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The unattended operation of experimental apparatus outside normal access hours in educational establishments poses a potential health and safety risk to security staff, cleaners, other users of the building or laboratory and members of the emergency services who may attend an incident.


The University Health and Safety Committee recognising this potential risk has approved the introduction of a safe system of work, i.e. the overnight running authorisation system, to counteract it.


This guidance applies to:

  • apparatus and rigs but not proprietary such as refrigerators, drying ovens, spectrometers etc.
  • use of apparatus outside normal working hours including overnight, weekends and holidays.
  • those wishing to leave apparatus unattended, including research students, their supervisors, academics, technicians etc.


An "Authorisation for unattended run​ning of experimental apparatus form​" should be completed.

Once completed:

See also guidance on:



health surveillance


personal protective equipment

travel overseas / online travel risk assessment​

waste disposal

work equipment

working alone​​