Members of the Committee are responsible for monitoring and overseeing the implementation of the policy. The Committee has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that members adhere to this policy and to keep up to date with any new legal requirements as they come into force.
It is equally the duty of every member to exercise responsibility and to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of any other person who may be affected by their actions or omissions (HSW Act 1974 Section 7). Members are expected to do everything possible to prevent hazards and injury to themselves and others when engaged in u3a activities.
Group convenors have an important role to play in this regard, and we ask that all convenors review what information your group members need. This should include procedures for using special materials or equipment, as well as more general reminders such as the location of fire exits.
Salford u3a will arrange meetings in an environment for all members that is as healthy and as safe as may be considered reasonably practicable.
Salford u3a will:
- Book suitable premises for meetings and events;
- Ensure that any equipment provided is safe and that instructions/training are given on the use of any equipment being used;
- Supply information so that members at u3a events and meetings are aware of the evacuation procedures in the event of a fire or other emergency situation.
Importantly, no-one is expected to make expensive changes to their own homes or equipment, but to be aware, and where it’s not practicable to remove the risk, make group members aware, of possible risks that exist. Group leaders are assumed to run their groups in good faith, unless they behave recklessly. Group members are responsible for their own actions at all times.
Risk Assessment checklists for venues, walks and electrical testing have been produced by the Third Age Trust. Copies are available from the Chair or from the web site www.u3a.org.uk . The checklists help to make us aware of possible risks, but ‘common sense’ is the key phrase.
Group Convenors must maintain a register of attendees and acquaint themselves with the Fire Policy Procedures of the premises which are being used, such as:
- identifying all fire exits and the outside Assembly Points
- ensuring that means of escape are known to all members and clear of any obstructions
- ensuring that personal baggage, cables etc. are tidied away and spillages are cleared immediately to avoid slips and trips
In the event of an evacuation, Group convenors must take the register with them to:
- ensure that all people have left the building
- inform the emergency services if anyone is unaccounted for or still inside
Group convenors or persons leading an outdoor activity also need to:
- advise members where necessary of the need for appropriate clothing and footwear suitable for the activity undertaken
- identify hazards and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate them
- reconnoitre walks etc. in advance and warn members of potential hazards
- if necessary, take responsibility to modify or cancel an activity according to the conditions at the time (e.g. floods, heat wave, underfoot, vegetation, livestock)
- ensure a responsible person is identified as co-leader/deputy to take over activity in event of emergency
Details of the insurance covered by u3a is available from the Chair or the web site.
All accidents, injuries and illness at u3a meetings or events should be reported to a member of the Committee, in the first instance. A written record shall be kept by the person witnessing the accident and a copy given to the group convenor concerned. The convenor should complete an Incident Report form (available from the Secretary) and give a copy to the Chair.
The Committee is aware that Members are mature and responsible people and that the provisions of this policy are almost certainly being followed as a matter of routine. It therefore simply records the need for constant safety awareness and care by all its members and assumes their routine compliance in the context of mutual regard and insured risk.
This policy, based on guidance from the Third Age Trust, was adopted by the Committee of Salford u3a in June 2021.
Review date: June 2023