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Your health and safety

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy University, where staff and students work proactively and collaboratively to improve health, safety and wellbeing.

We think it is important to include health and safety education into curricular and extra-curricular learning, so that you can develop knowledge and skills on health and safety risk management that will be important for your future life and work.

Where to go for help or information

Accidents and incidents

Contact the Patrol/Security Staff or a first aider if you have an accident and require first aid.

Accidents or unsafe incidents should be reported by completing a health and safety incident form and sending it to the Health and Safety Advisory Service. Patrol/Security Staff can help you complete the form.

Departmental contacts

If you have questions or concerns about health and safety relating to your studies, first speak to your academic supervisor. Each department also has a Health and Safety Liaison Officer (HSLO) or Departmental Health and Safety Officer (DHSO).

General health and safety enquiries

Health and Safety Advisory Service

Colchester Campus, University of Essex

Telephone 01206 872944


Your responsibilities

Your responsibilities under the University’s University's Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy are to:

  • look your own own health and safety and the safety of others who may be affected by your actions while on the University's campuses or carrying out activities under the supervision of the University and its subsidiary companies
  • follow the University's and your department's health and safety standards and requirement (including those relating to University residences). You must also follow instructions given to you by a member of staff for your health and safety
  • report any health and safety incidents or concerns related to academic or University premises (including accidents, ill-health, premises hazards) in accordance with their departmental and University procedures
  • take part in any health and safety training which the University, your department or your academic supervisor believes is necessary
  • not intentionally interfere with or misuse anything provided for fire or health and safety protection

Fire safety

Our fire safety presentation has essential information for all students on what to do in the event of a fire at the University, and what you can do to help avoid fires.

Fire Safety Essentials from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Fire safety tips for residents

Whether you're frying breakfast or straightening your hair, – if you're living in University-provided accommodation or off-campus in a shared flat, it's important to know how to stay safe to avoid fire hazards.

The use of candles, tea lights, joss sticks and aromatic burners are not permitted because they are a fire risk. They can set off overhead heat or smoke detectors.

A major cause of fires in residences is cooking so please:

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended.
  • Clean grill pans and cookers to keep them free from fat and food debris, which can be sources of ignition.
  • Read instructions on pre-packed food. Food wrappings which are not removed before cooking can create a fire hazard.
  • Do not wedge doors open, and report any door that fails to close fully to the Accommodation Office. All doors in residences are fitted with self-closing mechanisms and the doors are designed to prevent the spread of smoke and fire for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Avoid false alarms: keep kitchen and shower doors closed and do not use aerosol sprays near the overhead heat or smoke detectors to avoid setting them off. The detectors in the kitchens are activated by heat and not smoke.
  • Please take time to read our electrical safety guidance as the University has strict rules on the use of electrical items.