HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Relōku has policies for Health & Safety at work, and encourages co-operation of all employees, partners and associates to uphold the highest standards of customer and personal care, and to comply with relevant statutory requirements and officially approved codes of practice
We operate in a relatively low risk industry, however injuries and illnesses can happen in any environment so we aim to reduce any incidents to an absolute minimum.
Work must always be carried out safely and efficiently in accordance with our procedures to protect you, the customer, the public and everyones belongings.
Relōku will be responsible for defining H&S policies and protocols to all persons under their responsibility by:
- Ensuring during on-boarding and training that all employees, partners and associates understand their H&S duties, and we will uphold systems to ensure they are fully informed and are following the correct protocols.
- Encouraging that H&S matters and procedures are understood and followed by using regular feedback.
- Keeping all persons updated with the latest information and any updated official H&S advice.
All employees, partners and associates should also consider their own H&S and that of other employees and members of the public. Please always be sure to:
- Be aware of your legal responsibilities regarding H&S at work, and co-operate fully with Relōku in maintaining high standards.
- Not interfere with or misuse any H&S equipment provided.
- Use protective clothing/equipment if required to do so by Relōku or by law.
- Stay off work if you have a stomach disorder or any other skin, nose, throat or respiratory disease which may be contagious.
- Inform us immediately if you have been in contact with any of our staff or customers while possibly infectious.
- Report and rectify any unsafe working conditions, equipment or practice.
- Always ensure that you, your porters, your van and equipment are clean, hygienic and well maintained.
- Attend training sessions as required and follow official procedures.
- Ensure that correct lifting, carrying and driving techniques are always used.
- Report all accidents or incidents using the form in the driver app, including damage to property, clothing, equipment or persons.
If you have any queries or suggestions that you would like to put forward, please notify us through the app or by emailing [email protected].
FULL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY
STATEMENT OF GENERAL POLICY
- Relōku respects the obligations placed upon it by the various Acts of Parliament covering health and safety. We train staff and associates in our protocols for behavioural standards, Health and Safety, customer care, and – with particular attention – the safe handling and transportation of goods. The Company requires its Chief Executive to ensure that the following policy is implemented and to report annually on its effectiveness.
MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION AND ARRANGEMENTS
- This policy has been prepared and published under the requirements of Health & Safety at Work legislation. The purpose of the policy is to establish general standards for health and safety at work and to distribute responsibility for their achievement to all managers, supervisors, and other employees through the normal line management processes.
- The Chief Executive has overall responsibility for the implementation of the Company’s policy. In particular he is responsible for ensuring that the policy is widely communicated and that it’s effectiveness is monitored.
Directors and Senior Managers
- These managers are wholly accountable to the Chief Executive for the implementation and monitoring of the policy within the area of their specified responsibility.
- The Safety Officer is a nominated manager responsible for co-ordinating effective health and safety policies and controls across the organisation.
- The Safety Officer is responsible for:
- the production and maintenance of the Company’s policy and ensuring that Department Guidelines are consistent with policy;
- its application;
- monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of the policy;
- the provision of general advice about the implication of the law;
- the identification of health and safety training needs.
- acting on behalf of the Chief Executive as the Company’s formal link with the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Health Departments and other external agencies;
- the production and maintenance of any health and safety documents or codes of practice as necessary for any relevant area of the Company services where this is required.
HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT PROCESS
- Relōku believes that consideration of the health, safety and welfare of staff, partners and customers is an integral part of the management process. The provision of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, associated Codes of Practice and other relevant Directives will be adopted as required standards within the Company. Responsibility for health and safety matters shall be explicitly stated in management job descriptions.
- The Company requires managers to approach health and safety in a systematic way, by identifying hazards and problems, planning improvements, taking executive action and monitoring results so that the majority of health and safety needs will be met as part of day-to-day management.
- For major additional expenditure, cases of need will be submitted by Directors to the Chief Executive.
- If unpredictable health and safety issues arise during the year, the Chief Executive must assess the degree of risk, in deciding the necessary resources and actions to commit to addressing these issues.
HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE GUIDELINES
- It is the policy of Relōku to require departmental managers to produce appropriate departmental health and safety policies or guidelines. These should embody the minimum standards for health and safety for the department and the work organised within it.
- It shall be the responsibility of the manager to bring to the attention of all members of his or her staff, the provisions of the guidelines, and to consult with appropriate Health and Safety Representatives about the updating of these guidelines. Suggested model contents of a guideline are:
- a clear statement of the role of the department;
- regulations governing the work of the department;
- clear reference to safe methods of working, for example nursing procedures, manufacturers’ manuals;
- information about immediate matters of health and safety concern, such as fire drills, fire exits, first aid;
- training standards;
- the role and identity of the Health and Safety Representative;
- names of specialist advisers who can be approached about the work of the department;
- the manager responsible for organisation and control of work;
- accident reporting procedures;
- departmental safety rules;
- fire procedures;
- policies agreed by the Company.
IDENTIFICATION OF HEALTH AND SAFETY HAZARDS
ANNUAL AUDIT AND REGULAR RISK ASSESSMENTS
- It is the policy of Relōku to require a thorough examination of health and safety performance against established standards in each department periodically. The technique to be adopted for such examinations will be the ‘Safety Audit’. The Audit requires review of:
- standards laid down in the policy;
- departmental guidelines;
- relevant regulations;
- environmental factors;
- staff attitudes;
- staff instructions;
- methods of work;
- contingency plans;
- recording and provision of information about accidents and hazards and the assessment of risk.
- The information obtained by the Audit will be used to form the basis of the plan for the department for the following period.
- The responsibility for ensuring that audit activity is carried out as part of this policy rests with the Chief Executive and will be carried out by the Safety Officer. Although the Audit remains a management responsibility, managers are required as part of this policy to seek the involvement of the appropriate Health and Safety Representative in the conduct of the Audit.
- It is the management’s responsibility to ensure that any deficiencies highlighted in the Audit are dealt with as speedily as possible.
- In addition to carrying out Safety Audits, it is the responsibility of the department manager to have regularly checked all portable equipment, including electrical appliances, in their area, and to ensure that all problems are immediately dealt with.
- Managers have a continual responsibility for the elimination of hazards in order to maintain a safe working environment and will also be expected to carry out regular risk assessments in line with the Health and Safety Executive Guidelines; that is follow the 5 steps:
- Identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the Risks and decide on precautions
- Record the findings and implement the precautions
- Review the assessment and update when necessary
- Relōku will support Safety Representatives in carrying out their role and give all reasonable assistance. Safety Representatives will be encouraged to discuss specific health and safety issues with the relevant Head of Department. They may also formally report hazardous or unsafe circumstances to the Head of Department and will be formally notified of the remedial action taken or be given a reason why the action cannot be taken.
- Health and Safety training shall be incorporated within regular training programmes, as part of the development of a systematic training plan. Health and Safety training needs will, therefore, be identified and planned for in the same manner as other training needs.
- Four areas of need shall be given special priority:
- training for managers, to equip them with an understanding of the manager’s responsibilities under this policy, and the role and purpose of safety representatives;
- training for safety representatives to enable them to discharge their function;
- training for all members of staff to acquaint them with the main provisions of the law and its practical implication, the main features of this policy and key safety rules;
- induction and in-service training for staff at all levels to acquaint them fully with new requirements and hazards.
RECORDS, STATISTICS AND MONITORING
- The Company will operate systems for recording, analysis and presentation of information about accidents, hazard situations and untoward occurrences. Advice on systems will be provided by the Safety Officer, in conjunction, where appropriate with specialist advisory bodies for example local Environmental Health Departments, and the responsibility for the operation of these systems rests with managers and supervisors at all levels. Information obtained from the analysis of accident statistics must be acted upon and, where necessary, bids for additional expenditure made to the Chief Executive.
REPORTS TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE
- The responsibility for meeting the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) to the Health and Safety Executive, shall rest with the Chief Executive as delegated to the Safety Officer.
SPECIALIST ADVISORY BODIES
- Certain bodies and the individual members of those bodies, have always had a Health and Safety role, most notably, the Health & Safety executive, or local Environmental Health Departments. If further specialist advice is required, this may be obtained by Managers from expert individuals or bodies outside the Company.
THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
- It is the policy of the Company to obtain independent Occupational Health advice when required. Such services can include counselling on health and associated matters, investigation of hazards and accidents, environment studies, health interviews and employment medicals.
- It is the policy of the Company to make provision for First Aid and the training of ‘First Aiders’ in accordance with the First Aid Regulations (1982). The Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring the Regulations are implemented and for identifying training needs.
- The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that the staff receive adequate fire training, and that nominated fire officers are designated in Relōku premises. The Chief Executive delegates these responsibilities to the Directors.
- In addition the Company will nominate a Fire Officer (this may be the Safety Officer or someone external to the Company) who will:
- report and advise on the standard of fire safety in the Company’s premises and the standard of fire training of its staff;
- undertake overall responsibility for fire training;
- assist in the investigation of all fires in the Company’s premises and to submit reports of such incidents.
CONDEMNATION AND DISPOSAL OF EQUIPMENT
- Procedures for the, condemnation and disposal of equipment are determined by the Chief Executive. Managers introducing new equipment should have such equipment checked initially by the Safety Officer.
- Those Managers who have responsibility for food acquisition, storage, processing and serving, and staff induction and hygiene training, are responsible for ensuring that these functions are undertaken to the necessary legal standards. Any suspected outbreak of food poisoning or other unexplained and possibly food related incidents must be reported to the Safety Officer.
LIFTING AND HANDLING
- Relōku has extensive material available to drivers and porters detailing safe lifting, carrying and loading protocols. Managers are responsible for informing office staff of safe lifting techniques. The Safety Officer will identify specific training needs and ensure training in lifting and handling is provided to staff who require it.
NON-SMOKING ON COMPANY PREMISES
- Relōku policy is that there will be no smoking in it’s buildings. The overall aim is to reduce smoking and so save life, reduce risk of fire, prevent unnecessary illness and chronic disability. The rules relating to smoking on Company premises are available from Head Office. These rules also extend to e-cigarettes / vaping.
CONTROL OF SUBSTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) require the Company to identify those substances which are in use and which are hazardous to health (as legally defined) and to assess the risk of those substances. The Company must also provide and use controls to prevent exposure to substances hazardous to health; maintain controls by monitoring exposure, or by health surveillance of employees; and provide information, instruction and training for employees on all these matters. The Safety Officer is responsible for implementing these Regulations.
COMPUTER INSTALLATIONS AND VISUAL DISPLAY UNITS
- All new computer installations must adhere to the British Standard Specifications and comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. All new employees operating such equipment are expected to read the Health and Safety Executive guidance entitled ‘Working with Display Screen Equipment’. New employees who regularly use VDUs will be required to undergo sight screening.
CONTROL OF WORKING TIME
- Relōku is committed to the principles of the Working Time Regulations. No member of staff is expected to work more than 48 hours per week (including overtime) unless there are exceptional circumstances. Similarly all other requirements of the regulations e.g. in relation to breaks, night workers etc. will be complied with.
HEALTH AND SAFETY AND THE INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE
- The Health and Safety at Work Act requires each employee ‘to take reasonable care for the Health and Safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by their acts and omissions’ and co-operate with management to enable management to carry out their responsibilities under the Act. Employees have equal responsibility with the Company for Health and Safety at Work.
- The refusal of any employee to meet their obligations will be regarded as a matter to be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure. In normal circumstances counselling of the employee should be sufficient. With a continuing problem, or where an employee leaves themself or other employees open to risk or injury, it may be necessary to implement the formal stages of the Disciplinary Procedure.
PEOPLE WORKING ON COMPANY PREMISES NOT EMPLOYED BY THE COMPANY
- Persons working in Relōku premises who are employed by other organisations are expected to follow Company Health and Safety Policies with regard to the safety of Company employees, their own personal safety (and that of other parties such as the general public if appropriate) and their method of work. This responsibility will be included in contracts or working arrangements.
VISITORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
- The Company wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Welfare of visitors to Company establishments will be of the highest standard.
- Any member of staff who notices persons acting in a way which would endanger other staff, should normally inform their Head of Department. If the danger is immediate, common sense must be used to give warning, call for assistance or give aid as necessary. It is equally important not to over-react to a situation.
- The Company wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Welfare of Contractors working in the Company’s establishments will be of the highest standards. In addition, Contractors and their employees have an obligation so far as is reasonably practicable to ensure all equipment, materials and premises under their control are safe and without risks to health.
- Contractors must also observe the Company’s Fire Safety Procedures. These obligations will be drawn to the attention of the Contractors in the contract document issued to them. In addition a Company Manager will be identified in the contract as having authority to stop the work of Contractors who are placing themselves, other staff, or visitors at risk. Any member of staff who judges there is a risk where contractors are working, should inform their Manager immediately.
- In tendering, Contractors will be asked to confirm they have a written Health, Safety and Welfare Policy. The Company’s Manager letting the Contract will be responsible for monitoring the Health and Safety performance of the Contractor and the Contractor’s performance will be a factor in deciding whether or not to invite the Contractor to tender again.
SERIOUS VIRAL EPIDEMIC OR PANDEMIC POLICY
- Some infections such as some strains of influenza, SARs or the coronavirus are highly infectious viral illnesses that have the capacity to spread rapidly. When a new viral strain emerges, one of the following situations may occur:
- A serious epidemic – where a disease infects a significantly greater number of people in the area than is usual, or
- A pandemic – which is an epidemic of global proportions
- Such an illness will spread rapidly because people will not have any natural resistance to it. It is difficult to predict the scale, severity and impact of a serious epidemic or pandemic, but research suggests that in the case of a pandemic, it could affect the entire country and that up to half the population could develop the illness. There could also be more than one wave of the illness.
- During a serious viral epidemic or pandemic, the Company’s overall aim will be to encourage our staff to carry on as normal if they are well, while taking additional precautions to protect them from exposure to infection and to lessen the risk of spread to others.
- In terms of business continuity, this means that we will seek to sustain our core business and services as far as is practicable and therefore we will continue to operate largely within the existing framework of company policies and procedures. However, the company recognises that during such times some additional provisions will be required to support staff.
DURING A SERIOUS EPIDEMIC OR PANDEMIC
- During a recognised viral epidemic or pandemic, Relōku will implement the following provisions:
- During the period of a serious epidemic or pandemic regular guidance and sources of information and support will be made available via line managers / supervisors, noticeboards, the company’s Intranet and website. Staff should monitor these sources closely to stay up to date with what is happening within the workplace and what action is being taken to ensure the company meets it’s obligations to staff, customers and other stakeholders.
Additional Hygiene Arrangements:
- The company will provide antibacterial sanitiser located throughout company premises and staff will be encouraged and reminded to use these regularly.
- All surfaces, door handles, banister rails, telephones, computer keyboards etc. will be cleaned more frequently.
- All waste bins will be emptied daily.
- Staff are encouraged to always use clean tissues to cover their mouth / nose when they cough / sneeze (and not to use cloth handkerchiefs or re-use tissues) and to wash / sanitise their hands regularly and specifically after coughing or sneezing.
- In customer-facing areas the company will provide antibacterial sanitiser, disposable tissues and covered bins for public use, and notices will be posted to encourage customers to use these items.
- Where possible some separation between our staff and customers will be encouraged for example by use of physical barriers. Please note that it is not company policy to issue or enforce the use of face masks; this will however remain under review and will be dependant on medical advice and availability.
- Visitors to company premises will largely be discontinued except in exceptional circumstances for the duration of the epidemic / pandemic.
- Visitors will be asked if they have any symptoms before being allowed into company premises and if they do they will be refused entry.
- Visitors will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering the company premises.
- Visitors should be confined to meeting rooms where at all possible.
Face to Face Meetings
- Travel should largely be avoided unless absolutely essential and in particular if it involves the use of public transport.
- Face to face meetings should be avoided wherever possible and use of telephone / teleconferencing / email facilities should be encouraged.
- Where face to face meetings are unavoidable, the Company’s designated meeting rooms should be used which will have sanitiser pumps /tissues / waste bins provided and will be cleaned daily.
Staff Identified as Potentially At-risk
- Staff at risk of developing viral-related complications (e.g. pregnant workers and those with compromised immune systems) will be reassigned from high-risk work sites and locations. If this is not possible it may be necessary to ask such staff to work from home, or remain at home until it is deemed safe to return to the workplace.
Staff with symptoms
- The most significant symptoms of a viral illness generally are the sudden onset of: fever, cough or shortness of breath; other symptoms may include: headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscles, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite. Specific viral infections may produce a different range of symptoms; the Company will ensure that the symptoms of the current illness are clearly identified to staff.
Whilst at Work
- If a member of staff feels ill with symptoms consistent with the illness, it is important that they do not simply carry on working. They should report their illness immediately to their line manager and if the symptoms are consistent with the illness, they will be sent home, advised to contact their GP (if appropriate) and told not to return to work until the symptoms have cleared and tests have confirmed they are no longer infectious.
Whilst not at Work
- If they develop symptoms whilst not at work, they should adhere to the following advice:
- Inform their line manager that they are ill using the recognised process
- Stay at home and rest
- Not go to work until they are fully recovered and tests confirm they are no longer infectious
- As part of the reporting procedures, the line manager will seek the permission of the employee to inform their colleagues that they are suffering from the illness. This is not compulsory but allowing colleagues to know about it will allow them to look out for early symptoms in themselves, and also allow any who may be at-risk in some way (e.g. pregnant) to seek medical advice.
Staff Who Have Difficulty Attending Work (where they don’t have symptoms)
- Staff should continue to attend work during an epidemic / pandemic unless there is a clear health and safety risk, or local or national ‘lockdowns’ are in place. Their employment contract will oblige them to carry out their normal duties and refusal to do so may put them in breach of their contract. However the company is aware that certain situations can occur:
a) Public transport is shut down
- Where an employee has difficulty getting to work because of a failure in the public transport system due to the epidemic / pandemic, then they will be encouraged to seek other methods of getting to work. Some staff may work from home during this period or vary their start and end times, or take annual or unpaid leave. Employees will not be paid if they fail to attend work and should discuss the options with their line manager as soon as possible.
b) The employee reports that a member of their household has been diagnosed with the illness but that they themselves are OK and would be willing to attend work
- The company recognises it has a duty of care to others in the workforce and the individual will be advised to remain at home until the ill relative is no longer infectious, however the company might wish to discuss the possibility of the employee working from home if possible. Under these circumstances the employee will receive their full pay as if they had been working normally.
c) The employee reports that their child or other dependant has the illness and they are unable to arrange care at short-notice:
- Under these circumstances the company recognises that the employee has a statutory right to a reasonable period of unpaid time off to care for these dependants. This is limited to sufficient time off to deal with the immediate issue and to sort-out short-term caring arrangements; the individual should discuss their situation with their line manager. The company will, in these circumstances, allow a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to be taken. However if the sick individual is a member of the employees household then the provisions of b) above would apply.
d) The employee asks not to attend work because of fear of contracting illness:
- The employee is contractually bound to attend work, and not doing so in these circumstances may be dealt with through the company disciplinary procedures. However if the company is convinced that the individual has psychological or physical reasons whereby they should not attend, then it may decide to agree to a period of annual / unpaid leave, or working from home arrangements with the employee concerned.
e) The employee has school-age children and the school is closed due to the epidemic / pandemic:
- The provisions of c) above would apply
- The impact of any epidemic / pandemic will normally mean an increased workload due to a reduction in the actual staff available for work. It will therefore be essential that we maximise the capacity of our available workforce by asking staff to work more flexibly and /or differently. Therefore the company reserves the right to ask staff to undertake one or more of the following options:
- work additional hours to cover for sick colleagues
- work more flexibly as required
- work in a different job role for a period (with appropriate training)
- work from an alternative location, or even from home if appropriate
- cancel planned annual leave
- The use of these flexible work practices will vary depending on the seriousness of the staff shortages and the needs of the business at that time. Staff will be paid based on the additional hours and responsibilities they undertake.
Post Epidemic / Pandemic Considerations
- After the first wave of such an illness the company acknowledges that staff will need time to completely recover their full fitness and performance levels. Managers will ensure that staff who had been asked to work extended hours, or were denied their planned leave are given annual leave where at all possible. However, the possibility of subsequent waves has to be kept in mind and the company will discuss with staff the lessons learnt from the current epidemic / pandemic and continue with the preparations required to cope with subsequent waves.