The EveryDaySafe programme

In November 2021, Council approved a series of recommendations following a comprehensive review of health and safety during 2020-2021. A programme to implement these – EveryDaySafe – started to take shape in early 2022.

An early priority was the creation of new structures of safety organisation. These provide leadership at the highest level and enable further change to happen.

Read about the key initiatives completed during the EveryDaySafe Year 2 Programme (2023-24). Many of these will be ongoing into Year 3 of the EDS Programme (2024-25). Keep up to date on this page about these activities and others that will be coming on stream.

As part of a commitment to risk management, the new University Safety Risk Management Report has been developed, using the University’s Assurance Risk Management template and guidance.

As outlined in the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) 2023 Management Standard, 'sensible risk management is concerned with:

  • understanding your institution's risk profile
  • focusing on reducing significant risks - those which have significant consequences or arise frequently
  • ensuring that those who create and own risks manage them responsibly
  • ensuring that those who are managing risks have the knowledge, skills and experience to do so
  • ensuring that staff, students, contractors, visitors and members of the public are properly protected'

Obtaining a better understanding of the most pertinent University-level safety risks supports change by:

  • informing prioritisation 
  • enabling action by risk
  • facilitating monitoring
  • driving continuous improvement
  • supporting all teams in recognising the full range of risks 

The University Safety Risk Management Report is supported by a cross-divisional group of safety professionals from the Safety Network and is shared regularly with the Safety Executive Group (SEG).

SEG review critical and increasing risks. In May 2024, members were presented with a proposal and action plan for reducing the identified risk of fire, demonstrating how the Safety Risk Management Summary Report (below) is beginning to drive action.

Health & Safety Basics eLearning package snapshot


A new Health & Safety Basics eLearning package went live in May 2024. All staff should complete the course, either as part of the University induction process for new staff or in conjunction with ongoing safety training for existing staff.

Developed with IT Digital Learning, this package is the first to provide a consistent quality and content of H&S onboarding training on a University-wide basis. As such, it's vital in delivering basic legally-required knowledge of health and safety arrangements and universal risks, combining text, video, tasks and quizzes to provide an interactive experience. The video above gives a 10-second snapshot of what the course entails.

Refresher training for all staff should be put in place every three years and the package is also suitable for students

Complete and promote the Health & Safety Basics eLearning

The roles and responsibilities for managing health and safety are outlined in the Health & Safety Management Responsibilities policy statement (S2/11). This is an overarching summary of the University’s arrangements.

This version is being updated to:

  • align policy to current governance
  • highlight the H&S role of leaders and managers in the University
  • emphasise the centrality of risk management
  • enable ownership and accountability

Read the Health & Safety Management Responsibilities policy statement (S2/11)

The EveryDaySafe Programme is now a key delivery partner for the University's People Strategy.

The Confident Manager Series, run by People and Organisational Development (POD), was re-launched in Michaelmas Term 2023 based around six core modules and supported by a programme of masterclasses which vary each term. Key health and safety messages are included in both the Managing at Oxford and Essentials of People Management Research modules.

Additionally, a Health & Safety Masterclass was delivered as part of the programme in June 2024. There’s also a H&S guide in the Managers' Toolkit, while the Collegiate University Leadership Induction Programme integrated health and safety content in March. 

Key safety messages have been included in the Researcher Hub welcome materials, and safety links incorporated into the Researcher's Trailmap.

Conversations have also started on how health and safety information can be incorporated into the Supporting Technicians at Oxford website and events, with the Safety Office leading a session at the Technician’s Conference held in June 2024. The mentoring scheme for DSOs is being piloted under the POD MentorNet system.

Three role-related training and competency frameworks were approved by the Safety Executive Group in January 2024. The roles are departmental safety officers (DSOs), supervisors/line managers and leaders (executives and senior managers). These frameworks set out the appropriate training and competencies for those roles.

These role-related frameworks set out a basic minimum level of training, with additional training added as needed based on the corresponding risk profile. This supports change by:

  • providing guidance for the University on recommended training by role
  • introducing standard frameworks for clear training management
  • increasing competence and confidence of role holders as new training is introduced

Read the three training and competency frameworks

The inaugural Safety Network Conference, which took place on 12 March 2024, provided an opportunity for more than 150 safety colleagues to meet, share experiences and gain information and support. The Conference:

  • created an opportunity for members to meet and network
  • engendered a sense of belonging, value and shared purpose
  • promoted risk management, citizenship and putting people first
  • demonstrated support - doing things differently, not creating more work

View the Conference resources

A new departmental safety officer (DSO) mentoring scheme launched in April 2024 for a six-month pilot.

This scheme, which is integrated into the POD mentoring programme, supports change by:

  • building confidence and competence amongst safety professionals
  • increasing connections across the Network
  • developing a sense of community
  • two-way reward for both mentor and mentee
  • new behaviours and action demonstrated

Complete the Mentoring for Development eLearning

The EveryDaySafe self-assurance project ran in May-June 2024, with a pilot involving seven departments across the University. A report on the pilot and consultations is being submitted to the Safety Executive Group in July.

Additional information on the future of health and safety self-assurance will be provided in the autumn. This will:

  • enable teams to increase their own awareness
  • provide leaders and managers with data
  • support an action-oriented safety culture
  • drive action-taking and change

A wide-ranging consultation concluded in June 2024 in response to recommendation 10 of the Health & Safety Review:

‘There are significant IT opportunities to reduce compliance risk and inefficiencies, improve assurance processes, to spread best practice, and to foster a sense of openness around H&S. SHEMS should identify a prioritised list of needs/opportunities and work with IT Committee/Services, the Assurance Unit and the Safety Office to secure a rolling plan of investment.’

Findings of the consultation, and associated recommendations, were discussed at the Consultative Committee for Health & Safety (CCHS) and are being shared at the Safety Executive Group (SEG).

The development of a single University health & safety assurance framework will:

  • provide a comprehensive framework of evidence sources
  • achieve clarity around roles and responsibilities centrally, divisionally and departmentally
  • ensure alignment with the Assurance Directorate lines of defence model
  • enable continuous improvement as a result of a greater breadth and depth of data and insight

This work started in June 2024 and is involving the Safety Network from across divisions.

safety network newsletter 8 banner


The Safety Network Newsletter was launched in June 2023. Published on a six weekly-basis, this newsletter meets the need to keep Network members informed, engaged and active. Content includes:

  • news of Network projects and activities
  • decisions/consultation led by SEG and the CCHS
  • EveryDaySafe programme developments
  • other safety-related news regarding legislation, research etc.
  • Safety Notices issued by Network members

The Newsletter supports change by:

  • sharing information and best practice
  • building a sense of community
  • guest editors demonstrating support
  • promoting the route to flag new ideas
  • generating different actions

Read previous issues of the Safety Network Newsletter