School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

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Workplace and general safety


On arrival in SBCS you should undergo an induction, given by the health and safety manager, for the floor on which you will be based.

These are:

Location Individual Position Email
G.E Fogg 1st floor Michaela Bateman Teaching technician manager
G.E. Fogg 2nd floor Max Docker Psychology department laboratories manager
G.E. Fogg 3rd floor Sam Court Buildings manager
G.E. Fogg 4th floor Petra Ungerer Cell and molecular biology laboratories manager
G.E. Fogg 5th floor Monika Struebig Organismal biology laboratories manager
G.E. Fogg 6th floor Ian Sanders Organismal analytical laboratories manager
Joseph Priestley (JP) ground floor Yumiko Tashiro Biochemistry laboratories manager
Joseph Priestley (JP) 1st floor Jalal Hamden Chemistry research laboratories manager

NB If you are unsure who to contact for your induction please email:

During your induction you should be informed of:

  • Fire safety and local policies
  • Risk assessments
  • Accident reporting and first aid
  • DSE use

We will highlight any relevant health and safety training that might be specific to your needs and provide you with everything that you need to know in a handy leaflet.

Further training

Additional training courses are organised through the Occupational Health and Safety Directorate (OHSD).  

To find out which courses are available and to book, follow the training/E-learning tab on the OHSD website.

General risk assessment

You would normally complete a general risk assessment form for a protocol in a lab environment that does not require a COSHH or BIOCOSHH assessment (please see the COSHH information in the chemical safety section or the BIOCOSHH information in the biological safety section for details as to when they must be filled in).

A general risk assessment form may include, but not be limited to, use of equipment or apparatus. 

Please check with the person in charge of the laboratory or email the safety co-ordinator in your work area for advice:

  • Front page - Complete as much detail as you can, please ensure you tick the General Risk box
  • Page 1 - All possible hazards and individuals potentially at risk should be ticked
  • Page 2 - You are required to risk assess each hazard and what is in place to reduce that risk
  • Page 3 - The matrix must indicate what overall risk classification you have assigned to the particular work you are undertaking
  • Page 4 - Further details on what action must be taken to reduce risk (may not be applicable)
  • Page 5 - In cases where you are not the person responsible, details of this assessment must be signed off by the responsible person for the lab/work area

Office areas and display screen equipment (DSE)

Offices should be kept clear of all unnecessary obstacles, including bicycles, which should be stored in designated areas.

The majority of people working in SBCS use display screen equipment (DSE) such as computers or laptops.  To reduce long term health risks associated with prolonged exposure QMUL asks that all users complete a DSE awareness course.

Lone working and out of hours work

A lone worker is a person who cannot summon assistance either visually or audibly in the event of an accident, illness or other adverse event.

Normal working hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays).  Anything outside of this is considered as “out of hours”.

If you are a lone worker or working out of hours you must complete a risk assessment form.

Anyone who is lone working or working out of hours must be competent in the:

  • Methodologies being undertaken
  • Health and safety controls in place
  • Knowledgeable about the emergency procedures

A lone working/out of hours risk assessment must be completed prior to any work taking place and have obtained prior permission from their line manager.

You must inform your line manager or supervisor if you have any health condition or disability that may increase risk from lone working or out of hours work.  

For guidance on when disclosure may be appropriate please consult QMUL Occupational Health Service or the Disability and Dyslexia Service.

Maternity risk assessment

Anyone who is pregnant should complete a maternity risk assessment form.  

If you work in a laboratory you should complete a maternity risk assessment form for expectant mothers

This form should be completed as early as possible if you work with chemicals that fall under the risk statements R40, 45, 46, 49, 61, 63, 64, and 68 which includes chemicals such as:

  • Boric acid
  • Most antibiotics
  • Any DNA chelating agent
  • Imidazole
  • β-mercaptoethanol
  • SDS powder 
  • Some metal compounds

There are several biological agents such as toxoplasmosis and rubella that you should not work with during pregnancy.  If you work with any of these please contact your line manager and the health and safety team ( for advice.

Children and young people on campus

Children of staff

The College discourages its staff from bringing children onto College premises, other than the College Nursery, for extended periods. If, for any reason, it is necessary for a member of staff to bring a child onto the campus for more than a short time, the line manager and Head of Department or Section, must be informed and agree.

Children meeting their parent(s) on College premises are, at all times, the responsibility of their parent(s) who must ensure that they do not enter any of the following areas;

  • Laboratories;
  • Workshops;
  • Any area containing;
    - radioactive isotopes,
    - hazardous chemicals,
    - biohazardous materials,
    - carcinogenic or teratogenic chemicals,
    - class 3b and class 4 lasers
    - or any other area defined as being hazardous by a departmental risk assessment.

Children or young people visiting

Any visits by school children to College specifically arranged by College, e.g. for open days or other specific activities such as dramatic performances, requires the College to take particular precautions.

Children visiting departments or institutes must be organised in groups of not more than twenty persons. Each group must have an adult group leader and an assistant leader, the names of these people must be communicated to the responsible person in the department organising the visit and to the responsible person in the department being visited.

The group leaders must be given written instructions outlining the following for the building they are visiting:

  • The emergency evacuation procedures;
  • The location of the emergency assembly point;
  • The name and contact number of the Departmental Safety Adviser or Building Superintendent;
  • Areas of the department to which access is restricted or prohibited.

The group leaders must:

  • Have a list the names of each member of the group;
  • Obey any instruction given by the Head of Department or his representative;
  • Only enter those areas of the building indicated as being safe by the Head of Department or his representative.

Visiting students

If you have young people coming to work in your laboratory, for example as a Nuffield student, you must complete a young persons risk assessment, available from OHSD.

For further advice on anything covered on this page contact the SBCS Health and Safety coordinator:

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