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The University of Southampton
Working as a Researcher

Staying safe at work

The University wants you to be safe at work. This page provides general guidelines. Individual departments may have different protocols and procedures, especially if they include laboratory or machine environments.

We all have a responsibility, morally and by law, to ensure safe working practices for ourselves and our colleagues. This extends to others that we have responsibility for such as students in your class or lab.  If you have any concerns, you should raise these with your line manager or local safety officer.

Campus security

There is a single (internal) contact number for Highfield, Avenue and Winchester campuses: x 23311.  For general enquiries, you should call x 22811.

Security at Southampton General Hospital and other hospitals are managed locally. You should find details within individual buildings.

For medical emergencies, we have contacts and advice on the Medical and dental services page.

Health and Safety

The University's Central Health and Safety Group (CHSG) co-ordinates all activities. This includes advice on recognition and management of specific hazards.

Central Health & Safety

The Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gives detailed guidance for widely-used equipment, materials and likely hazards across a range of industries .

Lone working and out-of-office-hours working

Working as a researcher often involves being onsite late into the evening, or at weekends. If you need to work at these times, you must inform Security (x 23311).

The University's policy on lone working currently stands but is under review. You still need to confirm your department's view, as it could depend on a local assessment of the risks involved. You may also want to check the equivalent HSE lone working guidelines.

As a researcher you are likely to be exempted from general rules on night working (for example, where lab work requires round-the-clock staffing). But again you should be conscious of sensible health and safety practice, for instance taking a break before you become over-tired.

Extended hours

The 1998 Working Time Regulations set an upper limit of an average of 48 hours in the working week. Among the exceptions are people whose working time is not measured or that can be determined by themselves. You can also choose to opt out of the limit. The University's position is that academic and related staff are excluded from these regulations as their working time is unmeasured. You can find out more from:

Personal safety

You can find personal safety tips and advice on lone working through the Suzy Lamplugh Trust . The Trust has ‘a range of practical resources that are designed to raise awareness of personal safety issues and help people of all ages to live safer lives’.

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