Keeping Calderdale safe

image of defibulator

A report outlining the developments in Health and Safety at Calderdale Council over the last year is being discussed at the meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on Monday 14 December. 

The 2015 Annual Health and Safety report is being presented to members, so they’re aware of the arrangements the Council has in place to minimise health and safety risks. The report will outline Health and Safety performance over the year, highlighting both successes and areas of potential concern. 

Calderdale Council provides a wide range of services, which require strict Health and Safety guidelines. Over the last year the Health and Safety team has introduced a number of new policies and initiatives, learning from incidents within the Council and from high profile national accidents.  

The number of reported accidents and injuries to Council employees over the last year is the same as in 2014, however some of the accidents this year have been more serious. Fortunately none of these have caused serious or long term injuries, but as a result of the increase, the Health and Safety team are introducing a number of new safety initiatives, including a stricter supervision safety system and new risk assessment guides based on national guidance.   

The Health and Safety team also monitor and ensure that training given to staff throughout the Council is of the highest standard and that it is kept up to date. Sports supervisors who deliver the specialist lifeguard training in the Sports Service have been commended for the high standards achieved. There have been three successful and dramatic life-saving incidents in the last few months which have demonstrated this fact. All these incidents were investigated and the staff response to these incidents was found to be outstanding with lifeguard response exemplary. 

In one of these incidents, Sports staff used the onsite defibrillator to resuscitate and give lifesaving treatment. The Council has a Defibrillator Policy – providing lifesaving defibrillator equipment in Council buildings with a high footfall. There are now over 40 defibrillators in Calderdale Council buildings, and they are being fitted in all large new developments as standard. Since introducing this Policy, three lives have saved by Calderdale staff using a Council defibrillator. 

As well as hearing about the success stories and improvements to be made, members will be asked to agree a number of amendments to the Council’s Health and Safety Policy. One of these recommended amendments learns from the mistakes of the high-profile refuse vehicle incident in Glasgow last year, where the driver fell ill at the wheel. It is therefore recommended that all Calderdale fleet drivers now have mandatory medicals. 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Improvement and Resources, Cllr Bryan Smith, said: 

“The Health and Safety policies and procedures at the Council are very involved and vary so much for different roles and responsibilities. It’s therefore essential that members are kept informed and updated on any successes and concerns. 

“Calderdale has a good Health and Safety record, but it’s important we continue to keep up to date with new technology and learn lessons from national failings or accidents.” 

The report will be presented at the meeting of Cabinet on Monday 14 December at Halifax Town Hall starting at 6pm.  

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