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Health & Safety Policy

Introduction

The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) requires employers to prepare, revise and bring to the notice of their staff, a written statement covering:

  • Their general policy with respect to the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.
  • The organisation and arrangements for carrying out that policy.
  • This document fulfills that requirement for Knights.  It will be reviewed annually, and revisions published as necessary.
General Policy

It is the Policy of Knights to pursue progressive improvement in health and safety for staff, to do all that is reasonably practicable to provide safe and healthy working conditions, and to ensure that its work does not adversely affect the health or safety of other people.

It is Knights intention:

  • to comply will all relevant legislation, codes of practice and other appropriate guidance;
  • to provide and maintain premises and equipment that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, without risks to health & safety;
  • to promote systems of work that eliminate, so far as is reasonably practicable, risks to the health & safety of staff;
  • to encourage staff to set a high standard of health & safety;
  • to keep Knights’ Health & Safety Policy under review as to ensure that all relevant legislation, codes of practice and guidance are covered where appropriate;
  • to communicate new policies, procedures and objectives to departments regularly;
  • to provide information, instruction and supervision for employees;
  • to ensure all employees are competent to do their jobs, and to give then adequate training;
  • to prevent accidents and cases of work related ill health from occurring; and
  • to maintain safe and healthy working conditions.
Organisation

The Chief Executive Officer has overall responsibility for health & safety for Knights. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for the policy being implemented.

Health & Safety responsibilities include:

  • Complying with the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and subordinate regulations and appropriate codes of practice currently in force.
  • Ensuring that any safety responsibilities delegated to subordinate staff are clearly understood.
  • Risk assessments are carried out when required (such as fire, stress, pregnancy, DSE or manual handling).
Responsibilities

All employees have the responsibility to co-operate with their colleagues to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.

Whenever an employee, supervisor or manager notices a health and safety problem which they are not able to put right, they must immediately inform the appropriate person.

General Arrangements

Slips, Trips, Falls and Accidents at Work

  • All employees should take responsibility for their own and other people’s Health & Safety at work. All accidents should be reported to the Office Leader and if they resulted in injury, recorded in the accident book which is located at Reception. Completed accident reports should be forwarded to the HR Department as soon as possible after the accident so that any remedial action can be taken.
  • A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, damage or product loss but had the potential to do so. It should still be reported to the Human Resource department, so that we can prevent an accident from re-occurring.
  • Any accident that results in an absence of more than three days will be reported by the company to the Health & Safety Executive under RIDDOR – Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
  • All locations have a first aid box and there are employees on site who have received basic emergency first aid training. A list of First Aiders is available on notice boards around the office.

Accidents

First Aid boxes are located in Reception and both main collection areas in each office. All staff should report any incidents to their office leader to ensure that they are recorded.

General Fire Safety

  • Any concerns regarding fire safety should be raised with a Fire Marshal, Health and Safety Representative or the Human Resource department so that a fire risk assessment can be carried out in order to minimise any risk.
  • Fire extinguishers are maintained and checked annually by external contractors the fire alarm is tested every week.
  • An emergency evacuation will be tested every 12 months.
  • Emergency lighting and signs indicating emergency exit routes are displayed around the building.
  • In the event of a fire you should leave the building by the nearest exit and do not return until you are informed by a fire marshal that it is safe to do so. Lifts should not be used under any circumstances during an evacuation.
  • Escape routes: Health and Safety Officers ensures they are kept clear and that exits are clearly marked and unlocked at all times

The Office Environment

Work stations should be kept tidy at all times and draws closed when not in use.  Employees should be able to leave workstations swiftly in an emergency.  There should be enough room under desks to allow free movement and employees are responsible for ensuring that the space under their desks is tidy and allows free movement.

Individual personal preference makes it difficult to specify temperature within the office which satisfies everyone.  For workplaces where the activity is mainly sedentary, the temperature should normally be at least 16 degrees celsius: however there is no upper temperature limit.

Stress and Well Being

Stress affects different people in different ways, and everyone has a different method of dealing with it.  All employees need to be aware of the causes of stress in the working environment and take actions to minimise these such as backing up work on computers to minimise the risk of losing vast quantities of data or asking for help from your team leader if you are finding your workload unmanageable.

If an employee feels that they are suffering from the effects of stress then they should speak to their line manager who will work with them to try to help resolve the problem.  Knights also provides an Employee counselling service through BDMA for advice and guidance on a number of topics and the contact number for this is 0800 919 765.

Contractors and Visitors

All contractors and visitors must report to the Receptionist on arrival in the building and be advised of emergency evacuation procedures, fire exits and rest room facilities.

Computer Safety and DSE

If you suffer from any discomfort whilst using your computer or laptop for a continuous period of time, speak to your Team Leader or Manager and ask them to carry out a Display Screen Assessment on you. Assessments should be updated every two years or earlier if required, for example following an operation or when moving desks.

In order to prevent any unnecessary cases from occurring, all users must ensure that they set up and position their equipment in the recommended way.

Knights will pay for eye tests for all users of computers (Display Screens) every two years or more frequently if recommended by the employee’s optician.

The company adheres to the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 to ensure that adequate protection is given to staff in relation to eyes and eyesight.

Electrical Awareness

In order to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, Testing [FIT] and Portable Appliance Testing [PAT] should be carried out by an external company. It is important that electrical equipment is not brought from home as it has not undergone the above testing therefore presents a risk.

Appliances must be plugged into the nearest socket and no more than four plugs per socket. Wires should not trail across the floor and should not be trapped by chairs, filing cabinets etc. All employees are responsible for ensuring that the wires under their desks do not become hazardous.

All electrical and computer equipment is the subject of maintenance agreements. IT Team are responsible for advice on cabling, use of extension leads etc.

General Safety

Access to and around the office is controlled by a series of door locks that are activated by employees. Visitors must be accompanied around the building if they are visiting various departments.

Employees should not smoke directly outside main entrances or in car parks. Extinguished cigarettes and cigarette packets should be disposed of in a bin.

It is against company policy to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work. This includes drinking during your lunch break. There are specific policies on Smoking and Drugs & Alcohol in the Staff Handbook and all employees should make themselves aware of these.

To help prevent injuries from manual handling Knights provides training and information to staff on the correct way to carry loads.

When using stairs, employees should hold the handrail and ensure that they pay attention and do not read documents or use phones. Employees should not run up or down the stairs.

Employees should drive at a sensible speed (no more than 5mph) around car parks and pedestrians should be vigilant when walking through the car parks.

Any expectant mothers or staff with an injury or condition that may put them at increased risk while working should inform their line manager and the Human Resources department.  A specific risk assessment should then be carried out by their line manager and in conjunction with HR, any reasonable adjustments will be carried out.

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