Frequently Asked Questions

This page has been created to answer some of the frequently asked questions directed at the Health and Safety Unit.  Some answers will be stand-alone answers, while some will make reference to specific University policies and guidance 

Who is responsible for my health and safety?

How should I do a risk assessment?

Who should I contact if I want to discuss health and safety matters?

What health and safety information should I know when I first start at the University as a member of staff or a student?

What is the accident and emergency procedure at the University?

What temperature should my workplace be?

How should my workstation and computer be set up?

How long should I use my computer for?

What are the arrangements for children at the University?

What are the arrangements if I am pregnant or a nursing mother at the University?

What are the arrangements if I am travelling, working or studying away from the University?

What are the arrangements for lone or out of hours working?

 

Who is responsible for my health and safety? More here

The Vice-Chancellor has overall responsibility to the University Council for health and safety in the University.  This responsibility is then delegated down through the management structure of the University.

Heads of College/Corporate Services are responsible for making arrangements to ensure that activities are carried out safely and equipment used safely in their respective Budget Centres.

Managers and Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the people and activities that they are responsible for.

Individuals have a responsibility to conduct themselves and their activities so that they do not put themselves and others at risk.  They must co-operate with management and not wilfully interfere with equipment provided for health and safety purposes.

 

How and when should I do a risk assessment? More here

First decide if a risk assessment is required.  If one is needed it should be proportional to the risk.  It may be written/and or dynamic or carried out at the point of work.  Risk assessments must be regularly reviewed.

 

Who should I contact if I want to discuss health and safety matters?

You should initially contact your manager, supervisor or local Health and Safety Co-ordinator. List of Co-ordinators here

 

What health and safety information should I be given when I first start at the University as a member of staff or a student? More here

Information should include fire safety, accident reporting and first aid procedures, how health and safety is managed locally and who to contact for advice, how to set up your workstation and any risks specific to your work.

 

What is the accident and emergency procedure at the University? More here

You should report accidents and near misses to your supervisor, manager or health and safety co-ordinator and complete an accident report form.   If you require first aid contact a local first aider, the names of whom are posted on local notice boards.

 

What temperature should my workplace be?  More here

It should be a 'reasonable' temperature.

 

How should my workstation and computer be set up?  More here

In such a way to prevent ill health from musculoskeletal stress, visual fatigue and stress. 

 

How long should I use my computer for? More here

Using a computer continuously for long periods can lead to eye strain and muscular discomfort. Unfortunately many staff and particularly students spend many hours at their computers, especially when trying to meet deadlines to finish work.

It is recommended that users have a ten minute break every hour away from their computer. During this break other activities can be carried out. Ideally these should involve stretching, standing and moving around. Meal breaks should be taken away from the computer and you should stop using your computer when you start to get tired.

 

What are the arrangements for children at the University?  More here

There are two nurseries run by the University  and University Sport run activities in the school holidays.  If staff or students bring children onto the campus or into University buildings they must be supervised at all times.  Remember, University buildings are not specifically designed with young children in mind.  Under no circumstances must children enter laboratories, workshops, plant rooms etc.

 

What are the arrangements at the University if I am pregnant or a nursing mother?  More here

As soon as you know you are pregnant you should tell your manager or supervisor (in confidence if you wish).  They should assess what tasks you carry out and may need to make adjustments or allowances.  You should not use certain hazardous substances.

If you are a nursing mother, suitable arrangements should be made for you to express milk.

 

What arrangements are there if I am travelling, working or studying away from the University?  More here

You need to take precautions proportional to the risks you may face. You also need to register for the University insurance cover.

 

What are the arrangements for lone or out of hours working?  More here

Some activities or work with some materials is not permitted out of hours and/or alone.  For other work a risk assessment needs to be carried out to determine what controls need to be in place. Permission may need to be sought from your manager or supervisor.

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