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Regulations on Laboratories and Workshops

Regulations for Laboratories and Workshops

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

  • It is the statutory duty of  staff who have, to any extent, control over laboratory or workshop activities to identify hazards; assess risks; prepare written risk assessments; safe operating procedures and to review these documents, as necessary.
  • Where risk assessments indicate that control measures such as engineering controls, administrative 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 the students receive the information, instruction, and training, together with the supervision necessary to prevent accidents and dangerous occurrences which may result in personal injuries or damage to property or both. Furthermore, 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 available at-all-times when practical work is being undertaken by Undergraduate students. This shall not apply to 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 their deputy.  Students must comply with any restrictions placed on them by their School.
  • 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 activities with which they are unfamiliar or that are outside the scope of their risk assessment or 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. Apparatus, equipment, materials, and substances provided by the University for use in a laboratory or workshop shall not 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 their 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. 
  • University laboratories or workshop facilities shall not 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, incidents, near misses 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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