Occupational Health and Safety for Students

The University of Sydney and the staff and students of the School of Civil Engineering have a legal requirement to promote safe working conditions for staff and students, and to manage risks where they exist. Accordingly, students must play their part in ensuring safe working conditions while at University, and they should recognise that this contributes to OH&S training for their professional careers.

General OH&S Requirements for Students

When attending lectures and using University facilities, students must act responsibly and must comply with general OH&S requirements including requirements to:

  • comply with the instructions of Building and Floor wardens
  • leave buildings when a fire alarm sounds
  • not leave bags unattended
  • keep emergency exists clear

OH&S for Laboratory Sessions

Civil Engineering students will be involved in supervised laboratory sessions in subjects such as soils, fluids and structures, and students may also be required to carry out some laboratory work without direct supervision. However, access to the laboratories is restricted for safety reasons, and students may not enter a laboratory unless:

  • they are under the direct supervision of a responsible academic or tutor, or
  • they have special authorisation and are registered laboratory users, and have done the relevant safety induction.

For unsupervised work in the laboratory that is part of normal class work, students must obtain authorisation and registration as laboratory users from the relevant Unit of Study coordinator. For any other laboratory work involving students, the relevant student supervisor must submit a Safety Permit Form to the School Safety Officer (for approval by the School Safety Committee).

When in a laboratory, the following general safety rules must be followed at all times:

  • Students must wear shoes that fully cover their feet (bare feet, thongs or open-toed sandals are unacceptable). Students with inappropriate footwear will not be permitted in laboratories.
  • Students must wear appropriate clothing to avoid safety hazards.
  • Students must conduct themselves in an appropriate and responsible manner to ensure their own safety and the safety of others (e.g., no running or pushing).
  • Students must comply with instructions of any staff and any safety notices.
  • Students must remain within designated areas.
  • Students must not touch any equipment unless instructed to do so by a responsible academic or tutor.

When students are carrying out unsupervised work in the laboratory, they must also comply with any additional terms and conditions for the authorisation of that work. Minimum requirements include appropriate training based on safe operating procedures for the prescribed work, and students must comply with those safe operating procedures at all times.

  • For detailed laboratory work involving students, such as undergraduate thesis/project, the relevant student supervisor must submit a Safety Permit Form to the School Safety Officer (for approval by the School Safety Committee).

Laboratory work during summer break
The school safety committee recommended no laboratory work to be carried out in Civil engineering labs during the summer holidays, because no first aid officers, fire wardens, or department safety officer will be available. Any issues related to this need to be directed to the Head of School.

Office work during summer break
Access to offices will be allowed only between 8am and 8pm, following arrangements already in place over the last 2 summer breaks.

School and laboratory safety inductions
All staff and students who have not completed and handed in all the school and laboratory safety inductions will have their swipe card access to the school deactivated.