Working safely in Council Housing
The Service Manager (Housing Operations) outlined the report and gave assurances to the Housing Services Cabinet Committee on how DSO Building Management meets compliance with the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the more specific requirements of the Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015 (CDM)
The Service Manager (Housing Operations) highlighted the following:
· The CDM Officer carries out scheduled and unannounced site inspections on the
Council’s contractors and provides comprehensive reports on a monthly basis to
the relevant Project Manager and the Principal Contractor. The inspection report
focuses on elements of the project that are specific to CDM Regulations
The inspection report will recommend remedial actions, further control measures
and deadlines to track progress and will be reviewed at contract meetings
· The voids, responsive repairs and in-house work programmes are also subject to
periodic site inspections by the CDM Officer with a subsequent follow up report.
Unlike major projects not all of the elements of the CDM Regulations apply,
however, to ensure best practice, the managers and supervisors within the service
adopt a similar approach when establishing safe systems of work.
· Over the last three years, five accidents/ injuries have occurred amongst the operational workforce which have involved small injuries such as bruising as banging of hands which is low for this sector and also taking into account that over 65,000 repair jobs were undertaken during this period as well as refurbishment on 813 empty properties.
· There are sufficient health and safety arrangements in place across DSO Building Management that will continually be reviewed and improved upon, and this should give Housing Committee confidence in the working practices and processes of the service.
Following questions and comments from Members, the Service Manager (Housing Operations) highlighted the following:
· The Council has a corporate Lone Working Policy and there is also a specific policy in place within the Housing Operations team to ensure the safety of the workforce.
The Oneserve Field Service Management system and tracking systems on work vehicles allows the Council to carefully monitor staff and look after their welfare.
· There is a duty officer who manages the out of hours service. Staff go out in pairs in the evening with a lone working device and check in with the duty officer.
· The Council provides specialist manual handling training to its staff as it is important to protect workers from injury.
· The Service Manager (Housing Operations) will review the wording used at paragraph 4.2.2 of the report to reflect the fact that staff must report any accidents or incidents to enable changes in work practices or amendments to risk assessments.
· The Council tries to be as proactive as possible and keep neighbours informed of any works that are going on.
· Staff used to be CRB cleared but the requirements then changed to DBS checks and the Council weren’t able to get DBS checks for staff.
· In relation to extra job requests when on site; staff make an assessment on a case-by-case basis. If the Council is responsible for the work and the job can be done within the allocated time, staff will complete the work, but it has to be recorded as an extra job.
The Committee noted the report.
- Working Safely in Council Housing, item 27. PDF 100 KB
- Appendix 2- Health & Safety Inspection Report, item 27. PDF 128 KB
- Appendix 3- Risk Assessment - clearing blocked sinks, item 27. PDF 101 KB