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Roles and responsibilities


Deans and directors of services

The dean and directors have overall responsibility for ensuring health and safety is effectively managed in the faculty or service. In addition they are responsible for:

  • Describing the arrangements with the faculty, school or service for carrying out risk assessment in the policy statement
  • Ensuring there is clarity in the way in which responsibility for risk assessment is delegated to school and services
  • Ensuring a programme of risk assessments is planned and implemented which includes the nomination of training of employees to carry out the assessments
  • Monitoring compliance to the standards in their areas of responsibility
  • Ensuring allocation of resources to enable appropriate standards
  • Ensuring the maintenance of a faculty, school or service’s risk assessment
  • Building objectives and targets for risk assessments into 1-to-1s and appraisals.
  • Ensuring an up-to-date risk assessment log is created and maintained to facilitate efficient monitoring and helping to establish whether risk assessments have been carried out comprehensively across all school activity
  • Ensuring information, instruction and training will be provided to all persons involved in the risk assessment process including any specific information instruction and training needs identified.

Heads of schools, departments and other academic and administrative units & service managers

  • Ensure suitable and sufficient risk assessments are completed by competent persons for their areas of responsibility
  • Draw up prioritised action plans and implement findings of risk assessments
  • Ensure senior managers are aware of resources required (staff time and finances) for implementation of these action plans
  • Consult and involve staff and safety representatives during risk assessment process
  • Ensure the findings of risk assessment are communicated to employees and others as appropriate
  • Ensure employees work in accordance with findings of risk assessments and they are appropriately trained
  • Review risk assessment form other sources where appropriate eg. contractors
  • Ensure records of assessments are kept for their areas of responsibility
  • Any injury, incident or near miss must lead to a review of the relevant risk assessment
  • Regularly review training needs and provide refresher training
  • Ensure employees adhere to safe system of work
  • Ensure safety arrangements are regularly monitored and reviewed
  • Ensure special arrangements are made for vulnerable persons.
  • Ensure an up-to-date risk assessment log is maintained to facilitate efficient monitoring and help establish whether risk assessments have been carried out comprehensively across all school activity

Employees, research staff and students

  • Assist managers with the risk assessment process
  • Work in accordance with safety procedures, standards, instructions and training and findings of risk assessment
  • Inform line managers of any difficulties or concerns with work practices, working environment or findings of risk assessment
  • Advise line managers of any change in circumstances which may affect their ability to work safely or which may affect the findings of risk assessment
  • Be fully aware of their responsibilities
  • Report to management (in confidence) any personal conditions which may put them at greater risk when carrying out work activities
  • Report to a responsible person any problems relating to their work activities along with any shortcoming they believe exist in the arrangements made to protect them.


Contractors / limited companies

Where another employer or self-employed person is involved, eg. in shared premises or in the use of contractors (including employees from other schools within the University), appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure full cooperation and coordination, ensuring responsibilities are defined and all risks properly addressed.

Partnership working

In situations involving the University of Leeds and other employers working together, the responsibilities of each party for managing and monitoring health and safety must be agreed and documented prior to commencement of work activities. Employers are ultimately responsible for their staff even if they work in a non University of Leeds building or are managed by a non University of Leeds manager.

Health and safety services

Health and safety services/safety managers will monitor arrangements and will help by:

  • Assisting with the identification and implementation of safe systems of work
  • when required
  • Assist to find relevant standards, good practice guidance to aid risk assessments
  • Develop and review the risk assessment policy, key procedures and standards 
  • document
  • Monitor risk assessment logs
  • Monitor existence and quality of risk assessments.
  • Conducting audits
  • Provide specialist support where required

Occupational health service

The occupational health service may be contacted for advice in relation to any health hazard identified via a risk assessment. If it is decided that health surveillance is appropriate, managers can contact the occupational health service for professional advice.

Training requirements

The law requires the employer to ensure that those carrying out risk assessments are competent. People with responsibility for risk assessments must receive the course offered by health and safety services or an equivalent as a minimum. Any queries about alternatives should be addressed to health and safety services. In some cases, additional specialist training will be required.

Risk Assessment Downloads