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Safeguarding Work Away


The information in this section can be used to help you complete the hazard table in your risk assessment. For any hazards that you have identified as having a possibility of occurring during the course of your study or work away from Cambridge you will need to include a full description of what the hazard is and how and when it may cause danger to you or others involved in your work. When completing a risk assessment to work away:

  • Use the hazard section to list any hazards that are a potential source of harm to you;
  • Use the hazard description (and personal vulnerabilities) to describe how hazards could cause harm to you and how your work activities or personal factors could increase or decrease the likelihood of occurrence and;
  • Use the control measures section to list precautions that you will take to reduce the likelihood of a hazard causing you harm.

The specific hazards in the toolbar on the left can be used to help guide you further. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list and for more unique activity based hazards you will need to seek further guidance from your supervisor or department about what to prepare for.

You will note that a considerable number of the hazard descriptions and control measures have been based on severe threats and so some control measures may seem extreme. Not every situation will require such strict precautions to be in place however it is you who is expected to assess the level of threat and plan appropriate, specific control measures. Think about what is ‘reasonably foreseeable’ based on usual and non-routine working conditions (such as an emergency breakdown of equipment). These considerations will help you choose more effective measures to control the risks. You do NOT have to think of every rare eventuality or effect that could occur however you are expected to be honest in your assessment rather than including only what you want your department to know.


Hazard Hazard Description and Personal Vulnerabilities

Control Measures (actions to reduce risk level)

Heatstroke/sunburn/sunstroke High likelihood of heatstroke/sunburn/sunstroke occurring due to majority of time spent working will be outside in an exposed area. Climate is hot and dry and I have previously suffered from the effects of sunstroke while working outdoors. I have already discussed with the trip organiser and have been assured that work outdoors will not take place during the middle of the day. When work outdoors is unavoidable I will wear cool clothing, a high factor sun block and a hat. I will take regular breaks and drink plenty of water; from previous experience I am aware of the signs of sunstroke and will monitor these.  

In addition to following the advice within these pages you should also ensure that you follow any specific activity related guidance issued by your department e.g. guidance on working with hazardous substances.

The below video focuses on: 

  • Hazard recognition – what could go wrong, what you will do if it does and whether it is still worth it;
  • Anticipating change – both positive and negative and;
  • Understanding personal limitations.

The talk provides practical guidance on risk assessment, in particular personal approach and attitude towards risk. The guidance is useful in rethinking risk assessment and how it can be used as an enabling tool rather than a prohibitive tick box exercise.

See the also the Useful links section for other websites offering travel guidance.