College of Life and Environmental Sciences Health and Safety Standard

Responsibilities of and for individuals within college bounds


1. At any time there are numerous individuals present in College property or within College buildings with differing responsibilities towards Health and Safety.  Ranging from College of Life and Environmental Science (CLES) Staff, to schoolchildren visiting the departments, there are various rules and regulations that stipulate the manner of Health and Safety responsibility for these individuals.

CLES staff and University employees

2. All persons employed by the University and the College have full responsibility for Health and Safety as laid down within the University and College Health and Safety Policies.  It is expected that all staff have been inducted correctly and it is the responsibility of the employing individual or the individual’s line manager to ensure full induction has been carried out. Individuals also have a duty to ensure that they have been inducted properly and the full induction has been carried out.  Information regarding induction can be found at the following link:

All staff are to assess risks or follow risk assessments according to the College Policies and the environments in which they are required to work.  Any work undertaken in Laboratories or during fieldwork must be preceded by a Risk Assessment being filled out and authorised by the ACM(I&T), or relevant Health and Safety Policy lead, either through the Laboratory Manager or PI.

Honoraries and Associates

3. For the purpose of Health and Safety all individuals with honorary appointments or undertaking activity within the College as Associates, are to be treated in the same manner as employees.  It is expected that these individuals are inducted into the College as for all staff; and conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to a member of staff.  It is the responsibility of the the individual awarding the Honorary or Associate position to ensure that the respective individual has been inducted appropriately, and understands their responsibilities under Health and Safety.


4. Visitors to the College are the responsibility of the inviter/supervisor.  All visits are to follow the procedures as laid down in the Guidance and Procedures for Authorisation of Visitors (N:\CLES-admin\Forms\Personnel) and the relevant forms must be completed, and signed, before the visitor’s expected arrival.  It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure all relevant Risk Assessments have been carried out.  The visitor is to be escorted/accompanied when in Laboratories/Hazardous environments at all times; unless a bespoke Risk Assessment has been carried out, authorised by the ACM(I&T), either through the Laboratory Manager or PI.  The above forms are essential for the insurance of visitors; without which, the University, its representatives, or the College will accept no responsibility or liability for incidents and accidents happening within College buildings or facilities.

Undergraduate students

5. According to the CLES Health and Safety Policy, Students have a liability under Health and Safety, but it is the responsibility of the appropriate Academic representative to ensure that Risks and Hazards are minimised in the environments where students are reasonably expected to work and study.

6. Undergraduate Projects.   Undergraduates undertaking project work in Laboratories are to have completed their own relevant Risk Assessments (overseen/signed by the relevant Academic Supervisor).  These Risk Assessments must be processed by the ACM(I&T) or relevant Health and Safety Policy lead before any project work is undertaken.  Undergraduates are not to work unsupervised in the Laboratories and it is expected that a member of Technical or Academic staff (for low hazard activities an MSc overseer may be acceptable but for more hazardous activities [i.e. activity involving solution chemistry, biochemistry  microorganisms etc], activities require to be overseen by a member of technical staff, experienced PhD student or above), is to initially ensure that they are working in a safe and competent manner; and subsequently be in the same laboratory where an Undergraduate is working.  If an Undergraduate is to be working un-supervised, this is to be justified in the Risk Assessment.  Undergraduate project students are not to work alone, or out of working hours, in CLES Laboratories.

Masters and Doctorates

7. For the purpose of this policy, MSc and PhD students are to be treated in the same manner as College staff.

Children and under 16's

8. There is a separate University and College policy on the presence of children, young people or vulnerable adults.  The relevant policies can be found at:

Children are not to be brought into any CLES buildings (and especially laboratories) unless a full Risk Assessment has been carried out and forwarded to/assessed by the ACM(I&T).

Nominated individuals within the health and safety hierarchy

9. Policy Leads. It is the role of the Health and Safety Policy Leads to write and maintain currency of CLES Health and Safety Policy for their specific areas.  All assessments, audits and applications should be directed to these individuals for checking/authorisation before forwarding to the ACM(I&T) (less Ionising Radiation which should follow UoE Procedures as laid down in guidelines; and COSHH Forms which should be collated by Laboratory Managers and passed direct to the ACM(I&T)).  The ACM(I&T) holds the responsibility to administer these policies and the requirements thereof.

10. Laboratory Managers. It is the duty of the Laboratory Managers to ensure compliance with Health and Safety Regulations for their Laboratory areas.  The Laboratory Manager will collate all Risk Assessments pertaining to their Laboratory area, ensure they are displayed/available and signed by relevant Laboratory users, and forward electronic copies to the ACM(I&T) for filing and insurance purposes.  The Laboratory Manager has the right to deny access to anyone in the Laboratory area not acting in accordance with Health and Safety guidelines.  Breaches in Policy must be reported to the ACM(I&T).

9. Enforcement.   Health and Safety processes are a legal requirement and all staff are to follow, and ensure other individuals’ compliance with, College and University Health and Safety Policy.  Any individual and/or member of staff found not following Health and Safety policy is to be asked to adhere to and act in accordance with extant policy; failure to do so may result in the individual being asked to leave the Laboratory or College building, and may result in disciplinary or legal action being taken against them.

Out of Hours Working and Lone Working out of Hours

10. Lone working in laboratories out of normal University hours is not permitted for undergraduates, It is strongly discouraged for other members of the College.  Another responsible person must always be within calling distance.  Anyone wishing to do practical work in laboratories after 5.30 p.m. or at weekends involving rapidly toxic materials and other hazardous materials or techniques, must arrange to be within call, and preferably within sight, of another person, (i.e. there must be at least two persons on each floor).  Individuals must not work alone in the building or on any one floor.  No experimental work may be carried out when the University is officially closed (e.g., at Christmas) without the presence at all times in the same laboratory, of a second person qualified in the experimental techniques and safety procedures.

11. Signing in/out.   Anyone working after 6.00 p.m. or at weekends must sign and out with their name, times of arrival and departure in the Night List located at:

  • The Porters’ Lodge Geoffrey Pope Building,
  • The lower entrance to the building in Hatherly
  • At the bottom of the stairs in the Biocatalysis Centre
  • The Reception at Penryn.
  • Outside the 4th Floor Laboratories in Amory.

Note: This is ONLY for security reasons and to ensure that in case of fire a record of people in the building is readily available.

12. Updating. This policy will be revised by the ACM(I&T) annually.