School of Music and Fine Art

Inspired Teaching Cutting Edge Research


Health and Safety

The School of Music and Fine Art, and the University as a whole, take the welfare of students and staff very seriously. In support of this the University has a clear and rigorous policy concerning Health and Safety which is regularly reviewed and revised, and which involves both the routine assessment of health and safety risks in the working (teaching and learning) environment, and the prompt reporting of any accident or hazard.

However, health and safety issues are most definitely not simply the responsibility of committees and officers of the University. ‘Health and Safety’ affects us all, and we must all share in the responsibility to think about our safety and that of others. Every member of the University, including staff and students, has a legal duty of care for their own and others’ safety. Students are asked to be aware of their route to safety should the need to evacuate a building during a fire drill or an emergency situation arise,  paying attention to special procedures summarised in the red and white permanent notices prominently displayed in all University buildings. (School of Music and Fine Art teaching staff are automatically appointed Fire Marshalls in the event of a fire or fire drill.)

Other Health and Safety Notices should also be observed, particularly those giving information on how to work safely in environments that could otherwise pose hazards such as a photographic darkroom or computer room.  The safe use of specialist equipment, e.g. digital equipment, slide projectors, DVDs and VCRs and safe working practices in specific venues will be demonstrated by teachers or staff, and students will be given help in developing their skills in ‘Risk Assessment’.

All spaces and equipment used by the School of Music and Fine Art are subject to detailed risk assessment and safety inspections which are carried out on a regular basis. The School of Music and Fine Arts Health and Safety Committee meets regularly to discuss safety issues. Students are invited to voice concerns or make relevant suggestions at these meetings via a Student Safety Representative.

Students undertaking practice-based modules as part of their programme of studies will be tutored in safe working practices and will be required to assess the risks of each and every activity they undertake.
Staff and students with concerns about any aspect of safety should raise the matter as soon as possible with the School Safety Representatives. Ask for details at The Old Surgery Reception.

Do not put yourself or others in danger.  Accidents, unsafe practices or anything that could prove hazardous should be reported at once to a member of staff.

This notice should be read in consultation with the following documents for general and specific health and safety information:

In order to maintain the current high level of health and safety standards within the School, all students are required to behave responsibly and adhere to the guidelines and regulations laid down by the University as set out on the University Safety Office.


First Aid Provision

First Aid provision in the colleges is through School's Receptionists, who should be contacted in the first instance. In cases of serious accident or ill-health, staff and students should follow the procedure set out on the green and white notices permanently displayed in Colleges and dedicated School of Music and Fine Arts spaces. For other than trivial injuries or ill health, the assistance of a qualified First Aider should be sought. Currently School of Music and Fine Arts qualified ‘First Aiders’ are:

  • Georgia Wright

  • Moses Malekia

  • Catherin Hill

Accident, Ill-health and Incident Reporting

All accidents, incidents and near misses, whether resulting in injury or not, and issues of work-related ill-health must be reported to the person in charge of the work, reception or a technical member of staff. Incidents are entered into the University’s electronic system, iCASS, which will automatically inform the Head of School and School Safety Coordinator, who will investigate and recommend remedial actions as necessary. Accident reports are reviewed by the School H&S Committee and the University Director, Safety, Health and Environment Unit (SHEU) to detect trends, advise on remedial measures or initiate action.



Please be reminded that it is now illegal to smoke within buildings and enclosed spaces. The University will actively monitor to ensure that the law is upheld in this respect. In addition, the University has introduced a policy that prohibits smoking within 5 metres of buildings. There are some exceptions to this policy which are clearly signposted, if you wish to smoke, please check that you are in a smoking area prior to doing so.

Working away from Campus – Field work

Students intending to work away from campus or overseas (studying, attending conferences and scholarly meetings and/or undertaking research) must do so with the agreement of their Subject Director of Studies and complete a ‘Fieldwork Risk Assessment Form’ prior to departure. Completion of the form to assess any potential risks should be carried out with the help of your Director of Studies or Supervisor.  This form can be obtained from the Administrative Office. Completed forms should be returned to the School Safety Co-ordinator (see below).


Lone working advice to students

  • Ensure you are aware of the risks involved in your work and in working alone
  • Ensure you are authorised to be working alone
  • Ensure your lecturer, technician or supervisor is aware of the lone working
  • Ensure you have a line of communication to another ‘buddy’, in the event of an emergency
  • Inform Campus Watch where, and when you are working, if appropriate
  • Advise Campus Watch when you leave, if appropriate
  • Be vigilant and report intruders, or suspicious activity
  • Ensure you have informed your lecturer, technician or supervisor of any medical condition that could potentially increase your risk whilst working alone 


  • Undertake work with dangerous equipment or substances when alone
  • Undertake work outside of your risk assessment requirements
  • Undertake any activity for which you are not authorised
  • Admit unauthorised persons to the workplace
  • Put yourself in any foreseeable danger
  • Forget to make some contact with your outside ‘buddy’, especially if you are working for a long period, or change your plans

Be vigilant - be prudent - be aware - be safe
Report accidents, unsafe practices or hazardous working conditions at once to a member of staff, or directly to the School's Health & Safety Coordinator.


General risk assessment guideline

The format of the assessment is as follows:

  1. Identify the hazard
  2. Consider who is at risk
  3. Establish whether any controls are in place
  4. Estimate how big the the risk is

For the last item, two factors need to be considered; how severe is the risk, and what is the likelihood of it happening?

In order to quantify this, we can rate these factors as follows:

Risk severity



Likelihood of occurrence


Scratch or bruise



Almost impossible


Minor injury requiring treating



Small chance


Significant injury requiring hospital treatment



Significant chance


Severe injury



Strong possibility





Almost certain



If we then multiply these two scores for any given hazard, we can quantify the risk on a scale of 1 to 25. Any score of 9 or above requires us to take some sort of preventative action.

For example:
Consider the hazard of falling from a stage into the orchestra pit during the build-up of a set.
The consequences of such an accident, considering the distance of the fall, and what might be in the pit (music stands etc.), could be fatal. There is however a small chance of falling in, given that most people working there (crew etc.) know of the hazard. The risk score would then be 5 x 2 = 10. The preventative action here would be to erect temporary ropes and posts to alert those people not familiar with the stage, (visitors on the set for instance), to the hazard.

Risk Assessment Form (pdf)

School of Music and Fine Art - © University of Kent

The Old Surgery, The University of Kent, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent, ME4 4TZ, T: +44 (0) 1634888980

Last Updated: 28/11/2014