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H&S Roles

The cross-disciplinary nature of health and safety makes the work involved a joint responsibility. Given the wide spectrum of activities at PolyU, we need to rely on designated staff members and students to facilitate safety communication, minimize loss and damage incurred by accidents, injuries or occupational illness, and fulfil legislative requirements and important functions.

At departmental level, designated staff have specific roles to play to ensure campus-wide health and safety.

Chemical Purchasing Delegate

Procurement of hazardous chemicals shall be vetted and handled by the Dangerous Goods Management Team (DGMT) for better management of chemicals at PolyU. In considering the administrative workload of raising purchase requests, Head of Department, Director of Research Centre and Principal Investigators (PIs) could appoint chemical purchasing delegate(s) to raise chemical purchasing requests to the DGMT on their behalf. Chemical purchasing delegate is subject to disciplinary and legal action should he / she fail to take precautions for any violations of the chemical purchasing procedures and / or undertake illegal purchase.

Departmental Health and Safety Officer

Departmental Health and Safety officers (DHSOs) are the key safety partner with Health and Safety Office (HSO) towards a sustainable safety culture for research and education. Appointed by their respective Heads of Department, DHSOs ensure the implementation of health and safety arrangement at departmental level in accordance with the specific policies, including arrangement of safety training, administration of risk assessment and accident reporting.  

Fire Warden

The University has issued “Guideline on Fire Wardens of Departments and Offices” to appoint and train fire wardens so that they can help to achieve fast and complete evacuation upon hearing a fire alarm.  

Head of Department

The Head of a department / school / institute / office / centre / unit assumes the overall responsibility of the health and safety management of his / her department.


According to the Laboratory Safety Management Policy (Section B400, Health and Safety Guide), departmental heads should designate Lab-in-charge for each laboratory to ensure effective liaison on health and safety issues or in case of an emergency laboratory situation. The Lab-in-charge should be a full-time staff member who is familiar with the operation of the laboratory concerned. The name and contact details of the Lab-in-charge should be clearly displayed at the entrance of each laboratory. Individual departments shall review the departmental lab-in-charge list at least annually to ensure information is up-to-date. Updated departmental Lab-in-charge list shall be forwarded to Health and Safety Office (HSO) and Campus Control Centre for record purposes.

Principal Investigator

A Principal Investigator (PI) is an academic responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research project in compliance with applicable regulations and institutional safety requirements. He or she is responsible for health and safety issues that may be arising from the daily operations or research activities of his / her research team.

Radiation Protection Supervisor

Ionizing radiation is electromagnetic or corpuscular radiation which is capable of producing ions directly or indirectly in its passage through matter. Sources of ionizing radiation include irradiating apparatus and radioactive substances. It is a legal requirement in Hong Kong that the possession and use of such sources be licensed with the Radiation Board. The University requires user departments of irradiating apparatus and radioactive substances on campus to follow designated safety rules, meet the relevant legal requirements and designate one radiation protection supervisor each responsible for the management of irradiating apparatus and radioactive substances.

Research Personnel / Research Students

Research Personnel / Student Assistants are appointed by Principal Investigators (PIs) to perform research-related activities. The appointment of research personnel / student assistants shall be endorsed by the Departmental Research Committee or Faculty Research Committee. Research Personnel / Student Assistant may be exposed to hazardous materials or conditions during their research activities. Before starting on a research project or working in a high-risk laboratory, Research Personnel / Student Assistant shall receive proper training, including Health and Safety Office (HSO) Online Safety Training, departmental safety briefing and laboratory-specific safety training based on the nature of the research activities.

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