Health & Safety Policy


Published: 21 Sept 2023

Next Review: 20 Sept 2024


In line with the Health and Safety Act 1974, YES Outdoors accepts that it has a duty to ensure, as far as is reasonable, the health, safety and welfare of its employees.

General Statement of Health and Safety Policy

Our policy is to provide and maintain safe and healthy working conditions, equipment and systems of work for all YES Outdoors employees and to provide such information, training and supervision as they need for this purpose.

YES Outdoors also accepts responsibility for the health and safety of staff and learners and other people who may be affected by our activities. We recognise that all learners and centre users, including visitors and lettings customers, have a personal duty of care.

The duties for safety matters and the particular arrangements which YES  Outdoors makes to implement the policy are set out below.

The policy will be kept up to date, particularly as the curriculum, staff and procedures change. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has been operated will be reviewed annually.

This document will be displayed on the YES Outdoors website and the YES  Outdoors administrative office.

This policy forms part of the induction training given to new staff.

Health and Safety Responsibilities

Final responsibility for Health and Safety within YES Outdoors lies with the CEO. 

A Safety Liaison Officer has responsibility for co-ordinating Health and Safety matters within YES Outdoors. The Safety Liaison Officer is Patrick Hutchison, Outdoor Activities Director.

It is the duty of every member of staff, both teaching and non-teaching, to report any unsafe conditions to the Safety Liaison Officer or a member of the Health and Safety Group. In addition, an attempt should be made to eliminate danger before reporting it, but only if this does not endanger the safety of others.

All employees and users have the responsibility of co-operating to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others. Specific areas of responsibility are divided in this way:

i)    Premises

ii)   Specialist teaching areas

iii)  All portable equipment

iv)  Online/remote working equipment

The Health and Safety Group

The Health and Safety Group meets regularly to discuss matters raised, identify training needs and how further to improve all aspects of health and safety. Members of the Group are the CEO, Development and Communication Manager and the Access to Employment Lead. Meetings are held at various delivery sites as decided by the Development and Communication Manager. All aspects of the Group are coordinated by the Development and Communication Manager.


Regular inspections are undertaken at delivery sites. 

All premises used by YES Outdoors but administered by others are required to have their own Health and Safety Policy. These will be checked annually and on inception of new sites.

The following areas of premises are the day-to-day responsibility of the site staff:

          • all teaching areas
          • administrative offices
          • stairs, foyers, corridors, halls and sports areas
          • refreshment areas
          • toilets
          • storage areas
          • boiler room
          • exterior of buildings and car parks
          • internal/external lighting
          • visual checks and PAT testing of electrical equipment
          • workshops/studios
          • Security equipment and CCTV monitoring

We also expect all Centre users to exercise their personal responsibility with regard to health and safety.

Specialist teaching areas

Teaching areas containing specialist equipment are the responsibility of tutors using them. Tutors must report any hazard to the site staff who should attempt to resolve the problem through the local borough of Islington’s (LBI) maintenance contractors or local specialist firm/expertise where necessary (after reporting and getting clearance where appropriate from a member of the Health and Safety Group). Should the site staff not be able to resolve the problem, they should remove the hazard and report the problem to the Safety Liaison Officer or a member of the Health and Safety Group. In all cases, the problem, action taken and final outcome should be recorded and reported to the CEO.

All portable equipment

Site staff are responsible for carrying out annual PAT checks of all electrical equipment. Site staff who have attended the relevant training course are nominated ‘competent persons’ in this regard.

Health and Safety arrangements Risk Assessments

General Statement

Risk assessments will be carried out by Health and Safety Group members or other trained staff annually, or when there have been any significant changes to working practices or equipment.  The assessments will identify hazards associated with YES Outdoors activities together with necessary actions to remedy them. These records will be kept by the CEO on behalf of the Health and Safety Group.

1- Action on identifying hazards

If any member of staff or learner identifies a hazard, it is their duty to report the fact to the site staff on duty who should let the Safety Liaison Officer know as soon as possible. The Safety Liaison Officer should ensure that any hazard is made safe as soon as practically possible.

If the hazard is of a nature that it may cause actual harm, then staff have a further duty to take immediate action to prevent any harm from occurring before reporting the matter. This may involve segregation, isolation, removal or any other means necessary. Such actions are only to be undertaken without taking undue personal risk. Once reported, the Safety Liaison Officer may seek expert help from the Central Safety Unit at LBI to eliminate the hazard or report the matter further.

Arrangements for Persons with Disabilities

YES Outdoors has access and egress arrangements in place for people with disabilities at work or attending courses. This includes access ramps and lifts to some floors for wheelchair users. People with disabilities are able to seek assistance from staff at any time during the working day.

Accessible toilets are available at all delivery sites. Sanitary provisions are checked and maintained daily by cleaning staff at the delivery sites.

2- Communicating

The CEO has the duty of ensuring that all members of the Health and Safety Group and staff have access to the Health and Safety Policy and that copies are displayed on the YES Outdoors website.

Any amendments to any policy will be circulated to all staff.  Key points will be disseminated through the YES Outdoors email system. There will be specific training for staff groups, such as site staff, administrative staff, tutors and managers. There are YES Outdoors-wide opportunities for First Aid training.

The CEO delegates responsibility for ensuring that staff are trained in the use of specialist equipment and for the dissemination of any handout to the relevant staff.

The relevant Safety Liaison Officer will investigate and report to the Health and Safety Group all injuries, accidents, near accidents and damage that may lead to a hazard. The Health and Safety Group will ensure that it is reported to the appropriate authority. The Safety Liaison Officer is also responsible for collating safety report information.

Health and Safety is a regular item on the agenda of management meetings.

3- Covid-19 precautions

YES Outdoors complies with the guidance issued by the HSE, Public Health England and LBI to ensure the safety of all centre users.

Risk assessments are undertaken with regards to the premises and individuals, and regularly updated. Following the assessment recommendations, YES Outdoors will make necessary changes to reduce risks and make the environment ‘covid-secure’.

4- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

No substance, which falls under COSHH Regulations, is to be used unless a COSHH assessment for it has been undertaken. If an assessment cannot be found for a particular substance, then the Central Safety Unit must be contacted for further guidance.

Safety instructions must be displayed in specialist classrooms and tutors must ensure that learners understand these procedures and are competent to carry them out.

COSHH Regulations

There will be annual reviews of substances on which COSHH assessment should be applied.

Staff who use these substances will take part in these reviews. If necessary, the Safety Liaison Officer will refer to the Central Safety Unit for further advice.

Broken Glass/Shards

These must be swept away into a brush and dustpan and placed in a bin. A notice on the bin should show the site staff/cleaner that broken glass is inside

Clinical Waste

Used sanitary products are removed from all premises under contract. Sanitary napkins are removed from the premises under contract. Body fluid treatment kits are available for use.

Electrical/Gas Mains

Annual checks on appliances will be arranged by the Safety Liaison Office at each centre with appropriate specialist firms.

Smoking / Vaping

All (substantially enclosed) public places and workplaces will be smoke-free and all staff and students have the right to work and study in a smoke-free environment. This Policy applies to all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes and vaping products.

Water Safety

There are monitors on the hot water and chlorifiers. Checks are carried out by LBB Environmental Services.

5- Display Screens

All users will be made aware of the need to adjust equipment furniture and equipment to suit their needs (rather than adjusting their posture to the workstation). Systems of work will be encouraged to avoid a static posture and prolonged DSE (display screen equipment) work without a change of activity.

Any problems with furniture, equipment or eyesight should be reported to a manager as soon as they arise.  A close assessment of users’ work areas will be made.  DSE risk assessments will be carried out by the LBI Health and Safety staff on relevant staff and reviewed when changes occur.

Staff working remotely/from home will be provided with advice and guidance on avoiding bad posture, taking regular breaks and moving around, and minimise eye fatigue.

6- Evacuation

All staff are to be made aware of emergency escape routes, assembly points and evacuation procedures. Fire exits and egress routes must never be obstructed.

Learners are to be made aware of emergency escape routes, assembly points and evacuation procedures as part of classroom induction at the first session of their course.

7- Electricity

Tests using a portable appliance tester are to be carried out annually and recorded by site staff who are ‘competent persons’.  Pieces that have passed the test will be labelled appropriately.  Pieces that cannot be repaired must be identified ‘non-usable’ and disposed of.

Electrical items that do not belong to YES Outdoors should only be brought in when necessary and should be tested beforehand by a competent person. These items should be marked clearly with the owner’s name and the use identified to the tutor.

The use of multi-adapters is to be avoided as is the use of extension leads unless they are fully unwound. Trailing leads should be avoided unless they are correctly protected to prevent anyone tripping.

Minor electrical repairs i.e. rewiring plugs and/or replacing fuses will only be carried out by suitably ‘competent’ people.

Other electrical equipment (both fixed and portable) in need of repair must be carried out by specialist firms.

8-     Fire

YES Outdoors will monitor the regular Fire Risk Assessments carried out at all delivery sites.  Fire alarm call point tests and emergency lighting tests are carried out under contract. Fire extinguishers are available at each of the delivery sites and regularly tested under contract. Findings of tests carried out will be kept on record at each of the delivery sites.

All staff are responsible for knowing where their nearest alarm point is and what steps to take on finding a fire, and ensuring that learners/users are aware of the evacuation procedures.

Fire drills will be carried out in all the main delivery sites at least once a term at different times of day and evening. Records will be kept by the Safety Liaison Officer.

Fire signs are posted at all sites showing the location of fire exits and evacuation procedures.

9-     First Aid

The names of qualified first aiders are displayed at all delivery sites.

Contents of first aid boxes are checked and replenished by administrative staff at least once per term or as required. Medication should never be kept in first aid boxes.

Disposable latex free gloves will always be available in or near first aid boxes. Body fluid disposal kits are available.

10-  Major incidents

YES Outdoors will follow LBI procedures in case of major incident, including Terrorism Emergencies. These procedures are in accordance with the Islington Prepared Major Emergency Plan (2010). Further guidance can be found on the Islington Borough council website.

11-  Manual Handling

Simple common sense measures should be taken to reduce risk of injury through manual handling activities. Staff will be made aware of using lifting aids and safe lifting techniques to encourage a safe system of work. Staff must not take personal risks when manual handling. Staff should report any problem with work activity or equipment as soon as they occur. London Borough of Islington provides training for relevant staff.

12-  Personal Safety

Where possible, staff should not work alone in any premises. When lone working is necessary, YES Outdoors will make every effort to ensure the safety and well-being of workers. YES Outdoors makes use of a walkie-talkie system at its two main sites to summon assistance. Managers will keep in direct regular contact with lone workers working remotely to make sure they are healthy and safe.

13-  Reporting Accidents

All staff, as part of induction training, will be made aware of procedures and criteria for filling in a HSE Accident Form and/or LBI relevant form at main delivery sites and their method of dispatch. The form is available via YES Outdoors resources for use by those working remotely.    

All Accident Forms, once completed, will be passed to the Health and Safety Group who will check to see if it constitutes a report under RIDDOR. YES Outdoors will report all RIDDOR reportable accidents to the HSE, LBB, GLA, ESFA and successor bodies.

All incidents of physical violence or verbal abuse will be reviewed under BAE’s ‘Harassment and Bullying Policy’.

14-  Sports and Fitness

The safety of learners undertaking any physical activity is the responsibility of the class tutor.

Tutors are told of their responsibility for themselves and their learners. Tutors are responsible for ensuring that Health Screening Forms are completed by every learner and assessed. Tutors should ensure that learners wear appropriate clothing / footwear for each activity and that everyone has understood what they are going to do within their capabilities. All tutors responsible for Sports and Fitness should ensure that working surfaces are safe to work on and equipment is in good working order.

Where there is concern with any aspect of safety, or the tutor has identified a potential hazard, he/she must segregate the learners from the problem area and report the problem/hazard to the site Safety Liaison Officer. If the risk is considered too great on any given occasion, the session will be cancelled. Tutors will ensure that all accidents are recorded on an Accident Form.

15-  Substance Misuse

YES Outdoors is committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive environment. BAEC applies the LBI ‘Substance Misuse Policy 2.16’ and uses it as a framework. YES Outdoors takes substance abuse very seriously. Please refer to the policy for detailed information.

16-  Working at Height

Working at height should be avoided wherever possible. When reaching, site staff will use a suitable form of access e.g. industrial quality ladder. 

Site staff will receive training on the use of such equipment and the risk assessment process will apply to such activities.

17-  Mental Health

YES Outdoors is committed to reduce stress at work and to support employees and users in reducing instances of stress-related issues. HSE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.

Staff will be provided with training and guidance on how to reduce stress. Managers will signpost to all LBI support opportunities and ensure that individual help is put in place immediately if any staff member requests it.

A ‘wellbeing week’ for staff and learners is held every year to promote good mental health. Other wellbeing opportunities will be regularly delivered throughout the academic year within YES Outdoors and in conjunction with LBI activities.

Staff working remotely will be given advice on how to recognise signs of stress as soon as possible, managers will keep in regular contact with staff and act as an emergency point of contact for people to get help if they need it.


This policy applies to all those connected with YES Outdoors. This includes but is not restricted to employees, contractors, visitors and students, strategic partners, stakeholders and any others that work for YES Outdoors or visit our delivery sites e.g. community representatives. All those connected with YES Outdoors have a responsibility to ensure equality of opportunity and human rights are promoted, to create a culture of mutual respect in which all contributions to society as a whole and this organisation are valued. YES Outdoors promotes positive behaviour and tolerance by all of the charity’s community and stakeholders.