To consider the Service Plan for Health and Safety Regulation 2019-20.
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Consideration was given to a report by the Head of Community (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) to which was attached the proposed Service Plan for Health and Safety Regulation 2019-2020.
The Committee were advised that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires every local authority to outline how it will fulfil its duty to make adequate arrangements for the enforcement of the relevant statutory provisions within its area. The resultant Service Plan for 2019-20 had been drawn up in accordance with the National Local Authority Enforcement Code and Local Authority Circular LAC 67/2 (revision 8).
Attention was then drawn to the aims and objectives of the proposed Plan, service delivery proposals, resourcing requirements, the targets for health and safety activity and the proposed development plan for 2019-20. Members noted that the District Council currently had 2,271 premises on its premises database for which it was responsible. For the purposes of the Plan, these had been broken down into their HSE classification and a Member suggested that it would be useful to see the figures for previous years to provide a better understanding of the changing nature of the District.
In reviewing the proposed Plan, Members commented on the estimated reduction in the number of accident and dangerous occurrence investigations in the forthcoming year and were advised as to how this was proposed to be achieved. Clarification was also sought on the roles of the Health and Safety Executive and the Local Authority and the Committee were advised that the responsibilities were set out in detail in the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authorities) Regulations 1998.
The Committee went on to discuss the proactive role of the District Council’s Safety Advisory Group in ensuring that health and safety advice is disseminated to event organisers and inspecting large scale public gatherings. However, the Committee noted that this was not a mechanism adopted and utilised by all local authorities. In response to a specific enquiry regarding an event organised by the Royal British Legion and the potential to access the expertise of the Safety Advisory Group, the Head of Community intimated that he would be happy to take their details outside of the meeting.
The Committee then discussed the number of cases in which formal enforcement action had been undertaken in the past few years, specifically the use of Improvement and Prohibition notices.
In terms of the selection of future incidents and complaints for investigation in the forthcoming year, the Committee were advised that he HSE’s risk based approach to complaint handling and incident selection would be adopted. Having noted that it was a mandatory requirement to report all work based accidents, Officers confirmed that this approach would have been kept under review. However to address the reservations of a member, it was suggested that some examples of those incidents not investigated and not investigated could be provided in future monitoring reports.
Whereupon, it was
(a) that the Service Plan for Health and Safety Regulation 2019-20 be approved in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
(b) that the Head of Community be authorised to update the 2018/19 performance data within the Service Plan prior to publication.