Occupational Health & Hygiene

Occupational Health Services

The Health & Safety Office provide sessional Occupational H&S preventative services, using experienced consultants to provide occupational health advice, assessments, risk assessment advice, audiograms, spirometry, allergy tests and blood tests. 

Please contact the Health & Safety Office about the services available.

Email: healthandsafety@ucc.ie

Telephone: +353 (0)21 490 2817

Work related vaccines

Should a UCC Staff member require a vaccine owing to work related duties then the following steps should be taken:

Head of relevant Department to directly contact Procurements selected medical service provider requesting vaccine and supplying the following information:

  • Staff member’s name/Department
  • Staff member’s staff number
  • Contact telephone number for staff member (for appointment arrangement purpose)
  • Signature of head of Department

Please note:

This is for UCC staff members only. (Students and Postgrads. – Dept. to contact Student Health Officer)

All costs to be borne by the relevant Department and will be invoiced for same by the Occupational Physician.

Student requirements (U/g and P/G) should be progressed via the Student Health Officer.

VaccineIndicationDuration of CoverEmployment Examples
Hepatitis A

Infected food or water. Possible direct or indirect contact with human effluent.

An injectable vaccine. 2 doses 6 months apart.

Cover 1 year

25years if boosted in the 1st year

Plumbers, overseas travelleres ( work related), scientific researchers
Hepatitis B

Risk of contact with human body fluids including First Aiders.

Course of 3 injections over 6 months with a blood test 2 months after the last dose to check immunity.

Usually lifelong Health care workers e.g Dental Hospital, Medical Doctors/ nurses, Grounds staff, SSO's, First aiders, Scientific researchers.

Risk of laceration or injury particularly if soil contaminated. Tetanus spores are widely present in the environment including soil and animal and human faeces, getting into open wounds including from animal bites.

Injectable Vaccine. A combined vaccine with Polio and Diptehria

Cover for 10 Years. Primary course usually given in childhood with boosters required at 10 year intervals for contuining risk contact

All staff performing manual duties where there is a risk of getting a break in the skin e.g grounds staff, animal handlers, field work staff. Also overseas travel (work related).
Polio Possible direct or indirect contact with human effluent.

Cover for 10 years

Injectable vaccine - (combined vaccine with Tetanus and Diptheria)


Please note: OHP advises that while vaccination is advisable for these vaccine presentable illness, in all cases take up by individuals is voluntary. Staff who decline when offered a vaccine, must sign a waiver form, at dept level following, being advised of the risks. There will be situations where some small % of the population may not develop immunisation after vaccination.


The UCC approach is to staff VDu workstation ergonomics is for staff to be encouraged to complete the workstation e-learning training and set up/adjust their VDSE work station correctly as they work through this. The course will take approx. 15 mins to complete.

To access the UCC e-learning package register and log in please use the quick access portal above that preceding this section.


For injuries/ ill health that arises outside of UCC and persons with pre-existing medical conditions. HR separately engages the Occupational Health Physician to deal with employee work accommodations. This would include assessments due to medical conditions or motor injuries or whiplash that arise outside of UCC.  (In any case staff would be encouraged to set up their workstation first in accordance with the e-training as above)

All UCC staff are generally provided with a good adjustable and supportive ergonomics vdu chair already. So as staff members should have one of these already and once their chair and desk is set up per the training programme.

Padraig Lynch Admin Office General Services has some higher back support options for VDU chairs but they are expensive. Local dept. budgets of the staff member requesting would have to pay for any upgrade over the standard issue. A letter from a physiotherapist would also be needed.

Pregnancy Job Risk Assessment

Under SHWW Pregnant Employees Regulations, a risk assessment/job assessment must be conducted at departmental level in relation to the impact of work on the person/unborn child and retained on Departmental Records. 

Upon confirmation of pregnancy, the staff member concerned must notify the HR Department UCC ( manadatory). The HR department will then issue the staff member with a copy of UCC's Pregnancy Job Risk Assessment Form. The staff member must complete same in conjunction with their supervisor / manager at department level and submit same to the Health and Safety Office.

The Health and Safety Office will submit the completed form to the University Occupational Health Physician who will advise the department management if any modification are required to the employees work activities during pregnancy or whilst nursing a new born child.

Note: Where so advised department management and the employee must adhere to same. If it is not feasible to implement any job modifications deemed necessary for operational reasons then special leave at the rate determined by HR/ the Department of Social Welfare may apply.

Travel Vaccines

The following table outlines some popular holiday destinations for which the WHO, CDC and ISTM recommend vaccines.  Remember, if you are travelling anywhere outside Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, vaccinations are recommended. A work travel risk assessment should also be completed in advance. see further Document 19.3.21 of Volume 3 of the Safety statement template at :  

Country Reccommended Vaccines Occasionally Reccommended Vaccines****

Hepatitis A, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Diphtheria BCG


Hepatitis A, Tetanus

Typhoid, Hepatitis B. Polio, Diphtheria BCG


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG,Malaria, Prophylaxis,Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis

Cuba Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Polio, Rabies


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG

Grenada Hepatitis A, Tetanus

Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Polio, Diphtheria BCG, Rabies

Indonesia (Bali)

Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, Yellow fever, Malaria Prophylaxis

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Rabies, Meningococcal vaccine


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Polio, Diphtheria BCG, Rabies, Malaria Prophylaxis


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Rabies


Polio, Tetanus

Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies


Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus

Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies


Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus\Diphtheria

Hepatitis B, Diphtheria BCG, Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis


**** Depends on length of visit, purpose of visit, regions being visited and planned activities.

Reference: US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website, Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health

VDU Eyesight Screening Test

STAFF VDU EYESIGHT SCREENING TEST is an entitlement for any staff member who use VDU for 1 hour or more continuously during their work. 

New staff (all categories of regular VDU users - administration, technical and academic) should be advised to undertake same upon commencement of employment.

Existing staff who are experiencing eyesight difficulties relating to VDU use at work can have the test upon application to their manager. The guidelines to the VDSE regulations there indicated an objective of providing repeat screening tests to staff on the following basis:

One screening test every 10 years in the 20/30 age group - unless where there is a VDU vision at work problem.
Biannual screening tests in the 40+ age group.

The purpose of a VDU test is to evaluate a number aspects of vision of relevance to VDU use only. (Mid focal length vision) and any associated eye coordination difficulties.  Any special appliances deemed necessary are related to minimising fatigue and maximising comfort. Staff should separately undertake the UCC e-VDSE training and ensure their workstation is set up accordance time learning outcomes therein.

VDU results may also need to be examined by the University Occupational Health Physician. Under law the costs of same and any VDU test or only a basic special corrective appliance for VDU use (single mid focal length) are at UCC's / employing departments’ expense

If the VDU screening test highlights that the employee's vision is perfectly adequate for VDU use at present (or whilst using pre-existing special corrective appliances already provided) but recommends that the employee should consider having their vision further examined due to other factors, then this would be a separate  employee action with their own Optician).

An Optometrist's VDU vision test may also highlight vdu use issue many fatigue or pre-existing conditions, may be resolved by normal corrective appliances (first time spectacle wearers or new prescriptions for existing wearers). Such appliances would not be at UCC's expense.

If special corrective appliances (single vision mid focal length lenses) are required solely for VDU use, then the employer - (UCC) via its department, is liable for the cost of a basic polycarbonate single vision lens and a basic durable frame - without cosmetic features such as anti-glare treatments or tints. This is providing any such appliance previously provided by UCC has proved no longer adequate for their purpose, during the screening test.

Staff who choose other frames/lenses or special treatments do so at their own cost and must arrange same directly with the Optometrist. In such circumstances the balance cost would reside with the employee direct. With the department reimbursing the basic cost (VDU lens and frame without tints)

Staff who already wear spectacles for reading or distance vision and who the optometrist deems requires special corrective appliances for VDU use have the option of:

(a) a pair of spectacles specifically for VDU use which they must interchange with their own normal spectacles as necessary as they alternate between VDU use and other non-VDU work i.e. reading, filing, reception work etc. (These spectacles should be kept at the VDU station at all times). Or

(b) Personally arranging through the optometrist to obtain spectacles incorporating bi-focal/vary focal length lenses. In such circumstances the cost of basic VDE lens and frame cost to be recouped via the department. The balance to be settled by the employee. All upon furnishing of an optometrists test report. In this way, the employee and the employer each contribute to a spectacle that fulfils the wearer's normal vision requirements and VDU vision correction requirements. (The wearer would however, be responsible for the cost of any repairs to these spectacles/frames).

Where the updating of a prescription for a standard normal corrective appliance will rectify an employee's VDU eyesight problems (i.e. where a person has a pre-existing eye condition and wears spectacles for reading), UCC/ the department is not liable for the costs involved.

Subject to the furnishing of the necessary receipts. UCC will only cover optician cost for normal VDU vision testing or normal VDU corrective appliances. (Basic lens and frame) - No cosmetic treatments or tints.

N.B. In all cases where UCC pays towards or for VDU Corrective Lenses (either incorporated with their own lenses or in special “stand alone” frames) they must be worn at all times by the staff member whilst engaged in VDU work for UCC.   Staff should also wear a similar appliance for home use VDU work.

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork