Scope

Any type of work or official university activity that takes place away from the university is covered by this policy.

This includes but is not restricted to:

  • Home working and working from home;

  • Travel for work;

  • All University business overseas;

  • Visits e.g. for conferences, external teaching or examining, research;

  • Student placements, internships, or Study Abroad programmes organised as part of University of Bath qualifications;

  • Field work and expeditions;

  • Sporting visits as representatives of the University.

Excluded from this policy:

  • Working at any site in the UK that is owned or to any extent controlled by the University. This includes Pall mall Office, The Hive and Bathampton Field Station

  • The daily commute between home and the regular place of work.

  • Students working at additional jobs outside the University, or doing routine coursework in their private residences, and are therefore outside the control of the university.

Relevant Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Equality Act 2010 (particularly in respect of reasonable adjustments)

Other regulations may apply as appropriate specific to the nature of the work.

Application of legislation related to working within the UK Health and Safety legislation applies wherever in the UK a person is working. A workplace exists wherever employees are doing work even when they are not on University premises.

Application of legislation related to working outside the UK The Health and Safety at Work Act does not extend to countries outside the UK. Work or study undertaken outside the UK will therefore be subject to the laws of that country. The way the University manages these activities will however remain subject to UK legislation. Many countries have workplace legislation similar to the Health and Safety at Work Act but this cannot be assumed to be the case.

Whether criminal charges would arise from incidents occurring outside the UK would be a matter for the authorities in that country.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated that any incident occurring overseas is outside UK jurisdiction and they will not investigate or take action in relation to the actual circumstances of the incident itself.

HSE can consider circumstances relating to activities carried out in Great Britain to support an overseas visit that may reveal systemic failings in the management of overseas visits. This could include general management arrangements, e.g. risk assessments for the activities, training and competence of staff, co-operation and co-ordination with other parties.

Definitions

Home working is defined and various modes of home working are distinguished in the HR page on Homeworking

Placement: This is ‘… a negotiated period of learning which normally takes place outside the University either in the workplace or at another institution and where the learning outcomes are an intended part of … the programme of study.’ (University of Bath QA6). The University has a specific policy dealing with Placement Health and Safety.

Study Abroad: This is ‘… learning achieved during an agreed period … at a Higher Education institution in a country outside the United Kingdom, and where the learning outcomes are an integral part of and contribute to the programme of study.’ (University of Bath QA37 – Student Exchange Arrangements).

Fieldwork is ‘… any work carried out by staff or students for the purposes of teaching, research, or other activities while representing the institution off-site.’ (Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA)). Fieldwork includes activities such as undertaking social science interviews and research in urban areas, attendance at conferences and visits to institutions, as well as activities more traditionally associated with the term, such as survey or collection work carried out in more remote areas, and teaching groups of students in locations away from the university. The University has a specific policy dealing with Fieldwork health and safety.

Policy Statement

The University of Bath is committed to the maintenance of a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and students of the University wherever they are working while on University business.

The University of Bath is committed to protecting so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety of all its students when they are on work placement or engaged in a study abroad programme.

These commitments extend to the way such work or study is managed outside the UK so far as this is under the control of the University.

All work taking place off university premises will be planned and organised so as to minimise the risks to the health and safety of staff and students and others who may be affected by these activities.

As far as is reasonably practicable, risks will be assessed before work starts and will, where reasonably practicable, be controlled to the same standard as would be required for work on campus.

Responsibilities

The Vice-Chancellor (VC) has overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management and identified roles.

The following people are identified as having responsibilities (in addition to any other responsibilities under other health and safety policy) for the management of risks from working away from the University in those areas, and for those relevant persons, that fall under their control:

Heads of Departments are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that relevant staff give due consideration to the relevant University Standards and guidance, sector guidance, and FCO travel advice when planning, evaluating, and risk assessing work that will take place away from the University;

  • Ensuring that risks are fully assessed, all control measures identified are proportionate to the level of risk, take into account any reasonable adjustments required to enable accessibility to all prospective participants, and have been implemented;

  • Ensuring that adequate resources are provided to ensure that risks from work that takes place away from the University are kept to a minimum;

  • Ensuring that arrangements are in place for all students to be fully briefed before and during all off-campus work in which they participate;

  • Ensuring compliance with the University’s “Procedure for responding to significant incidents overseas which may affect University of Bath students and staff” where necessary.

Line Managers / Employees with responsibility for supervising students are responsible for:

  • Carrying out suitable risk assessments for all off-site working and communicating the findings to relevant workers. This includes:

  • Giving due consideration to sector guidance during the planning and risk assessment of relevant work or study undertaken by their staff or students;

  • Following University guidance issued by the Office of the University Secretary dealing with International travel for staff and students on university business;

  • Consulting FCO travel advice when assessing any work, work placement or study outside the UK;

  • Ensuring that risk assessments take into account any reasonable adjustments required to allow relevant individuals to participate safely;

  • Consulting with and informing workers to ensure that suitable control measures are implemented.

  • Ensuring that all workers / participants are adequately informed, instructed, trained and appropriately supervised;

  • Reporting any incident or accident occurring while working away from the University to UHSE as soon as reasonably practicable.

Course leaders / Placements Officers / Student Mobility Team are responsible for:

  • Evaluating all health and safety arrangements for fieldwork in line with the requirements of the Fieldwork Standard;

  • Evaluating health and safety arrangements for all placements and study abroad proposals in line with the requirements of QA6, QA37, and the Placements and Study Abroad Standard;

  • Consulting with UHSE where necessary for guidance on health and safety aspects of a proposed student activity away from the University;

  • Ensuring so far as is reasonably practicable that risks have been suitably controlled and that participants and students are appropriately prepared for their planned activities;

  • Ensuring that, where a student is not under the direct supervision of university staff, there is a means of communication between the student and the university in case of difficulty;

  • Reporting any incident or accident occurring while working away from the University, to a student under their supervision, on placement, or on study abroad, to UHSE as soon as reasonably practicable;

  • Applying sanctions where relevant against students that do not follow instructions to the extent that their own or others’ health and safety is put at increased risk.

Monitoring

University Health and Safety Committee is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and reviewing the implementation of this policy. Review will be carried out within three years of this policy being adopted.

Further Information and Resources

Managing the safety, health and security of mobile workers: an occupational safety and health practitioner’s guide

(Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the International SOS Foundation).

British Standard, BS 8848: Specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions, and adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom (‘BS 8848:2007+A1:2009’) is available via the University’s subscription to the British Standards Institute.

Insurance information is at http://www.bath.ac.uk/insurance/travel.html

Procedure for responding to significant incidents overseas which may affect University of Bath students and staff

International travel for staff and students on university business