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L79 Health and Safety

1. Summary of changes

1.1. This protocol has been developed using the previous content of force policy L79.

2. What this protocol is about

2.1 This protocol details the procedures, responsibilities and arrangements to enable Kent Police to develop an effective safety culture, sustain a healthy work environment and avoid foreseeable accidents to individuals who might be affected by its undertakings.

2.2 The standards set out in this document will enable all buildings, work areas and activities to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and other relevant statutory provisions and recognised codes of practice.

2.3 Throughout this linked protocol, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable are committed to ensuring a healthy and safer working environment, that day-to-day work activities go further than legal compliance, by embracing the spirit of the legislation and establishing common health and safety standards for any individual engaged in Kent Police activities.
3. Detail the protocol
3.1 Health and safety policy statement

3.1.1 It is the policy of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision and maintenance of safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all employees (1) . 

3.1.2 This will be achieved through such leadership and resources so as to enable:

•    the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health;
•    arrangements for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
•    the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety of all employees (1);
•    the maintenance of any place of work, including access and egress, which is under the control of the KPCC, in such a condition that it is safe and without risks to health; and
•    the provision and maintenance of a working environment for all employees (1) that is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.

3.1.3 The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable and Senior Management also accept their respective responsibilities for the health and safety of non-employees (2) who may be affected by Kent Police activities, striving to prevent accidental loss through personal injury, ill health and damage to property and to maintain a safe and healthy place of work.

3.1.4 To this end Kent Police will comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all other relevant statutory provisions and recognised codes of practice. The Chief Constable and the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner expect all employees (1) and non-employees (2) working on behalf of Kent Police to comply fully in the achievement of this protocol.

 3.2 Implementation

 3.2.1 In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Police (Health and Safety) Act 1997, the Chief Constable has responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of health and safety within Kent Police.

3.2.2 The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner will assist the Chief Constable in the discharge of those health and safety duties and will ensure that adequate resources are available to address health and safety issues.

3.2.3 The Chief Constable, with the support of chief officers, will develop a strategic integrated approach for the day-to-day management of health and safety within Kent Police.

3.2.4 The Chief Constable will appoint the Head of Human Resources to lead on health and safety issues and ensure this protocol is implemented throughout Kent Police.

3.2.5 Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department have responsibility, on behalf of the Chief Constable and Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, for health and safety compliance within their Division or Department.

3.2.6 Where a corporate standard is imposed effectively removing the discretion of the Divisional Commander or Head of Department, this will be fully documented and responsibility on behalf of the Chief Constable and Kent Police and Crime Commissioner will rest with the corporate standard decision maker.

3.2.7 In accordance with the general protocol of the Chief Constable in relation to health and safety, the various staff associations and trade unions representing the interests of Kent Police personnel are entitled to appoint safety representatives as members of the Health Advisory Board, to consult and carry out the functions detailed in the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 (as amended). Whilst non-affiliated employees (1) may elect representatives by virtue of the Health and Safety (Consultations with Employees) Regulations 1996, the Police Federation and Unison have agreed to include non-contributing employees (1) in their consultation arrangements.

3.2.8 By Regulation 7 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Senior Health and Safety Advisor is appointed as the competent person to assist in undertaking the measures needed to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable, by or under any relevant statutory provisions. The main purpose of the role is to develop, implement and co-ordinate proactive Health and Safety initiatives for the force; provide expert advice and guidance; promote and facilitate training; to ensure that a safe and healthy environment is provided for all employees (1) of Kent Police and other individuals who visit police premises.

3.3 Responsibilities

3.3.1 Chief Constable

3.3.1.1 The Chief Constable has responsibility for the day-to-day management of health and safety within Kent Police and shall, so far as is reasonable practicable: 


•    encourage and develop a culture of health and safety awareness throughout the force;
•    in partnership with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (KPCC) and through the decision making process, ensure that police funds include adequate resources to meet obligations under health and safety legislative requirements;
•    report to the KPCC any significant issues relating to the management of health and safety;
•    ensure through Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department the production of local health and safety policies in furtherance of the corporate standard, detailing the responsibilities of employees (1) and setting out, through the risk assessment process, significant local health and safety issues;
•    through the Head of Human Resources provide suitable training to employees (1) in order to address their health and safety responsibilities;
•    ensure, through the Chief Officers, Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department that consultation with staff association and trade union safety representatives is effective and meaningful;
•    through the Head of Human Resources ensure that Health Services are provided and that an occupational health, welfare and safety advisory service is available to Kent Police;
•    through the Director of Essex and Kent Support Services ensure that all premises controlled by the KPCC, including those buildings subject of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI), are adequately maintained and significant risks suitably controlled;
•    through Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department ensure that all places of work occupied by Kent Police employees (1) comply with fire precaution legislation and the provision of trained personnel to evacuate buildings in case of fire or other emergencies;
•    through Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department ensure that all places of work occupied by Kent Police employees (1) comply with first aid legislative requirements and the provision of trained first aiders;
•    through the Health Advisory Board monitor and audit health and safety performance throughout the force, instigating change as necessary, reflecting such change within the Policing Plan; and
•    through the Head of Human Resources review the health and safety policy at regular intervals.


3.3.2 Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

3.3.2.1 Whilst the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (KPCC) has responsibilities for police occupied premises, including agreed contractual obligations regarding Private Finance Initiative buildings and police employees (1) , the Chief Constable undertakes the day to day control and management of health and safety issues within the force.

The KPCC shall therefore, so far as is reasonably practicable:

•    fully consider all the health and safety implications of reports and recommendations from the Chief Constable in the making of decisions or establishing policy;
•    ensure the Chief Constable has appropriate resources available to manage health and safety effectively;
•    within the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner structure, ensure an adequate mechanism which will have an overview and scrutiny role with regards to health and safety issues;
•    appoint a lead member for health and safety with a requirement to attend and report on Health Advisory Board meetings;
•    review the force health and safety policy in conjunction with the Chief Constable;
•    keep itself advised of any significant developments in health and safety;
•    ensure that health and safety matters are dealt with as a priority and encourage and assist the Chief Constable with the development of a positive health and safety culture;
•    through the KPCC's lead for health and safety be given access to information relating to health and safety, to satisfy the KPCC that its obligations are met and that effective monitoring systems are in place; and
•    maintain access to information on health and safety and undergo appropriate training as deemed necessary by the Chief Constable.

3.3.3 Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Officers

3.3.3.1 The Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Officers shall, so far as is reasonably practicable:

•    support the Chief Constable in the discharge of his health and safety responsibilities;
•    ensure that through the strategic management of the force all reports give due consideration to health and safety implications;
•    ensure that health and safety issues are an integral part of all operational planning and decisions;
•    ensure those Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department who report to them have health and safety as a standing item at their management team meetings;
•    ensure that they engage with the staff associations and trade union in meaningful discussions on health and safety matters as appropriate;
•    ensure that the Head of Human Resources is briefed on relevant health and safety issues within their knowledge, which may affect Kent Police;
•    receive copies of the force Health Advisory Board minutes;
•    ensure through their senior management teams, within Divisional, Directorate or Department, so far as is reasonably practicable, that adequate resources are made available to provide healthy and safe working conditions in the area for which they have particular responsibility;
•    ensure all their employees (1) are aware of their responsibilities under this protocol; and
•    where appropriate seek the advice of the Health Services Manager or Senior Health and Safety Advisor when undertaking new work activities or protocols or using new equipment or hazardous substances.

3.3.4 Director of Human Resources

3.3.4.1 In addition to the responsibilities described above, the Director of Human Resources shall, so far as is reasonably practicable;

•    implement and monitor the health and safety policy on behalf of the Chief Constable;
•    provide and maintain a comprehensive health care and safety advisory service through the Health Services Manager;
•    chair the Health Advisory Board with terms of reference published on the force intranet site under Health Services;
•    ensure the availability of adequate and suitable training to all employees (1) who have responsibilities under health and safety legislation, on behalf of the Chief Constable;
•    ensure that meaningful discussions on health and safety take place in relation to strategic decisions at chief officer level;
•    liaise with the Health Services Manager and Senior Health and Safety Advisor on matters relating to health, safety and welfare;
•    provide and maintain a Health Services Department which is available to all employees (1) ;
•    ensure that the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner's lead for health and safety is kept informed of the force’s health and safety performance and policy development;
•    be the Chief Constable’s lead in all discussions with the Health and Safety Executive;
•    update the chief officers on any issues relating to health and safety matters relevant to them; and
•    receive regular updates on health and safety performance from the Senior Health and Safety Advisor.

3.3.5 Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department

3.3.5.1 Divisional Commanders and Heads of Department are accountable to the Chief Constable for the implementation of corporate policies at local level. They are responsible for the health and safety of their employees (1) while on duty and for non-employees (2) who may be affected by the work activity.

3.3.5.2 In particular each Head of Department/Divisional Commander will be responsible for: 

•    implementing the corporate health and safety policy statement;
•    producing their own health and safety policy, including the organisational structure and arrangements in place to achieve and comply with the corporate policy;
•    allocate clear roles and responsibilities for health and safety matters within the area under their control, through the management chain of command;
•    ensure that any employee (1) having responsibility for health and safety receives the training he or she requires and those who have a managerial role accept and carry out those responsibilities;
•    setting out the criteria for the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for safe working practices and reviewing the same through the Performance Development Review process;
•    have in place arrangements to carry out risk assessments particularly all work with significant risks, establishing appropriate control measures to eliminate or reduce those risks;
•    establishing protocols to ensure an appropriate review of risk assessments, on a regular basis, of planned operations, work processes and significant spontaneous events;
•    establishing a structured approach to the investigation of accidents, assaults, incidents and occupational health concerns, including the appointment of independent investigators on significant issues, to ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken including where identified, revision of relevant risk assessments;
•    ensure that all work related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences, as defined in legislation, are reported in accordance with linked SOP force policy L79A and have a system in place to inform trade union and staff association health and safety representatives accordingly;
•    establish a local health and safety committee to provide effective arrangements for staff consultation with recognised safety representatives from staff associations and unions;
•    ensuring such facilities and assistance to accredited safety representatives that they may reasonably require for the purpose of carrying out their duties;
•    in conjunction with Estates have in place a system to monitor the health and safety arrangements of any non-employee (2) working within the Division or Department; and
•    making suitable arrangements to ensure the ‘duty of care’ cover to non-employees (2) .

3.3.5.3 To assist Heads of Department and Divisional Commanders in discharging their responsibilities, local policy will include the appointment of a suitably qualified safety advisor or advisors.

3.3.5.4 There may be a need within an Division or Department where a specialist role requires specific policy to show their organisation and arrangements. This will be particularly relevant where a department, unit or section has a corporate responsibility in addition to local commitments.

3.3.6 Managers and supervisors

3.3.6.1 Managers and supervisors have an integral role in the day-to-day management of health and safety within Kent Police, through delegated responsibilities of corporate and local policy.

3.3.6.2 The Chief Constable and Kent Police and Crime Commissioner acknowledge the obligation to train managers and supervisors in order that they become competent and are authorised to carry out their responsibilities.

3.3.6.3 The prevention of accidents is a primary line management responsibility. All levels of management will be held accountable for carrying out their delegated health and safety duties and the achievement of adequate standards of safety and health within their area of responsibility.

3.3.7 All personnel

3.3.7.1 All employees(1), whilst at work, have a personal responsibility to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by their acts or failure to act.

3.3.7.2 All employees (1) have a duty to co-operate with the Chief Constable in meeting any duty or requirement imposed on them by or under any relevant safety legislation.

3.3.7.3 All employees (1) have a responsibility to use correctly work equipment provided by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, in accordance with their training and instructions received to enable them to use the items safely.

3.3.7.4 Employees (1) shall inform their line manager, safety representative or health and safety advisor of any work situation which would reasonably be considered a serious and immediate danger to health and safety or a shortcoming in the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s protection arrangements for health and safety.

3.3.7.5 No individual shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any relevant safety legislation.

 3.4 Management arrangements – operating standards  

3.4.1 This section considers protocols and standard operating protocols to be followed, to establish minimum expectations for management arrangements, risk control systems and workplace precautions whether at corporate, area or department level.

3.4.2 At corporate level there are prescribed workplace protocols influencing the Kent Police as a whole, which will be incorporated into local policy. Additionally there are some subjects that are specific to certain locations or activities. Collectively these subjects and standards are shown on the force intranet site under Health Services, Health and Safety Management Safety Arrangements and form part of this protocol.

3.4.3 The nature of our organisation is such that the details outlined in paragraph 7.2 above, incorporated onto the intranet site, will be subject of continual review to meet Kent Police requirements.

3.5 Definitions  

3.5.1 (1) “Employee” for the purpose of this protocol includes police officers, police support staff, members of the Special Constabulary, volunteers and individuals on work experience attachments.

3.5.2 (2) “Non-employee” for the purpose of this protocol includes members of the public, agency staff, the self-employed and those working on behalf of an external contractor.

4. Equality impact assessment

4.1 An Equality Impact Assessment has been carried out and shows the proposals in this protocol would have no potential or actual differential impact on grounds of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, transgender, disability, age, religion or belief or sexual orientation.  

4.2 Attached is the latest equality impact assessment that forms part of the policy review process. 

5. Risk assessment

5.1 There is no specific risk assessment or health and safety consideration thought relevant to the content of this protocol.

5.2 Officers and members of police staff engaged within the process must remain aware that they must follow the protocol correctly otherwise the risk to the organisation of a possible employment tribunal could be raised.  A failure to fully adopt the principles set out in this protocol could have a detrimental effect upon the reputation of the organisation.

6. Consultation

6.1 This is a format change only, therefore no consultation is necessary.

7. Monitoring and review

7.1 The monitoring of this HR protocol will be by the Head of Health Services. 

7.2 The protocol will be reviewed within two years.  

8.Governing force policy

Related force policies and related procedures (Essex) / linked standard operating procedures (Kent)

8.1 This HR protocol supports the overarching HR policy L001

9. Other source documents, e.g. legislation, APP, Force Forms, partnership agreements (if applicable) 


Policy reference: L79 Health and Safety
Policy owner: Head of Human Resources
Contact point: Policy Unit, 01622 653070
Date last reviewed: 05 August 2010
Document last saved: 12 April 2014