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For managers and senior leaders

Learning Resources

A new elearning module explaining the University’s occupational health and safety management system is available on UoRLearn here


The University Council has overall responsibility for health and safety within the University. The Vice-Chancellor is the senior officer of the University and has overall executive responsibility for managing health and safety. The Vice-Chancellor is supported by the Chair of the University Health and Safety Committee, who has delegated responsibility. Other senior officers of the University are responsible for ensuring that health and safety policy and objectives are implemented in their areas of responsibility. For further details see Safety Code of Practice 2.

University Health and Safety Committee (UHSWC)

Support is provided to senior officers through the University's Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee, which develops health and safety policy, monitors performance, and acts as a consultative body with employee representatives.

The UHSWC has 2 sub-committees responsible for assessing and approving work involving the use of hazardous biological agents and radioactive materials:

  • Sub-Committee for Biological Safety (SCBS)
  • Radiation Safety Sub-Committee (RSSC)

The current Terms of Reference and membership for UHSWC and its sub-committees is available from the corporate governance Committee List


School/Function Management

The Head of the School/Function (HoS/F) is responsible for the health and safety of all work activities carried out by staff and students within their area. Safety Code of Practice 1 provides a summary of health and safety standards for HoS/F, who may delegate responsibilities or actions to managers, principal investigators, and department heads, but HoS/F retain accountability.


Each School/Function must develop, implement and maintain effective health and safety management arrangements, incorporating:

  • Risk assessments
  • Development of safe operating procedures
  • Induction of new starters and returners
  • Training
  • Emergency response, including exercising of emergency arrangements
  • Consultation and communication with staff and students
  • Maintenance of local records
  • Workplace inspections
  • Health & Safety Co-ordinators (HSCs) to undertake investigation of incidents and provide other support
  • Regular review of performance
  • Reporting of performance as required.


Each School/Function must have its own Local Health and Safety Code, which explains the local management arrangements and provides essential information for staff and students. A template for a local code is available on our forms and templates pages..


Each School/Function must have its own local H&S Committee. Guidance is available in Safety Note 79. Local H&S Committees are expected to escalate intractable problems and examples of good practice to UHSWC. 


Health and Safety Co-ordinators are appointed locally within Schools/ Functions to act on behalf of the Head of School/Function to co-ordinate health and safety arrangements. Further details on the duties of an HSC are given in Safety Note 1.

Display Screen Equipment Assessors are appointed locally within Schools /Functions and their role is explained further here.

School Radiation Protection Supervisors and School Laser Supervisors are appointed locally, where necessary. Further information on their roles is available via the HSS Radiation webpage.

Building Support Officers are appointed by Estates to co-ordinate building-related health and safety issues, in particular fire safety, and to provide a first point of contact for liaison between Schools/ Functions and Estates. Further information is available here.


Further information is given under Local responsibilities.


Health & Safety Services

The University’s central H&S team provides professional advice and guidance, develops policies and procedures, organises the H&S learning and audit programmes, liaises with H&S law enforcement authorities and delivers various direct services, including some delivered only on request.

 JM, November 2022