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Health and Safety


The School of Social and Political Studies aims to provide a safe and health working environment for its students, employees and visitors. This policy and its operation will be reviewed annually.

All staff and students are responsible for ensuring that they work in a manner that is safe to themselves and to others, and to comply with the relevant requirements of both the University and School Health and Safety Policies.

All staff and students are urged to read the relevant parts of the University Health and Safety Policy and in particular, Part 2 General Precautions and, where relevant, Part 8 'Fieldwork and Outdoor Activities';. The policy is available at:


The Head of School, Professor Fiona Mackay, is responsible to the University Court for the management of health and safety matters within the School of Social and Political Studies.

The School Safety Adviser, Neil Willett has been appointed by the Head of School to take a special interest in the promotion of health and safety matters, to provide a first level of advice and to act on behalf of the Head of School in respect of these matters. These responsibilities cover the School in matters of general policy.

Building-specific health and safety responsibilities are delegated to the following Area Safety Advisers:

Chrystal Macmillan Building (and all other buildings not specified)  - Neil Willett 651 1622
STIS (Old Surgeons' Hall) - Professor Robin Williams 50 6387

Fire Safety

On Discovering a Fire

  1. Operate the nearest fire alarm
  2. Leave the building
  3. Assemble at points indicated on building Fire Action notices.
  4. Ensure that the University Emergency Service (dial 2222 from an internal phone or 0131 651 3999) has been informed, if you have not already done this. They will call the Fire and Rescue Service.

Full information is available at

Fire Precautions

All staff and students must familiarise themselves with the location of fire doors and fire exits, so that they know as many as possible of the means of escape from the building. All staff and students should know the location of their nearest fire extinguishers and fire alarm call points and instructions for their use.

Emergency exit routes must remain tidy and free from obstacles. Staff and students must not leave or store flammable materials on emergency exit routes or blocking immediate access to fire alarms, fire equipment or electrical switchgear.

Fire Prevention

Electrical equipment should not be left running overnight except where necessary. Doors to rooms and staircase enclosures should be kept closed. Staff, students and visitors are reminded that smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes, is not permitted on University premises, except in specially designated areas (of which there are none on School premises).


All accidents, fires, “near misses”, and instances of known or suspected occupational ill health, must be reported to the Director of Health and Safety, 9-16 Chambers Street. They should be reported online at This will automatically inform the School Safety Adviser. Any incident or accident at work that results in an individual being absent from work must be drawn to the attention of the School Safety Adviser by the individual or his/her line supervisor.

All accidents / incidents, except those of a minor nature, will be investigated by the appropriate school personnel and any necessary remedial measures, including revised work procedures, training, etc, will be implemented as appropriate (including reporting accidents as a result of a defect in the fabric or structure of the building to Repairline for action). Accidents / incidents will be reviewed at the meetings of the Management Committee (see section 12).

Accidents / incidents of a serious nature must be notified immediately by telephone (51 4255) to Health and Safety Department and will be subject to a more formal investigation by a member of staff from the Health and Safety Department.

First Aid

First Aid information (including locations of equipment) is found on notice boards at each site.

If a qualified first aider is not available, please ensure that an ambulance is called as per the procedure below. 

In the event of a serious injury or ill health requiring an ambulance:

Full information is available at

Risk Assessment

The majority of the activities carried out by the School are routine and generally low risk in nature and do not require to be formally risk assessed.

However, for any activity involving a significant risk, including travel, fieldwork, and student trips, a written risk assessment must be carried out. Model templates, generic risk assessments and checklists are available at:

Risk assessments must be brought to the attention of all relevant staff and students involved in the activity, and a copy sent to Neil Willett. Risk assessments must be regularly reviewed (i.e., annually) to ensure the information contained within them remains valid.


Information on training courses provided by the University's Health and Safety Department are set out at

Staff who perform specific health and safety roles, such as the School Safety Adviser, First Aiders, and Fire Stewards, will be provided with training specific to these roles.  These are arranged by Nickie Bryce ( 

It is a core training requirement of the School that all staff complete the University's DSE training and risk assessment package (see also workstations section below).  Access to this can be arranged by Nickie Bryce (


All users of display screen equipment must undertake a risk assessment of their workstation to ensure it is set up correctly to reduce the likelihood of any adverse effects from using the equipment.  Further information for staff is available at

All staff must complete the University's DSE training and risk assessment.  To be sent a link to complete this, please contact Nickie Bryce (, 651 3883).  Completion of this is a core training requirement of the School.

Eye Tests

University employees who are regular users of display screen equipment (DSE/VDU) should be made aware that, upon request, they will be provided with a vision test and eye examination - a DSE/VDU Eye Test. For further information, see

Manual Handling

A risk assessment form must be completed for all manual handling tasks where it is considered that the task places an employee or student at risk of injury. If the load is considered small enough and light enough to be easily moved safely by one person repetitively without risk of sprain or strain, then it is not necessary to complete the form. The form is available at

Access to buildings

Section 4.10 of the University's Health and Safety Policy (available at states the University's policy on access to University Buildings and Late Working.  Staff should familiarise themselves with this, but for ease, some points are drawn to their attention below:

Monitoring the School Health and Safety Policy

A self-inspection (safety audit) of the School will take place every 12 months to monitor the effectiveness of the health and safety policy. The inspection will be made by Neil Willett.

Health and Safety Queries or Issues

All staff and students encountering any kind of health and safety hazard in this School should report these promptly to the relevant Area Safety Adviser (see part 2 above), or to the School Safety Adviser, Neil Willett, Room 6.06, Chrystal Macmillan Building, or, in their absence, to any senior member of staff.

Health and safety will be a standing item on the agenda of the meetings of the Management Committee.

Any member of the School who wishes to raise a health and safety item at this Committee, should inform Neil Willett as soon as possible.


Updated 28/01/2015