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Using our spaces and protecting against COVID-19

We are using a framework of the controls, in a layered way, to support the use of our spaces during the 2021-22 academic year. This approach is underpinned by our Corporate Risk Assessment.

The University has a broad range of spaces, and uses of spaces, reflecting the diverse nature of the organisation. Using a holistic approach, we have identified a framework of controls that will be relevant in our use of spaces during the next academic year.

In identifying these controls, we have considered their application against a number of different space types. This has indicated their suitability, as a set of measures, layered together, to enable our use of spaces. Due to the diversity of spaces, the relevance and extent of each individual control may vary. By layering them together, we will ensure effective and proportionate risk management.

These controls are included in our University Using Our Spaces Risk Assessment.

These controls are complemented by the additional and detailed measures we have to enable managers to support individuals and teams, as detailed in our On Campus Working – Guidance for Managers. They also reflect local contexts and activity types. Managers will locally assess for requirements of this type, as is our institutional custom and practice (for example to best support the nature of the activity being undertaken). Managers can use the Using our Spaces checklist to support them with their local risk assessments, which should be completed using the general risk assessment template.

Please note, in healthcare settings and NHS buildings, guidance may differ. Please follow local NHS guidelines.

COVID-19 – how mechanical ventilation can reduce transmission

Ensuring good ventilation in indoor spaces is just one important measure we have in place on our campuses to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as general cough and cold germs.

Many of our teaching spaces use some form of mechanical ventilation and these rooms have clear signs on the doors. Where mechanical ventilation is in place, it is controlled and monitored by a central system that manages airflow and temperature throughout campus buildings.

Mechanical ventilation systems are designed for full occupancy teaching spaces. If you have any questions relating to their operation and need any assistance please contact the Campus Services Helpdesk.

Where windows are required to be open to work in conjunction with the mechanical ventilation system, this will be clearly signposted on posters on the windows. In naturally ventilated spaces, signage will also be in place to ensure windows are kept open during the day.

In response to some queries from colleagues we have reduced the temperatures in some rooms so they are more comfortable for users, please note the temperature does not affect the air quality in the room.