University Safety Policies

University Safety Policy (renewed) 2017

University Safety Policy (renewed) 2017.

A pdf copy of the updated policy, as signed by Professor Patrick G. O'Shea, President of University College Cork is contained in the following link.

University Safety Policy Renewed

An overview of how Statutory EU safety law and Common law (duty of care) obligations apply to the University and its management, staff and students is contained in the sections following below.

Smoking restrictions Policy

University Smoking Restrictions Policy

As and from the 29th March 2004, under public health legislation, smoking is prohibited in all University buildings and enclosed workplaces including University vehicles. This applies to all persons.

The limited exceptions as specified in Section 47 of the Public Health Tobacco Regulations (current edition) also operates.  Details are available from the Office of Tobacco Control and the Health & Safety Authority.

Note: This policy also covers e-vapour smoking/vaping.



Irish/EU Occupational H&S law (SHWW law), relates only to employed persons. This law applies to the work activities of UCC staff* (both f/t and p/t) at their place of work, both on Campus and off Campus. Occ. H&S duties arises for UCC and its executive management, w.r.t. staff research & teaching; in the upkeep of equipment, premises and grounds and in the use, by employees, of work equipment, plant and facilities.

Note*: U/G and P/G Students undergoing a course of study at UCC are not deemed to be employees of UCC, under SHWW law. [Reg 2(5) SHWW Act 2005) as far as their registered course of study and related supervisory experience activates are concerned. Separate common law duties apply to students and third parties. (See Common Law Context & UCC)

Irish Statutory Safety Law (Employment Law): Under the provisions of Irish SHWW law, the 'controlling minds' of the University, e.g. the UMT and each executive manager, who decide policy, control budgets/ resources, staff activities or otherwise control the delivery of services, at a Functional Area or at a School/Department level throughout the University, are responsible, in so far as is reasonably practicable (AFARP), for the occ. h&s of the employees under their control. (This includes compliance with the provision of all aspects of SHWW law that is relevant to the work activities and places of work under their control). Managers must make practical and financial provision for the relevant and appropriate training of p/t staff such as interns and student help within departmental budgets for the recruitment / engagement of p/t staff.

All employees (including managers), also have legal duties to co-operate with and generally assist their employer in complying with the requirements of SHWW law.

The obligations/duties under SHWW Law, (employment law) , whilst overlapping with the general obligations of common law (see below), apply only in the context of the work of employees, as conducted at their places of work.

Footnote: Breaches of statutory (SHWW) law can give rise to the prosecution of individual mangers/employees as well as the body corporate. (Assessment of risk and implementation of required controls/safety guidance and training is the best way to protect everyone).

UCC Permit to Work system (Update) - Feb. 2014

UCC Permit to work system (Update) - Feb. 2014

An Excel copy of the updated template for use by all Functional Areas\Colleges\Schools\Departments  is contained in the following link. This includes both the General permit to Work and subsidiary permits such as Hot Work, Confined Space Entry.  There are also B&E/ Facilities specific Working with High Voltage electricity and Fire Detector Masking Permits.  

UCC permit to work general e-template 2014

 PTW requirements is understood by most discerning organisations as a long standing key facilities management/H&S / and EL& PL & Fire & property insurance liability related control for the variety of risk that contractors involved in physical works can bring to any organisation, our buildings and people and also an appropriate control for high risk work activities involving our own staff or controlled by our staff.

The University permit to work system is a formal written procedure used to control (a) the activities of all contractors undertaking work of a physical nature (with fire \ safety risk potential) and (b) College \ School \ Department \ Centre \ Unit staff engaged in certain type of works i.e. work which is identified as hazardous (high risk) and where special precautions are necessary to control these hazards. It should be used for all, contractor activities and for University employees, who may be involved in hazardous high risk work situations (whether routine or non-routine or primarily of a non-routine nature).

To summarise the UCC required system is as follows

The PTW is a means of regulating their entry and presence in a pre-agreed fashion/area to execute an agreed tasks in an area which is legally controlled by UCC ( not legally transferred to the contractor). The movement of MEWPS and specified categories of  large vehicles and trailered vehicles on any / all UCC property/ UCC controlled sites is to be strictly controlled by a Permit to Work.


This responsibility rests with the management of the engaging UCC Functional Area/College/School/ Department, Centre or Unit.

This PTW should only be signed off when the contractor fills in sufficient detail on our permit form to identify to us the risks they are bringing to UCC and only signed off/ UCC approved when we are happy with the UCC relevant impacts of the when and how of the job and we buy in to the timing and method of access and impacts on our premises and operations and people.  Also how they satisfy insurance cover requirements plus our minimum risk control and H&S standards + will also meet SHWW law – contractors can have variable standard.


All routine and non-routine high risk work undertaken by College \ School \ Department \ Centre \ Units or by Buildings and Estates  direct staff/labour and /, shall be controlled by a permit to work issued and controlled by the relevant management ( duty holders for the work of their staff) following RA and application of appropriate risk controls to mitigate the risk and or reduced the exposed population.

PTW issued for hazardous/high risk works undertaken directly by UCC staff , (whether routine or non-routine work) is also a long standing H&S requirement of the UCC Dept. Safety Statement work manual and long standing liability loss control mechanism in industry - particularly process industries.

3. A general PTW IS RQUIRED FOR the movement of categories of large vehicles, MEWPS, trailered vehicles  and large construction vehicles and plant including associated deliveries.

When contractors are crossing any part of the campus that is not ring-fenced for their use, then they are on UCC premises and work permit scenario does apply.
As part of an agreement with the H.S.A relating to an undertaking for lifting a prohibition imposed by the HSA following a fatal accident involving a MEWP at UCC, The movement of MEWPS and specified categories of  large vehicles and trailered vehicles on any / all UCC property/ UCC controlled sites is to be strictly controlled by a Permit to Work in accordance with provisions identical to that contained in B&E SOP 18 for the Movement of Vehicles ( at UCC).

Activities taking place within UCC subsidiaries, e.g. in the Student Centre, the Mardyke Arena, or Campus Accommodation, are subsidiary responsibilities.  However, if subsidiaries are bringing equipment across any University grounds then they need to work closely with Buildings and Estates in relation to the issuing of work permits, etc. 

4. At UCC subsidiary permits are required for activities such as:

Hot Work, and Confined Space Entry.  There are also B&E/ Facilities specific Working with High Voltage electricity and Fire Detector Masking Permit.

Health & Safety Office

Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht

5 Carrigside, College Road, Cork