Line Managers – Safety Responsibilities and Training Needs

When it comes to workplace safety, line managers are usually the first line of defence. As a minimum, they should be familiar with the University’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy, any safety arrangements within their School or Service, and what is expected from them with regard to health and safety of both the staff that they manage and others who may be affected by the work undertaken by their staff.

University policy recommends that a Safety Coordinator be appointed to coordinate the day to day safety functions. In this case, it may be enough for the line manager to merely satisfy themselves that effective health and safety arrangements are in place. This includes ensuring that staff are provided with adequate supervision, information, instruction and training.

However, in departments without an appointed safety coordinator the line manager may be expected to take on some of these safety functions such as undertaking risk assessments, accident investigations and workplace inspections. Further advice, support and guidance can be obtained from the SEPS team and the comprehensive Office Safety Guidance on the SEPS website. 

Line Managers – Safety Competencies

  • Knows and understands own responsibilities for managing health and safety and ensures that the University's Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy is brought to the attention of all employees within their area of control.
  • Understands risks associated with the work they are responsible for and what they need to do to control them.
  • Knows what they need to do to ensure the competence and capability of employees in their area of responsibility
  • Knows what they need to do to monitor health and safety in their area of responsibility.
  • Provides support to employees with long term sickness absences to return to work.


SEPS provide a number of health and safety training courses and electronic resources. These are available to University of Glasgow staff and postgraduate research students only.

For further information on booking courses please email: or browse our training webpage here