Frequently Asked Questions

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Health and safety is a massive and complex area, so we have split the website into specific ‘topics’ such as fire safety and manual handling to make it easier for you to find the information you need.

To ensure that everyone is clear about the difference between the University requirements and general guidance there are two very important titles that you need to be familiar with ‘Protocol’ and ‘Standard’.

‘Protocol’ is the overarching term for all information produced on a health and safety topic, which includes the standard, guidance, information sheets, templates and other helpful advice.

A ‘Standard’ is the key document at the heart of each ‘health and safety protocol’ and sets out University requirements as to what must be achieved.  Whilst what must be achieved is fixed as set out in each standard, where possible, there is flexibility in the way this is achieved – for example, general risk assessments must be completed, but Schools and Services can determine which forms etc are used so long as they meet the requirements of the standard. However, from time to time, a standard will specify the method and/or forms which must be used, for example, Radiation and Biological risk assessments must be completed using the approved forms attached to the standard, local variations are not permitted.

The impact on the health and safety of individuals around the University is significant as Health and Safety is a fundamental part of our business.  Staff, students and visitors deserve the highest standard of health and safety through continual improvement and the control of risk for those at work and those delivering world class research and teaching.

Everyone is responsible for health and safety, both for themselves and for those around them. Deans, heads of school, heads of service and line managers have additional responsibilities for the management of health and safety; they are assisted by Health and Safety Managers to ensure these responsibilities are fulfilled.

Health and Safety has to be a priority for everyone as it forms the base-line for all activities taking place at the University.

You should raise your concerns directly with your line manager, health and safety manager or local health and safety co-ordinators. You can find contact details on the key contacts page.

The HSE is the independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness. They are an independent regulator and act in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury across workplaces.

Sentinel is an online accident reporting form, enabling staff and students to report any accident, incident, near mis s or case of ill health that happens on campus.

When an accident, incident, near miss or case of ill health occurs it should be reported as quickly as possible - contact your local department's health and safety coordinator or Sentinel user, who will be trained to input accident data onto the system.
If you’re still unsure, phone health and safety services on ext 34201 or email

Things that should be reported include slips, trips or falls; faulty equipment, needle-stick injuries, burns (thermal/chemical), cuts, electric shocks and muscle strains from manual handling.


Make sure you report every accident, incident and near miss - even if you think it’s trivial, we would prefer you to report it as it could turn out to be important later. Hard copy reporting forms will continue to be provided for schools or services that do not have access to a computer.