Health and safety

Health and Safety Policy 

The University is covered by the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974. This imposes a duty on the University to ensure that staff and students have access to a safe working environment throughout their University career. It also imposes on individuals the duty to act responsibly (specific responsibilities are shown below). 

To this end, the Faculty has instituted a Health & Safety Policy and has adopted guidelines for the assurance of a safe working environment in offices, laboratories and workshop areas. This documentation is available on request, from

The Student's Health and Safety Responsibilities 

Within the context of their knowledge and status, students have a duty to: 

  • Take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions. 
  • Co-operate with the University in complying with the University's legal duties, for example by complying with instructions and training. 
  • Never intentionally interfere with or misuse anything that has been provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare. 
  • Work in accordance with the instruction and training provided to them, particularly in relation to the use of any machinery, work equipment, transport equipment, dangerous substances, means of production or safety device. 
  • Inform their academic supervisor, or another member of staff without delay, of any work situation, work equipment etc, which might present a serious and imminent danger, or of any shortcoming in the protection arrangements in place for Health and Safety. 
  • Students should report all accidents, work related ill health conditions and "near miss" incidents to their academic supervisor, and where appropriate the School Safety Advisor or Technical Manager. 
  • Students should behave in laboratory/workshop areas in an appropriate manner and avoid horseplay or any other actions that could place them or their colleagues at risk of injury.  Failure to observe this requirement, or those of any safety notices or instructions with which they have been made familiar, is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with as such. 

On arrival at the University students are required to make known to their supervisor/tutor any circumstances or conditions that may affect their health and safety (such as disabilities, allergies or similar conditions). This will enable the student and the University to discuss and agree appropriate health and safety procedures. 

Staff Responsible for Health and Safety 

  • Overall and final responsibility for Health & Safety is that of the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Ian Bond  and Faculty Manager, Sylvia Elliott.
  • Day to day responsibility for ensuring this policy is put into practice, is delegated to the Faculty Safety Manager & Advisor Julie Etches ( 
  • All Academic Staff who act as Personal Tutors for Undergraduate or Postgraduate Students also have explicit responsibility for their Health & Safety. 
  • To ensure Health & Safety standards are maintained/ improved, the following Technical Managers act in an advisory capacity in the Faculty Laboratories: 
NameArea coveredEmail
Greg Kemble  Technical Services Manager
Dominic Hardman Teaching and Development
]>Lee Silver] Research Laboratories and Facilities
Adrian Bot Faculty Workshops and Fabrication
David Williams EQ Facilities
  • Within the offices and Faculty communal spaces the following people, School Safety Advisors (SSA) are available for advice and further information: 
NameArea coveredPhoneEmail
Donna Exon-Bartlett lectrical, Electronic and Machanical Engineering SSA 0117 45 51115
Selina Bairami Computer Science SSA 0117 45 52221
Andreea Ivanescu  Civil, Aerospace and Design Engineering SSA 0117 45 51842 
Emma Tweddle Engineering Mathematics and Technology SSA 0117 45 60364 
Rahim Ahmed  Faculty Office Manager  0117 45 60903 

Further details are available on the Faculty Health and Safety web page at: and Blackboard

Emergency Evacuations

Alarms sound continuously when the building has to be evacuated for any reason. When the alarm sounds: 

  • Leave the building promptly by the most convenient route. If your normal exit out of the building is blocked by smoke or fire you should follow the green fire exit signs.
  • Maintain silence, do not rush or panic or attempt to pass others and follow the instructions given to you by the Fire Wardens and Security staff. 
  • If in the Queen's Building, the assemble point is on the far side of University Walk, up the hill near Medical Science. 
  • If in the Merchant Venturers Building, the assemble point is in the Lower Courtyard between MVB and Wills Building. 
  • Do not re-enter the building when the alarm stops sounding, but wait until specifically told that it is safe to do so.

If you find a fire or other incident that you believe requires the building to be evacuated:

  • Press the nearest Manual Call Point (RED boxes) to set off the alarm or telephone 112233 (internal) or 999 (external). 
  • Make your way out of the building. 
  • Report to the Porters lodge at the main entrance of the building and report to the person-in-charge or Security staff to brief them on what you have found and where it is.  Your information is critical to the safety of others, please make sure you report. 

Preparing for Work in Laboratories

Students should be: 

  • Briefed by the Faculty about the importance of Health & Safety controls in the workplace, and the student's own responsibilities for Health & Safety. 
  • Briefed by their academic supervisor as to: 
    • Who has overall responsibility for their Health and Safety 
    • Who is the Technical Services support for their area of work 
    • Who has day to day responsibility for supervising them in the laboratory 
    • The work activities involved and any associated significant risks, including the risk assessment documentation 
    • Any necessary Health and Safety instructions and training 
    • Who to contact if they have serious concerns about their Health and Safety whilst working in a faculty laboratory

Working in the Laboratories 

Students must comply with the local rules which govern the laboratories. This and other safety information can be found clearly displayed on the Health & Safety notice boards in each of these areas. A copy of these rules can be obtained from the technician responsible for the laboratory or the laboratory manager. 

In laboratories and workshops you are likely to find yourself surrounded by potentially hazardous machinery and equipment that you are unfamiliar with. 

All students, within the context of their knowledge, have a duty to: 

  • Not work in laboratories or workshops outside normal hours (8am to 5pm). 
  • Never work alone; there should be a minimum of two students working together at any one time. 
  • Keep alert, both in your own actions and in knowing what those around you are doing – Laboratories and workshops are no places for horseplay. 
  • Wear sensible and comfortable clothing and shoes, wear laboratory coats where required. Take of coats and scarves and remove anything which hangs loose which may get caught in machinery. Do not wear light shoes or sandals. 
  • Read, understand and follow all written Safety Instructions and Notices. 
  • Obey all verbal safety instructions 
  • Do NOT bring food and drink into any laboratory 
  • Report to a member of staff (academic or technical) any matters that may affect the safety of those using the facilities.

Risk Assessments 

1st and 2nd Year Undergraduates 

Students attending laboratory classes in their 1st and 2nd Years, will not be required to write risk assessments as this will have already been done by the academic responsible for the class. It is the responsibility of the academic supervisor to ensure that students are briefed on any potential hazards and to ensure that adequate training / supervision is provided, however it is also your responsibility to read the relevant risk assessment for the class. 

3rd and 4th Year Undergraduates and All Postgraduates 

Undergraduate or Postgraduate students who are involved in research projects in the laboratories, must write Risk Assessments appropriate to their experiment for which the academic supervisor is responsible for signing this off before activities can commence. For Laboratory or workshop based activities, these assessments must also be signed by a member of Technical Services. For any off campus work please contact Julie Etches for approval. These assessments should be available to view at all times and reviewed on a regular basis to reflect any changes in experimental procedures. Advice is available from the Laboratory Manager or the technician responsible for the laboratory. Guidance and templates for completing risk assessments can be found on the following website: and Blackboard ( )

All Students 

Students must not attempt to use any test machine or associated equipment before appropriate training has taken place. This can be organised with the Laboratory Manager or the Technician responsible for the laboratory. 

Monitoring and Review 

Students should be effectively supported during their work in the laboratories. It is good practice for academic supervisors and suitably experienced technical staff to visit students regularly during their time in the laboratory to monitor and review their progress. This provides a useful opportunity to ask students if they have any Health & Safety concerns and discuss practical ways in which risks are controlled. 

Students should be debriefed following their experience of working in the laboratories. This is another opportunity for Health and Safety knowledge to be reinforced, and for students to raise any Health and Safety concerns. 

First Aid 

First Aiders are provided during normal working hours.  The names of people trained to treat others are shown around the building on GREEN first aid signs/posters.  The contact number for each person is shown on the poster.  Telephone the number shown.  If for whatever reason you are unable to contact anyone on the list then contact the Estates Assistants (number shown on signs) or Security services on dial 112233 (internal) for assistance.  If it is an emergency, contact the Ambulance service on 999 (external) first, and the Security Services for support.

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