Students sitting outside

Frequently asked questions for academic staff

What sort of PPE will be given to me?

Face coverings will be available, but are not personal protective equipment that protects the wearer. Face coverings protect others rather than the wearer to minimise the potential of spreading the virus. For close contact work or where face coverings inhibit audibility, face visors will be available. First Aiders and Evac Chair Operators will be issued the medical grade (type 2R) fluid-resistant mask. As soon as the Safety, Health and Environment Department are informed of First Aiders coming into work, they are being provided with type 2R masks. Masks, in first aid PPE kits, are also available at reception desks and defibrillator units.

If students do not have a face covering, they will be available at reception desks.

What classroom activities are safe for me to ask students to engage in? e.g. group work/discussion work?

Group work and discussion work could be undertaken maintaining social distancing. Where it is not possible to maintain social distancing, the risk assessment of the activity should consider appropriate mitigation such as protective screens or face visors.

What do I do if students are not wearing or refuse to wear PPE?

Signs will be erected to remind students to wear face coverings. There are some exemptions from wearing face coverings. The University have subscribed to the Sunflower scheme - a lanyard indicating those who are exempt from wearing a face covering. If someone refuses to wear a face covering without justification the University would support colleagues in ensuring University policy on wearing face coverings is adhered to. A student could be requested to leave the session if they are not wearing a face covering without justification.

What types of face coverings are acceptable to be worn by students or staff?

A face covering is the requirement; this can be made at home and does not need to be professionally made - this can include scarves, bandanas etc. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth.

The exemption to this is First Aiders and Evac Chair Operators who are required to wear a type 2R mask.

Face coverings fitted with valves release unfiltered moisture and therefore limit the benefit of wearing face coverings. These should not be worn.

What do I do if a student appears to have symptoms of illness? Do I cancel the class? Can I ask the student to leave?

The emphasis will be on the student not to come into the University if they have symptoms and to leave if they have symptoms.

Clear guidance will be issued to members of staff, linked to the Test and Trace procedure and supporting the individuals concerned.

What should I do if I have too many in a group? (i.e. safe number for the room)

Having too many in a group must be avoided and will be managed by the timetable and will be closely monitored.

There will be a process for taking registration – either electronic or hardcopy - to check those in attendance are timetabled to attend.

If the numbers attending exceed those agreed, those students not timetabled to attend will be required to leave.

Will I be asked to cover for absent colleagues?

Yes, you could be asked to cover for absent colleagues, as currently is the case.

What do I do in between my sessions? (N.B particular issue for sessional staff)

There are a number of rooms in all buildings that are not on the timetable. The rooms may be made available for staff to use between sessions. The rooms will be provided with sanitiser and wipes.

There will be a requirement for a signing in sheet to enable Estate and Facilities Management staff to know if someone has been using it, in order that the room can then be cleaned.

It there are several members of staff in one office, a rota may be required to maintain social distancing arrangements and will need to be cross-referenced when colleagues are timetabled to teach.

How long will I be asked to teach in any one session/groups, as I have concerns about my exposure to risk?

There is no validated evidence that risk increases with duration of exposure if other suitable controls are implemented. If the control measures were in place from the outset (social distancing, hand hygiene, ventilation etc.), the length of teaching sessions would not increase risk.

Some academic colleagues have indicated that they would prefer to come in for longer periods, rather than for shorter periods on different days.

Are the rooms I am teaching in guaranteed to be completely safe?

The University is following all the guidance available from the Health and Safety Executive and professional bodies/trade associations. Very detailed work has been completed on the ventilation systems; face coverings and sanitising materials are available and there will be a marshalling system in place to ensure social distancing.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. The Estate and Facilities team are ensuring everything is being done, so far as is reasonably practicable, to minimise the risk in teaching rooms.

Success in maintaining high standards of health and safety during the Covid crisis will be influenced by behaviours and the culture of all the University community.

Will I be given training in the conduct of COVID-safe teaching?

The necessary information and guidance, including risk assessments records, are being provided – the main principles are maintaining social distancing and good  hygiene.

There is a requirement for staff and students to be actively encouraged to engage and comply with the guidance provided.

I have heard that I am required to inform LJMU if I think there is a serious and imminent danger in my teaching environment. What is the process and is there any information on this?

If there is an imminent danger, this should be reported and dealt with sensitively, using the standard reporting arrangements that the University has. Depending on the nature of the serious and imminent danger, Estate and Facilities Management can be contacted through the Helpdesk on 5555, Security Services on 2222 or the Safety, Health and Environment Department on 5540.