13. General office & common areas safety

Safety information regarding offices and shared areas within school premises.

All members of staff and students are expected to comply with the following rules:

  • Keep all emergency exits, stairs and walkways clear of any obstruction, ensuring all fire doors are kept closed.
  • Trailing leads or cables across gangways can create trip or electrical hazards. If cables cannot be sited without creating a hazard contact the H&S manager for advice.
  • No equipment may be used if the mains cable, plug or socket is damaged and any defects should be reported immediately to your Admin Office.
  • All items of portable electrical equipment must be regularly tested for electrical safety and documentation kept.
  • Equipment should be switched off when not in use for long periods or outside normal working hours.
  • Broken or worn flooring, and light failures should be reported immediately via building-issues@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • The storage of empty cardboard boxes should be kept to an absolute minimum. Do not leave loose papers lying around.
  • Smoking is not permitted on any University premises including the Forum's roof garden, roof terrace and balconies.
  • Filing cabinets should be loaded from the bottom up to maintain stability. Never leave more than one drawer out. Close drawers when not in use as the corners are sharp and unpleasant to walk into.
  • Do not overload shelves. Avoid storing heavy items on higher shelves as they may fall from it.
  • Never stand on chairs or desks when reaching for height. Always use a step stool or an appropriate stepladder. 
  • Ensure that you have completed the Workstation self-assessment tutorial and form on the Cardinus website
  • Do  not carry loads such that the weight may be dangerous or vision obscured.
  • If you have a disabled visitor please remember that you should ensure that suitable arrangements have been made to facilitate their safe evacuation in an emergency.
  • If hazardous substances e.g. solvents or solvent-based glues are used within the office a COSHH risk assessment must be carried out.
  • Bicycles(and uni-cycles) are not permitted in labs or offices in Informatics' buildings. Bicycle parking facilities are available at the Potterrow cycle store; round the  Informatics Forum and at Appleton Tower  next to the exit to the car park.
  • Excepting disability vehicles, any other wheeled transport (scooters, etc,)  if brought into the buildings must be carried (and never rolled/ridden) and stowed safely.
  • Workshops and research laboratories have their own specific safety rules which must be observed.

Pantries and coffee points

It is important that all users clean up after themselves and comply with these simple rules:

  • Do not leave dirty dishes, cutlery and mugs lying around.  Please wash up and put dishes etc away.  Loading and emptying dishwashers is not the responsibility of the cleaning team or Admin staff and anyone making use of them should also be willing to empty once the cycle is complete.
  • Do not leave ovens, microwave ovens and fridges dirty.
  • Do clean all spills.


Reviewed: 3/11/22 dch