Minutes of HSENI Senior Management Team meeting - December 2019

Minutes of the SMT meeting held on Wednesday 4 December 2019 at 12:45pm at Chief Executives Office, HSENI, 83 Ladas Drive, Belfast.

In attendance 

  • R Kidd - Chair and Chief Executive
  • L Burns - Deputy Chief Executive
  • N Monson - Deputy Chief Executive
  • B Monson - Deputy Chief Executive

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the last SMT meeting were agreed.

3. Update on Action points

The action point list was worked through. The key elements discussed were around the security review of the front reception area and the preparation of the out of hours kit bags.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare 

There was some overlap with the security review discussed at item above but apart from that no other issues were raised. It was noted that a safety check was due imminently.

5. Audit, Risk Management and Finance 

There was a discussion around the financial position paper which was presented as an annex. SMT agreed that our settlement from the Department was very welcome and allowed us to complete our planned programme delivery for the year but also enabled us to fill the majority of our vacancies with the added reassurance from the Department that they will seek to baseline cover from this from April 2020 forward (The finance paper is for internal circulation only).

6. HR

SMT discussed a number of issues which currently exist on the HR agenda, namely –

  • The current difficulty of securing sufficient places on the RTP with HSE GB due to the existing demand levels. This has been subject to ongoing discussions 
  • Chemicals / Product Safety work – in particular the potential for Northern Ireland to remain aligned to the EU whereby we would start to see divergence from the GB position and NI would no longer be able to rely on the resources and expertise of HSE GB colleagues if we had to devise and operate a different regime;
  • Discussion around resource implications where a member of staff applied for partial retirement. (The HR paper is for internal circulation only)

7. Case and Project Work 

Major Investigation Team update

The update had been circulated and there were no questions on the matter.

Case Management System (CMS) update 

The implementation work continues. Department for Economy (DfE) has advised that the risk assessment exercise and penetration tests have to be repeated annually at a cost of around £5k. Internal Audit will be with us in January looking at the CMS project which will assist with the Post Project Evaluation as it will offer an independent view.

8. 2019/20 Operating Plan

It was noted that returns are due in by the end of the week (6/12/19). There will be a delay as additional time has been agreed with the new head of the agriculture and food team.

9. Performance Monitoring 

There was a discussion around the key statistics. The numbers appear to be down for fatalities and serious injuries. Visit activity is generally on target which is commendable especially given the pressures created by vacant posts through the year. The number of improvement and prohibition notices issued has increased on the same period last year.

10. Board Business

It was noted that the board had been informed of the financial settlement as this has been a running issue throughout the year.

11. Any other business

There were no items.

12. Date of next meeting

The next SMT meeting is planned for 8 January 2020.

Annex - Emerging risks

1. No new risks to add. 
All – to note and inform teams.

2. In legislation the giving of any status to NI which would lead to an immediate or future divergence from GB would cause difficulties.
All – to note and inform teams.

3. EU Exit. Uncertainty in Chemicals and Product Safety around future role of HSENI irt the NI Protocol. New roles and / increased activity may come to HSENI. Implications for staffing etc. A lot of unknowns at present.
All – to note and inform teams.

4. Continuing pressures in Notifications and Operational Support Team.
All – to note and inform teams.