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Safety Policy

The University of Warwick has an overriding Policy Statement to which the School of Engineering will strive to meet. This can be viewed via:

University of Warwick Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy Statement

The School of Engineering Safety Policy is presented below. It was written to take account of the above and the Divisional structure of the School and for this reason specifically defines staff responsibilities. It comprises the following sections:

  1. Statement of General Health and Safety Policy
  2. Organisation of Safety
  3. Safety Arrangements
  4. Hazards and Risk Assessments
  5. Accidents and Incidents
  6. Emergency Procedures
  7. Local Rules  

1. Statement of General Health and Safety Policy

The School of Engineering is committed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all staff, students, contractors, visitors and other companies' employees who have business within the School.

All relevant statutory regulations and university codes and practices will be followed to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable:

  1. The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risk to health.
  2. To make arrangements for the safe and healthy use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.
  3. To provide adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to eliminate and/or reduce risks presented by hazards in the School.
  4. To provide safe access and egress to and from places of work within the School.
  5. To provide a safe and healthy working environment with adequate welfare facilities.
  6. To provide and maintain, in conjunction with other university departments, appropriate provisions and evacuation procedures for fire and other emergencies.

All staff, students, contractors, visitors and employees of other companies working within the School will:

  1. Comply with current legislation and University codes and practices.
  2. Take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
  3. Cooperate in the fulfilment of their duties.
  4. Not intentionally interfere or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare.
  5. Inform their manager, supervisor or tutor, the Trade Union Safety Representative or the Health and Safety Advisor - Engineering, of any serious or imminent danger or any shortcomings in safety arrangements.

In addition all staff with managerial or supervisory responsibilities will not by act or default cause another person to commit an offence in Health or Safety or by consent, connivance or neglect cause such an offence to be committed.

2. Organisation of Safety

  1. The Structure and Management of the School of Engineering is stated in the appended document, approved by the Council of the University. The School comprises three Divisions. While the Head of School has overall responsibility for the management of the School and for its coordination, certain responsibilities are devolved to the Heads of Divisions:
    The current Divisional Heads are to be found via:
  2. The powers and responsibilities of the Heads of Divisions are stated in the appended document on the Structure and Management of Engineering. Each divisional head is responsible for the health and safety of staff, postgraduate students, contractors, visitors, and employees of other companies engaged on any undertaking within their control or subject to their approval or monitoring. This specifically includes research, consultancy and the teaching of postgraduates. Furthermore each divisional head will ensure that a satisfactory and sufficient management structure exists within their division to control adequately all aspects of health and safety relevant to their responsibilities.
  3. The Deputy Head of School, Dr. A M Price, is responsible to the Head of School for the health and safety of staff, postgraduate demonstrators, undergraduate students, contractors, visitors and the employees of other companies engaged in matters concerning undergraduate teaching by the School of Engineering.
  4. The School Health and Safety Committee (which is also the Area Safety Committee for Area 3 of the University) comprises the Safety Committee constitution. Terms of reference and minutes can also be found by following this link. The University Director of Health and Safety will be invited as an observer.

3. Safety Arrangements 

  1. Ms Caroline Farren is the Health and Safety Advisor for the School of Engineering and will advise the Head of School, Deputy Head of School, Divisional Heads and other staff on all aspects of health and safety. Other duties include the provision of health and safety information and training for staff and students necessary to comply with current legislation.
  2. Mr Andrew Allen, Facilities Manager will deputise for Mrs C Farren when absent regarding day to day operational matters, otherwise, for general or more specific health and safety enquiries please contact one of the Health and Safety Advisors from within the Health and Safety Department.
  3. The trade union safety representative is Mr Jim Smith.
  4. A safety committee has been formed in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  5. The Radiation Protection Supervisor within the School of Engineering is Mr M Davis; The University Radiation Protection Officer is Mr Michael Smith.
  6. The Non Ionising Radiation Supervisor within the School of Engineering is Ms D Iliescu; The University Laser Safety Officer is Mr Michael Smith.
  7. The representative of the School of Engineering for the Genetic Modification BioSafety Committee (GMBSC) is Dr Joanna Collingwood.
  8. Chief and Senior Technicians are responsible for:
      • The technical staff they manage.
      • The activities of their technical staff.
      • Any rooms or other areas used by their technical staff.
      • Any School equipment, materials or resource used by their technical staff or otherwise under their control.
    1. Academic staff health and safety responsibilities are as follows:
        • For students attending lectures, practicals, seminars, examples classes and field activities.
        • For any postgraduate demonstrators who assist them.
        • For students they are tutoring and project students they supervise.
        • For any postgraduate students they supervise.
        • For any rooms or other areas used for their research or consultancy activities.
        • For any equipment and materials bought or otherwise procured for their research or consultancy activities.
        • For the legally-required risk assessments and safe systems of work necessary for the continuance of their teaching, research and consultancy.

      4. Hazards and Risk Assessments

      It is recognised that many activities performed by persons working within the School of Engineering are hazardous and have the potential to cause accidents resulting in injury, damage or loss. All such activities are subject to the following conditions:

      1. A risk assessment MUST be performed for all aspects of the School's business to ensure that suitable risk management arrangements are put into place to control risks to an acceptable level. Where there are SIGNIFICANT risks to health and safety, these must be recorded.
      2. A COSHH risk assessment will be performed on any activity involving the use of hazardous substances. Where there are SIGNIFICANT risks the results must be recorded. As item 1, suitable risk management arrangements must be in place to control any risks to the health and safety of anyone affected by the School's activities in order to protect persons or any damage occurring to equipment, facilities, the building or the environment.
      3. All reasonably practicable precautions MUST be taken to eliminate, reduce, isolate or control hazards identified by the risk assessment to an acceptable level. The precautions WILL be detailed in a Safe Scheme of Work where the risks are significant and/or where failure to follow a process could otherwise lead to injury/damage.
      4. The use of personal protective equipment to protect persons from hazards will be considered as a LAST RESORT and should only be used in addition to other control measures.
      5. Any activity which poses a serious risk to health and safety and for which the hazards cannot be reasonably practicably controlled shall NOT be performed.
      6. All activities will be carried out or directly supervised by COMPETENT PERSONS who have received the appropriate information, instruction and training.
      7. Where students are involved in hazardous activities they will be directly supervised by a COMPETENT PERSON at all times.

      5. Accidents and Incidents

      All accidents and dangerous occurrences / incidents whether or not they result in injury, damage or loss MUST be reported on the appropriate form online or a hard copy completed and sent to the School's Health and Safety Advisor. All accidents will be investigated so that remedies can be introduced and repetition of similar accidents can be prevented. All managerial and supervisory staff should be aware of occupational diseases and report any suspected cases to the School's Health and Safety Advisor/Occupational Health immediately.

      6. Emergency Procedures

      Procedures to be adopted during emergencies will follow university guidelines, amended and reviewed when appropriate.



      Local emergency procedures that deal with research based activities will be generated/approved by the competent person who is responsible for the space in which the research is being conducted to ensure that these are suitable and sufficient.

      7. Local Rules

      General local rules/arrangements are available as Safety Instructions. These are supplementary to University codes and practices. Copies may be viewed electronically via the School of Engineering's web page.

      Persons who have responsibilities for laboratory, workshop and other facilities within the School of Engineering will establish local rules that are supplementary to those available on the webpage. These shall be made available to users of the spaces to which they apply and shall serve to help manage the spaces effectively so to ensure that persons do not put themselves or others (or the building/environment) at risk. These shall include, as applicable:

      • a description of the space and what it is used for (generally)
      • key responsibilities for the space relating to day to day 'normal use', through to who is responsible for arranging for maintenance, cleaning, testing, servicing and monitoring the activities going on in the space
      • suitable basic safety instructions that may highlight general hazards to be found in the space (and their methods of control that a person entering/using the space may need to know about). This may outline each type of equipment in the space and the hazards associated with each, or be more general. It should reference any gases used, chemicals and materials in general use, should consider noise, vibration, pressure, temperature, etc, if these could impact persons entering or working in the space; any hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical hazards, and any specific methods of control, which may be required, from engineering controls through to PPE needs either generally, or that may be needed when certain experimental work is taking place.
      • general rules/restrictions/authorities for working in the space. This may reference lone or out of hours working prohibitions.
      • emergency procedures (including emergency contact details), addressing the 'what if' scenarios that could typically be faced in the space. These should consider how you would want persons to deal with any equipment failure, alarm activations, fire, gas leak, power failure, chemical spill, faulty equipment, etc that may be relevant to the space.
      • housekeeping rules
      • etc.

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