University Policy Statement OHS 1/04 - Immunisations

The first priority in preventing occupationally acquired infection is appropriate controls in the workplace. Detailed guidance on this is available in the University Guidance Policy S5/09, ‘Biological Health and Safety’, issued by the Safety Office.
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, (Schedule 3), organisations are required to offer immunisations to individuals who may be exposed to pathogens at work where an effective vaccine is available.
Effective immunisations are available for only some, and not all, pathogens. Immunisations are not a substitute for good laboratory or other work practice.
As with other health surveillance interventions, individuals are not obliged to accept the University’s offer of immunisation. However, in some circumstances, employment may be dependent on acceptance, for example: people working with badgers may be required to demonstrate immunity to TB, and medical students should demonstrate immunity to Hepatitis B, TB and Rubella. Such requirements should be detailed in job descriptions and internal departmental documentation.

Categories of staff where the risk assessment indicates they should be considered for immunisation:

  • individuals potentially exposed at work to any infectious pathogens where an effective immunisation is available (e.g. yellow fever, Japanese B encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis etc.)
  • individuals potentially exposed to human blood/tissue
  • individuals working with certain animals where the COSHH assessment indicates vaccination is required
  • travellers on University business
  • medical students
  • some Surveyor’s staff
  • Parks staff
  • welders

This list is not intended to be exhaustive; departmental risk assessments should identify groups who may be at risk at work from pathogens.

It is the responsibility of departments to inform Occupational Health Services about the individuals working in these groups by ensuring that they complete and send a Health Surveillance Registration Form (HS1) (50kb) to Occupational Health Services for assessment. Occupational Health Services will then advise what actions are required as appropriate.

Travel Immunisations

Heads of Departments must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that individuals travelling on University business take advice from Occupational Health Services about potential health risks associated with their travel. This should be in good time so that any recommended immunisations can be given and/or prophylactic drugs issued. A Travel Health Assessment Form (32kb)

Travel on University business includes activities such as working abroad, field trips and conferences etc. It does not include travelling on college business which is the responsibility of individual colleges. A cost list of travel vaccines, medications and services can be found on Occupational Health Service's Travel Page.

Policy Author: Occupational Health Services Policy Owner: Occupational Health Services
Last Reviewed On: 19th April 2016 Next Review Date: April 2019
Policy Scope: Applies to all University staff
Revision Date Revision History
19th April 2016 No changes made