Manager and supervisor health and safety responsibilities

As a manager or supervisor, there are number of health and safety responsibilities you need to meet.

Lead by example

The day-to-day decisions you make can have a direct impact on health and safety. You need to show your commitment to health and safety by:

  • meeting your responsibilities
  • considering health and safety when planning new projects
  • challenging unsafe behaviour.

Engage your staff

Make sure your staff are on your side:

  • make sure they know what is expected of them by the University
  • make sure they know how to carry out their work safely, by providing adequate information, instruction, training and supervision
  • consult and, where possible, involve them in decisions that may affect their health and safety
  • give them the opportunity to raise health and safety concerns
  • carry out a health and safety induction for new staff or staff changing roles

Apply safe standards of work

  • Read our guidance on managing health and safety and relevant health and safety subjects on this website to find out what you need to do in your area of responsibility.
  • Also find out about your department's health and safety standards.
  • Carry out risk assessments for activities under your control. If you are office based make sure you comply with your department’s risk assessments for offices.
  • Think about health and safety when you purchase new work equipment and substances.
  • Think about how your work could impact on others and co-ordinate with other managers and employers to ensure the safety of their staff, your staff, students and visitors.

Keep a check on things

Manage what you can control, report what you can’t address

As a manager/supervisor if you have the authority to make a decision about aspects of your work, you are responsible for the health and safety implications of that decision.

If there are health and safety issues outside your control report it to someone with the authority to take action:

  • your manager
  • your head of department or section
  • Estate Management Helpdesk (Colchester) or (Southend) or (Loughton)
  • Health and Safety Advisory Service

Support your staff on work health issues

Consider the impact of work on the health of your staff. Key areas to consider are stress and musculoskeletal conditions, particularly those arising from use of display screen equipment or lifting and carrying at work.

If a member of your team has a health condition that affects their work you’ll need to make reasonable adjustments to the work. If necessary seek advice from an Employee Relations adviser or Occupational Health.

Fire safety responsibilities

Please also familiarise yourself with the fire safety responsibilities you have.

Training for managers

If you are new to the University or a new manager/supervisor you’ll need to complete one of our health and safety courses for managers:

  • Managing Health and Safety Essentials: for all University/UECS line managers
  • IOSH Managing Safety: for managers and DHSOs responsible for work activities with high or complex health and safety risks

Use our competence and training matrix (.pdf) to help you identify further training needs for you and your staff. You can also find out about forthcoming courses that may be of interest to you.

Further information

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Contact us
Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Telephone: 01206 872944