Department of Psychology Health and Safety Policy Statement

Updated June 2018

The information provided in this policy document should be used in conjunction with the department’s Health & Safety Policy (available to download) and the University Health & Safety Policy.

The Department of Psychology is committed to safeguarding the health, safety and welfare at work of all departmental staff, students and visitors as part of its legal obligation to current H&S legislation. Moreover, the department believes that working to legally acceptable minimum standards is not sufficient and continually strives towards creating a culture of health and safety designed to exceed these minimum standards at every opportunity.

The Head of Department accepts ultimate responsibility for safety in the department but all staff and students have a legal obligation to act in a responsible and proactive manner regarding their own safety and the safety of others at work. It is expected that anyone in a supervisory role will take responsibility for the safety of those in their charge. Every individual who supervises or controls an activity is responsible for ensuring that the activity is conducted safely. They are responsible for ensuring a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is performed, that significant findings are recorded, that appropriate control measures are introduced, that anyone involved in the process is aware of the risk assessment and that such risk assessments are reviewed as necessary. Some members of staff also have specialist responsibilities in particular areas.

The Psychology Management Group (PMG) is responsible for setting policy on safety matters acting on advice from the Departmental Health & Safety Committee, which is also responsible for the implementation of such policy. The policy will be continually reviewed and developed as current legislation changes and new legislation is introduced. The management group will provide, wherever possible, the necessary resources, time, training and funds to maintain and improve safety.

The department is located in the following buildings:

  • The main Psychology Building at Cathedral Court
  • Mushroom Lane Annexe
  • Alfred Denny, Floor B1 at Western Bank

References to the ‘Department of Psychology’ refers to all the above areas.

The Department of Psychology is also a participating department in Sheffield Robotics, which is based at the Pam Liversidge Building. The other departments are Automated Control and Systems Engineering and the Department of Computing Science. The responsibility for health and safety policy implementation is shared between all three departments.

1. The implementation of this policy across all departmental sites and buildings, to include all staff, students and visitors, is demonstrated in the following ways:

2. Departmental Health and Safety Committee.

  • Terms of Reference. These are laid out in the University’s Code of Practice and are governed by the department being a Type 1 Department.
  • The Committee reports directly to Head of Department, Psychology Management Group and Staff Committee. Minutes from the meetings are available in the Virtual Office. The Committee meets three times per academic year.

3. Safety Procedures.

Good Lab Practice (main points)

  • Common sense at all times!
  • Never eat or drink in the laboratory
  • Assess the potential hazards involved in your work and take appropriate precautions.
  • Wear PPE as required. Lab coats are an absolute minimum.
  • Dispose of waste materials via the appropriate waste stream.

CoSHH and Risk Assessments, and further guidance can be found in the virtual office.  Please contact the Departmental Safety Officer (DSO) for any assistance.


  • Before any experimental procedure involving the use of chemicals or reagents is undertaken, potential hazards must be identified, an assessment made of the risks posed by these hazards and appropriate control measures implemented in the work activity. This is the responsibility of the research workers supervising the research projects.
  • Before undertaking any existing experimental procedures, all members of staff or students involved in the procedure must read the relevant, existing CoSHH assessments.

Risk Assessments

  • A risk assessment must be undertaken on all operations or processes which may be hazardous to the operator or those participating in the process. Those using such processes must familiarise themselves with the risk assessment before starting work.

Out of hours working

  • Out of hours working is considered to be between 6pm and 8am, Mon–Fri or weekends, bank holidays and closure dates. Any member of the department working during these periods must have up to date fire training, out of hours training and have performed a risk assessment for their work.
  • Undergraduate students must not work out of hours under any circumstances.

Occupational Health Screening

  • Where staff or students suffer from ill-health which they believe may be caused by, or related to, their employment in the University, they may consult Health & Wellbeing (formally Staff Occupational Health Unit) who can provide guidance or advice. Regular screening can then be arranged. (


  • The University has put in place an online DSE training system to meet its responsibilities. All staff and students that fall under the definition of a ‘user’ are required to undertake this training. The department also has a trained DSE assessor who can help set up DSE equipment including the chair and workstation.

4. Induction and training.

  • The department ensures that all new members of staff undergo an induction process during which they are introduced to health and safety legislation and their responsibilities and mandatory training requirements under this legislation.
  • Postgraduates are inducted as a group during their first week at the department and undergo a health and safety seminar.

5. Maintenance and servicing of equipment.

  • The department will ensure equipment under its control is serviced and maintained regularly and removed from use and repaired as soon as possible, in the event of a fault developing.

6. Ensure immediate and accurate reporting and investigation of accidents and incidents.

7. Safety is the responsibility of all. All staff and students are encouraged and expected to have an input into safety policy by raising issues with their supervisors, Safety Committee representative, via Staff Meetings or at the Staff/Student Committee. It takes a commitment from each individual to maintain a safe working environment for all. This commitment is expected from each and every member of staff and student.