Being a good safety citizen

We want to evolve from a passive culture in which we ask people to follow instructions, to one that is action-oriented. That means all of us feeling confident and competent to take action to keep ourselves and others safe.

It means being a good safety citizen. Watch Professor Martin Maiden, co-chair of the Safety Executive Group, explaining why a sense of community is at the heart of the EveryDaySafe programme.

Everyone has a role to play in creating an action-oriented safety culture by being a good safety citizen, both as an individual member of staff and as a manager or supervisor if you are responsible for others.

  • Have a look through the checklists of actions below that you can take to make every day safe
  • Look, learn, act: find out what the safety signs you see around you mean, why they're important and how they're telling you to act
  • If you need help or advice about safety, speak to your departmental safety officer. If you don’t know who to contact, your area or divisional safety officer can point you in the right direction – you can find them on the competent advice webpage
Looking after your own safety... and the safety of others
  • Work safely at all times and take into account the safety of others
  • Don’t walk past unsafe conditions you witness! Report it or do something to make it safe if you are in the position to do so
  • Talk to colleagues and co-workers about safety
  • Take actions to be a good safety-citizen by demonstrating EveryDaySafe values
  • Recognise your own learning needs, attend training and become aware of relevant work instructions
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when required and replace worn-out or lost PPE without delay
  • Take action to be aware of the findings of risk assessments
  • Know what actions to take in all foreseeable emergencies
  • Supervise others and let others know where you are if your safety relies upon their remote supervision
  • Report accidents and near-misses
  • Provide any relevant feedback on safety to managers and supervisors
  • Carry out routine cleaning, tidying and maintenance on your work equipment or workplace where it is reasonable for you to do so
  • Find out how to access competent health and safety advice
  • Find out who your Trade Union Appointed Safety Representative is (and take advantage of the support they can provide when relevant).
Managing or supervising others
  • Provide active and visible leadership for safety and advocate the EveryDaySafe values
  • Organise locally to ensure you distribute responsibilities appropriately and communicate these arrangements to everyone who has a role and those who would benefit from knowing
  • Consider forming a small group or committee to routinely consider safety or add safety to the agenda of another existing group
  • Ensure individuals are competent and confident in their role, including taking action to ensure all staff attend health and safety training and other development
  • Include safety in other work or departmental planning processes
  • Ensure there is a process for developing risk assessments and communicating the findings to those exposed to the risks
  • Plan for foreseeable emergencies and test these arrangements
  • Make sure the safety needs of the work are adequately resourced, including time for people to discharge their responsibilities
  • Ensure there is effective supervision according to the levels of risk, deciding upon close or remote supervision where necessary
  • Establish a process to check safety measures are in place and that the actions are being taken
  • Respond with improvement actions where they are not
  • Report significant incidents, accidents and near-misses, undertake investigations and implement improvements
  • Collect feedback and provide information to be included in University-level assurance reports and risk registers
  • Encourage others to take safety actions
  • Ensure staff register for health surveillance or similar preventative or protective schemes
Health and safety officers advising managers and staff
  • Provide support to managers and other role holders so they can understand and discharge their actions
  • Develop policies, guidance and other tools
  • Promote easy ways for managers and others to gain access to competent professional advice and other support
  • Develop and deliver training sessions that emphasise which actions need to be taken by whom, and that deliberately seek to develop both the competence of those attending and increase confidence to take the right action
  • Provide advice and other support to managers and others required to develop risk assessments
  • Where the risks and circumstances justify it, develop on behalf of others specialised risk assessments
  • Help others identify sources of competent health and safety advice and other support (including from across the University safety network but also from external sources)
  • Support inspections, audits, and other measures that provide assurances across the safety management system
  • Develop assurance reports for your areas of activity and support others with assurance reporting responsibilities
  • Support accident and incident investigations (including significant near misses) and where appropriate lead selected investigations
  • Lead or otherwise participate in inspections, routine visits and other interventions involving the enforcement authorities (Health & Safety Executive, Environment  Agency, fire authorities etc)
  • Contribute to safety committees and other groups, and in some cases organise and chair or facilitate those groups
  • Take a plan, do, check and act approach to how you provide advice and other support, and demonstrate successful and enabling outcomes wherever possible
  • Continually develop the quality of support you provide
  • Undertake necessary continued professional development, wherever possible to the standards advocated by an appropriate professional body such as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
  • Participate in the Safety Network
  • Monitor the working environment and report unsatisfactory conditions to the Head of Department