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Health & safety

We don’t take shortcuts when it comes to health and safety. We work hard to make our people and the students who live with us safe and supported.

We don’t take shortcuts when it comes to health and safety.

At Unite Students, health and safety (H&S) is at the heart of all we do. We are committed to conducting all our activities in a safe and secure manner and to continually improve our H&S performance. We have a team of qualified and competent H&S practitioners who are responsible for ensuring that our robust H&S management system is in place and up to date. In 2019, we achieved five-star rating in the British Safety Council’s occupational H&S audit and were then delighted to be awarded the Sword of Honour in 2020 for excellence in occupational H&S management.

Our focus is on giving employees, visitors, and students and their parents/guardians absolute confidence over the safety of our properties and how we operate them. We are also concentrating on providing information and education to students on how they can keep themselves safe and secure in their homes.

Health and Safety

Our approach

Supporting a safe and secure transition to University

Student safety is our utmost priority at Unite Students, and our new operating model means that all of our buildings have a 24/7 staff presence, 365 days a year, across both frontline and management staff. We provide students, as well as parents, with information at check-in about how to keep safe and also as a reassurance to parents.

Unite Students student safety leaflet

Unite Students parent safety leaflet

 

BSC 5* - a commitment to continued improvement in health and safety management

Unite Students holds a Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit conducted by the British Safety Council demonstrating its commitment towards the continual improvement of their health and safety management systems and associated arrangements. The audit measures performance against key health and safety management best practice indicators and a detailed review of over sixty component elements. Unite Students was awarded a five-star rating following the audit which is reflective of a best practice organisation.

Richard Smith, chief executive of Unite Students said, “We’ve been working with the British Safety Council since 2016 and achieving the highest rating of five stars, further proves our commitment to providing safe and secure homes for students while they live with us. It’s also a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our people, in cities across the UK, to do what’s right and put our organisational values into practice”

David Parr, policy and technical services director at the British Safety Council, said, “The award of a five-star grading following our occupational best practice Health and Safety Audit is an outstanding achievement and is reflective of a proactive organisation which is committed to continual improvement in its health and safety arrangements and managing risks to workers’ health, safety and welfare.”

Fire safety

The way that we manage fire risk comes from the responsibility we have for the young adults living with us, with many away from home for the first time. Our motivation of doing what’s right and keeping everyone safe in line with our corporate values is leading to the development of a more proactive, risk-based approach to fire safety, embedded across our entire business.

We have a dedicated fire safety team who ensure that we keep ahead of legislative updates and promote best practice. Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we have made significant progress with addressing the issue of combustible property façades and we have provided a detailed update here on our approach to fire safety.

Case study

Our response to Covid

We were the first purpose-built student accommodation provider to release students from their contracts during the first national lockdown.  In January 2021 when students were returning to University faced with further uncertainty and significant disruption, all eligible students received a 50% rent discount for up to ten weeks. Our student rent support activity since the start of the pandemic has totalled over £100 million.