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Guidance for Heads of Departments on Managing Health & Safety

Heads of Departments are accountable for following the University’s health and safety policy and
standards within their own areas of accountability, including any allocated space, equipment
and facilities, by reviewing performance, setting objectives, formalising arrangements, and
ensuring that necessary actions across all activities within their Department are completed.

Heads of Departments are expected to follow the detailed guidance in the 'Leadership and Management of Health and Safety at the University of Warwick' publication.

In particular Heads of Department are expected to:

  • Consider the health and safety requirements/implications when purchasing equipment or chemicals.
  • Consider the health and safety requirements/implications when using contractors.
  • Ensure that their staff carry out, document and regularly review risk assessments.
  • Ensure that research programmes have had relevant scrutiny regarding health, safety and related compliance issues, including for research activities carried out off-campus.
  • Ensure that actions and recommendations from Health and Safety audits and inspections are implemented.

Heads of Department can delegate authority for oversight and action planning for health and
safety performance to a member of staff (preferably a senior academic). It is important to
note that it is the activity which is being delegated and not the responsibility: the Head of
Department remains ultimately responsible for Health and Safety within their department.