Do you have one?? Remember 5 or more employees and you require one BY
The Safety Policy is the foundation of the Health & Safety at Work
Act 1974. It is basically divided into 3 parts
PART ONE is the Statement of Intent - here the organisation puts
forward its statement that it will look after Health & Safety as one of the
keystones of the organisation, that the legal minimum is the minimum acceptable
and that the organisation should be trying to improve on this - any one who has
entered any of the 'modern' businesses in the last few years will recognise
this as a Mission Statement. It should also identify the chief executive as
being ultimately responsible and should include his signature and the date.
PART 1 HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY STATEMENT.
This statement has been drawn up to deal specifically with the organisation and arrangements made to implement the Health and Safety Policy by ................ Club.
We, as a Club, are committed to the provision of safe and healthy working conditions to employees, and any others who may be affected by our activities.
In particular the Club aims -
Accident prevention and Safe Working Practices are essential to both good management and good workmanship, requiring full co-operation between all concerned.
Every employee, regardless of position, has a legal obligation upon them to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others and to co-operate with the employer or other authorised persons in the carrying out of Health and Safety Policy.
The Chief Executive is ultimately responsible and accountable for
achieving the objectives of the Health and Safety Policy within the Club.
.................................................. Chief Executive
Hooking the Chief Executive is one of the challenges - in a Golf or
Tennis Club it can be the Captain or the Secretary, in a football club it can
be the Managing Director. Whoever it is, they must have the authority to change
bad practices and spend monies to bring the Club up to acceptable
Bringing in consultants or delegating to the Head Groundsman or Head
Greenkeeper, is possible but does not absolve the Chief Executive from
responsibility. He may delegate but cannot abdicate - whatever happens it is
ultimately his responsibility!!!!!
The second part is Organisation, who is responsible for what? Usually the best way to approach it is to have a simple responsibility chart
PART 2 ORGANISATION
The Management of Health & Safety Regulations 1992 require that the Safety Policy detail the responsibilities within the Club generally through a Health & Safety Responsibility Chart.
|HEALTH & SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES|
|Greens Convenor||Club Committee||House Convenor|
|Head Greenkeeper||Club Administration||Club Steward||Golf Professional|
|Greenkeepers||Office & Accounts Staff||Clubhouse||ProShop|
The problem in each Club is to identify who is ultimately responsible and accountable for achieving the objectives of the Health and Safety Policy within the Club at each level.
It is obvious from the chart that the Captain is looked on as being that person. However, many Captains are unwilling to take this responsibility directly. Their argument is that, although at work they are expected to take responsibility, for that duty they are paid. At the Club they are amateurs, unpaid and so cannot be expected to shoulder the responsibility.
So who is responsible? The Health & Safety Executive look at the whole organisation and will take one or all of the Committee and officers to court if they so decide.
Whoever is responsible for anything must have the authority to change bad practices and spend monies to bring the Club up to acceptable standards. Bringing in consultants or delegating to the Head Greenkeeper, etc. is possible but does not absolve the individuals from their responsibilities. The person in charge may delegate but cannot abdicate - whatever happens it is ultimately his responsibility!
The Head Greenkeeper is generally responsible for the overall day to day running of the courses and .
Detailed written responsibilities should also be given for the Secretary, Greens Convenor, House Convenor, and Club Steward.
PART THREE is basically how the day to day arrangements for Health & Safety are carried out.
PART 3 GENERAL ARRANGEMENTS
It is now expected that any person who is involved in decision making, is trained to an acceptable standard. In the course of decision making, the person or persons who make decisions, can be held personally or severally liable if these decisions are negligent. This means that the officers of the club should take all due care to be trained to an acceptable standard. It is also expected that they keep themselves informed membership of such associations as the IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship) or BIGGA (British International Golf Greenkeepers Association), will ensure that they can be kept up to date through the magazines.
It is advisable that the Club has its Constitution examined by a Solicitor to identify where responsibilities lie. Some Captains have included the phrase 'ex officio' to indicate that all decisions and signatures made by the Captain are on behalf of the Club and responsibility lies with all Members of the Committee not just the Captain.
Some Clubs have taken out an Insurance policy to ensure that Officers of the Club are protected, in the event of a claim, from the resultant costs.
Once you have a Safety Policy it should be brought to the attention of the employees and indeed some companies hand out copies to their staff.
It is the right of an employee to see the Safety Policy if they requested it, and also to see the risk assessments for their workplace. If anyone is at risk, then they have a right to know!!
If an accident happens, one of the first questions asked is, did the employer make adequate arrangements to ensure such an accident should not occur? Were the right decisions made? If not, was there negligence on the part of any of the Staff or Committee Members of the Club? Can you prove that arrangements were adequate? Remember the onus of proof is on the employer!