Council services by letter

Agenda item


INFORMATION REPORTS - Health and Safety Training Update, Progress of the Health and Safety Partnership Board and Departmental Safety Group Meetings, and Annual Health and Safety Report 2009/10

Report of Corporate Director Finance.


The Forum received reports of the Corporate Director Finance which set out: Health and Safety training update; Progress of the Health and Safety Partnership Board and Departmental Safety Group meetings; and Annual Health and Safety Report 2009/10.


The Chairman noted the circulation of a list of questions by employee representatives and agreed to respond to these separately, copying in all Members of the Forum.


A Member expressed his view that in terms of the reports content there was no clear link between the health and safety report submitted and the training provided, in terms of trend analysis of the issues faced by individual Directorates.  He spoke on the Children’s Services Directorate stating that several issues of violence were advised within the report.  However, no Action Plan had been provided, particularly where examples of an increase in violent practice were identifiable.


A Member asked for a clarification of mandatory training, when compared with recommended training and this was explained.  The Member further requested a drill down report on the nature of and specific areas within the Children’s Services Directorate affected by issues relating to health & safety and violence and it was agreed that this be submitted to the next meeting.


An employee representative asked about the proposals for action to address the growing problem area of work related stress and the Divisional Director of Human Resources and Development responded that this was recognised to be an increasing national issue.  He then outlined the various measures already in place and noted that where a service was impacted upon by the transformation programme additional resources would be available to support staff through transition.  He further agreed the internal Health at Work Group could consider further actions the Council could be taking for the wellbeing of its employees.


A further concern raised by the employee side was discussed in terms of the take up of training.  It was further noted that training in respect of health and safety provision was supplied by Unison which employee representatives considered could be procured at less cost than the current training provider.  It was agreed that officers would consider the points raised by employee representatives as part of the current service efficiency review of the Health and Safety service and that this would include a review of current training, take up and alternative training providers.


In response to a further query it was agreed that officers report to next meeting on the learning from the recent Civic Centre site bomb alert and the new arrangements for Fire and Bomb Alerts to be introduced as a direct action.


In considering the various Directorate reports the Forum requested that the Corporate Director Children’s Services attend its next meeting in view of the health and safety statistics associated with her service areas and the difficulties that had been experienced in convening health and safety meetings within schools.


Resolved to RECOMMEND:  (to Portfolio Holder Performance, Customer Services and Corporate Services) 


That the requests outlined above be agreed and submitted to the next meeting.

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