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Health and Safety Services

Off site working

The following guidance and resources are to help managers assess the risk to staff and students who are required to undertake work off-site in premises not under the control of Birkbeck College.More extensive guidance on travelling abroad on College business or study will be published here soon.

The risk assessment process for work off-site remains the same as for any other risk assessment and consists of a five step process.

When working for or on the premises of another organisation the two organisations should cooperate to ensure the best standards of health and safety are maintained. The general principle of ensuring that risks are reduced "so far as is reasonably practicable" means that when assessing the risk we need only put in place reasonable control measures. For example, if one is going to a conference with another academic body in the UK one can be reasonably assured that the standards of health and safety at the venue and in the accommodation are on a par with those in place here. The conference venue will provide information on what to do in an emergency and have controls in place in respect of injury or ill-health. However, if one is undertaking research in a laboratory environment at another employer you may wish to reassure yourself that their safety arrangements are at least as effective as those here and that the staff member is conversant with the hosts health and safety arrangements and there is suitable supervision being provided.

Concerns are often raised in respect of lone working and personal safety, The Health and Safety Executive gives extensive guidance here;

Guidance on personal safety issues are available from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust who also run a number of half-day or full-day training courses.

Consideration should be given to safety travelling to and from the location, the transportation of materials and the security of property or data.

  • Guidance on road safety is given here:

  • Manual handling

  • The transportation, even by foot, of hazardous materials between sites requires proper packaging and appropriate labelling.

  • What sort of data is being transported and does it contain personal information? What happens if your Birkbeck laptop is lost or stolen? Consideration needs to be given to the ITS Policies

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Health & Safety Services, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX. Tel: 020 7631 6218, email: