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Regulations on Laboratories and Workshops

The following general regulations shall apply to all university laboratory and workshop activities undertaken within the university by students as part of an academic course. They shall extend to work with apparatus, equipment, materials, substances, buildings, services and personal protective equipment provided for use by the university.

  • It is the statutory duty of academic staff who have to any extent control over laboratory or workshop activities to identify hazards, assess risks, prepare written safe operating procedures and keep them updated as necessary. Where risk assessments indicate that engineering controls and/or personal protective equipment must be used, this duty extends to ensuring that such controls and/or equipment are provided and used properly.
  • The responsible person in charge of a laboratory or workshop shall ensure that students who must use that facility receive the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to prevent accidents and dangerous occurrences which may result in personal injuries or damage to property or both. Further, where written safe operating procedures or protocols for the work to be undertaken exist, the responsible person in charge shall ensure that these are followed.
  • A member of academic or technical staff, or other responsible person appointed by the university as a laboratory or workshop supervisor, shall be directly available at all times when practical work is being carried out by undergraduate students. This shall not apply to architecture studios and other low risk workshops where alternative health and safety arrangements are in place. Undergraduate students shall not be permitted to work alone in any laboratory or workshop unless authority to do so has been granted in writing by the Head of School or his/her deputy.
  • Students shall not put themselves, or others who may be affected by their acts or omissions, at risk by engaging in any potentially hazardous laboratory or workshop activity with which they are unfamiliar and about which they have not been given adequate information, instruction and training.
  • Students shall not intentionally misuse or abuse anything provided in a laboratory or a workshop for their use by the university, nor shall they attempt to modify, adapt, repair, maintain or substitute any such thing without the prior authorisation and consent of the responsible person in charge. Nothing provided by the University for use in a laboratory or workshop shall be removed without authorisation nor shall any hazardous substances or materials be discarded, disposed of or stored in a manner likely to cause harm to persons, property or the environment.
  • Postgraduate students shall not be permitted to work alone at any time in a laboratory or workshop without the prior approval and authorisation of the head of school or his/her deputy, the principal investigator, project supervisor or line manager.approval and authorisation to work alone shall not be granted if the work to be undertaken by the postgraduate student is in a special hazard or high risk category. 
  • No University laboratory or workshop facility shall be used at any time for work which is not directly related to a recognised academic course or which is not being carried out for or on behalf of the university in the normal course of employment. University buildings, equipment and materials shall not be used for private purposes unless specific permission to do so has been granted by the appropriate controlling authority (e.g. Director of Estates; Head of School; Head of non-faculty unit).
  • All accidents or dangerous occurrences must be reported as soon as possible to the University Safety Service via the responsible person in charge of a laboratory or workshop.

For more information on the University's General Regulations, please click here.

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