This report presents the Health and Safety Annual Report 2020 - 2021.
The Strategic Director for Commercial and Operations presented the Council’s Health and Safety Annual Report 2020/21 which provided an overview of the Authority’s management of health and safety arrangements to its customers, employees and Members. The report also summarised the progress made and identified key areas of focus to ensure that the Council maintained its health and safety performance.
A copy of the Health and Safety report was appended to the report and demonstrated that the Council’s performance in relation to health and safety had been very good during the period of the report. It also showed the Council’s commitment to safety during the pandemic and the measures taken to protect the health and safety of those who could be affected.
A small increase in the number of accidents had occurred, as detailed in the report. Whilst the focus was on reducing accidents, wherever possible, it was recognised that accidents were likely to happen in organisations of the size and in nature as the Council. Members were reminded that the Authority provided a varied range of services, some with inherently higher risk activities and in challenging and changing environments.
It was reported that key areas for focus next year were:
· completion of a planned risk assessment audit;
· continued monitoring and review of Covid safety procedures;
· provision of training to increase risk recognition and reduction.
The procedures and safety assessments produced by the Council over this period had remained under regular review to restrict service interruption to a minimum, whilst not compromising the safety, health or welfare of customers, staff or Members. The Authority also continued to support significant numbers of staff to work from home whilst reviewing and monitoring the use of all operational buildings.
A Member queried what impact staff working from home had placed upon the requirement to complete a workstation self-assessment form and whether this affected the Council’s corporate insurance. The Strategic Director, Commercial and Operations, explained that the requirement was still placed on employees to undertake a self-assessment and complete the necessary paperwork. Guidance was provided to all members of staff working from home on how to carryout this assessment, the outcomes of which were managed via service managers and the Health and Safety Team as usual. The obligation from an insurance perspective was that these assessments were taking place, which they were.
Discussion ensued on the uniform and protective equipment issued to waste collection staff, particularly footwear and the sufficiency of their tread. It was noted that regular checks of footwear and other protective clothing or equipment were made and new provisions were issued as and when it was necessary.
A question was raised regarding a relatively recent accident that had occurred in the Council Chamber and when remedial action would be taken. Members noted that the relevant service area had been contacted, with measures due to be put in place prior to the next meeting of Full Council in September.
That the Governance and Audit Committee notes the Health and Safety Annual Report for the period 2020/21.