Human Resources

Personal Safety

There may be occasions when we find ourselves in a situation which we find uncomfortable or difficult such as:

  • Working alone in a remote or isolated area

  • Working alone in the office or lab out of normal working hours

  • Being approached and asked questions about your work which you find suspicious or threatening

The way we respond to these situations can have a big impact on our own personal safety.  Staying calm and knowing what to do in such a situation can help ensure that you remain safe.  Information contained in the attached guidance provides practical support which you can use in a range of lone working situations.  Other tools and techniques are available from the University Health, Safety & Enviornment Service upon request.   


According to key Health & Safety legislation all employers must provide a safe place and safe systems of work.  They must also provide adequate information and training so that they are aware of the risks and understand the steps taken by the organisation to reduce them. 

All employees have a responsibility to attend training as and when required, adhere to University policy and to report any incident or near miss as soon as possible after the event.  

Violence at Work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work-related violence as:

  • Any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work

This can include verbal abuse or threats as well as physical attacks.  People have different attitudes to abuse with some feeling more threatened than others.  Abuse is unacceptable if you feel threatened by it.