Risk Assessment Policy

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors, and all others who may be affected by its activities and recognises its responsibility for Risk Assessments under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) that places a mandatory duty upon employers to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of work-related risks.  

A suitable and sufficient risk assessment means that the level of detail is proportionate to the risk and appropriate to the nature of the work, it considers who might be affected, deals with the obvious significant foreseeable risks and identifies the precautions (control measures) that are reasonable.  

Imperial College Union, so far as is reasonably practicable, that no employee, student, visitor, contractor, or other person is exposed to an unacceptably high level of risk from any Union, equipment or activities undertaken, for which the Union has a legal responsibility for mitigation. 

1. Definition

The definition of a risk assessment is a systematic process of identifying hazards and evaluating any associated risks within a workplace, then implementing reasonable control measures to remove or reduce them. 

This policy is to enable Imperial College Union to meet its duty of care to students and staff (and others) by creating a culture of undertaking risk assessments to reduce the risks of activities, as far as is reasonably practicable. The aim is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff, visitors, and others affected by our operations.

It is Union's Policy to:

  • Provide an environment where risk is mitigated to an acceptable level for all employees, students, visitors, contractors, or others.  

  • Ensure compliance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and all other relevant legislation and guidance.  

  • Undertake suitable and sufficient assessments of all workplace risks, through the application of a suitable risk assessment system.  

  • Record the significant findings of these assessments.   

  • Provide information on the outcomes of assessments to those involved in the process being assessed.  

  • Provide suitable information and training to enable suitable risk assessments to be developed and implemented.  

  • Regularly review the risk assessment system, to ensure it is suitable and sufficient. 

2. Responsibilities

  • ICU Board of Trustees

    The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a statutory duty on organisations to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its employees at work and other people who may be affected by their activities, e.g., membership, volunteers, members of the public.  

    The Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the Union, has overall and final responsibility for Health and Safety matters within the Union, and for ensuring that Health and Safety legislation is complied with. The ICU Trustee Board will:  

    • Be aware of the significant health and safety risks faced by the organisation;   

    • Seek assurance that risk control measures are in place and acted upon. 

  • Managing Director (MD)

    The Trustee Board has devolved day-to-day responsibility for Health, Safety and Welfare to the Managing Director.  

    The MD, and those acting on their behalf, will ensure:  

    • Ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy; 

    • MD delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles; 

    • Ensure that ICU Board of Trustees are provided with information on the significant risks facing the ICU; 

    • Be notified of any significant accident, incident, or enforcement action. 

  • Senior Leadership Team

    The Managing Director will delegate to the membership of the leadership team the following responsibility:  

    • Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety activities and the Union's Health and Safety Policy and associated policies and procedures, and for ensuring that, at the strategic level, performance standards and timescales are adhered to;  

    • Chairing the Students' Union's Health and Safety Committee and ensuring it has the time, facilities, and resources to carry out its business effectively;  

    • Keeping under review this Health and Safety Policy and the Health and Safety performance of the Students' Union. 

    • Ensure that those with risk management and assessment responsibilities are adequately trained and competent.

  • Facilities, Health, and Safety Manger (FHSM)

    The FHSM is appointed by the MD to undertake the following: 

    • Ensure suitable & sufficient  risk assessments are carried out, by competent persons, to identify significant hazards and risks, assess the risks from these and identify controls necessary to manage risk to the lowest level reasonably practicable for all persons involved with and / or potentially affected by the activity; 

    • Provide competent advice and support on risk assessments to the Imperial College Union community;  

    • Ensure appropriate oversight for compliance and provide reports to ICU (Imperial College Union) & ICL (Imperial College London) Health and Safety Committees /Forums;  

    • Provide access to risk assessment training and ensure adequacy through routine review;  

    • Have an oversight of reported incidents and make recommendations where necessary in relation to risk assessments; 

    • Ensure that the investigation of any significant accident or incident includes a review of the relevant risk assessment(s).

  • Imperial College Union Line Managers

    Health and Safety is a delegated line management responsibility requiring managers to undertake operational Health and Safety duties identified in this policy. Imperial College Union Line Managers to undertake the following: 

    • Lead by example by following policies and challenging inappropriate behaviours, should check that staff have received information and encourage them encourage inexperienced staff to read and follow the guidance provided; 

    • Ensure that risk assessments are undertaken and recorded in line with this policy and local arrangements and that staff, students and others are following procedures and control measures; 

    • Ensure that the findings of the risk assessment are communicated to those affected by the activities, and that the risk assessments are regularly reviewed by a competent person; 

    • Ensure those carrying out risk assessments are competent to do; 

    • Report any significant failings relating to the risk assessment process to a member of the Senior Leadership Team or the Facilities, Health, and Safety Manger (FHSM) in their absence.  

  • ICU Employees are required to:

    Individual members of staff, students and visitors have a legal duty to co-operate and comply at all times with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Staff and students are responsible for: 

    • Cooperate and enable implementation of this policy; 

    • They must also cooperate by complying with the control measures identified by a risk assessment; 

    • Report any shortcomings or defects of or in the risk assessment control measures to their line manager.

  • Imperial College Union - Student Led Groups

    This policy applies to all Imperial College Union - Student Led Groups have a legal duty to co-operate and always comply with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Student Led groups are responsible for:   

    • Cooperate and enable implementation of this policy 

    • All CSP's leaders have a legal duty to assess their activities for risk (by creating a risk assessment).  

    • Ensure that all CSP's trips and tours are individually risk assessed and should be submitted with a Trip and Tour proposal form.  

    • Ensure that all participants are informed and made aware of any risks involved in activities provided by the group CSP  

    • CSP's are legally obliged to report accidents, incidents and near misses that occur during its activities.

  • Imperial College London

    The Students' Union, whilst an independent charity, is an integral part of the Imperial College community and could not exist without the College. The Union and College work in partnership to ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure health, safety and welfare within the Union. The Union is committed to working with the Imperial College London Safety department and where appropriate, ensuring that the Union's Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements are in accordance with the College Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements. 

    The Union is in an unusual position in that whilst colleagues work directly for the Students' Union their contracts of employment are with the College. Whilst the Union accepts its duty of care and responsibilities, the College also has a duty to ensure, and support, the safe management and operation of the Students' Union. 

Further Information 

The Health and Safety Executive has useful guidance documents on completing risk assessments and for specific subject/operational areas. See the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) risk assessment pages for general guidance on assessment, and www.hse.gov.uk for topic specific sections. 

Review date: March 2025