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View Vacancy -- Health and Safety Advisor x 2 - Operations Group - LMB 707

Open Date
09/11/2017, 16:55
Close Date
03/12/2017, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably X-ray crystallography of proteins, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies. The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease. We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology. However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive. Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

With the new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers. Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

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 - 4
£27,906 - 38,931
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

The aim of this post is to assist the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) Head of Health and Safety in providing a high level of competent advice to the Director of the LMB. You will support cutting edge science by monitoring and advising on health, safety and regulatory compliance issues, specifically working with LMB members and other stakeholders.  The function of the role is to ensure the safe working environment at Ares, MRS and the main LMB building.

It is essential that all members of the Health and Safety Department have the competence and flexibility to support the wider departmental function. In order to achieve this, Safety Advisors will be expected to work as both generalist and specialist advisors, leading on one of four key topic areas.

Main duties & Key responsibilities:

To act as a Generalist Health and Safety Advisor:

•   To provide highly competent Health and Safety advice to a wide range of key stakeholders on a wide range of topics.
•   To create and sustain productive relationships with the research staff and use a pragmatic approach to health and safety, whilst ensuring standards and supporting research.
•   To plan and prioritise work autonomously and assist other members of the team to plan their work accordingly.
•   To work with the Head of Health and Safety to devise and deliver the H&S strategy. To identify, lead on, plan and own strategies and associated plans within your responsible topic areas.
•   To produce reports and action plans and to subsequently sensitively negotiate necessary actions.
•   To champion and represent the Safety, Health and Environment Department (SHE) and the Head of Health and Safety, as directed, including attending relevant meetings.
•   To liaise with external regulatory bodies on behalf of the Head of Health and Safety and to ensure any actions are dealt with in a timely manner.
•   To apply a superior problem solving skills to complex matters, taking into account previous experience and knowledge.
•   To work collaboratively with other support services to deliver integrated and efficient support.
•   To conduct and lead (in collaboration with others) on health and safety inspections, audits and evaluate working practices.
•   To lead on accident investigations ensuring root causes are identified, that lessons are learnt and that appropriate measures are implemented in a timely manner.
•   To be a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERT).
•   To be empowered by the Director, through the Head of Health and Safety to deal with issues of breaches of compliance and imminent danger (to life and/or property).
•   To take into consideration underlying MRC policy and requirements their application.

To act as the primary Advisor on one of three specific topic areas, Facilities and Fire, Chemical & Biological Safety or Wellbeing & Ergonomics. Please indicate in your application which position you wish to be considered for.

You will be responsible for the following:

•   To work autonomously to manage and lead on the specific topic area, providing an expert level of knowledge and acting as the subject matter expert.
•   To apply and interpret specialist knowledge in order to give advice in line with relevant legislation. Taking into account a range of influencing factors such as; business need, legislative requirements and user needs.
•   To lead on the production of health and safety policies, procedures, guidance notes and documentation. To negotiate and oversee their introduction and implementation, as part of the process of continual improvement. Including contributing information and guidance for the H&S webpages. Setting strategic direction (in consultation with the Head of Health and Safety) for the specific topic areas.
•   To remain abreast of current and emerging technical and professional aspects of health and safety to maintain an appropriate level of personal awareness and knowledge.
•   To provide verbal and written reports of assurance to senior management, as required, which are tailored to the audience, allowing for a wide distribution.  
•   To determine and manage a programme (with support from the Head of Health and Safety) of methods for continual improvement within the primary topic area.
•   To ensure compliance with specific reporting and record keeping requirements in relation to statutory and regulatory requirements.
•   To establish and maintain H&S systems of assurance and compliance for specialist topic areas.
•   To work collaboratively to ensure any risks are appropriately controlled.
•   To undertake risk assessments or advise other assessors and review them as required.
•   To design and deliver appropriate Health and Safety training.

Working relationships:

You will report to the Head of Health and Safety. You will work alongside members of the H&S team, Research staff, other infrastructure Groups (particularly Estates and Facilities and Lab Services), other H&S staff, statutory and other external bodies.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are 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 Level 3 General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety or equivalent qualification.
•   A science degree.
•   Technical membership of a professional H&S body.

Previous work experience required:

•   Experience of H&S management systems.
•   Extensive experience of working within a H&S role including experience within an academic or research environment.
•   Experience of accident/incident investigation and root-cause analysis.
•   Experience of managing regulatory compliance visits and inspections.

Knowledge and experience:

•   Competent IT skills including Microsoft Office.
•   Experience in Laboratory hazards, associated controls and working practices including chemical, biological or radiation safety.

Either -

Health and Safety Advisor (Chemical and Biological Safety)
•   Laboratory experience, preferably handling chemical and/or biological materials.
•   A strong understanding of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.
•   An understanding of related legislation, such as the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR).

Or –

Health and Safety Advisor (Facilities and Fire Safety)
•   A strong understanding of fire safety and Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
•   Knowledge and previous experience of fire risk assessments.
•   A good understanding of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), Electricity at Work Regulations and the Noise at Work Regulations, along with other related legislation.
•   The ability to liaise with and co-ordinate the existing fire wardens.

Or -

Health and Safety Advisor (Wellbeing & Ergonomics)

•   A strong understanding of the Manual Handling Operations and other appropriate legislation such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
•   Experience of managing the risks associated with ergonomic operations such as lifting and handling and static workstation activities such as microscopy and computing.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•   Good interpersonal and negotiation skills, with an ability to engage collaboratively with staff at all levels and to change style and focus when needed including being supportive and firm but tactful.
•   Demonstrated experience of working in a team and providing a focused approach.
•   Ability to organise own time effectively with a flexible approach, undertaking multiple tasks whilst prioritising according to their need.
•   Excellent oral and written communication skills, with strong presentation and teaching skills and an ability to promote a Health, Safety & Wellbeing culture.
•   Demonstrable commitment to continual professional development.

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.

Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.

This opportunity is closed to applications.