Crouch End and District U3A Health and Safety Policy
To be read in conjunction with Advice to Group Conveners
This policy on Health and Safety is based on advice from the Third Age Trust.
Members of the Executive Committee are responsible for monitoring and overseeing the implementation of the policy. The Committee has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that members adhere to this policy and to keep up to date with any new legal requirements as they come into force.
It is equally the duty of every member, to exercise responsibility and to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of any other person who may be affected by their actions or omissions (Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 Section 7). Members are expected to do everything possible to prevent hazards and injury to themselves and others when engaged in U3A activities. Conveners have an important role to play in this regard and this should include procedures for using special materials or equipment, as well as more general reminders about the location of fire exits, for example.
It is the policy of Crouch End and District U3A to arrange meetings in an environment for all members that is as healthy and as safe as may be considered reasonably practicable.
Crouch End and District U3A will:
◼︎ ensure suitable premises for meetings and events are booked
◼︎ ensure that any equipment provided is safe and that instructions/training are given on the use of any equipment being used
◼︎ ensure information is supplied so that members at U3A events and meetings are aware of evacuation procedures in the event of a fire or other emergency situation.
Importantly, no-one is expected to make expensive changes to their own homes or equipment, but to be aware, and, where it’s not practicable to remove the risk, make group members aware, of possible risks that exist.
Conveners are assumed to run their groups in good faith, unless they behave recklessly, and group members are responsible for their own participation at all times.
Risk assessment checklists for venues, walks, workshop activity and electrical testing have been produced by the Third Age Trust. Copies are available from the Secretary of the Executive Committee. The checklists also help in increasing awareness of possible risks, but common sense is the key phrase.
Each convener should maintain a register of attendees and be acquainted with the fire policy procedures of the premises which are being used. The convener should:
◼︎ identify all fire exits and the outside assembly points
◼︎ ensure that means of escape are known to all members and clear of any obstructions
◼︎ ensure that personal baggage, cables etc. are tidied away and spillages are cleared immediately to avoid slips and trips
◼︎ ensure that all people have left the building
◼︎ inform the emergency services if anyone is unaccounted for or still inside the building
Conveners or persons leading an outdoor activity should also:
◼︎ ensure that members are equipped with appropriate clothing, footwear etc. for the activity
◼︎ identify hazards and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate them
◼︎ reconnoitre walks etc. in advance and warn members of potential hazards
◼︎ if necessary, take responsibility to modify or cancel an activity, according to conditions (e.g. floods, heat wave, underfoot, vegetation, cattle) at the time
◼︎ ensure a responsible person is identified as co-leader / deputy to take over activity in event of emergency
The U3A National Office indemnifies all U3A members against all sums you could become legally liable to pay as a result of:
◼︎ accidental injury to or death of any person.
◼︎ accidental loss or damage to material property not belonging to you, which arises or is caused in connection with the ‘business’ of U3As.
A summary of the insurance cover is available from the Secretary of the Executive Committee.
All accidents, injuries and illness at U3A meetings or events should be reported. A written record shall be kept by the person witnessing the accident and a copy given to the convener concerned, who should then complete an incident report form and give a copy to the Secretary of the Executive Committee.
▶︎ Download the Incident Report Form
The Executive Committee is aware that members are mature and responsible people and that the provisions of this policy are almost certainly being followed as a matter of routine. It therefore simply records the need for constant safety awareness and care by all its members and assumes their routine compliance in the context of mutual regard and insured risk.