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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

Health & Safety

The Chair of the Board of Studies (Prof. Karl Coleman) is responsible for ensuring (as far as is reasonably practicable) the health, safety and welfare at work of all the Department staff and students, and of other persons who may be affected by the Department's undertakings. The Chair is responsible to University Council for implementing the University and Departmental Health & Safety policies and is committed to the University's target of achieving and maintaining health and safety standards in line with the Higher Education sector's national best practice. The Department has adopted the Higher Education sector's Health and Safety Management Profile HASMAP system as our health and safety management framework. This is done through a planning process which sets clear, measurable objectives and ensure progressive development. Health and Safety is integrated into the Departmental Management systems and appropriate training and resources are provided to implement the policy.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to:

  • compliance with relevant health and safety legislation;
  • provision of a safe and healthy working environment;
  • prevention of injury and ill health;
  • improvement of health and safety performance using measures of performance;
  • formal communication and active promotion of this policy to all staff and students;
  • a formal and fundamental review of this policy in consultation with appropriate members of the workforce;
  • use of strategic plans and health and safety objectives;
  • making resources available for health and safety.

The Departmental Safety Coordinator (DSC, Dr John Sanderson) is responsible to the Chair for advising on the day-to-day implementation of health and safety policy within the Department. Where action is required beyond his authority, the DSC is responsible for bringing the matter to the attention of the Chair. The DSC acts as first point of contact with the University Safety Adviser to distribute health and safety information throughout the Department, and chairs the Departmental Safety Committee.

The Departmental Safety Committee reports to the Board of Studies and acts as the channel of communication between all members of the Deparment and the DSC who, as far as is reasonably practicable, will deal with the problems raised. Members of the committee act as representatives of the academic, technical and secretarial staff and postdoctoral and postgraduate research workers in the Department. The committee also assists the DSC in the detailed formulation, implementation and continued development of safety policy. (See Appendix A of the Departmental Health & Safety Policy for membership).

As is clearly laid out in the University's Health and Safety Policy statement, Health and Safety is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace:

All staff in a managerial or supervisory capacity are responsible for managing the health and safety of those they supervise.

All employees are personally responsible for:

  • taking reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others;
  • familiarising themselves with and following health and safety procedures and instructions;
  • not misusing anything provided for health and safety;
  • reporting all accidents, incidents and hazards and suggesting improvements;
  • attending training provided under the University Health and Safety Programme.

Professor Karl Coleman

1 August 2017

Key Links

Chemistry Safety website (internal only)

Chemistry Department Health & Safety Policy and Codes of Practice (html, PDF)