Policy & Related Documents

All new members of staff/students or staff members moving to new posts within the University must read and sign/acknowledge the School's Health & Safety Policy 2023 and complete within one week. The signed document should be either returned to the appropriate person outlined on the front cover of the document or to your local safety co-ordinator (who will keep, scan and email a copy to the appropriate person). Below is both a diagram of the steps that should be followed and accompanying links:

Health and Safety Guide for Staff and Students

1. Induction Checklist (Word)

2. E-induction

3. Undergo On-line Fire Safety Training  (Enrolment Key: Cardiovascular)

4. Potential exposure to respiratory sensisters - Please consult with your supervisor (and will require that a  Health Surveillance Request form  and Health Surveillance Risk Assessment Form be completed along with associated COSSH/RA forms). The Health Surveillance process is illustrated by clicking this link - Health Surveillance Process Flowchart (PDF)

5. Hepatitis B Vaccinations.  Staff or Postgraduate students who require Hepatitis B vaccinations must carry out a risk assessment & email completed form to Occupational Health Unit detailing requirement for Hepatitis B vaccinations. Please inform H&S Committee Chair who will provide budget code to charge. Appointment will not be arranged until both Risk assement form has been completed and Budget Code received by OHU.

A publication by the Health and Safety Executive (Safe Working in Laboratories) outlining further guidance on health and safety requirements for facilities where employees may be exposed to biological agents is available.

In the event of injury or a dangerous incident within the school please contact your local safety co-ordinator, complete and sign the Injury & Dangerous Occurence Report, return to the Local Safety Co-ordinator who will pass it on to the H&S Committee Chair. The local safety co-ordinator will also pass on a further 2 copies or scan to SEPS via Jo McNally and the the principal investigator (or designated nominee) where the incident took place should also be given/sent a copy.

 If there are any questions please contact your Local Saftey Co-ordinator or email cams-ins-safety@glasgow.ac.uk

SCMH Health & Safety Policy 2023

The School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health recognises work in the School can, on occasions, be hazardous. It is the philosophy and belief of this School that accidents are preventable and that the maintenance of good health and safety standards will, in addition to meeting legal requirements, improve overall performance and cost effectiveness. It is therefore imperiative that all student\staff members read and sign the  Health & Safety Policy 2023 ‌(PDF)

Related Health & Safety Documents

 Table of Contents

  1. Action Plan 2023
  2. Induction - new staff & students guidelines
  3. Emergency Response Contacts
  4. Accident & Incident Reporting
  5. Fire Safety
  6. Lone Working Policy
  7. Liquid Nitrogen Notes
  8. Handling Sharps
  9. Waste Disposal
  10. Biological Safety
  11. GM Assessment

The plan outlines the procedures and responsibilities for hazards, emergencies, accidents / incidents and the environment. Promoting a safe, healthy and environmentally sound environment is the responsibility of all staff. 

Induction of new personnel will normally be carried out by a PI or delegated nominee, senior lab or administrative staff. New personnel should not be starting work until they have received formal safety instruction.

If you become aware of an emergency situation, you should immediately phone 999 if necessary and then inform Security Control (4444), saying

(a) where you are speaking from, your name and telephone number;
(b) the nature and exact location of the incident;
(c) how you have come to know about the emergency;
(d) information re any casualties, if known; and
(e) any other relevant information
Security Staff will assume immediate responsibility for the initial response to the situation, liaising with senior university staff and the emergency services.

  • Accident & Incident Reporting‌ 

    The proper recording of accidents and near misses are important. Such records help improve safety arrangements and may be needed in the event of insurance claims or legal proceedings. Therefore all accidents and near misses, however minor, occurring in SCMH must be reported to the relevant line manager and local safety co-ordinator and recorded using the University’s “Injury or Dangerous Occurrence Report” form, as soon as possible after the event. The completed form should be passed on to your local safety co-ordinator who will pass it on to the H&S Committee Chair & 2 copies or 1 scan to  SEPS via Jo McNally (secretary at SEPS). The Principal Investigator (or designated nominee) where the incident took place should also be given/sent a copy.

The Fire Safety Policy can be accessed either via the following direct link Fire Safety Policy or by visiting the fire safety section of SEPS Website.

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure systems are devised and implemented to support the Policy commitment made by the University of Glasgow (GU) to protect employees who are required to work by themselves for significant periods of time, so far as is reasonably practicable, from the risks associated with working alone, and to meet the requirements of legislation.

Defination of "Lone Worker"  is considered to include not only workers who go out to other non-workbase sites by themselves, but also those who may work in workbase buildings on their own, particularly when outside normal working hours.

Liquid nitrogen is a substance that is used widely in laboratories. Before handling liquid nitrogen all users should contact their School Safety Co-ordinators for guidance on the use and decanting of liquid Nitrogen. All users should read the guidance notes which discusses:

(I.) The characteristics and hazards of Nitrogen: Asphyxiation (oxygen deficiency), Cryogenic (cold) burns, first aid for cryogenic burns, Oxygen enrichment, Over-pressurisation of storage containers,Embrittlement of materials.

(II.) Safe Use of liquid nitrogen: Managerial control of liquid nitrogen use, Training, Protective Clothing, Handling liquid Nitrogen, Handling liquid Nitrogen, Ventilation requirements, Spillage and release, Alarm Systems. 

(III.) Emergency Procedures In the Event of Large Spillage: Evacuate the area and deploy signs if necessary. The area should be ventilated by either opening doors and windows or activate forced ventilation to  allow any spilt liquid to  evaporate and the resultant gas to disperse. Only attempt to turn off any valves, whilst wearing protective clothing, and only if it is safe to do so. The use/presence of an oxygen deficiency monitor will indicate when it is safe to  re-enter the area. Prevent any liquid from entering drains, basements, pits or any confined space where accumulation may be dangerous.

The term “sharps” refers to any instrument (Syringe needles, scapel blades, pasteure pipettes) that can puncture, cut or scrape body parts. Use of sharps should be restricted to trained personnel and to those cases in which no alternative is available. Working with laboratory sharps is a significant hazard that needs to be reviewed and included during the risk assessment process for minimizing laboratory personnel exposure. Sharps additionally comprise a regulatory waste classification and must not be disposed of in the regular waste stream. Use of sharps should be kept to  a minimum and be appropriately disposed off after use.

The potential safety risks for the sharps users are:

    1. Puncturing, cutting or scraping
    2. Exposure to contamination (infectious microorganisms or rDNA) from used sharps via puncture, cut or scrape
    3. Exposure to contamination from creation of aerosols

Personal protective clothing and equipment must be worn when using sharps:

    1. The PPE to be worn when working with sharps should be commensurate with the highest risk or hazard designation for any single biological agent, material or chemical used in the procedure, including recombinant DNA (rDNA)
    2. Puncture-resistant gloves or gauntlets should be used when possible
    3. Eye and respiratory protection should used whenever the creation of aerosols is possible

Needles and syringes should only be used when there is no reasonable alternative. If there is no feasible alternative to recapping, bending, or removal of non-disposable needles, a mechanical device or one-handed technique must be used. It is feasible to recap using the one-handed “scoop” technique: use the needle itself to pick up the cap, and push the cap and sharp together against a hard surface to ensure a tight fit. It is also possible to hold the cap with tongs or forceps to place it on thenon-disposable needle. Also, air bubbles and the creation of aerosols should be minimized when filling a syringe. Work that may create biohazardous aerosols must be performed in a certified biological safety cabinet whenever possible.

    1. Never bend, shear, break, or recap disposable needles or remove from disposable syringes.
    2. Immediately following use, place the item into the sharps disposal container.
    3. Never reach into the sharps disposal container.
    4. Never empty the contents of the sharps disposal container into another container.
    5. Never remove the lid from the container.
    6. Never overfill a sharps disposal container; no materials should be sticking out the top.
    7. Never force materials into a sharps disposal container. 

Storage and disposal of sharps. It is required that different kinds of used sharps be kept segregated by their type of contamination. Prior to disposal, contaminated laboratory sharps must be deposited in an authorized sharps container that indicates the kind(s) of sharp contamination present. It is red in color and equipped with a tight-fitting lid for use during handling and transport. Biohazardous contaminated sharps must be labeled with an International Biohazard Symbol. Read the authorized sharps container manufacturer’s instructions and recommended user training information prior to use. Approved sharps containers are available for purchase at Medical Stores.

Action after sharps injury or contamination with blood or other body fluids 

  • encourage wound to bleed. Do not suck. Wash with soap and water. Dry, and apply waterproof dressing;
  • wash out splashes to the eyes using tap water or an eye wash bottle and to the nose and mouth with plenty of tap water. Do not swallow;
  • record the source of the contamination/needlestick;
  • report incident to line manager or senior staff in department. An accident form will need to be completed;
  • if the source of the sharp is unknown, or is likely to be contaminated with hazardous material, eg blood from a patient known or suspected to be carrying a blood-borne virus, the advice of an occupational health physician or medical microbiologist should be sought immediately

In disposing of waste (whether biological, chemical, radiation or electronic) the primary considerations are the protection of colleagues, waste contractors and anyone likely to come into contact with such waste, whether by accident or design. Some waste types are hazardous or are subject to particular legislative controls; for these types of waste suitable management and disposal strategies are developed and implemented. In all cases the producer of waste has a legal responsibility to discharge their duty of care from the moment the item or substance becomes waste to its final destruction. If you have any questions about waste disposal in your area, please contact the relevant local personnel, or access the SEPS website that deals specifically with “Waste”.

General information and guidance notes about waste:


 Health and safety, animal health, plant health and environmental legislation require the University to have effective controls in place to protect people and the environment against the risks created by our work. Please read this guidance on biological safety which is provided to help managers, principal investigators and workers to safely carry out your work.

If you work with the following biological agents you will require approval from the Biosafety Sub-Committee. First and subsequent use of these agents should be also notified to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE):

  • all hazard group 3 biological agents (PDF)
  • Bordetella pertussis (hazard group 2)
  • Corynebacterium diptheriae (hazard group 2)
  • Neisseria meningitidis (hazard group 2)

Guidance On Biological Safety

Biological agents (bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions) are classified into four Hazard Groups. Classification is based on whether:

  • the agent is pathogenic to humans
  • the agent is a hazard to employees
  • the agent is transmissible to the community
  • there is effective prophylaxis or treatment available

There are now risk assessment forms for GM work and accessed via the SEPs Website  


The following incidents and occurrences must be reported to Safety and Environmental Protection Services.
• Injury to any person arising out of, or in connection with, work.
• Near-miss incidents and dangerous occurrences (including fires).
• Incidents of violence to staff that are related to their work.
• Work-related diseases and work-related ill health.

The top two copies of this form should be forwarded to Safety & Environmental Protection Services and the bottom copy should be retained on file within the College, School or University Service reporting the incident. The form must be received by SEPS within a maximum of 5 working days of the occurrence. This is necessary to allow the University to comply with legislation

Additional Forms related to the Safety & Environmental Protection service can also be found on the webiste. 


The University of Glasgow's Security and Operational Support team are responsible for creating and maintaining an environment within which students and staff can study, work and live safely.


SafeZone app image

A must have for every student at the UofG, the SafeZone App is an app that is monitored 24 hours a day by the UofG Security team ensuring the safety and security of our students - whether it be on campus, at halls or anywhere in between. 

The SafeZone App is a way of helping ensure students feel safe and secure throughout their time at UofG. Although it is primarily designed for on campus working, much of its functionality is still useful for the Covid-19 and lockdown world we are finding ourselves in. 

Download UofG SafeZone App here

The main functions of the SafeZone App: 
  • The blue button is for general enquiries if you have any questions or need help in a non-emergency situation, such as you're a little lost. 
  • The red button is for emergencies and shares your location with the security team so they can find and assist you as quickly as possible. There's also the option to call emergency services. If you are not within range of the campus the app will call 999 for you, but the security team here at UofG will still be alerted and they'll get in touch to check if you're okay. 
  • The green button is for first aid if you or someone around you needs medical assistance. 

Find out more here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/securityandoperationalsupport/