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Health and Safety Training

There are mandatory requirements for safety training.** The bare minimum is:
  • Training on first coming to work at the Cavendish
  • Training that is adequate in relation to the kind of work that a person does here
  • Training that is necessitated by a change in their job or role
A number of University central safety courses are mandatory for graduate students and others - please see their safety training pages (link below) for details. Such courses include graduate safety induction, chemical safety training, working with radioactive substances, and laser safety training. If no central course is available at the time you join the University, please contact the Safety Officer for details of relevant departmental courses.

Health and safety briefings at the Cavendish

Departmental HS Induction Briefing**
Mandatory Course for all

This briefing now starts with a short HR induction and welcome to the department. It is mandatory for all new or temporary staff, all new students, and all visitors who are staying for more than one week or visiting regularly. There are additional local inductions for the Physics of Medicine and the Maxwell buildings.

Part I of the briefing takes 1 hour and 15 minutes - this is for everyone, and covers the HR welcome to the Cavendish, emergencies and HS responsibilities.

Part II takes about 1 hour - it follows 10 minutes after the end of Part I and covers risk assessment for people who manage others, manage events or will be carrying out experimental work.

See handout to the right.

The sessions start promptly and attendees are expected to be there just before the stated start time.

PLEASE bring a pen as there will be a quiz after each part of the session. If you have handwriting difficulties, please let Saba know in advance.


Forthcoming dates are below - please check this page before attending as changes are sometimes necessary:

All at 09:55 a.m. in the Bragg Committee Room (room 213 on first floor of Bragg Building) unless shown otherwise

If there are problems using the booking forms, please contact your Hub Admin team.


  • Tuesday 26 June - Book a place HERE
  • Thursday 12 July - Book a place HERE

 NEW graduate students starting in October, will attend:

  • University Safety Office sessions at Mill Lane (to which they are personally invited) AND
  • Graduate Safety Briefings in October organized in the Department by the Graduate Office.

Students do not need to attend the general departmental HS sessions, UNLESS they miss the Graduate Safety Briefings - contact the Graduate Office.

Look at the handout
Chemical Safety

This is a mandatory University Safety Office briefing, that you must attend if you work with chemicals. See Safety Office page for details:

Laser Safety

It is mandatory for you to attend a laser safety course if you will be using lasers. You can attend the Safety Office course ( or attend the excellent in-house session run by the Department's Laser Safety Officer, Richard Gymer.  

All the training below is in Kapitza Seminar Room K16:


Please contact Richard Gymer ( to book a place on these courses:

  • Friday 6 July 0930 to 1230
  • Tuesday 14 August 1400 to 1600
  • Thursday 13 September 0930 to 1230


If you need a course earlier, the equivalent University Safety Office course is next on 25th June and is bookable on this page.



A briefing for the nominated persons who have the responsibility for checking that home-made or modified electrical equipment meets the basic requirements. Available on request

Look at the handout
Ionizing radiation/ X-ray Users' Course

Anyone joining or visiting the Cavendish (including the Maxwell Centre) who wishes to use one of the X-ray generators in the department, will need to become an Authorized User. This involves:

a)    Attending a 1 hr 15 min briefing by the Radiation Protection Supervisors (Bart Hommels or Saba Alai) 


b)    Receiving hands-on training from the person responsible for the specific X-ray generator

You can attend one of the University Safety Office sessions (see: and search using "Ionising Radiation"). If you have already attended one at the University or at another reputable institution, please send us the details for exemption from (a) above.

Alternatively, you can attend a departmental X-ray Users' Briefing, booked by application to Saba Alai.

The next X-ray users briefing for users at Physics will be held on:

[no sessions currently planned]

Look at the handout
Manual handling training

A briefing for those whose job entails lifting, moving and carrying. Usually on request. The session covers:

  • Manual handling injuries - causes and effects
  • Basic human anatomy – how injuries are caused
  • Legal requirements and how to do a dynamic (on-the-spot) risk assessment
  • Principles of safe manual handling
  • Applying principles to real work situations - practice by staff

Please tell Saba if you are interested in a training session (

Look at the handout
Asbestos awareness

A one-hour presentation suitable for all members of the Department. Covering the properties of asbestos, where it is found in the department, and what you should do if you accidentally damage it.

Look at the handout
Fire Safety Awareness

This course is run by the specialist University fire safety trainers, includes extinguisher use, and lasts two hours. It is aimed at all members of the department other than undergraduates. Booking is through the University Safety Office. Courses can be set up at the Cavendish on application to the Departmental Safety Officer.

Fire Wardens

This will usually be run by the specialist fire safety trainer and lasts three hours, to include practice in use of extinguishers.   

I will also run a one-hour refresher session for fire wardens periodically and instruct new ones. Available on request.

Look at the handout

**Note: due to the explicit statutory requirement for this training the Department reserves the right to withdraw swipe card privileges if new personnel do not attend within two months of joining.

University Courses

Click here for a link to the Safety Office list of courses.

If you have any requirements for a bespoke course, please contact the Departmental Safety Officer.


This page was last updated 13/04/18