Safety Statements

Covid-19 & Occupational H&S advisory note (Sept 2020)

8 # HSA Covid-19 checklists produced in support to the Government phased back to work protocol of May 9th 2020 have been added to Section 19 in all models (see links to sections at the bottom of this page).

An updated illustrated VDSE RA form has been separately added at section 19.3.4 to cater for RA of both office and home VDSE workstations, and an updated Work Related Travel RA has also been added at section 19.3.21.

Several sections of Volume 1 have been updated in relation to Covid-19, specifically sections relating to First Aid Health & Welfare (9.0), Safety Auditing relating to Occupational Health & Hygiene (11.0), Persons with Special Needs (13.0) and Visiting Members of the Public/Contractors/Shared Workplaces (14.0). 

Covid-19 is a serious community public health pandemic biological virus that impacts persons health (this applies in any setting currently).

Covid-19 is not an occupational work hazard risk for the majority of employees at UCC, save in situations where a person may be working with the live virus as a known biological agent research risk, or in a clinical setting, when working with known or suspected Covid-19 infected persons. 

The safety of any person is not impacted by the Covid-19 virus per se (unless measures deployed in response to managing social distancing, access controls or lone working should impact on existing safety precautions, safe egress in an emergency or emergency response.)

Each Head of Unit must update their Safety Statements to include for their area's Covid-19 operational plan and Covid-19 Risk assessment (see UCC /FA protocols for same) and also review and update their current Occupational H&S Risks Assessments to account for changed circumstances, where necessary/as appropriate and in the context of the: 

  • Covid-19 social distancing requirements and 
  • impact on the work environment, including limited or reduced occupancy or 
  • any working alone now arising in high risk activities or where team work is now being discontinued – where it may have been a specified OH&S control measure e.g. manual handling team lifting
  • impact on health due to shared use of personal equipment such as air hoods, gloves, coveralls, aprons or boots
  • impact due to forced air movement systems, in particular those that recirculate air toward persons and not away or which are designed to protect a product from contamination e.g. air curtains at entrances to buildings or to high sterile environments e.g. clean rooms
  • impact on occupational health or safety arising from measures taken in response to Covid-19 including from increased use of PPE and/or face coverings or face masks
  • ability to deal with an  incident/emergency, including absence of occupational first aid responders or fire marshals or chemical spill responders
  • Impact on premises and local legionella controls, with hot and cold water systems or dead legs including disinfectant  and flushing regimes with stagnant stored water
  • Working remotely with inappropriate or compromised VDSE workstations or equipment or in conditions unsuitable for the conducting of work on a medium or long term basis.

Changes in occupational first aid practices – e.g. avoidance of contact with aerosols in CPR etc. Updated advise from l HSE for OFAs is available here. This has been brought to the attention of current OFAs as of May 2020 (2 year current OFAs refreshed and new OFAs).

Footnote I: Covid-19 virus work resumption planning and operational measures specifically deployed by the University/FA/School, Department Management or PIs in response to managing social distancing or access controls or lone working arising should not result in an increase in any OH&S risk or a  lessening in collective or individual risk controls leading to an negative impact on existing safety precautions, safe egress in an emergency or emergency response. Shared use PPE must also be avoided.

Footnote II: The UCC Risk Assessment SOP and Risk Assessment topic and activity forms generally apply to wherever work is undertaken. No special Risk Assessment forms are needed for remote working. Such places of work should be assessed using the standard Risk Assessment forms provided commencing with the Basic Hazard Spotting Exercise (19.10), the General Workplace Safety Checklist (19.3.1) and the VDSE Risk Assessment 2020 (19.3.4) in particular.

 - Health & Safety Office, Sept 2020

Revised Safety Statement Templates (2020)

Update for UCC users:

Current Template Revisions are as of 2014 and 2020 (Latest May 2020)

Volume 1 of the Safety Statement Work manual (S and H models) were revised/updated in February 2014 (some 15 of 17 sections therein were revised. The University Safety Policy Section 3.0 was previously revised in 2017). 

Volume 2 was revised to include a new general section on Covid-19 and impacts on occupational health and safety. (May 2020.)

Volume 3 (S model) has some revised sections as of February 2014 and May 2020. Volume 3 in both the H/ H-A and S models have a new work related travel RA as of January 2015 (updated Feb 2015) and a revised VDSE RA (May 2020). THE H.S.A. Covid-19 Checklists (7 # checklists were added in May 2020). The Volume 3 model changes relate to RA for Chemical and Biological Agents and materials with IR-Reversible health effects and Work Related travel RA. (With particular focus on overseas travel, impact on people with medical conditions and advance authorisation)

In cases of revision, the year of revision is now included in the Word document title name (e.g. Doc XYX Year)

Note: Further upgrading of Volume 2 and 3 content is subject to resources and users should keep this section under review.

 - Health and Safety Office May 2020

Dept. Safety Statement Template - 3 models

There are three (3) template model types available: Humanities (H), Admin Offices only (H-A) or Applied Scientific and Service Depts. (S) -depending on the scale and type of School/departmental activities.

‌Model (S) is the most comprehensive in scope. Each model contains individual downloadable documents which school and department management must efficiently adapt and utilise to populate and keep their local safety statements and risk assessments up to date. 

The web preface to the S, H and H-A models contains a statement that clarifies that ‘Schools Departments must alter /reset the template dates and revision numbers to reflect their own document generation and revision history.’’ This is also reflected in the relevant word document dealing with revisions etc.


The content of Model (H), which is necessarily more limited in scope, is contained as standard content within Model (S).‌ Model (H-A) added in December 2015 is a subset of H and is focused toward ADMIN ONLY OFFICES 

Office Administration only departments may only need to use 70% of the H model. (Hence the reduced content H-A Model) -  In circumstances where they have firstly ascertained that their staff do not undertake work activities such as: 

Organising of events or conferences either on or off Campus; organising field work or walking tours; supervision of students; student placements; engagement of contractors to maintain equipment; use of vehicles for work, organising deliveries by large vehicles, use of noise generating equipment etc.

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork