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Health & Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Health & Safety Management in DCU

Where can I find out about health and safety in DCU?

The DCU Framework Safety Statement provides an overview of health and safety in DCU and provides information on the management of common hazards throughout the University. In addition, each School, Unit and Campus Company maintains their own `local' Safety Statement which addresses their particular areas of activity.

Who is responsible for safety in DCU?

Overall responsibility for health and safety on campus lies with DCU Governing Authority and the DCU President. The DCU Framework Safety Statement indicates that responsibility for health and safety is delegated through all levels of management and that all campus users are responsible to some extent for health and safety on campus.

How can I find out about my responsibilities?

Consult Section 3 of the DCU Framework Safety Statement

Who should I contact about specific health & safety concerns in DCU?

If your concern is related to a particular School or Unit, you should raise the issue initially with the Head of School / Unit. If the issue relates to the condition/fabric of a building, you should contact the Estates Office.
You can also raise issues through the Safety Consultation Group or the University Safety Representative - see Section 3.8 of the DCU Framework Safety Statement, or directly with the Health and Safety Office

Injuries and Incidents

How can I get first aid assistance?

Trained First Aiders are available during office hours in all buildings on campus. The entrance hall / foyer of each building has a listing of First Aiders and their phone numbers. After 5pm the DCU Security Team can provide assistance - dial (01) 700 5999

How do I report an injury/incident or near miss?

All injuries/incidents must be reported to a DCU staff member. The following general guide applies:

  1. If you are a student, you should report to your Head of School
  2. If you are a staff member you should report to your supervisor
  3. If you are a visitor to campus you should report to your DCU host or to a staff member

What happens after I've reported an injury/incident or near miss?

If first aid assistance etc. is required, this can be accessed as above. The staff member to whom you report the incident/injury will require your assistance to complete the online DCU Injury/Incident or Near Miss Report Form 

Where can I get a DCU Injury/Incident Report Form?

These yellow, A3 size forms are available from First Aiders and in all School & Unit Offices. Further copies can be obtained from the Health & Safety Office. All completed forms are returned to the H&S Office for review and follow up as neccessary.

Will DCU refund out of pocket expenses I incur as a result of an occupational injury?

In certain circumstances the Health and Safety Office can authorise repayment of receipted expenses. Consult the DCU Injury/Illness Policies and Procedures document for further details.

Where can I get first aid supplies?

If you are a DCU Occupational First Aider, contact the Health & Safety Office

Are there guidelines on what should be in a first aid box?

The Health & Safety Authority have published guidelines on the content of first aid boxes OR Contents of First Aid Bags/Boxes

Emergency Procedures

What should I do when fire alarm sounds?

If you are not a trained Fire Warden you should leave the building immediately using the nearest fire exit.

  1. Evacuate the building immediately via the NEAREST AVAILABLE FIRE EXIT
  2. Comply with all directions given by Fire Wardens
  3. Where possible assist less able bodied persons / visitors to evacuate to safety
  4. Proceed to the Fire Assembly Point for the building
  5. Remain outside the building until the all clear is given

What should I do if I start a fire or notice a fire?

  1. Activate the nearest Fire Alarm Break Glass Unit IMMEDIATELY
  2. Extinguish the fire if it is safe to do so (No more than 1 extinguisher to be operated - if fire has not been extinguished evacuate immediately)
  3. Call Security Emergency No. (01) 700 5999 from nearest safe area
  4. Provide Details to Security of exact location and extent of fire

How can I become a Fire Warden or First Aider?

If you are a staff member you should indicate your interest to your supervisor and to the Health and Safety Office.

I've lost my fire warden jacket where can I get a new one?

Contact the Health & Safety Office

What emergency evacuation procedures are in place during exams?

Contact DCU Registry for details


How do I carry out a risk assessment?

Generic guidance on Risk Assessment is contained in the DCU Framework Safety Statement and Local Safety Statement Template. Contact School / Unit Head or the Health & Safety Office for guidance on specialised risk assessment.

I'm pregnant - are there any health and safety issues I should know about?

Depending on where you work, office, laboratory etc. there may be specific hazards that may pose a risk to the unborn. You should complete the web based Prelminary Pregnancy Risk Assessment for Pregnant Employees. The Health and Safety Office will then contact you if required. Mothers Rest Room Policy

I have read that maintaining an incorrect posture while working at a computer screen may cause injury - how can I avoid problems?

Consult the web based Office Ergonomics Self Assessment & review the advice provided there. Computer Workstation Self-Audit Checklist  

Contact the Health & Safety Office to request a 1:1 ergonomic risk assessment if you encounter problems.


What health & safety training courses are available?

The Health & Safety Office provides the following training courses throughout the year;

  • Health and Safety Induction of all new employees and students including information on fire and emergency procedures.
  • Manual Handling Training
  • Fire Warden Training
  • First Aid Training
  • Office Ergonomics Training
  • Management Training in Health and Safety
  • Out of Hours Policy Induction Training
  • Emergency Response Plan Training
  • Risk Assessment & Control Training

See the Health & Safety Training page for more details.

Individual Schools/Units also run training courses specific to their risks.

How do I book a place on a H&S Office training course?
Contact the Health and Safety Office to register interest in a specific course. Follow the booking instructions when courses are advertised via e-mail or on the web.

What if our school would like a course not currently offered by the Health & Safety Office

Contact the H&S Office for specific requirements.

Out of Hours

How can I gain access to buildings out of hours

If you are a Postgraduate Student or a Staff Member, you should consult the out of hours page Undergraduate students are not permitted unsupervised access to buildings out of hours

Manual Handling

What are the present weight limits for Manual Handling?

There is no longer a prescribed maximum weigh for lifting for either men or women.

The weight of the load needs to be considered in relation to a number of other risk factors such as the:

  1. actions and movements
  2. working posture and position when lifting
  3. duration and frequency of manual handling
  4. location of loads and the distances moved
  5. characteristics of the load

Young workers under the age of 18 years should not be required to lift, lower or carry more than 16 kg without mechanical or other assistance and/or particular training for the task.