Health and safety is an important and ongoing responsibility for West Herts Homes, with the company having a duty of care both to West Herts Homes’ tenants and the staff team.

Given the nature of West Herts Homes’ business, this policy comprises two main elements -safety at the properties that West Herts Homes owns and manages and safety for employees wherever they work or are based. This policy should also be read in conjunction with the Safe Environments Policy that West Herts Homes adopted in March 2017.

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, and the Board will receive reports twice each year on any health and safety incidents that may have occurred and how they were dealt with. Any incidents involving serious injury will be reported to the Board immediately.

As a policy statement West Herts Homes is committed to:

  • Providing and maintaining a safe working environment for all employees
  • Ensuring that our tenants occupy their homes and use our premises in a safe manner, with regard to their own personal safety and the safety of their neighbours
  • Ensuring that appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision is provided as necessary to all employees
  • Ensuring the safe use, handling, storage and transport or hazardous articles or substances
  • Carrying out risk assessments for all activities that may pose a risk to the health and safety or welfare of persons at work or anyone else who may be affected by the activities of West Herts Homes.

All employees are expected to co-operate with management in ensuring that high standards of health and safety can be achieved and are reminded of their own legal responsibilities and duties, which include:

  • Taking reasonable care of their own safety, the safety of other staff, tenants and visitors to our projects.
  • Adhering to health and safety rules and requirements.
  • Reporting any dangerous incident/accident which causes or may cause a personal injury or damage to property.
  • Not interfering or misusing anything provided for Health and Safety purposes.

Part 1

West Herts Homes properties

West Herts Homes manages a varied portfolio of properties, the majority of which is accommodation occupied by several tenants, often with shared facilities.

West Herts Homes’ approach is to encourage each tenant to be responsible for their own personal safety, to keep alert to things that may pose a risk to their neighbours, and through a combination of reporting defects and regular inspections to ensure all properties are safe at all times. 

In terms of preventative work, West Herts Homes currently carries out the following:

  • Gas Safety Checks 
  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Legionella
  • PAT testing, fire alarms and safety lights
  • PAT testing of mobile electrical equipment
  • Fire Alarms and Emergency Lights
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report

In addition, from Autumn 2017, West Herts Homes will:

  • Arrange for ever property to be inspected on a quarterly basis
  • Where issues are identified that need attention, more regular visits will be carried out, additional support and counselling will be arranged and where necessary action for possession will commenced
  • Information on health and safety will be sent to tenant via a newsletter that will be distributed twice yearly
  • All new tenants will be briefed on health and safety when they sign up for a tenancy
  • Responsibilities and Duties

The Board, through the CEO, are responsible for:

  • Overall and final responsibility for health and safety matters within the company 
  • Ensuring that responsibilities for health and safety are clearly defined and delegated to appropriate levels within West Herts Homes
  • Arranging for adequate resources to be made available to meet the requirements of this Health and Safety Policy
  • Ensuring that all employees are given correct information, instruction and training in order to fulfil the requirements of the Health and Safety Policy
  • Ensuring that appropriate first aid facilities are available and that appointed persons are trained in First Aid

Senior Managers are responsible for:

  • Co-ordinating the day to day implementation of the Health and Safety Policy
  • Ensuring that all employees are aware of their responsibilities under this policy
  • Ensuring that any necessary personal protective equipment is provided
  • Co-ordinating fire alarm tests, drills, and inspections on a regular basis
  • Ensure that personnel records are maintained with regard to all training or other health and safety related matters.
  • Recording accidents within the accident book and complete all accident report forms as necessary
  • Reporting accidents to the Office Manager as soon as possible after the occurrence.The Finance Manager will then notify our insurers and other enforcing authorities such as RIDDOR of dangerous occurrences, major injury, accidents etc.

Staff out on-site:

  • The implementation of effective health and safety standards within their place of work
  • Observing safe working practices as advised or instructed
  • Ensure they use correct tools or equipment for the job and any appropriate safety equipment or protective clothing supplied
  • Undertaking regular inspections of service areas to ensure that the work being carried out is in accordance with this policy and relevant statutory provisions
  • Undertake to respond to fire alarm tests, drills and inspections on a regular basis
  • Know the location of First Aid Boxes and Appointed First Aid Personnel
  • Ensure they refrain from horseplay, wilful unsafe acts or abuse of the facilities or equipment provided
  • Report any incidents of violent behaviour, accidents, defects in safety equipment or plant to the Office Manager