8.3 Health and safety considerations

Teaching at LSE is not usually a hazardous exercise. However, it is still important to be aware of safety procedures, and to recognise your responsibilities in this respect. Full details of the School's Health and Safety policy and other relevant information is  available on the website (lse.ac.uk/healthAndsafety)

Make sure you know when and how to evacuate your teaching room in the unlikely event of a fire or emergency. This information should be posted inside each teaching room. Checking on evacuation procedures is most important where you know you have a student with a serious mobility problem in your class.

Do watch out for potential safety hazards, and avoid putting yourself at risk. For example, watch out for tip seat chairs in classrooms (you may well feel tempted, when you can see a projector apparently not working, to stand on them to try to reach the controls!). If you are carrying or lifting equipment or resources, be aware of 'manual handling' guidance. Should there be an accident in your classroom, again, you need to act swiftly. Your departmental safety officer can provide you with the names of trained first aiders in your department who could be called upon in the case of an accident.

The worst accident I have seen was when a student fainted in class and fell off her chair. As she collapsed she hit her head on the corner of her desk and ended up with quite a nasty cut. I am not a first aider and I did not know how to help her myself; but I telephoned up to the Departmental Office and the secretary called for an ambulance.

All classrooms should have a functioning phone for emergency calls. For security, phone 2000 or in an emergency 666. In this context, do be aware that LSE is essentially an open institution. Warn students not to leave valuables unattended, and never leave expensive equipment, such as portable data projectors, unsecured in an unoccupied room.

At a more personal level, common health hazards to watch out for are Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and eye strain, which may be caused by excessive computer use. Should problems arise as a result of your work and/or studies, consult the School's policy document in the first instance for people to contact for advice and support.

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