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Golden rules for health and safety

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Look after each other, health and safety is a team game

Health and safety is about people; it’s about practical steps to protect people from real harm and suffering and it’s about engendering a culture whereby, at Cardiff University, we look after each other.

Think before you start work – know the risks

Understanding what can harm you is half the battle. Your manager is required to undertake a risk assessment of your workplace to determine this and should be briefing you on the steps you should take to be safe. Circumstances can change so always think about potential risks before you start work.  Its important to remember that health and safety is about risk management not risk aversion; its about taking sensible precautions not bureaucratic back covering; and fundamentally its about saving lives not stopping people living. For more information on risk assessment go to:

Act safely – follow safe working procedures

Always follow the safety procedure or local rules in your work place. If you feel they are in appropriate, not working or absent tell your manager or you School/Directorate Safety Officer.

Keep your workplace clear and tidy

Good housekeeping is important; keeping workplaces clear and tidy can prevent many of the more common hazards such as slip, trips fall accidents, fires etc. Check floors regularly for trip hazards and clear up spillages immediately.

Wear correct safety clothing properly at all times

If safety clothing such as lab coat, eye protection, gloves, respirator etc has been designated for your work please wear it and ensure you understand how to use it correctly, it could save a nasty injury.

Report ALL accidents and near misses

Research has shown that, on average, for every major injury at work there are up to 200 non-injury accidents (near misses). This pattern is sometimes portrayed as an iceberg with the injuries as the visible tip of the iceberg and the near misses hidden under the surface.  Each of these near misses is a potential learning opportunity that could help the University prevent more serious accidents. Staff and students have a very important role in reporting both accidents and near misses and the University procedures and reporting forms can be found at :

Please remember that if you are ever involved in an accident or near miss you could prevent a more serious accident to a friend, colleague or anyone else by spending the few minutes it takes to report.

Only undertake work for which you are trained and competent

Always ensure you are competent and have the correct training before undertaking work. If you are in any doubt stop work and speak with your manager. Risk assessment should identify tasks for which training or instruction is required.

Use the correct equipment for the task

Never be tempted to use the wrong equipment for the job. Many accidents happen because people have not chosen the right equipment for the work to be done. Controlling the risk often means planning ahead and ensuring that suitable equipment or machinery is available. You should check the machinery is suitable for the work - think about how and where it will be used. Ensure that any required checks and maintenance have been carried out and that you are competent to use the equipment.

Stop any work that becomes unsafe

If you have any doubts on whether the work you are doing or your workplace is safe, stop work and inform your line manager. You have the legal right to stop work if you feel you are in serious and imminent danger. Also if you see any one else working unsafely you should report this to your line manager or local Safety Officer. Incidents can also be reported through the University accident reporting procedure.

Complacency kills – don’t cut corners

Please don’t be tempted to cut corners, one day your luck may run out and either you will be hurt or you may be responsible for injuring someone else. Please obey the law, follow University policy and procedures and be vigilant; stop unsafe acts or non compliant situations.