Health & Safety Induction

Maths departments are generally very safe places!

Below are listed some key information for induction and links to further material.

  • The link to the university's health and safety induction training course, that all staff and students should do, is at
  • Information about health and safety in the department is available on the departmental website ( and includes the statement of health and safety organisation.
  • There is a security, safety and building matters notice on all the notice boards around the building that contains reminders of the security services phone numbers and other procedures.
  • There is a list of where first aiders are, their contact details, where the first aid kits and automated external defibrillator (AED) are, and how to report accident, incidents and near misses (via the online IRIS system).
  • There is also a list of mental health first aiders.
  • The lifts should be very reliable but a lift entrapment could occur. The call button in the lift connects through to the university security services who will quickly assess the situation and call the lift contractor. In weekday working hours (excluding bank holidays and closure periods) the lift company will typically arrive within 30 minutes (but could take up to 4 hours), outside of working hours they will arrive within 4 hours. In the event of a more urgent situation security services may call the fire service to effect the release.
  • The fire service and university security services will not attend a fire alarm during weekday office hours. Should the alarm go off at such a time they must be explicitly called before they will attend.
  • Should you see people failing to leave the building when the fire alarm is sounding please encourage them to leave (but if they refuse to move you should continue on your way). Note in general people are expected to take responsibility for themselves and the department does not have nominated fire wardens checking every room has been evacuated and in so doing putting themselves at risk.
  • Practice fire drills/building evacuations are generally held termly. Please familiarise yourself with the location of emergency exits and always evacuate the building (by following the running man emergency exit symbols) whenever the alarm goes off. Evacuation instructions are located near each of the red fire call points that are located near exit points from each floor/building. The evacuation notices also clearly state the assembly point people should go to in the event of an evacuation (Far side of the Triton Fountain in the Humanities Building courtyard). Note in particular evacuation is via the fire safe stair cores and not via the atrium circulation stairs or via the main stair in the mezzanine. Some fire exit routes may require the use of a green break glass button to release a locked door. This will trigger the intruder alarm but is the correct action if the fire/evacuation alarm is sounding.
  • The fire alarms are generally tested each week (typically Friday mornings before 9am)
  • Please also be aware of the university fire policy and guidance.
  • Do not rearrange office furniture without first seeking advice to ensure the change is acceptable to the department and also safe. Similarly you must not bring in personal items of furniture without department approval.
  • Offices should be kept in a reasonable tidy state to avoid basic safety issues such as piles of paperwork on the floor or stacks of material potentially falling off desks or onto equipment or electrical outlets. In particular in shared offices spaces it is expected that each person keeps their things solely within their workspace (i.e. within that desk, drawers and shelf space depending on the space provided). Also see the HR page on office life.
  • In general do not move or switch off IT equipment yourself. Always contact computing support/technicians or FM staff. Note the department has a green IT system which automatically turns desktops off during certain periods if they are not in use. If you need to use a desktop that is off press the power button to turn it on but leave it on when you finish (the automated system will do the rest).
  • Workstation layout and display screen assessments - see for details. As part of staff induction each person should complete the online DSE self-assessment. All workstations should already be laid out in accordance with the guidance. In most cases the monitor is height adjustable. For monitors that are not height adjustable boosters are available upon request. The task chairs provided are fully adjustable (advice was also sought from the safety office prior to purchase and the choices were highly commended). If you would like an eyesight test in relation to working with display screens then the cost can be covered by the university, subject to prior confirmation, at specific opticians.
  • Although there is access to the building 24 hours a day extra care should be taken when in the building out of hours (when you may effectively be a lone worker - i.e. there may be no-one else close by and there are no support facilities and staff in operation). If you feel particularly vulnerable when in the building out of hours you can arrange to check in with the university security services, i.e. call them and specify a time you will call them again, if they do not hear from you they would then come and investigate.
  • There are panic alarms in certain vulnerable places in the department. Security services will phone to try to determine if this is a real emergency but should also be called if possible to confirm an emergency so they can attend more quickly.
  • The university and department have a policy relating to children in university buildings/visiting the department, please see this if it is relevant to you.
  • On rare occasions for specific uncommon activities an additional activity specific risk assessments may be necessary. In such cases it is the risk creators and/or supervisors of that activity that should lead on drafting a risk assessment document. Please consult with the departmental safety officer if you need a risk assessment template or you need some guidance on how to create a risk assessment. Completed risk assessments must be submitted to the departmental safety officer for review, who will seek guidance from others as required. An activity that requires a risk assessment must not proceed until the risk assessment has been approved by the DSO/Department, and any necessary mitigations stated in the assessment have been confirmed to be in place (e.g. by the DSO, FM, senior leadership etc).
  • There is an annual inspection of the building (typically conducted in December) to identify and address any outstanding issues. Where unexpected items, or issues arising from the way an individual is using the space, are identified then the occupants or specific individual will be contacted with an explanation of the issue and and instructions on the necessary rectification to be promptly made. However, please report any issues or concerns as they arise either to @email or @email as appropriate.
Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 24 May 2024 14:23.