Children in the Department

The purpose of this policy is simply to protect the health and safety of individuals who, because of their age, are significantly more vulnerable to certain hazards present in the department. Everyone has a responsibility to help enforce it by asking anyone with a child in a restricted area to leave (taking the child with them!). It saves everyone embarrassment and inconvenience if this policy is adhered to rather than ignored.

Where are children NOT allowed?
For this reason, children are prevented from accessing areas within the department that are considered to present an unacceptable hazard. Theses areas include:

  • ALL laboratory areas (including working corridors where equipment is kept and used)
  • ALL work areas on levels 2 and 3 of Blocks K, L, M. This is because the building is not designed to accommodate children; specifically, there is an obvious risk of children falling from the open railings on the stairs and landings of the atrium.
  • Workshops
  • Growth chamber rooms
  • Offices accessed via work areas listed above

Where ARE children allowed?
The main areas where children are allowed include:

  • The main concourse area and common room on B block ground floor
  • The K & T block atriums
  • Office / write-up areas not covered above in the list of unacceptable areas

Definition of a child
For the purposes of this policy a child is considered to be anyone under the age of 12. People younger than this can enter work areas only as part of an agreed visit, such as school groups taking part in planned activities. People aged between 12 and 15 should only be in laboratory and related areas under the constant supervision of the responsible person, and may also be present as part of an agreed visit programme or on work experience. For example we have allowed people younger than 16 to come into the laboratories as part of an agreed visit when constant supervision and working practices have been agreed with the DSA (for example young people on work experience, school groups taking part in planned activities or cub-scouts doing supervised work).