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1. Introduction

Whilst essential staff have been on site since lockdown, and “scientific research in laboratories” was allowed to return to site in June, the government has now issued further easing of lockdown restrictions. Although the guidance remains that “people who can work from home continue to do so” those who need to be onsite to prepare and open basic services can do so from 6 July (Phase 2).  

2. Overarching Principles Phase 1 and 2 (this has now been superseded by the Phase 3 overarching principles)

  • Any work that can be done at home, should be done at home.

  • Shielding, extremely vulnerable and vulnerable staff/students should work at home wherever possible in line with government advice. If vulnerable individuals need to return to site, an individual risk assessment evaluating fitness to return should be completed and discussed with their Line Manager/Course Leads. Further advice may be obtained from Occupational Health and HR. It remains the Institution’s responsibility for the health and safety of all staff and students and this responsibility cannot be delegated to individual staff /student members to decide when/how/if they return to campus. Willingness to return to campus does not automatically mean they should. 

  • Individuals must self-isolate if they have even mild symptoms of Covid-19, or are a household contact of someone who has been symptomatic. Anyone with symptoms should obtain a test through the government Test and Trace system. Members of staff who work in education (teacher/ support staff), are entitled to priority testing. Tests can be booked online, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.

  • Staff and students should minimise use of public transport as far as possible; if it is necessary to use public transport, face coverings are mandatory and staff should try to arrange work so that travel can be at off-peak times

  • Staff and Students should go directly to and from their destination and not linger onsite.

  • Face coverings must be worn if entering the Hospital site and we recommend wearing face coverings whilst in the communal walkways and reception of the University.

  • Line Managers and Course Leads will facilitate staff and students to organise their work to enable social distancing but individuals must also take personal responsibility. Where it is not possible to organise work to maintain social distancing then careful consideration must be given as to whether or not this activity should proceed. If it must then additional precautions must be identified to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

  • Staff and students are advised to bring their own food and drink to work if required.

  • Staff and students must wash their hands with soap and water or hand gel frequently and whenever leaving the laboratory/placement.

Staff are expected to read the following documents

3. Support to deliver Phase 2

Building requirements

  • Jenner Wing will be accessible for lab work between 0800 and 1800 Monday-Friday, to enable colleagues to travel out of peak time and to arrange shifts if required.

  • Directional flow around the building will be introduced and signposted with staircases designated for up or down movement. Floor plans of Hunter and Jenner Wings showing social distancing measures

  • The use of lifts will be reserved for staff/students who cannot use stairs and for transporting good and materials.

  • Kitchens/Tea rooms will remain open but will be subject to social distancing rules and individual users will be responsible for cleaning after use.  Hand sanitiser and cleaning products will be made available.  Dishwashers will be switched off.

  • There will be some core central services that support the building (Goods In, Estates support for maintenance, waste collection etc) available during core hours, but some support services will remain remote (IT).

  • We would not expect out of hours or weekend working beyond the usual arrangement. The out of hours and lone working policy (PDF) must be adhered to at these times.

  • Security would continue as in a business as usual arrangement.

  • Cleaning services will include additional hygiene measures.

  • Office accommodation will be available and subject to social distancing measures. Desks should be allocated to one individual to reduce transmission risk (rather than a hot desk arrangement) and should follow social distancing guidelines for offices

3.1 Safety requirements

  • Indicative maximum occupation numbers for office/lab/teaching areas will be indicated.

  • Lina managers should complete a local area risk assessment and inspection before work can commence, and they must ensure that any local rules have been updated to consider social distancing and cleaning measures. These must be shared with staff. Use of local shared tea rooms should be assessed by Line Managers in their risk assessments.

  • In person face to face meetings should be avoided and remote working tools should be used wherever possible.  If meetings are absolutely necessary, numbers of individuals should be limited, they must abide by social distancing guidelines and ensure meeting rooms are cleaned before and after use.

  • In the event of a fire alarm all personnel must leave the building immediately and as quickly as possible by the nearest exit.  Once outside the building social distancing should be re- established. The fire procedure can be found here.

  • Safety colleagues will consider other aspects of using the building in a safe way, including shared spaces and staff/students will be updated where necessary via the University Covid-19 (Coronavirus) guidance and H&S webpages.

3.2 Line Manager and staff responsibilities

  • We will ask Line Managers to plan proposed working arrangements in line with principles above, and paying particular consideration not only to working safely, but keeping in mind and discussing with their staff, travel, health, caring commitments and other factors which may impact an individual’s ability to return to work at St George’s.

  • All staff/students must ensure that they read (eg local risk assessment, local rules) and abide by new and amended University Health and Safety documentation.

3.3 Other

  • We expect individual sharing space to work together to agree an optimum safe way of working within the shared space. If this cannot be resolved, the relevant Head of Institute and will determine the prioritisation of research.

  • Any concerns regarding safety or breach of social distancing rules should be reported to Line managers.  Alternatively, individuals can contact where their concerns will be treated in strict confidence or utilise the whistleblowing procedure.

  • Individuals who breach Health and Safety guidance and social distancing rules may be subject to disciplinary procedures which could result in suspension of activities or access to the site.


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