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What do I do if I have an accident at work?

All accidents and other incidents with the potential for injury or damage must be reported using SafetyNET "Report an incident" tool. Check your Departmental Statement of Safety Policy for any specific local arrangements in place.




I use a computer at work, can I get free glasses?

No. The fact that you have a computer does not automatically entitle you to free glasses.  If you have been identified as a "DSE User" ie someone who uses a computer for significant amount of time during their normal working day, you are entitled to a free eye test and free glasses (if specifically needed to use your computer).See UCLs Eyecare Scheme at the following link:


I've had my workstation assessed but I'm still not comfortable.

If the changes made as a result of the workstation assessment don't resolve pain, discomfort or health issues then ask your Manager to refer you to Occupational Health for advice.


Do I need a DSE assessment if I use a laptop?

Yes, if you use the laptop for prolonged periods then ask your Manager to arrange for an assessment.

I work at home with DSE do I need to have my worksatation assessed?

If you regularly work at home as part of your job and it's in your terms and conditions of employment then ask your Manager to arrange for an assessment.






Should I be fit tested in the mask I usually wear?

You should bring the mask you normally wear with you in order that you can be tested on it. Please make sure it is clean and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

What if I normally wear more than one type of respirator?

If you need to wear more than one type of face mask for your job, e.g. a disposable mask and a full face respirator, then you should be fit tested for each type you wear.

Does fit testing mean I don’t need to maintain or check my mask?

No, fit testing does not assess the quality of maintenance of a mask, you must continue to maintain any reusable masks in good working order and make sure they are cleaned after use, if required.

Does fit testing mean that we now need to have our own masks?

No, however you need to ensure that the make and model of mask that you wear is the same as the mask(s) used during testing.

Do I need to pay for fit testing or face masks?

No, UCL as your employer pays for any protective equipment you need and will pay for face fit testing, however the cost of face masks and fit testing should be factored into departmental budget planning.

What happens if I fail face fit testing?

The fit tester should ask you to refit the mask and repeat the fit test. If a better fit is not obtained you may be asked to try on a different type of mask and repeat the test.

You should not use a mask that does not fit you properly and you must stop using the mask that was used in testing if you fail to pass. In this event, a respirator that doesn’t rely on a tight face seal, such as a powered hood type, should be worn instead.





What training is available for first aiders?

There are two certificate courses available.


Which course should I attend?

A first aid assessment will determine the number required and the course they should attend.


Why aren't defibrillators provided in UCL buildings?

Safety Services advice is that because our first aiders are trained to carry out CPR and most of our buildings are relatively close to an A&E department then defibrillators do not need to be provided routinely. In an organisation of our size it would be difficult to locate sufficient numbers of defibrillators to provide adequate cover in all of our buildings.

If however an assessment of risk indicates that a defibrillator is appropriate then it should be provided in the area where it will be needed.

Examples of risk based provision include:

  • where research participants  are selected because they have a history or a vulnerability to heart attack
  • the workplace is some distance from an A&E department

If Departments decide to provide a defibrillator then staff must be trained to use it.

NB Safety Services does not provide defibrillator training.

Are first-aiders allowed to give tablets and medication to casualties?

First aid at work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illness.

The exceptions to this are:

  • A first aider who assists an individual to take their own medication which has been prescribed by their doctor before contacting the emergency services if appropriate e.g. an inhaler for asthma.
  • First aiders who have been trained to administer a dose of adrenalin from an Epipen.  An Epipen is carried by individuals who are at risk of anaphylactic shock and has been prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Tablets and medicines are never included in the contents of the first-aid box. See the following link for a list of contents.



Why was I asked to complete an ‘Assessment of First Aid Needs’ form when I requested a place on the First Aid at Work Certificate (FAWC) 3 day training?

The assessment helps Safety Services to determine if additional first aiders are needed. The assessment takes account of how many first aiders there are in a building, the type of work undertaken and the number of building occupants. This ensures that UCL is fulfilling its legal obligations and at the same time that resources i.e. budget is appropriately distributed.

Why was my request for a place on a First Aid at Work Certificate training course refused?

The number of first aiders appointed and the type of training they receive must be based on risk. It has been assessed that departments where the work is predominately office based will require first aiders to attend the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) 1 day training. Departments who undertake work with significant risks i.e. laboratory based or who undertake certain types of field work will be assessed as requiring first aiders who have attended First Aid at Work Certificate (FAWC) 3 day training or a mixture of both.

I work in an office based department can I attend the First Aid at Work Certificate (FAWC) 3 day training.

Departments where the work is predominantly office based will be assessed as requiring Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) trained first aiders only.

I have a First Aid at Work Certificate and will shortly be moving to an office based department. Will UCL pay for me to attend requalification training when my certificate expires?

All first aiders who currently hold a First Aid at Work Certificate are asked to maintain their certificate by attending a requalification course even if:

  • they move from a high risk department to an office based department;
  • their new department has been assessed as having sufficient first aiders.

How long are the First Aid at Work Certificate (3 day course) and the Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate (1 day course) valid for?

Both certificates are valid for 3 years.

My first aid certificate has expired can I still act as a first aider.

No, you can’t act as a first aider if your certificate has expired.  You must attend a 2 day requalification course within 2 months of the expiry date of your certificate.  

I’m an undergraduate can I attend first aid training?

First aid training is not provided for undergraduates.

I’m a Post Graduate student can I attend first aid training?
Post Graduate students will only be provided with first aid training if they work in a hazardous area or undertake certain types of field work (and there isn’t a member of staff available to be trained).




See: Monitoring Safety



How do I know that my LEV airflow is adequate?

It is not possible to gauge effectively the speed (velocity) of the air entering an LEV hood 'by hand'. A suitable airflow indicator, such as a hand-held vane anemometer, or an indicator gauge on the equipment is recommended.

Are airflow 'tell-tales' good enough?

'Tell-tales' such as pieces of paper or plastic hung to bend in the LEV hood airflow do not provide an effective indication of airflow and they are delicate and easily damaged. In all but very simple systems they will not be effective, adequate or suitable.

Who is responsible for servicing and maintaining my cabinet?

The department as provider of the equipment is responsible for ensuring that all service and maintenance requirements are met, following the manufacturers recommendations for use.

Why is a test label put on my equipment after a service visit?

The label is a way of communicating when examinations of the LEV have been done, are due or if the equipment has failed its testing regime.

Is statutory testing of a Fume Cupboard, Microbiological Safety Cabinet or other LEV the same as servicing and maintaining it?

If a cabinet is not part of the central estates register for statutory testing then the arrangement and payment for testing is the responsibility of the department. UCL Estates can provide information on suitable contractors for the statutory testing of fume cupboards. Please contact Andrew Pinder (Engineering and Maintenance team) in the first instance.”

Who arranges the statutory testing of fume cupboards at UCL?

If a cabinet is not part of the central estates register for statutory testing then the arrangement and payment for testing is the responsibility of the department. Estates will be able to provide information on suitable contractors for the statutory testing of fume cupboards.

What about laminar flow cabinets – are they LEV?

No – laminar flow cabinets are designed to protect the working area only and do not offer operator protection; they are not classed as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)




What is Lone Working?

Working without close or direct supervision or remote from colleagues i.e. colleagues may be in the next room or on other floors in the same building. Lone workers can be peripatetic (routinely walks between work locations) or in fixed locations. Lone working can occur at any time i.e. either during normal working hours or out of hours.

Is it legal to work alone?

Although there is no general prohibition to working alone, there is a legal duty to assess the risks of the work. If the task is to be carried out by someone while they are alone the risk assessment must consider the hazards of being alone in addition to the hazards involved with the work itself.





What is safety monitoring?

There are two types:

  1. Active monitoring is a planned process which allows departments to identify potential issues before they result in incidents / accidents or ill-health and involves visits, checks and inspections of the workplace, equipment and plant.
  2. Reactive monitoring is carried when an incident has occurred and involves investigating accidents and incidents including near misses.

Why must safety monitoring be carried out?

Safety monitoring is an important element of safety management and is carried out to assist with the improvement of safety performance.

Who is responsible for carrying out safety monitoring?

The manager of the activity or work area must ensure that safety monitoring is carried out.








Do I need to pay for my own PPE?

No, if you are employed at UCL PPE will be provided free of charge when required.

How do I know if my PPE is the correct type?

Check your local risk assessment or speak to your Manager or Departmental Safety Officer.

What do I do if my PPE does't fit or is uncomfortable to wear?

Check if different sizes are available and that you are wearing the correct size. If you wear PPE for long periods take frequent breaks or change your PPE regularly to avoid discomfort. If the PPE model / brand you are using is not suitable an alternative can usually be sourced. Speak to your Manager or Departmental Safety Officer.

What does CE marking mean and why do we need to check for it?

CE marking signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements and in some cases will be tested and certified by an independant body.




What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a careful examination of anything in the workplace that could cause harm and a decision about whether there are enough precautions in place.

Who is responsible for doing the risk assessment?

A risk assessment must be initiated by the person responsible for the work; that is a Supervisor, Manager or Principal Investigator.

Why do I need to do a risk assessment?

Risk assessment is an important step in protecting people in our workplace from harm. In doing this we are complying with the law and more importantly we are ensuring that the likelihood of causing harm is minimised.

Do I need to fill in a form?

RiskNET provides tools that make managing safety simpler and includes a risk assessment recording tool. The tool can be accessed from Safety Services homepage.





Will using gloves protect me from vibration?

Using gloves will not protect you from the effects of vibration. Gloves should be used to keep the hands warm and provide protection from chemicals and other physical effects.

My power tool has a green symbol on it what does this mean?

Some tool manufacturer’s and tool hire firms use a traffic light system to indicate HAVS risks from using the tool. Green is low; amber medium and red is high. Check the user handbook for conformation.

How do I know if using a power tool will cause health problems?

Any vibrating tool or process, which causes tingling or numbness after 5-10 minutes is suspect and measures to reduce exposure must be taken.





How do I manage non-hazardous waste?

Guidance on managing non-hazardous waste across UCL, including segregation and labelling can be found on the Green UCL website

How do I dispose of used gas cylinders?

Contact BOC, or the supplier of the cylinder if not BOC, and request removal from the suppler. Never leave cylinders in waste stores for collection with other waste unless the area is specifically designated for this purpose.

How do I dispose of batteries?

Batteries should be disposed of in separate battery recycling bins which are located throughout UCL buildings. If there isn’t a battery recycling point in your department, you can request one via the UCL Estates helpdesk.

How do I dispose of toner and printer cartridges?

Toner and printer cartridges should be recycled in dedicated bins. If your building doesn't already have a bin provided, you can order one on request through the UCL Estates helpdesk.

How do I dispose of waste electrical equipment?

Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) - which can include fridges, freezers and computers – can be defined as hazardous waste. If you have items no longer required, consider advertising them for re-use elsewhere in UCL, via the WARP It service. If you have to dispose of them, contact UCL Estates helpdesk arrange a collection from your department. In all cases, consider the need to clean and decontaminate the equipment before removal. Find out more on decontamination here




What is the minimum/maximum temperature allowed in my workplace?

The law says that during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be reasonable.  The minimum temperature should be 16°C, but if your work involves severe physical effort, it can be as low as 13°C. These temperatures may not ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity.  There is no maximum prescribed working temperature. Further guidance can be found on the HSE website at the following link:


My workplace seems very cramped, is there any guidance on how much space each person should have?

The Health and Safety Executive recommend that there should be at least a minimum 11m3 for each person in a workspace.  This figure doesn’t take into account any furniture or equipment in the workspace so in reality it is unlikely that people will have this amount of clear space to themselves. What has to be ensured is that people are provided with adequate space to do their work and that there is good access/egress to and from their workstation and when moving around the room.





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