Lone & Out of Hours Work

What are Lone & Out of Hours Work in DCU?

The DCU "Lone and Out of Hours Working" Policy permits authorised persons to access their laboratory or office outside of normal working  hours. 

"Out of Hours" work is defined as follows:

  • Any laboratory/experimental work undertaken outside of 8am-6pm Monday - Friday.
  • Any other work undertaken outside of 8am -6pm Monday to Friday.
  • Any other work undertaken at weekends or Bank Holidays.

It is noted that evening and weekend lectures are scheduled on a regular basis and that these activities constitute normal low risk activities.  The policy is designed to address where staff members or postgraduate students are working alone out of hours or working in higher risk environments such as laboratories.

Who is entitled to be in DCU afterhours?

Authorised persons are permitted to be in DCU out of hours.

What is an Authorised Person?

An Authorised person is someone who is conducting low risk Category D work or if conducting medium to high risk Category C and B work, has completed the following steps:

  1. a risk assessment of their activities has been documented and approved
  2. Lone & Working Out of hours training completed
  3. "out of hours" Approval Form has been authorised (Appendix 2 of Policy)
  4. SafeZone app available
  5. name notified to Security 

How do I access training?

Training may be accessed by contacting the Health and Safety office, safety@dcu.ie or by completion of a local training programme such as SafeLab Out of hours module.

How do I "check in" for Out of Hours work?

For high and medium risk work, Categories B and C, an Authorised Person must "check in" using the SafeZone App. 

For low risk work, Category D, SafeZone "check in" is advised.

SafeZone is a simple-to-use application that is free to download from the Apple App store and Google Play. Further details on the app and how to use it are available from the Office of the Chief Operations Officer - Safezone

What is 'lock-up'?

Lock up is a period whereby there is no out of hours access for the safety and security of all on campus. During lock up exceptional access can only be granted with the written permission of the Head of School/Centre Director and notification in advance to Security  (Appendix 3 of policy).

What are lockup hours?

Lock up hours are from 6pm Saturday to 9am Sunday and from 6pm Sunday to 7am on Monday. On a Bank Holiday Monday, lock up hours are as for Sundays.

There will also be lock up hours over the Christmas and Easter periods and these will be notified in advance by Security.

How do I gain access during lock up?

Access during lock up is available in exceptional circumstances only. Written permission must be obtained from the Vice President for Research and notified to Security.

"Check in" on SafeZone is compulsory.

What are the rules governing computer laboratories?

As work in computer laboratories is considered low risk, Category D, they may be used by staff and students up to 6pm Monday - Friday. Work may continue Out of hours until 10 pm Monday to Friday and at weekends up to 6 pm during which time Safezone check in is advised.

Can I let others in 'out of hours'?

You must not let in any other persons into the building 'out of hours'. They must contact Security themselves to gain access.

How do visitors get authorised for after hours access?

Visiting staff or postgraduate students must complete the same process to become an authorised person. Please contact the Academic Supervisor or local Safety Officer in your School/Unit to complete.

If I encounter a problem after hours how do I get help?

Please contact Security by telephone number (01) 700 5999 or by using the SafeZone emergency call out alert.  If you are unable to reach a phone activate a Fire Alarm Break Glass Unit.

Appendix 1: Risk Assessment Form for Lone/Out of Hours Work

Appendix 2: Approval Form for Lone/Out of Hours Work

Appendix 3: Lock-Up* Exceptional Access Request