Physical distancing – working and studying on campus

Updated on 3 September 2021

Find out about physical distancing on campus and the 1m rule

This page is part of a collection of guides which explain the steps we are taking to keep staff and students safe as they return to our campuses from September 2020

Learn more about returning to campus

The government has stated that a minimum distance of 1m should be maintained between people who are not part of the same family at all times where possible. This includes work colleagues and students.

The University is implementing the 1m rule and requires all staff and students to adhere to this distancing requirement except in circumstances where this is impossible.

In these cases a risk assessment and method statement (RAMS) should be generated to ensure that staff are protected from each other.

Where a degree of prolonged contact is likely, a detailed RAMS must be completed and appropriate alternative control measures implemented. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to):

  • work operations where two or more people must work on a physical object (e.g. lifting, moving of items, assembly/maintenance of equipment, etc)
  • supervision of student/staff activity where close physical proximity cannot be avoided (e.g. assessment of student technique for undertaking an activity)

Every effort must be made to reduce the need for all close working and only in those circumstances where the need for close working absolutely cannot be prevented should physical distancing requirements be breached with compensatory controls in place (such as PPE).

The University requires that all reasonable approaches are taken to reducing the need to breach physical distancing requirements. These can include (but are not limited to) such approaches as:

  • virtual meeting* and teaching resources
  • timetabling / booking of resources
  • extending the working day or use of shifts/rotas
  • use of remote viewing tools (e.g. cameras and monitors)
  • physical aids to enable “one person” lifts
  • staggered start and stop times for activities to prevent queues forming or people with similar roles congregating
  • splitting staff into teams to reduce contact between employees and increase resilience

*The University Executive has decided that, for staff, all large scale management and committee meetings will continue as virtual meetings until notified otherwise. “Walking” meetings of small groups in outside spaces are encouraged, provided the group size complies with government advice and all staff are able to participate.