Health & Safety in the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology

This website includes information on those issues of particular importance for researchers and students working in all parts of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology. The Department is organized into the following: the divisions of Archaeology (including the Cambridge Archaeological Unit), Biological Anthropology, and Social Anthropology, the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Haddon Library. Its accommodation is largely concentrated in Downing Street, Pembroke Street, Fitzwilliam Street and Storey's Way. More comprehensive safety information may be found in the University of Cambridge Safety website, which contains the General Safety Policy Statement of the University together with other safety information:

The Department Safety Policy can be found here, including a list of people with Health & Safety responsibilities within the Department.

The University safety policy is here

The Department Safety Manual can be found here.

As the Department is split over a number of sites, there are site-specific Lone Working Policies and Access Working Rules for each building. Please contact the local Department Safety Officer or Administrator for guidance and information.

Fieldwork Health & Safety
A risk assessment should be completed for each period of offsite working. Please follow the information about Risk Assessment procedures to assess what are all the necessary steps you must take.

The University provides travel insurance for employees and registered post-graduate students of the University of Cambridge and its subsidiary companies whilst travelling abroad on University of Cambridge business. Cover is also provided for graduate students registered with the University of Cambridge and for undergraduates of the University of Cambridge and official volunteer workers travelling on supervised departmental fieldtrips outside the UK. Currently no charge is made for this cover, the costs being met by the University's insurance budget. However and most importantly, employees, registered post-graduate students and departments (in the case of fieldtrips) are required to apply for cover using the appropriate application process. The various application processes are listed here:

University travel insurance is conditional on the satisfactory completion and submission of a risk assessment.

Guidelines on sample importation
All samples collected on fieldwork must be imported following University, national and international guidelines. Please ensure you take the necessary steps to ensure that samples are correctly imported, with the necessary licences and documentation in place, bearing in mind that different documentation is required for:
• Human samples
• Animal samples
• Plant, soil and sediment samples

All workers planning to import any material from abroad should discuss their proposed project with the appropriate lab technician at the planning stage of any project, in order to ensure relevant Licences and documentation are in place before the importation. Please see the relevant sections of Department Safety Manual concerned with plants, soils, animal tissues. Information on DEFRA licences for the import of animal products can be found at:

Pressure Systems Guidelines
Quick Guide to Management and Compliance of Pressure systems [PDF]

Shipping with Dry Ice and Biological Samples [PDF]

Laboratory Safety
All laboratory work must be carried out safely, in accordance with all appropriate safety legislation and University and Department guidelines. Please see the Department Safety Manual for more information.

All laboratory work must be carried out after appropriate risk assessment. University guidelines can be found here. Each laboratory within the Department has risk assessment templates for common procedures. Please consult the relevant laboratory technician for more information.

Templates for risk assessments can be found here.

Below is a list of useful documentation regarding laboratory safety.
University guidelines on Safe Chemical Practice
HSE hazard information

Human Tissue Act
Human Tissue Act Guidance [PDF]
Guidance on Storage and Shipping of Human Research Samples [PDF]

Induction & Safety Training information
All new members of the Department must receive appropriate induction training.

• For new staff members, the individual's line manager or other appointed person is responsible for ensuring that they are inducted according to University guidelines: all workers must complete an Individual Safety Training Record to document information and training received.

• All those working within the research environment of the department should complete the Department General Individual Safety Training record

• All those carrying out research in Department laboratories should complete the Department Laboratory Individual Safety Training Record

The Safety Office provides safety training and development opportunities for members of the University. Please see the website for courses and training:

Further information

Driving at work [more details]

Display Screen Equipment Assessment
All frequent users of display screen equipment in the Department must read the University's leaflet 'Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment' and carry out the self-assessment . The self-assessment must then be repeated annually.

Fire Safety [more details]

Accident, Dangerous Occurrence and Incident Report Form [form]