Frequently Asked Questions

What obligation does UCC have to students in relation to Health and Safety?

 A  Students undertaking a course of study at a University are not employees of the University {Regulation 2 (5) SHWW Act 2005 refers}. UCC however has common law obligations to students and third parties and must consider how the work of employees impact on all non-employees (including students, visitors and invited guests). This applies to u/g and p/g students equally.

Who deals with Radiation matters at UCC?

A Radiation matters at UCC are dealt with by the Radiation Protection Officer, Dr. Andy Ruth Click here:

Is Environmental legislation in the remit of the H & S Office?

Environmental legislation including registration and licensing of genetically modified organisms, does not fall within the remit of the University's Occupational Health and Safety Office.

Who deals with fire safety matters in UCC?

The Buildings Office UCC, deals with all fire safety matters, including fire extinguishers, fire evacuation, fire training, fire detection and emergency lighting. Mr. John V. O'Callaghan is engaged by Buildings & Estates as the University Fire Consultant. Please click the Buildings Office link

Where are the UCC fire assembly points?

 UCC fire assembly points are listed in the UCC Room Bookings web site. Please click this link for details:


'' I want to do a Work Related Travel Risk Assessment'' see 19.3.21 Work related travel RA v4 March 2015

"I want to do a Chemical Risk Assessment" 

Note the properties of the chemical and its form, consider all circumstances of use, the efface of existing exposure controls and who may be exposed in all circumstances including spills, maintenance and accidental release.

Start by obtaining an up to date Safety Data Sheet from the supplier and note information contained therein. Read this and have regard to Risk & Safety Phrases and warning symbols/ phrases. However also note that under the new Eu CLP Regulations, Risk phrases are now being replaced by Hazard statements, Pictograms and other Signal words ae also being changed for world harmony, but there is a transitional time frame (that will expire shortly). The H300 series is now designated for health hazards under CLP). For further information see

See the UCC Safety Statement Work Manual Model S   19.3.17 Chemical Risk Assessment Form, 19.3.20 Risk=Assessment-of-Materials-with-Irreversible-Health-Effects19.3.14 Fume Cupboard Checklist & Appendix XVII

(See old risk and safety phrases at EU-Risk-and-Safety-Phrases-for-Chemicals

EU-Risk-and-Safety-Phrases-for-Chemicals New EC CLP Classification and labelling of substances and mixtures (197kB) that are now coming into operation.

Appendix XX Selection Guide for respiratory Protective Equipment, Appendix XXI Chemical Storage Compatibility Chart Also see Model (S) Volume 2, 18.31 Chemicals and 18.37 Fume Cupboards

Check exposure limits as contained in the Code of Practice for the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations current edition

If in need of further information on hazard properties consider:

Reputable Information sources such as the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) subscription database called cheminfo. www.ccohs.caThis takes the form of a database where all the information (worldwide) is scientifically reviewed and a balanced view taken on it.  This is perhaps a "Gold Standard" of data sheets

United Nations Globally Harmonized System of classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) known commonly as the ‘Purple Book’. ‘’

The Table 3-1 EC List of harmonised classification and labelling of hazardous substances, from the European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for health and Consumer Protection web site

For information on classification of Carcinogens, Mutagens and Teratogens also see

hsa website

The International agency for Research on Cancer. The links below are for Category 1, 2a and 2b classified carcinogens respectively:

 "I want to do a Biological Risk Assessment"

See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S Vol 3 Biological-Risk-Assessment-Form 201818.35 Biological Safety Cabinets, 18.36 Biological & Biomedical Laboratories, 18.40 Syringes, Sharps, Surgical Blades etc., 18.42 Autoclaves-Pressure-vessels-Systems-and-PlantAutoclaves-Pressure-vessels-Systems-and-Plant

"I want to do an Office & a VDU Risk Assessment"

 See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S/H

Volume 3, 19.3.4 VDSE and Assessment Checklist, 19.3.1 General Workplace Safety Checklist also Appendix V VDU Issues & Requirements,

Volume 2, 18.1 Offices, 18.3 Visual Display Screen Equipment (VDSE), 18.2 Fire and other Emergencies (Offices and Non-Offices)

"I want to do a Manual Handling Risk Assessment"

See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S/H Volume 3,  19.3.3 Manual Handling Checklist Manual Handling Self-assessment Checklist Conclusion: Preliminary Manual Handling Self-Assessment Form also Model (S) Volume 2 , Section 18.4 Manual Handling

"I want to do a Pregnancy Job Risk Assessment"

The pregnant employee must firstly notify the Department of HR &OD of their status to activate their statutory pregnancy employment entitlements. HR & OD then email the employee an up to date pregnancy job risk assessment form, which the employee must complete in conjunction with their supervisor/manager. The form is then returned to the H&S Office for onward transmission to and assessment by the University's consultant occupational physician. The physician sends back the result of his overall assessment to the H&S Office, which may or may not require changes in work practice to be implemented. This is communicated to the employee and department management. No confidential medical information is divulged to the H&S Office or department management.

"I want to do a Work Equipment \ Machinery Risk Assessment"

See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S/H , 19.3.2 Work Equipment/Machinery Checklist , 19.9.0 Risk Calculator Monogram, 18.7 Machinery & Equipment (Offices and Non-Offices) and Appendix I Hani Rafaat Risk Assessment Nomogram &Appendix II Assessing and Recording Forms


Click here for the College Policy and Procedures website

"I'm an employee, what are my responsibilities?"

See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S/H 3.0 and the College Policy and Procedures

“I’m a Manager, Head of Department, Head of Functional Area what are my responsibilities?"

See the Safety Statement Work Manual Model S/H:  3.0 4.0 5.0 and the College Policy and Procedures

"Are there any guidelines on the hanging of Posters etc.?"

On Walls:  The surface spread of flame rating (for hanging purposes on a corridor) must be class O as defined in the Building Regulations - posters do not comply with this unless they are framed under glass.

On Walls going up stairs: The pictures should be fixed (not hung) on horizontal landings only not on the flights of the stairs. The pictures should have glass fronts to their frames

"Are there any guidelines on fitting out a Nursing Mother's \ First Aid Room?"

1. Reference to Appendix 7 ex Dec 2004 First Aid Report by Mr Donal Twomey, Elite Ambulance as issued to Depts.

2. The comfortable, adjustable chair for the nursing mother, should also be washable.

3. General Waste Bin and Yellow Biological Waste Bin to be provided.

4. Emergency Telephone in room for emergencies and contact list.

5. A First Aid Treatment Book - e.g. a hard back book which contains details of any first aid treatment given, by whom, to whom, what

Equipment etc. was used, transfer to hospital

6. A Footstool

7. A sign on the door indicating the type of room also sign with list of Dept. Occupational First Aiders and Extension and contact procedures for a first aid emergency. Room not to be used for other purposes.

8. A sign in the reception area of the building to indicate where the room is.

9. Secure refrigerated storage for nursing mothers expressed milk may also arise. Contact Mr Tim O'Riordan of the Projects Office who has in the past fitted out both First Aid Rooms and Nursing Mother Rooms.

See Department Safety Statement for list of items in First Aid Box. First Aid Supplies etc. can be bought from Elite Ambulance Service and Emergency Supplied Ltd tel: 021-4524711 or

"Is there a maximum temperature for an office?"

This is covered by Part III of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 2007.

There is no maximum temperature stated under the regulations but as a guideline a minimum comfortable working temperature for indoor sedentary workers is 17.5 degrees centigrade and upper level for comfort is 27 degrees centigrade (when undertaking light duties). In extremely hot weather conditions, measures such as for example, the provisions of fans, provision of cold water dispensers and regular water breaks for staff, the relaxation of formal dress codes, the introduction of flexible working patterns etc., can assist in maintaining comfortable working conditions.

In addition, each enclosed workplace must be adequately ventilated. In most cases the natural ventilation provided through windows and doors will be adequate. However in some cases forced ventilation may be required.

See the Guide to the 2007 General Application Regulations for details.

Windows, skylights and glass partitions in offices must be so arranged as to prevent the excessive build-up of temperature at workstations from excessive sunlight.

 Is there a requirement for Employers to provide air conditioning?

 There is no requirement on Employers to provide air conditioning or mechanical ventilation to provide ventilation however Section 2 of Schedule 2 of the General Applications Regulations states

(1) Steps should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient fresh air in enclosed places of work, having regard to the working methods used and the physical demands placed on the employees. In most cases this would be natural ventilation, it could include windows, doors, local fans etc.

(2) Where a forced ventilation system is used, it shall be maintained in working order. If an air conditioning system is installed then it must be adequately maintained. To look at it another way we cannot insist that a company install air conditioning but if they have installed it then we can insist that they maintain it so that it operates correctly

 Where should we position a Photocopier?

 In terms of H&S (see safety statement), large volume photocopiers must be located in a dedicated room with adequate local ventilation/extraction at source (this room is not to be a space habitually occupied by staff).

What is the minimum recommended space per person in an Office?

HSA guidelines to the SHWW General Applications Regulations suggest that a minimum of 4.65 metres per person be allowed. This figure should be the minimum amount of floor space allowed for every person employed in any room. This to take account of the role and function of the room and include the area occupied by each occupants office desk and chair, but excluding filing cabinets and other office furniture. Note: In all cases additional occasional chairs and storage should be minimised or eliminated and there should be effective daily housekeeping by the occupants (No retention of olds pc monitors, towers, boxes, display equipment, toner boxes, cases, bags or stationary on the floor space provided or underneath desks).

How many Supervisors to students are required on Fieldtrips?


1. Much depends on the disruptive nature of the fieldtrip, environment and risks which will have to be assessed in the usual way

2. 2people per 25 is a good general guide

3. 3 people per 25 if the activities are risky etc.

4. 1 Occupational First Aider per 25 people if fieldtrip is not particularly hazardous

2 Occupational First Aider per 25 people if fieldtrip is hazardous and with gender balance

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork