Health & Safety Department

Instruction, supervision and training

Guidance and advice on instruction, supervision and training

As detailed in the University Health and Safety Policy and the accompanying Framework documents, all persons studying or working in laboratories where hazardous chemicals are stored, used or prepared must receive information, training and supervision appropriate for the work undertaken, so that risks to the health and safety of all persons involved are controlled.


Academic staff who supervise experimental work carried out by  students, research assistants and technical staff are required to give careful attention to the health and safety of those under their supervision. This applies not only to work on University premises but also to University work carried out elsewhere either in the UK or abroad. To fulfil its function, the degree of supervision must have reasonable regard for the level of training and expertise of the staff or students being supervised.

The University has a duty to ensure that  students do not create unsafe conditions by unauthorised initiatives and supervision must be adequate to meet this requirement. Accordingly, prior to the commencement of any hazardous work or activity, the Principal Investigator (PI) or supervisor should provide, obtain or agree to appropriate procedures which would minimise foreseeable risks and thereafter should keep in regular touch with the student's work. During any prolonged absence of the PI or supervisor, a second designated supervisor should be available to ensure that established health and safety procedures are maintained.

Instruction and training

Training must be undertaken locally to ensure users are aware of specific laboratory rules as well as in the specific techniques to ensure they are following the safe system of work (SSW) / standard operating procedure (SOP) for the task.

The Training and Audit Unit can provide certain face to face training as well as online training on lab ergonomics.

A checklist for microscope benches is also available;