Memo M4/13: Health and Safety Self Assurance Questionnaire - 2013

Heads of departments are expected to satisfy themselves each year that the health and safety arrangements within their departments meet the requirements of University policy statements.  To help heads of department do this, the 2013 health and safety self assurance questionnaire is now available.

Departmental safety officers should have received a separate email describing how to access the toolkit.  If you have not received an email, as expected, please contact the self assurance helpdesk:

Departments are asked to submit the completed questionnaire by 18th October 2013

Heads of department are responsible for ensuring the questionnaire is completed within this timescale.  However, it is assumed that departmental safety officers (DSO) will be nominated to undertake the review, complete the questionnaire and submit this to their head of department for approval.  If someone other than the DSO is going to complete the questionnaire, please notify the University Safety Office.  Once the head of department has approved their questionnaire, it will be forwarded to the University Safety Office. 

The toolkit should provide a clear indication of effective health and safety management systems within the department and help identify where improvements might be required.  Departments are expected to use these findings to plan and develop ways of implementing improvements.  Departments may therefore wish to consult their departmental safety advisory committees, area safety officers and the University Safety Office for advice. 

The 2012 exercise was generally accepted has being positive and helpful.  Although the questions and information provided in the toolkit is very similar to last year, there are a few additions to further help departments monitor their own arrangements.  The exercise is ultimately aimed at supporting departments, but the anonymised results will be used to monitor the University’s overall performance.  The results will not be used to rank departments in any way.  

There are ten questions within the health and safety toolkit equivalent to the indicators currently used in the University’s HASMAP audit (See University policy statement S1/11) and including a specific question on the use of Personal Protective Equipment.  Each question consists of at least one answer that represents a standard of control. For each answer a department selects a statement that best reflects their current practice. The statements are scored in relation to the HASMAP performance levels, with the top answer in each question equivalent to Level 3 in HASMAP.

To support their selection departments must provide evidence.  The evidence can take the form of an attached document, an outline of the current arrangements or most importantly, an indication of where improvements are to be made.  The completed assessment cannot be submitted without this evidence, which further helps provide an auditable trail.  For some questions, specific documents are expected to be attached e.g. the department’s current fire risk assessment, statement of safety organisation, safety minutes, and inspection reports.

To help those completing the questionnaire, a training course has been provided, but this will be repeated in September.  A date has yet to be set and further details will be available via the following site:

[Note: A link to the toolkit is also available via this website]

If there are any questions, please contact the self assurance help desk or the University Safety Office directly.


August 2013