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University Health, Safety & Environment Service

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Under Health & Safety legislation employees must not do anything which may put themselves or others at risk.  They must co-operate with their employer and anything which is put in place for the benefit of their health and safety.  This means following work instructions, participating in activity or equipment related training and adhering to any controls identified through the assessment of risk. 

Personal Safety

Never put yourself into a position of risk if you can avoid it.  If your work activities sometimes involve any of the following then you might need to consider improving your personal safety:

  • Being the bearer of bad news
  • Challenging the views of others
  • Dealing with people who may have mental health problems
  • Dealing with people who may be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other stimulants

You can help improve your own personal safety and reduce risk.

Room based meetings or interviews:

  • Position the furniture so that there is a physical barrier between you and the other person e.g. a desk
  • Position your chair so that it is near to an exit and you are able to leave quickly if necessary
  • Ensure there is a phone in the room or take your mobile phone with you - have a quick link to Security on it so that you can get help fast!
  • If hostile or difficult meetings frequently take place in the same room then consider fitting a panic alarm

Off Site:

  • Always keep a working mobile phone with you
  • Let someone know where you are going and how long you are likely to be
  • Ideally use a whiteboard or similar 'in/out' system
  • Put the address of where you are going, in your calendar and allow kep personnel to see it
  • Consider undertaking your work in partnership with someone else
  • If you're worried about your visit, tell your manager

Working Practices

Ensure you follow any procedures or safe working practices identified for the area in which you are working.  In respect of labs this will usually mean wearing lab coat, protective eye-wear and gloves.

Driving Safely:

If you use your own vehicle for University business purposes then make sure you extend your insurance to cover business use.  If you don't, you probably won't be covered in the event of an accident.  

Keep your vehicle in roadworthy condition and check your tyres regularly.  Take extra care in adverse weather conditions.

If you need to work after dark or travel as part of your role you may wish to follow some simple guidelines:

  • Consider locking your doors if travelling after dark
  • Park your vehicle so that it faces the way you intend to exit the area
  • Keep your vehicle keys handy e.g. in your pocket
  • Lock your vehicle and put any valuables out of sight 


 Back to Staying Safe and Well:   Personal Safety

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