Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert, Email: ainsley.gilbert@hounslow.gov.uk, 020 8583 2064 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communications from members

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Bruce, welcomed everyone to the newly formed Health and Safety Committee.

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Gerald McGregor and Anne Dougherty, whilst Mary Harpley, Chief Executive, had sent apologies for her late arrival.

2.

Health and Safety Committee Creation and Terms of Reference: Council report 30th April 2013 pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

See Agenda Item 2, Pages 1-7

 

Councillor Harmer had left the room for the first part of this item.

 

Phillip Wanogho, the Head of Health and Safety, explained that the committee had been established by Borough Council on 30th April, and the report was included for information.

 

Luke Kirton said that he felt that the Terms of Reference lacked a number of things. He didn’t think there was a clear explanation as to why the committee existed, and felt that they did not explain the committee’s position in the Council’s Health and Safety governance arrangements.

 

Councillor Bruce explained that the whole report, rather than just the Terms of Reference gave much of the information, and this document formed part of the committee’s governance arrangements. Councillor Curran said that it was for the committee, rather than for Borough Council, to determine more detailed working arrangements. He did not wish to see another report go to Borough Council to change the terms of reference.

 

Luke Kirton echoed this last view, but wanted to clarify the committee’s roles and responsibilities, and where it sat in terms of governance. He didn’t want, for example, to have to send references to Borough Council to change Health and Safety policy and practice, but as an advisory committee of the Council, this seemed to be the appropriate route.

 

Councillor Curran said that whilst the committee was formally a Committee of the Council, it was the lead member, and the officer led decision making process which the committee would feed into.

 

Councillor Bruce concurred that an alternative arrangement to reporting up to Borough Council was desirable, but that this should be a working procedure, not part of the terms of reference. He repeated his opening remarks that he wanted the committee to do things, not to stand still.

 

Jane Boyd and Esther Rey said that they were concerned by the frequency of meetings, and felt that it would be hard for the committee to work effectively with only two per year. Philip Wanogho clarified that there would be a monthly operational group which would feed up to the Health and Safety Committee, which was to act strategically.

 

Luke Kirton said that he was keen to get the terms of reference right now, rather than discuss them again in a year’s time. During a discussion between members it was

 

Resolved

a)     That a document would be produced explaining how the Health and Safety Committee would work in practice, and how it would interact with other parts of the governance structure.

b)     That Councillor Bruce would ask Anne-Marie Scott, Assistant Director Human Resources and Transformation, whether resource could be made available to support the development of this document.

c)      That the report be noted.

3.

Health and Safety Strategy 2010-14 and Action Plan 2013-14 pdf icon PDF 1023 KB

Minutes:

See Agenda Item Three, Pages 8-53

 

Phillip Wanogho, Head of Health and Safety, presented the report. He explained that there were significant changes he wished the committee to note, which were: the creation of the Head of Health and Safety post; the creation of the Health and Safety Committee; the Continuous Improvement Cycle built into the Health and Safety Action Plan; the creation of meaningful Health and Safety objectives; the allocation of specific Health and Safety responsibilities to each manager, and the review of this in their Personal Development Assessment (PDA); the creation of a Corporate Health and Safety Training Matrix; a greater commitment to consultation on the development of policies, and; improved recording of accidents and incidents, using the new database, which also actively managed responses to incidents.

 

Jane Boyd worried that as the PDA was an annual review, this would not sufficiently focus managers on their health and safety responsibilities. Luke Kirton felt that the biannual review would help with this, whilst Councillor Curran felt that one to one meetings would also be important in emphasising managers Health and Safety responsibilities.

 

Councillor Bruce said that the improvements to how Health and Safety was dealt with sounded excellent, and felt that Mr Wanogho had done a great job.

 

Mary Harpley Joined the meeting at this point.

 

Jane Boyd asked whether in section 4.1.1 the Executive referred to Councillors or to senior officer-level managers. Ms Harpley confirmed that as the document was drafted in 2010, before the Cabinet had been renamed as such, Executive referred to Councillors.

 

Luke Kirton asked whether this document would be reviewed soon, as it was nearing the end of its lifespan. Mr Wanogho said that a revised version would be brought to the next meeting.

 

Esther Rey queried whether the policy covered those employed outside of the Civic Centre, especially contractors, and people such as those working at the Bridge Road depot. Mr Wanogho explained that the policy applied to the whole Council, both at the Civic Centre, and everywhere else in the Borough.

 

Jane Boyd asked what the arrangement for ad-hoc contractors was. Mr Wanogho explained that this was an area he was personally reviewing, in consultation with Supply Chain Management. He explained that the Council’s commitments to Health and Safety would be managed with all contractors, not only those with contracts above a certain value as suggested by Luke Kirton.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

4.

Summary Report on Directorate H&S Performance Monitoring pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See Agenda Item Four, Pages 54-69, and the amended report.

 

Phillip Wanogho, Head of Health and Safety, introduced the report. He informed the committee that all of the targets which had been set in 2010 had now been achieved. The total number of injuries had fallen by forty eight percent between 2009/10 and 2012/13, which he felt was very good. Jane Boyd and Luke Kirton queried the figures, specifically with relation to the number of staff employed directly by the Borough, as Hounslow Highways staff had been transferred from the Council in January, as well as many redundancies and transfers in other areas. Mr Wanogho confirmed that the figures would include incidents up until staff were transferred, but not beyond their leaving the Council. He said that the figures were up to date as of Friday and that he thought that despite the reduction in staff numbers, the improvements in the accident rate were still very impressive.

 

Mr Wanogho explained that near miss reporting was significantly up, following on from a push he and his team had made to ensure that it took place. Councillor Curran was pleased that near miss reporting was high, but feared that the number of reports made under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) was so high, especially as so many of the reports required no further action. He thought that this might be a case of the Council over-reporting incidents.

 

Esther Rey asked why the figures relating to violent incidents where there had been no injury were so erratic. Councillor Bruce said that he hoped that this was because they were not happening. Mr Wanogho said that he would be worried about an increase in figures, but not a decrease. Gavin Mott said that he also felt the figures were very strange. Councillor Bruce suggested that they look at it in the next year, once the new recording system had been in use for a while. He also asked if the Health and Safety Team could emphasise the importance of reporting of this type of incident.

 

Resolved

That the report be noted.

5.

Staff Side Feedback

Minutes:

Staff Side Members confirmed that they had no further feedback beyond that which had been provided in response to other items.

6.

Operational Management Group (Verbal Report, For Discussion)

Minutes:

Phillip Wanogho explained that this had been covered in discussions earlier in the meeting, relating to the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

 

Councillor Curran said that he felt it was important that a summary of the group’s work be fed up to the Health and Safety Committee to give members a strategic overview of how implementation was working.

7.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Health and Safety Committee will be held on 20 February 2014.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting would take place on 20th February 2014.