Undergraduate Teaching 2022-23

Part IIB projects: health, safety & risk assessment

Part IIB projects: health, safety & risk assessment

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In any activity and at all times, you have a moral and legal responsibility for your safety and that of others that may be affected by your actions. It is particularly important in project work, e.g. while designing apparatus, which must be safe to use, or planning new uses for existing equipment.

Hazard assessment

All students must discuss the safety implications of their project with their supervisors and complete a hazard assessment of their work. A hazard assessment form must be completed with the assistance of your supervisor. The form should then be sent to the Department Safety Office, even if ‘no hazards’ have been identified. The form must be received by the Safety Office before the end of week 1, Michaelmas term (i.e. by 4pm on the Wednesday). A penalty will be deducted from your project total for every week, or part week, the assessment form is late. Students must make every effort to have their hazard assessments counter-signed by supervisors, but if this proves difficult and the deadline may be missed, they should submit an unsigned version.

NB: all students are required to attend the talk given by the Safety Officer in Week 0 even if your project does not have an experimental component.  No practical work may be undertaken before the hazard assessment form has been seen by the Safety Office.  The deadline for this is 4pm on Wednesday of week one.  A penalty will be applied for every week, or part week, the assessment form is late.

Note from the Safety Office

One of the key roles of this Department is to develop students for a role within industry and/or academia.  As this is likely to include positive engagement in health and safety procedures, you will be expected to demonstrate an awareness of the hazards presented by your work, both to yourself and others, understand the risks that these present and think of control measures that would minimise these.  

Certain projects, such as those which are computer based, will have relatively simple risk assessments but consideration should still be given to ergonomic issues.  Other projects may have a whole range of hazards, physical (e.g. electrical or lasers), chemical or biological, to be considered.

The principles of risk assessment will be explained in the Safety Officer's talk (see above).

Discuss the hazard assessment with your supervisor, and submit the completed hazard assessment form to the Safety Office before starting practical work on the project, and at the latest by the end of week 1.  We will review them, countersign them if they adequately reflect the principles of risk management, and return them to your supervisor for inclusion in the project package.

You may be asked for more details about certain technical aspects of the project or for an enhanced risk assessment for particular hazards.  We are happy to discuss any safety questions or reservations you may have with you.

Gary Steele
Department Safety Officer

Last updated on 10/10/2022 10:34