USHA Ltd Preferred Leadership Training Providers


Following a discussion on HASNET (Universities Safety and Health Association forum) where a large number of Universities expressed interest in preferred management training providers / content being agreed, an exercise was undertaken to select preferred suppliers.

The level and detail of leadership training was debated and a number of levels of training were agreed.

Work is still underway on developing a training course for the level of senior managers below the senior leadership team level, however the recommended providers for the most senior level training have been identified.

Selection Process

Colleagues were asked to recommend individuals / organisations who could provide high level senior leadership training and all were approached and asked to provide details of how they would deliver the training.

Three organisations were shortlisted and asked to attend a selection panel in London.  The organisations were Eversheds Sutherland, Pinsent Masons and Human Applications.

It became clear quickly that there were actually two types of training approaches needed for training at this level, depending on the culture of the institution and so two providers were ultimately selected.

The two providers selected were Eversheds Sutherland and Human Applications.  These organisations have similar, but slightly different offers.

The courses

Both courses focus on the responsibility and accountability for Health and Safety at a senior level, both talk about assurance and assurance systems, both reference the USHA/UCEA leadership guidance and both talk about the actions required by leaders.

Both sessions are customised to the institution’s needs and last 2½ -3 hours. Both allow senior leaders to challenge and explore issues rather than be lectured.

Eversheds Sutherland have huge sector experience and bring with them direct experience of court cases in our sector and can realistically talk about what is needed and how things are viewed.  The course will explore the responsibilities of senior leaders in the light of the experience of those in the sector who have been unfortunate enough to suffer serious incidents.  The focus then turns to action planning for senior leaders.

Human Applications have slightly less sector experience, but have worked successfully with a range of large institutions nationally and internationally.  Human Applications bring an evidence-based approach and work with the leadership team to develop specific leadership actions that have been proven to be effective in changing and driving culture both inside and beyond the HE sector.

Whilst the starting point of the Human Applications course is the same as the course delivered by Eversheds Sutherland exploring responsibilities and impacts, it goes beyond the legal position and looks at how Safety, Health and Wellbeing (SHW) links into broader risk issues, such as reputation, finance and customer (student) perception.  The session is highly interactive, based around how the role of the most senior personnel can influence thinking.

There is a focus on challenging leaders to consider how do they know (have assurance) that the right risks are being managed by the right resource at the right time. This is about exploring with the senior leadership team how controls assurance works and how the on-site safety team contribute to ensuring that safety is delivered on the ground.

The session ends on action planning and by exploring the importance of role-modelling – specifically what should the most senior team “do” to ensure that the SHW message is clear and obvious to everyone. 

Appendix 1 Details of Providers

Safety Leadership Programme – Eversheds Sutherland

Paul Verrico This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our provider for this training is Paul Verrico, widely recognised as the leading legal authority for safety defence in the education sector in the UK. Paul is a partner at Eversheds Sutherland, where his team is routinely retained in matters including explosions, hazardous substance control, falls from height and suicide across the HEI piece acting for both organisations and senior leaders. Paul is also a qualified academic and retains a research interest in safety law, particularly manslaughter and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Visiting Fellow at University of South Wales.

Paul is a qualified solicitor advocate, described in Chambers and Partners as ‘absolutely excellent’ ‘tenacious and extremely robust’ ‘very pragmatic, very responsive and incredibly supportive’ ‘an excellent tactician and a hard-working bullish operator with his clients’ interests at the heart of everything he does.’ Paul is currently retained in relation to the Manchester Arena attacks. He has trained over 500 university leaders in the last 4 years and will bring his vast experience to the sessions. Paul worked with UCEA on the Leadership guidance (link above) and is currently supporting various IOSH best practice guides, including the new Investigations Guidance.

Paul’s approach to the sessions will be to meet with a university representative either remotely or face to face, scope out areas of concern and then build something bespoke for each setting, focusing on the areas which are most relevant. The programme will be delivered with case studies and will be ‘law light’ – instead looking at practical learnings and applying experience to local situations.

Safety Leadership Programme – Human Applications

Nigel Heaton This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

USHA have appointed Human Applications, one of the UK’s leading independent Health and Safety organisations to design and deliver a brand-new safety leadership training programme.  Human Applications was founded in 1992 by three researchers from Loughborough University and delivers training, consultancy and audit services to large organisations throughout the world. The session USHA has commissioned is aimed at the most senior leaders in organisations and draws upon the work Human Applications has undertaken in the academic, commercial and government sectors. The highly engaging, interactive training course allows leaders to explore several areas of concern, giving them an understand of how they can better fulfil their health and safety Governance and Assurance roles in a university environment.  The course allows delegates to explore the limit of their legal liabilities and looks at how to provide leadership in health and safety.

It presents delegates with a range of models and tools, exploring why people behave in certain ways, how to support the development of a fair and just culture and how to deal with the non-conventional challenges posed by contractors, visitors and students.

The presenters of the sessions have practical experience of working in an academic environment as well as experience in engaging with the most senior leadership teams in large, complex organisations.  The session will reflect the experiences the trainers have gained in designing and delivering senior leadership training for organisations as diverse as the Home Office, DHL and GVC.  It will provide delegates with the framework they can create to ensure that the delivery of health and safety is effective within their universities and give them an insight into what good looks like.  Delegates will be able to draw upon the experience of the trainers in a wide range of organisations and will be able to engage in constructive discussions about how to get better or how to maintain standards.  

HSE issues asbestos warning to users of Bunsen burner wire gauzes

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats which contain asbestos.

The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.

While we assess the overall risk of exposure to be low, we have taken swift action. We have ensured that both of the supply companies concerned immediately ceased supply of the gauze mats and are overseeing arrangements to contact affected customers and provide precautionary advice on how the mats should be disposed of safely.

Any gauzes that contain asbestos should not be used, and they must be safely disposed of as asbestos waste. As a precaution, if users are unclear as to what any gauze coating is made of then it should be assumed to contain asbestos. Additional advice has been prepared to inform users as to the action they need to take (attached).

HSE are working closely with Department for Education, education departments in Scotland and Wales as well as CLEAPSS (Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services). This will help us ensure that schools, colleges, local regulators, and others who may have supplied or purchased similar products are directed to our advice. We are also investigating how these particular gauze mats came into circulation. Breaches of the restrictions on the supply of asbestos are taken very seriously by HSE.

Download Press Release

Download Advice PDF

Health and Safety Provision in HEIs – A survey by University of West of England (Bristol)

A benchmark survey was undertaken of 21, Alliance and other Universities in the UK.

The survey of 15 questions was designed in-house by the Head of Health and Safety at UWE Bristol and submitted via email to identified participants.

The survey ran for a period of 7 weeks, closing on 24th January 2018. A total of 12 were returned, a response rate of 57%.

All reported that organisational arrangements ensure they have a strategic view of Health and Safety across the University, get involved with diverse work and risk areas. There was report of staff respect where the Health and Safety Team is seen to be coming from a recognised unit that has the support of the University’s Executive Team and Council.

The University profile, Health & Safety team location, reporting structures, team provision and typical roles was covered in the survey.

View survey results (PDF)

Green Gown Awards International

The winners of the International Green Gown Awards have been presented at an Awards Ceremony in Marseille, France.

It was part of a unique global gathering ‘Global Responsibility, Now’ – in partnership with Global Responsible Leadership Initiative, UN Principles for Responsible Management Education, the Global Alliance of Sustainability Networks and Kedge Business School.Established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability best practice within the education sector globally, the International Green Gown Awards provide benchmarks for excellence and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and supported by the UN, national governments and education bodies.

Here are details of the winners. 


Britain’s Healthiest Workplace – take part in the survey

The key advantage to conducting the survey is to create an understanding of wellbeing based on direct responses from your University staff.

Areas affecting them for example: financial wellbeing, mental health, nutrition, workplace stressors, engagement etc. and also to see whether the interventions currently in place are reaching out to staff effectively.

Here is a short presentation about ‘ Britain’s Healthiest Workplace’ and here is a link to the website which provides a full overview.

The survey runs till the end of July.  It is completely free and voluntary. It is commissioned by Vitality but not part of their medical insurance package – you do not get involved in any marketing or approaches. RAND Europe administers the survey – who are a not for profit research institute.

If you are interested but not sure if you can fit into this window period they will be running a further survey period later in the year. However running it later in the year may mean you are not be eligible for the Awards.

Also here is a copy of an anonymous organisational report to show this more clearly.

Staff also receive their own individual report instantly clearly showing areas of their health and lifestyles that they may wish to consider more.

In this sense the Vitality Age they receive becomes a health intervention in itself, often prompting staff to discuss with their colleagues informally and to take individual or collective action.

Please see the full details and registration to take part here

International Standardisation ISO 45001

The new International Standard on occupation health and safety management has been written.

The ISO 45001 now replaces OHSAS 18001.

David Smith is the Chair of the International Standards Organisation (ISO)

How to stay safe in halls of residence

Serious safety incidents can happen and Universities manage these incidents. During such events students must follow all instructions given by the emergency services and University staff.

If you have impaired mobility you are advised to inform the University so they can assist you during an emergency.

When you move in to your room, please read the important safety instructions on the back of your door.

If you are arriving from overseas, you will be used to living by different rules and laws. English laws apply.

Number 1: smoking is not allowed indoors. Anywhere. Ever. It is the law. Even if something is labelled fire resistant or retardant it can still catch fire.

This film from USHA member London School of Economics is just one example used to help students stay safe.


USHA 2016/7 Annual Report – some significant firsts

The report highlights USHAs growing role and influence in the sector.

  • Its work with partner groups looking at mental health, security, employers and unions at a national level.
  • The latest developments in the associations Strategic 20/20 vision
  • A ground breaking conference on mental wellbeing
  • The changing landscape of health and safety
  • A mentoring and coaching scheme
  • Opportunities to share lessons learned

Read more here

ISTR guidance "Safe working with arthropods" 2017

'Safe working with arthropods: Containment and control for work with uninfected, infected and transgenic animals in research', covers research work with exotic and UK native species of arthropods (mosquitoes, biting midges and ticks) and GM insects that are vectors of virus diseases affecting animals (such as bluetongue virus or African horse sickness virus), and humans (such as Zika virus or dengue fever virus).

It has been produced by ISTR, in consultation with HSE and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) with input from the UK biosafety community and scientists who work with arthropods and GM insects. It also delivers key elements of the HSE’s `Helping GB work well’ strategy for 'Managing risk well' and 'Keeping pace with change'.

Guidance Document


USHA Estates Seminar July 2017: Statutory Compliance



USHA held its annual Estates Seminar 2017 at the University of Liverpool (London Campus)

 The 2017 seminar theme was ‘Statutory Compliance’ and aimed to raise awareness on keys areas of statutory compliance providing practical solutions and ideas to those managing complex estates with a myriad of statutory compliance obligations. 

The event was sponsored by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd which provides insurance cover and support in the management of statutory inspection obligations

Here are the conference presentations and photographs:

Estates Seminar 2017 Photos (Dropbox)

Estates Seminar 2017 Presentations (Dropbox)