Minutes of HSENI Senior Management Team meeting - November 2019

Minutes of the SMT meeting held on Wednesday 6 November 2019 at 9:30am 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

  • SMT noted the various comments received on the use of Body Worn Video. These are still being considered and it was proposed to run a trial of the body worn video with the Extractive Industries Team
  • SMT noted that a security review is being conducted of the reception area of the building
  • There was some discussion around the interview room facility and could it be relocated to the public area of the building  
  • SMT considered if it might be useful to offer conflict resolution training for those who might feel it would benefit them.

4. Corporate Health, Safety and Welfare

The Issue of the security review was already discussed as it related to a previously issue around access to the premises by the public.

5. Audit, Risk Management and Finance

It was noted that the October monitoring round outcome remains unknown with no certainty of what elements of the shortfall will be met. Plans remain in place to seek to live within our budget as closely as possible depending on the outcome of the monitoring round.

Finance – General – (To 31st October - Target is 58%): Staff & Operating: Salaries – 56%. T&S – 55%. Other - 81%. TOTAL - 57%. Programme (Target is 58%): Spend – 34% Capital – 51%

6. HR

SMT considered the latest position on staffing with new vacancies arising and how those will be managed or filled going forward. There was some discussion about how staff might be redeployed to help alleviate pressures and shore up the most critical functions in the short term. It was noted that a few new staff are now in post.

7. Case and Project Work

Major Investigation Team (MIT) update

There are currently twenty three cases at the investigation stage, 4 cases are with Police Service of Northern Ireland and 6 cases are in the courts system. It was acknowledged that MIT has limited capability to take on any new cases at this time.

Case Management System (CMS) update

Two low impact issues remain. The auditors will carry out some work in January will form part of the Post Project Evaluation. IT was noted that some IT Assist updates had caused short term glitches to impact on CMS.

2019/20 Operating Plan

It was noted by SMT that we expect we will achieve the majority of our targets, however going forward the pressures will continue to exert if budget remains as constrained due to cuts we will be forced to make. A calling note has issued in respect of the 2020/21 operating plan.

8. Performance Monitoring

There was a discussion around the key statistics for the first 6 months of the year. The new system is bedding in well. On the whole. Reportable incidents and serious injuries have fallen on the same period last year. Figures in brackets relate to same period in previous year.

  • Total RIDDOR reports – 1297 (1500)
  • Work-related fatalities – 5 (7)
  • Over three days – 1026 (1183)
  • Major Injuries – 161 (186)
  • Dangerous Occurrences – 72 (67)
  • Member of Public injury – 38 (64)
  • Year to date visits – 3140 (3620)
  • Advisory Activity – 971
  • Complaints – 463 (508)
  • Improvement Notices – 29 (59)
  • Prohibition Notices – 102 (95)

9. Board Business

It was noted that at the last board meeting the board expressed an interest in financial projections and proposals around which work areas might be impacted by a less favourable funding settlement. Financial projections can only assume flat baseline starting position and costs will increase by pay award costs. Based on the information we have at present our finances remain on target.

10. Product Safety and Machinery Guarding

This work is ongoing involving a number of staff within HSENI. It was noted that the BS EN 620 is under review at present. Training for inspectors is planned for December 2019 with a seminar for wider dissemination intended to be run in 2020.

11. Any other business 

  • The Chief Executive and one Deputy Chief Executive will attend the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) National Summit in Dublin later this month as guests of the Chief Executive of HSA.
  • SMT discussed and agreed a position on a resourcing request from the OCTF.
  • There was consideration given to participation by staff in a mentor / mentee scheme.
  • The staff and board surveys were discussed and also how SMT might register their views as they act as a conduit between staff, the board and the Department as well as key stakeholders.
  • Our role on work towards the suicide prevention strategy was also noted.

12. Date of next meeting

Date of next meeting is planned for Wednesday 4 December 2019 at 12:45pm.

Annex: Emerging risks

Date Risk Impact Likelihood Action

Escalate to risk register

19/11/18 Falling number of applicants to trainee inspector competition Moderate Moderate Consider undertaking a review of trainee inspector recruitment and training No  
21/01/19 Staff resourcing across all operational groups is tight and service delivery susceptible to unexpected absences such as sick leave etc High High HOGs to monitor and report to SMT. Reduce group output where necessary. Keep board informed. Keep O&L informed. Yes 03.12.19 Following O&L on 13.11.19 vacancies will be filled as all deemed essential. Risk will remain on HSENI risk register until situation stabilised
21/01/19 Impact of volunteering for C3 and other EU Exit matters may cause significant strain on operational and admin groups. Moderate unknown HOGs to monitor and report to SMT. Reduce group output where necessary. Keep board informed. Keep O&L informed. Yes - when impact known 03.12.19 This risk is now closed (3.12.19) – see risk 1 on 19.9.19 below
4/3/19 Significant pressures in processing notifications due to staff availability. Moderate Moderate RM to develop an action plan which will prioritise the notifications and allocate staff to meet demand and reduce / stop work in order to facilitate priority work No - not at present 03.12.19 Two AO vacancies being filled following O&L 13.9.19. Risk will remain on HSENI risk register until situation is stabilised
4/3/19 CMS – technical issues with the implementation of the new CMS resulting in potential delays Moderate Moderate Modular approach to deployment being used to minimise disruption to normal operation No - not at present 03.12.19 This risk is now closed (3.12.19).
9/9/19 In legislation the giving of any status to NI which would lead to an immediate or future divergence from GB would cause difficulties Moderate unknown Ongoing liaison with HSE (GB) and other government bodies. No – not at present  
19/9/19 One C3 volunteer which will put pressure on operational team Moderate unknown Monitor the situation No - not at present  
19/9/19 2020/21 baseline – no certainty so working assumption has to be start 2020 same as 2019 which would mean starting year with a major financial deficit High Extreme Awaiting 2020/21 baseline budget Yes 3.12.19 Following O&L on 13.11.19 an indication was given that budget pressures as identified would be handled through an amended baseline. Risk will remain on HSENI rosk register until situation stabilised
19/9/19 Potential loss of key member of staff through promotions Moderate unknown Monitor the situation No - not at present  
9/10/19 No risks added          
6/11/19 Three teams (OST / Notifications / MUD) are under significant pressures Moderate High Monitor situation. Following O&L on 13.11.19 vacancies will be filled as all deemed essential. Risk will remain on RR until situation stabilised. No - not at present