Safety Approval Guidelines

In planning research work, the Principal Investigator (PI) should

a) assess the existing facilities, equipment, ventilation and space to ensure they are adequate and suitable for the proposed research work; and

b) ensure that the staff, students and other users of the laboratory or facility will be adequately informed of the potential hazards and trained, instructed and supervised in managing the risks and what to do in the event of an emergency. 

During this risk assessment stage, the PI may conclude that the risks associated with his/her research are the same/similar to the risks currently being managed in the Department. In such cases, adherence to the University or Departmental codes of practice or guidelines (which are generic risk assessments) should offer adequate safeguards, and Department Heads concerned can give Safety Approval. 

Where hazards are not addressed by existing codes or guidelines, a more in-depth assessment specific to the research proposal must be carried out and passed to the Department Head who can review the proposal and pass it to the Director of Safety for safety approval if appropriate. Once prepared (irrespective of the success of the proposal) the risk assessment will be a very useful document and as such should be incorporated into the Departmental safety policy document for future reference. 


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