stage to ensure that symptoms are treated as an ongoing health issue rather than as individual instances of ill health. Early notification will also help us to determine the most appropriate course of action to support an employee's individual needs. Employees who do not wish to discuss the issue with their manager may find it helpful to have an initial discussion with a trusted colleague instead.
There are a number of external organisations that can provide assistance with managing symptoms and offering support during the menopause including Menopause Matters, the Daisy Network and the Menopause Café. More information about these organisations can be found online.
The Company strives to achieve a comfortable working temperature for all employees. We will allow flexibility within our dress code where reasonable. There is an air conditioning system in operation in the building and chilled water is available in the kitchen area, and desk fans will be provided upon request.
The Company recognises that difficulty sleeping is a common symptom of the menopause. To reflect this, as well as the impact of other common symptoms, we aim to facilitate flexible working wherever possible. Requests for flexible working could include asking for:
- a change to the pattern of hours worked;
- permission to perform work from home;
- a reduction in working hours; or
- more frequent breaks.
You should discuss such requests with your manager. Depending on the circumstances, requests may be approved on a permanent or temporary basis.
If you contract an infectious disease e.g., chickenpox or German measles, you should consult your GP immediately and also advise the Company. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to stay away from the Company in order to protect other colleagues e.g. those who are pregnant.
Tiredness and driving
You must never attempt to drive if feeling drowsy or suffering from fatigue and should rest before commencing a journey or stop for a break en-route, even during your normal days of work.
Drink and Drugs
You must never drive if you have been drinking alcohol in excess of the legal limit or have taken drugs (illegal or prescribed) which affect concentration, induce drowsiness or otherwise affect a person’s ability to drive safely.
Some forms of ill health affect your ability to drive safely either for a temporary or longer-term period even though you may be able to perform your work duties. In these instances, the Company will assist to accommodate the problem.
It is recommended that all drivers have regular eye tests.
Adverse Weather Conditions
You should assess the risk before setting out on journeys where there is a risk of adverse weather conditions. Consider alternative forms of transport and obtain the appropriate authorisation from your Line Manager.
When facing adverse conditions during a journey the Company recommends that the driver stops in a safe location and obtains further advice regarding the ongoing conditions.