Occupational risk prevention

Occupational Health Office

The Occupational Health Office is a service for all staff of the University of Girona that aims to perform the necessary prevention activities to guarantee that the health and safety of staff is suitably safeguarded, advising and meeting with university management, staff and representatives, as well as specialised representative bodies. It is the main management unit for the application of the Occupational Risk Prevention Plan of the University of Girona.

It is very important to plan the research integrating health and safety into the development of all phases of the research activity (design-preparation of the research proposal; implementation, execution and monitoring, closure) and to foresee the human and material resources necessary

You can make all the specific technical enquiries that may arise through:

  • Requests to the User Service System first response commitment of 48 working hours.
  • Telephone 972 419 803 from Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm.
  • By email osl@udg.edu

On the web page  you can consult more information on actions in the fields of safety, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, psychosociology and occupational medicine (health monitoring). News and a calendar of planned training sessions. You can find us at the Campus Montilivi Mòdul 20-029 located on carrer Maria Aurèlia Capmany, 63-65 

What should I consider in terms of health and safety when buying scientific equipment?
What is meant by work equipment?

Any machine, device, instrument or installation used at work.

It should be borne in mind that the concept installation, when we talk about work equipment, does not include service or protection installations such as electrical, gas, fire fighting and other installations specific to the place of work.

Before the acquisition of equipment

Require the equipment/machine manufacturer to provide the following minimum documentation:

  • CE marking. Identification plate placed on the machine which includes, among others, the year of manufacture and the manufacturer’s data.
  • CE declaration of conformity.
  • Instruction manual.
  • Specific required certificates

Check if the equipment is subject to any legalisation process/or modifies facilities that are subject to any industrial safety regulations (Electrical installations/biosecurity/technical gases/pressure equipment/construction safety, etc.). As a result, you will be able to predict the cost of executing the project and the planning of controls that may affect the health and safety of users during the activity.

Devices that legally must pass periodic reviews (non-exhaustive list): Pressure devices: Boilers/Autoclaves. /Compressors; Compressed air system network; Refrigeration facilities (refrigerators, freezers); Gas hoods, laminar flow cabins and biosecurity cabins; Technical gas connections and installations; Security cabinets with air filtration systems inside; Lasers of category 2M or higher, etc.

Commissioning planning

It is necessary to take into account how and where the work equipment will be installed to avoid future risks or problems. The exact place where the machine/equipment will be placed must be studied, especially if it is bulky and may affect the maximum load of the building structure and other working conditions (noise, vibrations, fumes, etc.).

For equipment with specific installation requirements (by volume, weight, connections, etc.) it will be necessary to contact SOTIM beforehand to determine the needs and the suitability of the location.

Commissioning and use of equipment and machines

Regardless of whether the equipment is purchased, rented, donated or ceded, the person in charge of the receiving unit of the work equipment must:

-Plan the installation and maintenance of the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

-Inform and train the workers in its management, using the instruction manual in Spanish/Catalan and if necessary, through training courses which, to this effect, the actual manufacturer or supplier of the equipment shall provide.

-Guarantee that the work equipment is not subject to substantial modifications, and in no case regarding its components, elements and/or safety and protection devices.

Installation and start-up use

Risk assessment, signaling and protective equipment. Once the equipment is installed and it is necessary to carry out the inspection of the installer with the check and certification that everything works correctly, make sure that the security aspects are also reviewed.

Sometimes, even if CE-marked machines are safe, there may be trivial, acceptable residual risks. The acquisition of approved equipment is not and is not considered a sufficient guarantee of eliminating risks for workers. This implies that it is necessary to update the assessment of the risks of each piece of equipment, checking that they have the appropriate characteristics in relation to the purpose of their use, the place where they will be used and the personnel who will use them. If the equipment involves significant changes, make a request to the OSL to update and validate the new situation.


It is essential to identify the people authorised to use it and to train them before they use the equipment independently, through theoretical and practical training that informs them of the risks arising from the use of the equipment and how it should be operated to work in safe conditions. Document this training.

Maintenance of machines and controls in terms of safety aspects in work teams/activities

As a result of daily work, the parts of the machines wear out, the reliability of the safety devices can be altered and unsafe actions can be performed if they are not properly controlled.

Therefore, it is necessary to integrate the security aspects necessary for each particular installation or equipment in the maintenance as well as periodic review programmes, as established in the instructions manual, good practices and the specific protocols of the OSL.

Also integrate these controls into planned and emergency safe startup and shutdown processes.

Equipment inventory update

An up-to-date inventory of all the work equipment belonging to the service, department or unit must be available in order to monitor and control it.

At least the following data will appear:

  • of the equipment: name, brand, model, serial number, year of manufacture, inventory number.
  • of the location: building, space code (laboratory or workshop).
  • of its provenance: it will be indicated whether the equipment has been bought by the unit, transferred, donated or rented.
  • of its use: teaching, research, support service.
  • of the legal requirements: CE marking, CE declaration of conformity, instruction manual in Spanish, certificate of conformity to RD 1215/1997. Certifications/legalisation.

More information

How can I get personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment is any equipment intended to be worn or held by the worker to protect them from one or several risks that may threaten their health or safety at work.

If during the research you develop the need or have doubts about the need to use personal protective equipment and the characteristics they must meet, find out here  .

Or you can consult the Occupational Health Office so that they can advise you on choosing the equipment that best suits your needs at:  Generic occupational health requests.  The person in charge of the Research activity must ensure that all members of the research team have the necessary personal protective equipment and that it is suitable for the risks to which they are exposed.

What should I consider if I have to use biological agents of risk level 2 or higher

(Research with biological agents)

Biological agents are understood to mean microorganisms, including genetically modified ones, cell cultures and human endoparasites, capable of causing any type of infection, allergy or toxicity.

Biological agents are classified into 4 groups based on the risk of infection (Annexe II. (RD664/1997)  ).

When the activity is included among those with the deliberate intention of manipulating or using biological agents at work, a Notification must be made to the labour authority (Department of Labour of the Autonomous Community). You will find more information on the cases in which the notification must be made and the procedure to follow through this link. Consult the Occupational Health Office so that they can advise you and make an initial assessment of the laboratories in order to adapt them to the legal requirements depending on the level of containment required:  Generic occupational health requests.

What should I do if my research involves the use or generation of GMO Genetically Modified Organisms?

Genetically modified organisms means any organism, with the exception of human beings, whose genetic material has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, as long as the techniques established by regulation are used.

A main researcher who wants to use for the first time specific facilities for confined uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and carry out this type of activity must notify the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food (Generalitat de Catalunya) or the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, as appropriate. Equally if they intend to release material into the environment without commercial purposes. More info here 

Consult the Occupational Health Office so that they can advise you and make an initial assessment of the laboratories in order to adapt them to the legal requirements depending on the level of containment necessary as well as advise you on the documentation that must be filled in:  Generic occupational health requests

Links to bodies related to notifications:

What should I do if chemical, physical or biological agents are used that may involve a risk

If it is new research that does not yet have any previous risk assessment or you want to update it, request an occupational risk assessment from the OSL of your project through JIRA. Generic occupational health requests

Coordination of business activities (CAE)

The coordination of business activities (CAE) for the prevention of occupational risks is the legal obligation that organisations have, to cooperatein the prevention of occupational risks, when in the same workplace activities are carried out by workers from two or more companies.

The person in charge must activate the CAE prior to the start of the research activities if:

  • UdG staff must carry out activities at a centre outside the UdG.
  • external staff must carry out activities at a UdG centre.

A contract/agreement between the university and the external entity must exist and be documented.

The objective of the coordination is to ensure the health and safety of the workers of each of the companies avoiding:

  • The transfer of risks between activities.
  • Risks of each activity being be aggravated or modified.
  • The emergence of risks arising from the concurrence or simultaneity of activities.

The UdG will determine the means of coordinating activities that are considered necessary for the type and place where the activity will take place. These means may vary for each situation depending on the danger and duration of the activity, as well as the number of workers exposed.

It is necessary to define and report on the actions that the occupational risk prevention regulations establish that must be carried out by UdG staff and external entities with which research and technology transfer projects are established.  See protocol (in development)

Link to request CAE (Generic occupational health requests.)