View Vacancy -- Health and Safety Assistant - MGU 1555

Open Date
30/04/2021, 09:00
Close Date
31/05/2021, 23:55
MRC Harwell Institute

MRC Harwell Institute is an international biological research centre at the forefront of the use of mammalian models to study genetics and human diseases. Located on the Harwell Campus, just south of Oxford, it is nestled amongst a vibrant community of leading science organisations. We aim to advance medicine through cutting-edge research into the genetic basis of disease. Our research programmes span an entire lifetime, from embryonic development to diseases of ageing. There are over 300 staff at the Institute made up of research scientists, technicians, animal carers, and business support personnel.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 5
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£25,798 - £27,501 per annum (depending on experience)
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

The role of the post is to provide support to the Health & Safety Team, who are responsible for all aspects of health and safety at MRC Harwell & assist on current H&S initiatives in line with the Strategy Plan. The post holder will report to the Head of Health & Safety.

This position will both support and assist current and future health and safety activities. The successful applicant will be expected to work as a member of a team and independently in promoting safe work practices at all times. The post holder will provide practical and hands on health and safety support, assistance and guidance to scientific, technical, office and all other staff on site in accordance with Corporate and legal requirements. Support and training on local rules and procedures will be provided.

Main duties / key responsibilities:  

  • Enforce Corporate and MRC Harwell H&S policy throughout all work areas at all times
  • Work with the H&S team to maintain the accident-reporting database, follow up accidents/incidents with the relevant managers and other persons involved, ensuring that a full investigation has been completed. Assist line managers with accident investigation reports when requested and ensure full content is present.
  • Work with the H&S team to coordinate & participate in site H&S safety inspections. Take notes during inspections. Type up inspection reports. Ensure reports are sent to relevant key members of staff in order for highlighted actions to be addressed. Agree time frames for completion of required actions and follow up to ensure timely compliance. 
  • Actively encourage users to produce suitable and sufficient risk assessments while providing sufficient hands on assistance to ensure the objective can be met. Know how to retrieve all risk assessments from shared drive as required. 
  • Coordinate H&S forum to ensure 100% attendance. Produce minutes and distribute to forum members & external highlighted individuals. Ensure copies of minutes are available for all staff via our internal intranet page. 
  • Provide office cover for the H&S Team. In the absence of the Head of H&S and the H&S Advisor, seek appropriate expert support and advice as required in emergency or unplanned situations. 
  • Responsible for the coordination of ensuring that all safety equipment is checked and be proactive on ensuring any new health & safety equipment is checked. 
  • Order H&S consumables and ensure H&S storeroom is kept in order. Source new H&S equipment as requested. 
  • Conduct ‘mask fittings’ for site and maintain all relevant documentation. 
  • Complete ‘high risk’ individual DSE risk assessments and record findings. Complete any necessary reviews/follow ups. 
  • To ensure that all safety signage across the site is in place. 
  • Provide other assistance when requested by the Team. 
  • Maintain personal knowledge of current H&S legislation and keep up to date with changes and developments in this area.

Working relationships:

The post holder’s key working relationships within the MRC will be with the Head of H&S, a H&S Adviser, H&S Administrative Support, the Health and Safety Forum as well as Scientific Staff, Union Reps, HR, Laboratory Services Staff, Engineering & Estates staff, Security and external agencies.

Additional information:

Liaise with the site management team, external and enforcing bodies such as the Health & Safety Executive & the Environment Agency, when appropriate.

Equality & Diversity:

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements:

The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy 

Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal.  Any changes should be made and agreed between the post holder and their manager.

The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 

Education / Qualifications / Training required:


  • NEBOSH certificate or Science Degree is required.  The post holder should have this on appointment.
  • Fully competent PC Skills - Microsoft Office. Excellent English skills both verbal & written.  


  • Willing and able to study for further health & safety qualifications where appropriate

Previous work experience required:


  • Appreciation of hazards and risks associated with a scientific environment.
  • Experience has to be working in UK under UK regulations.


  • 2-3 years of experience in a health and safety support role in the UK, ideally in a scientific environment.

Knowledge and experience:


  • To have an understanding of the principles of risk management.
  • Experience working under UK regulations. 


  • Knowledge of how to write risk assessments.
  • To communicate clearly with customers about priorities & manage their expectations.
  • Able to give and receive feedback and use it to the benefit of the customer and the Health & Safety team.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • To establish effective working relationships with customers, gaining trust and developing mutual respect. Strong influencing and interpersonal skills are required as the post holder will need to work with a range of people at all levels both within the organisation.
  • Ability to work to and prioritise your workload
  • Strong attention to detail and has a can do attitude
  • Team player and motivator
  • The ability to challenge staff on correcting issues surrounding health & safety requirements, procedures and legislation
  • Competent in “minute writing”
  • Experience of answering and taking phone calls 


  • Able to analyse situations and judge which solutions will be productive.

The post holder will be expected to manage their own time and ensure that their tasks are undertaken efficiently and accurately. Decisions relating to the management of health and safety provision across the site will be the responsibility of the Head of H&S. Appropriate delegation of such responsibility will be encouraged to the suitable applicant.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 16 June 2021.

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.