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Health, Safety and Environment Committee minutes 9 March 2021

Minutes of the Cardiff University Health, Safety and Environment Committee held on Wednesday, 9 March 2021, remote meeting, at 10:00.

Present:             Professor Karen Holford (Chair), Professor Rachel Ashworth, Mr Dev Biddlecombe, Ms Anneka Bisi, Dr Tine Bloome, Ms Emma Dalton, Mr Rob Davies, Mr Mike Francis, Professor Mark Gumbleton, Ms Katie Hall, Mr Ben Lewis, Dr Steven Luke, Mrs Sue Midha, Professor Damien Murphy, Professor Hilary Rogers, Ms Claire Sanders (left meeting at 11.30 am), Dr Andy Skyrme and Mr Robert Warren.

In Attendance:   Mr Mike Turner (Secretary), Professor Mike Bruford, Dr Katrina Henderson, Mr Richard Rolfe, Mrs Jennis Williams (Minute Taker), and Mr Mark Williams.

Apologies:          Ms Georgina East, Ms Julia Komar, Mr Rob Williams, Mr Matt Williamson, and Mr Simon Wright.



The Chair welcomed all Members to the meeting. The Chair also welcomed new members – Professor Hilary Rogers and Mr Robert Warren.

Declaration of Interested Parties

The Declaration of Interested Parties statement was read out by the Chair and no declarations were declared.

483 Minutes


483.1             to approve the minutes of Cardiff University Health, Safety and Environment Committee held on 10 March 2020 (19/827) as a correct record.

483.2             the minutes of Cardiff University Health, Safety and Environment Committee held on 21 October 2020 (20/461) were confirmed as a correct record.

484 Matters Arising

Received and noted paper 20/462, ‘Matters Arising’

Vide minute 468.1 and minute 456.3.5 – Minutes of the Previous Meeting

484.1             Noted that Estates and Infrastructure Group have not had a workshop and the presentation was superseded by the Climate Emergency white paper being submitted to Council on the 8 February 2021.

485 Items from the Chair

485.1             Noted that it was Dr Stephen Luke’s last meeting as he has ended his term on Council. The Chair and Committee Members thanked Stephen for his work and service on the HSE Committee.

486 Health and Safety General Report

Received and considered paper 20/463, ‘Health and Safety General Report’. and an oral report from Mr Mike Turner.

Safety, Health, Environment and Wellbeing Policy Statement

486.1             Noted the University’s Safety, Health, Environment and Wellbeing policy statement has been reviewed and now includes additional specific reference to the University’s commitment to embedding the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.


486.2             to recommend to the Governance Committee that the amended Safety, Health, Environment and Wellbeing Policy Statement (appendix 1) is approved and signed by the Vice Chancellor and Chair of Council.

Health and Safety Strategy 2020 – 2023


486.3             that the Health and Safety Strategy group met on 8 March 2020 and agreed that the 2020 – 2023 Strategy is still relevant even though circumstances have changed and that the survey results will enable the progress of each element of the strategy.

486.4             that the Health and Safety Strategy group will meet regularly and will propose a series of actions to UEB for support.

Objectives and Targets


486.5             the successful recertification to ISO45001.

486.6             that a review of conformity with ISO 45003 will take place.

486.7             that ISO 45003 is the first global standard and gives practical guidance on managing psychological health in the workplace, as part of the occupational health and safety management process.

486.8             that expertise and resources to implement and monitor ISO45003 already exist within the team and will be monitored under the current internal SHE audit programme.

486.9             Resolved to approve the new Health and Safety Objectives and Targets.

Changes to the SHE management system - external and internal issues that are relevant to the SHE management system

486.10           Noted that COVID-19 has been added to the context of the organisation.


486.11           to approve the Health and Safety Context of the Organisation document.

486.12           to approve the changes in how the Context of the Organisation documents and the Log of Interested Parties document is reviewed for both the Health and Safety and Environmental versions of these documents.

Changes to the SHE management system - Needs and expectations of interested parties, including compliance obligations

486.13           Resolved to approve the Health and Safety Log of Interested Parties document.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)- COVID-19 inspections

486.14           Noted the Cochrane Library on the Heath Park campus received an unannounced visit by a representative of the HSE.  The visits are part of the Health and Safety Executive’s planned programme of assessments against conformity with COVID-19 control measure guidelines.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)


486.15           that the expectation is to have local areas manage the list of equipment that needs PAT testing and is being used remotely by staff.

486.16           that the University’s insurance company have been consulted on the University’s liability in the event of an incident with University equipment during remote working. In the event of an incident (e.g. a fire in an individual’s home) the first response would be that the individual’s home insurance would become involved. Where it was thought that the University equipment was faulty the University’s insurance company would liaise with the individual’s home insurance company.


486.17           to liaise with the team developing the ‘Better Ways of Working’ guidance/ policy around home working and feed in PAT testing requirements for staff who may be working from home into the guidance/ policy.

486.18           to endorse the pausing of formal inspection and testing of University portable electrical appliances staff are using at home and to raise awareness of visual inspections during the current circumstances and communicate this to staff.

486.19           to update the online fire safety module to include a homework environment element.

Staff Matters

486.20           Noted that Paul Wilson will be joining Safety and Staff Wellbeing as the Staff Wellbeing Manager from 15 March 2021.

487 Environmental Sustainability

Received and considered paper 20/464HC, ‘Environmental Sustainability Report’ and an oral report from Dr Katrina Henderson.

Recast of Environmental Sustainability Strategy


487.1              that the Recast Environmental sustainability enabling strategy has been amended to reflect the climate emergency and the commitment to achieve net zero for scope 1 and 2 by 2030.

487.2             that further work is required before a target date for scope 3 emissions can be set, the commitment is to achieve net zero for scope 3 before 2050.

Objectives and targets


487.3             that the Environmental Sustainability enabling strategy action plan is currently being reviewed by the Climate Emergency task and finish group to ensure that the objectives and targets set will enable the University to deliver on the target to be net zero for scopes 1 and 2 by 2030.

487.4              that TJ Rawlinson will Chair the Carbon Net Zero Board set up to monitor the progression to net zero by 2030.

Risk Register

487.5             A climate emergency risk was approved and included in the Strategic risk register in October 2020. Amendments are currently being made to include revisions relating to scope 3.

Climate emergency


487.6             the Climate Emergency White Paper report was developed during 2020.  Two funded PhD students worked with academic and professional services colleagues to develop carbon modelling to determine CU’s baseline levels for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from data collected covering 2017-2019.

487.7             the climate emergency report together with a suggested timeframe for initial work was submitted to UEB and then Council.  Approval has been given for a number of actions to be commenced including the formation of a Carbon Net Zero Board, to focus strategic action on our net zero commitments.

Welsh Government Recycling Projects


487.8                  that a funding application submitted to the Welsh Government in July 2020 was successful and the University was awarded just over £1m Circular economy funding. Projects include:

  • Introduction of 7 stream internal waste and recycling in all areas (both on academic / admin estate and Residences)
  • Introduction of Catering Front of house Waste and Recycling stations will include food and ‘Compostable Disposables’ for University catering packaging, cutlery, hot drinks cups etc.
  • Replacement of existing external street furniture type waste and recycling containers to match the internal scheme in all areas (both on academic / admin estate and Residences).

487.9             that a communications plan has been developed and consultation will be undertaken with School and Professional Service colleagues. Colleagues in the Cleaning Team and Residences Team, along with contractors and suppliers are working to supply and install over 10.5K containers by 12 March 2021.

Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP)

487.10           Noted that the Ecosystem Resilience and Biodiversity Action Plan (ERBAP) was approved by UEB on the 2 November 2020. The aim is to restore and enhance the functionality and biodiversity of 30% of the University’s green estate by 2023, and to have completed the process across the entire estate by 2030.

Section 6 Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems report

487.11           Noted that the Environment Act (Wales) 2016 requires public bodies to submit a section 6 report ‘Biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems duty’.

Learning, Teaching and Research

Received an oral report from Professor Mike Bruford, Dean of Environmental Sustainability.

487.12           Noted that between October 2020 and February 2021, the Environmental Sustainability team expanded to include two new Associate Deans, Drs Julie Gwilliam and Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy.  At GW4 level, the GW4 Climate Alliance is developing a series of research themes, which should be finalised in the near future, but which will include climate change, health and wellbeing.

Sustainability week

487.13             Noted that Sustainability week took place between the 1-5 March, with over 15 events being run virtually.

Green Impact

487.14           Noted that the University is following the independent route for 2021 and will focus attention on encouraging behavioural change at home.  Individuals will be able to join up through their building team and take part in the scheme remotely. The workbook has been extended for this year with the audit taking place in June 2021.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW)


487.15           that the annual statutory declarations under the UK’s OSPAR Commission obligations (the ‘pollution inventory returns’) for 2020 have been successfully submitted to NRW.

487.16           that NRW issued a Compliance Assessment Report to the University on 9 November 2020 in response to a Schedule 4 notification provided by the RPA. The notification was to inform the regulator of recurrent software failures at PETIC resulting in atmospheric discharge data not being logged (as reported at the previous HSE committee meeting). The Compliance Assessment Report was to formally acknowledge remedial actions taken and did not indicate any non-conformances.

External and internal issues that are relevant to the SHE management system

487.17           Resolved to approve the Environment Context of the Organisation document which identifies the internal and external issues that affect the SHE management system.

Needs and expectations of interested parties, including compliance obligations

487.18           Resolved to approve the Environment Log of Interested Parties document which identifies the needs and expectations of interested parties that affect the SHE management system.

488  Student Support

488.1            that the Director of Student Support was unavailable for this item.

488.2            that information regarding the student population has been reported through other forums.

489 Occupational Health and Staff Wellbeing Report

Received and considered paper 20/465, ‘Health and Wellbeing report’ and an oral report from Mr Mike Turner.

Corporate Health Standard - Gold Award

489.1             Resolved to support the review and potential reassessment of the Corporate Health Standard Gold Award.

Wellbeing Workshops and Initiatives

489.2            Resolved to support and promote the health and wellbeing campaigns.

Staff Wellbeing Survey (COVID-19 and Wellbeing)


489.3           the Wellbeing Strategy 2020 - 2023 was launched in September 2020.

489.4           that a brief survey has been developed to ‘temperature check’ the services provided to support staff wellbeing and to help refine delivery in this area. The survey was developed in recognition that COVID-19 continues to impact significantly on an individual’s wellbeing, which can be further exacerbated during these winter months.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

489.5             Noted the figures for EAP support, work-related and personal, contacting the service and the comparison of pre-COVID and during COVID figures.

Occupational Health

489.6             Noted the revised format of data charts from the occupational health referrals report and the extended reporting period which includes Pre-COVID and during the pandemic.

490 Accidents and Incidents

Received and considered paper 20/466, ‘Accidents and Incidents’ and received an oral report from Mr Richard Rolfe.


490.1             that the pandemic has shown a marked reduction in accidents and incidents reported.

490.2             the number of RIDDORS remain at the same level and that the majority appear to be reported by ESTAT & CSERV. This is most likely due to the significant number of staff in ESTAT & CSERV that have continued to work on campus throughout the pandemic. Mr Mark Williams, ESTAT & CSERV Health, Safety & Environment Compliance Officer, confirmed these accidents had been investigated and appropriate action identified and put in place.

491 Monitoring Systems

Received and considered paper 20/467, ‘Monitoring Systems’ and received an oral report from Mr Richard Rolfe.

Biennial internal SHE audit cycle

491.1            Noted the previous cycle was stopped due to COIVD-19 and a new cycle begun in February 2021, the cycle will run until December 2022.  The programme of audits has been prioritised based on COVID risk. The majority of each audit will be conducted remotely with a short site visit where appropriate.

External SHE audit

491.2            Noted that the external SHE audit in May 2021 will be a re-certification visit   Schools and Departments will be supported ahead of the visit in May.

Biological and Radiation inspection programmes

491.3            Noted that the biological and radiation inspections programmes were put on hold due to COVID.  It is anticipated they will re-start as the restrictions lift.


491.4            Noted that the annual external pre-acceptance audit to ensure clinical waste is consigned and segregated correctly was successfully completed in November 2020 with minor actions.

Annual return

491.5            Noted due to the pressures on the organisation resulting from the COVID pandemic deadline for returning annual returns has been extended to 2 April 2021. The results of the Annual Returns will be reported at the Health, Safety and Environment Committee meeting in October 2021.

492 Estates Operations Compliance

Received and considered paper 20/468, ‘Estates Operations Compliance Annual Report 2020’ and received an oral report from Mr Dev Biddlecombe and Mr Mark Williams.

492.1             Noted the Estates Operations Compliance Annual Report 2020 which reports on primary and secondary approved codes of practice relating to the legislation and compliance issues which the university must comply with.

493 Trade Union Update



493.1             The UCU Representative reported that they have received emails from staff to say they are struggling to take their annual leave. The UCU Representative asked if staff will be offered the opportunity to roll over leave into the next leave year.

493.2             that HR are looking at the data with regard to staff’s annual leave and that there is a duty to ensure that staff are encouraged to take their annual leave.

493.3             that there are late start programmes in CARBS which are following on from each other with little time in between which makes it difficult for staff to take annual leave.

493.4             that Union Representatives will be invited to the ‘Better Ways of Working’ workshops when they are set up.

493.5             that staff could be encouraged to use the Easter two weeks break to take leave.



493.6             that the Unison Representative reported that they had received complaints from staff who are working on site that they are having the work of staff who are working from home pushed onto them because they are on site.

493.7             that the Chair asked the Unison Representative to encourage members to speak to their line managers about workload, where staff on campus are are asked to cover or take on extra tasks for staff members who are working from home.


493.8             that the concerns of some staff who are working on campus who have been asked to cover or take on extra tasks for staff members who are working from home to be tabled at the Partnership Working on Workload Group.

494 Students’ Union Update

Noted the Students’ Union Update report is appended to the minutes.

495 Security Report

Received and noted paper 20/469, ‘Security Report’.

496 Update on College Meetings

AHSS College SHE Meetings

496.1             No report was received.

BLS College SHE Meetings

496.2             Received and noted an oral report from Dr Rob Davies.

PSE College SHE Meetings

496.3             Received and noted an oral report from Professor Damien Murphy.

Professional Services SHE Minutes

496.4             Received and noted oral report regarding Professional Services SHE Minutes.

497 Approval of draft agenda for the next meeting


497.1             that the agenda format should be the same for the next meeting.

497.2             to receive a report from the GMBA Committee.

498 Date of the next meeting – 5 October 2021.