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Health and Safety - Late Working Rules


The Department has installed an automatic security system.

All perimeter access doors are locked between the hours 18:30 to 07:30 during the week, all day at weekends and on official holidays.

For those wishing to enter, or leave the Department outside of the normal working hours (07:30–18:30 Monday to Friday), please note you require a Library/Staff Card for the Physics main door, Physical Sciences main door and the Physics Concourse doors (proximity reader). The laboratory areas in MAS require a library/staff card at all times.

The system also logs arrivals and departures.

In the event of an emergency the door locks will release. However, if this fails to happen, there are green emergency release points or push switches adjacent to access doors.

Apparatus and equipment operating outside normal hours

  1. Apparatus which is to be left running and unattended outside the period of the normal working day (07.30 - 1830, Monday - Friday) MUST have an "Out of Hours Permit" attached.
  2. The permit must be displayed whenever the apparatus is running unattended. Wherever possible the permit, or a copy, should be displayed on, or just within, the Laboratory doors.
  3. Permits will be issued and signed by a member of the Department Safety Committee.
  4. The permit will carry details of the person(s) to be contacted in the event of an emergency.
  5. Newly built (or modified) apparatus should have full power trials and several days trouble-free running before a permit is issued. Initial permits will be to the end of the month (minimum - one week) but once the apparatus has been proven, 3 months or 6 months permits will be issued.

A great amount of damage can be caused to the fabric of the building by floods and smoke (fire), so it is vital that all equipment presenting such a risk is properly equipped and set up for operating while unattended.

A few simple points to be checked before a permit will be issued are:

  1. Has the equipment been electrically tested? (E.g. visual inspection and/or PATested under Electricity at Work Act.)
  2. Are all water hoses reinforced, or nylon, and properly secured with Swagelock ® (or similar) fittings, or on to ribbed (christmas tree) pipe?
  3. Are power cables securely clamped with a tidy layout?
  4. Are all gas lines secure and leak tested?
  5. Are all heavy or unstable items properly secured?
  6. Is it obvious to University security staff, or someone who is unfamiliar with the equipment, how to switch it off?


The Department has installed an automatic security system, which locks all the external doors out of normal hours (normally 18:30 to 07:30) during the week, and all day at the weekends and university/national holidays.

As stated in the document "Health and Safety in Laboratories: Instructions for Undergraduates," (a copy of this is given to all undergraduates) there are certain Departmental restrictions with the use of laboratories:

  1. First Year Undergraduates may only work in laboratories during officially timetabled hours.
  2. Second, Third and Fourth Year Undergraduates may work outside the normally timetabled laboratory hours, although this is not encouraged. Permission to do so must be obtained either from the academic staff assigned to the laboratory (second and third year) or the project supervisor (third and fourth year).