Guidance for Higher Education

Responsible Research

Responsible research: managing health and safety in research: This guide aims to help anyone who needs to ensure good health and safety performance in a research environment. It provides heads of department, principal investigators and researchers with:

  • examples of responsibilities and management approaches
  • advice on safety culture and risk assessment
  • case studies showing key issues that need to be considered

Click here to read the document.

Health and Safety in Fieldwork

Health and Safety in Fieldwork Guidance: This document provides a framework for establishing policies and procedures that enable staff, students and other participants in higher education institutions to undertake fieldwork safely. It provides institutions with a way to demonstrate that they are following good practice to manage fieldwork, thereby facilitating fieldwork in even the most remote and challenging of environments and circumstances.

It is aimed at Heads of Institutions and other senior managers responsible for setting policy, at Heads of Departments/Schools, fieldwork leaders and others who may be accountable for the health and safety of staff, students and other participants engaged in fieldwork. It also gives practical advice to other stakeholders, such as academic researchers; students; supervisors of students undertaking independent field research; advisers in health and safety; occupational health advisers and insurance officers.
It supersedes and draws upon previous USHA/UCEA guidance on Safety in Fieldwork (USHA 2005). It includes material from Health and Safety when Working Overseas (USHA 1998). There is separate UCEA/USHA/HEOPS guidance on Health and Safety for the Placement of Higher Education Students (UCEA 2009).

The revised guidance aligns good practice in the Higher Education sector with the British Standard, BS 8848: Specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom (‘BS 8848:2007+A1:2009’).
In this guidance, the following pages set out:

  • A definition of fieldwork, including offsite visits and travel
  • A framework for managing fieldwork safely
  • A summary of legal liabilities
  • Case studies outlining good practices
  • Guidance that is cross referenced to ‘BS 8848:2007+A1:2009’
  • A list of resources and references for implementing the guidance

Placement of HE students

Health and safety guidance for placement of Higher Education students: Student placements are an essential part of many degree programmes and an important part of other degrees, where they enable students to gain experience of work. Placements have very different structures depending on the discipline and the HEI. This guidance provides a generic framework for considering and managing health and safety issues relating to student placements. It is not intended to be exhaustive, but is aimed at helping institutions arrive at their own individual solutions, geared to local needs. Health and safety is only one aspect of the support and development of students on placement and thus it needs to be an integral part, rather than a stand-alone part, of the whole experience. This guidance describes what is required in approving placements, preparing students for placement and supporting the students in terms of their health and safety on placement both in the UK and overseas. The main difference between this guidance and the 1997 version that it replaces is that this encourages a risk-based approach.