OBUHSN-28 Issue 03 April 2009

Guidance for the preparation of faculty/directorate health and safety policy documents


  1. This Health and Safety Notice should be read and understood by all employees of Oxford Brookes University who are responsible for preparing School/Directorate health and safety policy documents.
  2. This OBUHSN is intended to support Deans of Schools/Directors of Directorates in the task of preparing School/Directorate Health and Safety Policies. It is not intended to be a directive.

Contents of faculty/directorate health and safety policy

  1. In aiming to achieve standardisation of good health and safety practices across the University, the Safety Officer will ensure that certain minimum topics are included in all safety policies.
  2. When writing the School/Directorate safety policy and associated documentation there will be a need to assess the activities undertaken within the School/Directorate and the associated hazards. There is also a need to assess the areas visited by staff and students (of the School/Directorate) that is not their normal place of work, within the School/Directorate, University and field trips. To assist in the assessment a check-list has been devised (Appendix 1).
    • On completion of the check-list, some cells will contain entries. A statement on how the safety topic will be handled is then required. Many of the headings may be declared not-applicable. Those cells that are empty will usually not require a safety statement.
  3. The check list is only a guide to what should be considered in the School/Directorate health and safety policy. There may be other hazardous areas and (Appendix 1) details some of these. Similarly there are potential hazards that are listed in (Appendix 2), but this list is not comprehensive.
    • Directorates/Faculties may have unique or specialised room types, which have individual health and safety requirements and these should also be considered and included in the health and safety policy.
    • Certain safety topics and potential hazards are dealt with in existing OBUHSNs.
    • If an OBUHSN listed is not yet written, a reference may still be made to the OBUHSN title. In due course the Faculty/Directorate Policy will have to be checked against the relevant OBUHSN when it is produced to confirm that the intention to meet its provisions without amendment is still appropriate.

Appropriate headings for the policy document

  1. Name of Faculty/Directorate and the name of its Dean or Director. The Dean of Faculty/Director of Directorate must sign and date the policy document.
    • Name and position of the person drafting the Faculty/Directorate policy Document.
    • Names and positions of Faculty/Directorate Safety Advisors.
    • Names and positions of Faculty/Directorate Specialist Advisors, Assessors and First Aiders.
  2. A list of all OBUHSNs referred to in the policy document.
  3. A list of all spaces covered by the Faculty/Directorate policy document and arranged by types, drafted from the List of Hazardous Areas (Appendix 1).
  4. Health and safety arrangements in each type of space/area are to be described under each applicable health and safety topic. Headings omitted will be read as not applicable to the particular space. Spaces of unique types must be listed separately. In describing health and safety arrangements it will be sufficient to refer to a relevant OBUHSN if the provisions of that Health and Safety Notice are in force in the particular area.

Duties of all staff as detailed in policy document

  1. All staff should know, and all students should be instructed in:
    • Fire escape and evacuation routes from their normal places of work. (including pooled rooms);
    • Means of emergency communication (OBUHSN-09);
    • Procedures for normal safe operation of any equipment they use;
    • Procedures to switch off, close down or stop equipment in an emergency;
    • Procedure for safety checks and frequencies;
    • Procedures for storage, disposal and use of all chemicals with which they are likely to come into contact but particularly any chemicals listed as hazardous to health. (Hazardous Substances OBUHSN-19);
    • How and to whom to report incidents or accidents. (OBUHSN-11).

Duties of technical staff as detailed in policy document

  1. Technical staff should know how to layout, prepare and clear laboratories, preparation rooms, lecture and seminar rooms, machinery, laboratory equipment, chemicals, other preparations and subjects. This knowledge will ensure safe demonstrations and experiments.

Duties of teaching and research staff as detailed in policy document

  1. Teaching and research staff and any other staff who may be responsible for students should know the number of people who can be accommodated safely in any room or space used by staff or students. The staff must also know and observe any other precautions necessary for student safety, especially the procedures which students should follow in evacuation of the space and the needs of students for training and supervision (OBUHSN-09).

Information procedures detailed in safety policy

  1. Procedures for raising maintenance defect requests for all repairs, especially those relating to health and safety and for dealing with information on safety matters passing between Faculty/Directorate staff and students and the Safety Officer and Health and Safety Committee.


  1. List of Hazardous Areas
  2. Potential hazards