Access to University Facilities Policy


This policy applies to all members of the University.


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that when members of the University are working on or accessing University facilities compliance with health and safety, statutory or other requirements is achieved, and that the University operates its facilities safely and in a prudent manner consistent with the teaching, learning and research objectives of the University.

This policy is not intended to prevent access to a facility, rather to manage access in a safe, non-hazardous fashion consistent with health and safety considerations. It also recognises that management of access to a facility is best undertaken by those most familiar with, and having responsibility for, that facility.


  • Approvals
  • Access guidelines
  • Hazard assessment
  • Granting an approval
  • Access during a no-access time
  • Competency of the member
  • Approval to be recorded
  • Review of the approvals if activity or workplace changes
  • Use of an approved form
  • Member’s responsibilities in accessing facilities after hours or working alone
  • Access for contractors and subcontractors



1. A member may only work alone or access a facility after hours after an approval has been granted. Approvals will not be granted unless potential or actual hazards are identified and assessed and active regimes are instituted to control such hazards including determining supervision requirements and individual or general approval conditions applicable to such access.

Access guidelines

2. Managers will set and communicate clear guidelines as to when access to a facility they have responsibility for is not permitted without an individual or general approval. Such a guideline will stipulate no-access times for that facility. These guidelines will be rules under the Disciplinary Statute 1998, which requires that, the guideline:

  • state that it is a rule and
  • is the subject of notice as set out in the following clause

Hazard assessment

3. Before any approval is granted, a hazard assessment must be undertaken and the member seeking the approval must be notified and acknowledge in writing the receipt of and understanding of the general or specific notification of guidelines, rules or regulations, staff directions or specific written advice or inclusion in a service contract which will form part of the conditions of the approval.

4. Technical workshops and HASNO Exempt Laboratories require additional specific risk assessments due to the nature of higher risk activities that may be undertaken.

5. Such risk assessments must meet the conditions of Workshop Safety Guidelines and the HASNO Exempt Laboratory requirements to allow approval for after hours access.

6. Members must not operate in a technical workshop and undertake categories of moderate to high risk activities without an assigned technician or suitably experienced/competent staff member being present to provide supervision and support.

7. A condition of HASNO Exempt Laboratories requires a lab manager to be present to supervise the laboratory or facility. A nominated person may be appointed in the absence of a laboratory manager. This is a condition of entry to the laboratory and is detailed in section 4.2 of the COP and the University Safe Methods of Use 19 General Exempt Laboratory Requirements. Only “authorised” persons must operate in a Laboratory.

8. An approval when communicated to the member and the conditions of an approval will be a rule under the Disciplinary Statute 1998.

9. The hazard assessment for access after hours or working alone must be undertaken before the work or access commences and will include the following (and the University Hazards and Containment Manager and the Health & Wellness Manager are available to assist in relevant circumstances):

  • identification of all reasonably foreseeable hazards arising from working alone or working or accessing after hours on or in a facility
  • assessment of the risk(s) of each hazard
  • implementation of practicable and reasonable steps to control the hazard to a level that is acceptable and if it is not acceptable, a clear statement that access cannot be granted or can be granted subject to any conditions which will eliminate or control the hazard to a level that is acceptable
  • identify the risk level for each hazard in the facility or in the task or process proposed to be undertaken in accordance with Table 1 to determine:
    • the level of supervision required
    • the type of approval required
    • if the task is to be undertaken by students or staff, whether access should be restricted to staff only
    • whether it is practicable for an approval to be granted on conditions; and the conditions which apply before access is permitted and particular tasks or processes undertaken after hours or while working alone

Granting an approval

10. A manager must take the following into consideration in assessing whether an approval should be granted:

  • the availability of an alternative facility (e.g. the information commons)and/or the need to be on or in a particular facility
  • the number of people working or otherwise likely to be in the area after hours e.g. Library compared to a 'wet' laboratory
  • security in the area where access has been allowed
  • the level of emergency assistance available after hours in the event of an incident e.g. fire wardens and first aid qualified staff
  • the systems in place to ensure the safety of staff in the event the facility needs to be evacuated
  • consequences of incidents involving unattended experiments or equipment during after hours access or working alone
  • the results of any competency assessment for moderate or high risk activities undertaken in accordance with this policy and for low risk activities whether the level of competence, experience, skill and training of the individual is sufficient to ensure the safety of the member when working alone or after hours
  • that fatigue will not become an issue to any person when undertaking activities particularly involving machinery or laboratory work or other potentially high risk activities
  • whether any substance, equipment or work is too hazardous or dangerous to be permitted after hours or when working alone
  • availability and requirement for a nominated “buddy” for backup support or communication
  • ability of a nominated buddy to render assistance, support, or raise alarm;
  • access to communication (e.g. phone, mobile phone, 2 way radio)
  • the journey to and from a facility being accessed and the mode of transport
  • compliance with the conditions set out in clause 3-9 for specific workshop and laboratory risks

Access during no-access time

11. Where a manager is satisfied that a member has a demonstrated need to access a facility during a no-access time the manager may grant the member an individual approval.

Competency of the member

12. For moderate to high risk activities, a manager must obtain a competency assessment from the supervisor of the member seeking access to a facility before granting an approval. The supervisor must undertake the competency assessment to determine and validate that the member undertaking the after hours work or access or working alone is competent and has sufficient experience, skill and training to undertake the work and/or be granted access. The supervisor will record the competency assessment and provide a copy of the competency assessment to the manager concerned. The competency assessment must address any known issues of disability and health related matters.

Approval to be recorded

13. Supervisors will record all approvals given to undertake after hours access or to work alone for members they supervise. the record will include:

  • duration of approval
  • procedure, equipment, areas that can be accessed/used
  • tasks that can be undertaken
  • for moderate to high risk activities, detail of controls required by the hazard assessment, and
  • any other relevant conditions

14. All members must carry their staff or student identification card to establish their entitlement to be at or in any University facility after hours and at a no-access time. this requirement will not apply generally to areas that are accessible for the general public, general library, information commons or for university organised or endorsed events but attention is drawn to the fact that any event or facility may be made subject to conditions, one of which may be related to adequate identification. Members who use or operate in facilities which require the additional specific risk assessments set out in 2.5 such as HASNO laboratories, workshops, and other sensitive or secure areas that require specific or individual approvals must at all times carry a staff or student identification card. this, to avoid doubt, is a requirement for all and any use of such facilities at any time and is not confined to after hours or no-access times. In any case, where there is a specific approval members should be recorded on an after hours register and be able to produce their individual approval form on request.

15. Organisers of events on or in any facility after hours or in no-access time (e.g. overnight stays on the marae) where non-members may be present will notify UniSafe prior to the event taking place, the nature of the event, how many persons involved, who to contact and UniSafe may require or impose reasonable safety and health conditions for such events.

16. UniSafe security may request any person to leave a facility if they are not satisfied that the person has the correct authorisation or after hours approval to be in or on it and such a direction will constitute a reasonable direction given by an authorised person pursuant to the Disciplinary Statute and a reasonable policy requirement.

Review of the approvals if activity or workplace changes

17. A review of the approval is required when there is a change in the workplace or activities being undertaken.

Use of an approved form

18. Where possible, managers will plan and provide for the eventual installation and use of an approved form (Property Services) of a multi-programmable staff and student access card which may assist in permitting or preventing approved or non-approved access.

Member’s responsibilities in accessing facilities after hours or working alone

19. Access to a facility by members, particularly after hours is not a right but a privilege which may be granted on conditions and regulated by use of access cards or similar technologies. Access will be denied where there are factors, including supervision and cost, which make the granting of such access unreasonable or impracticable. Not all hazards can be reasonably foreseen and each member, especially when accessing facilities after hours or working alone, will do so on their undertaking and on condition that they accept their individual responsibility to avoid hazardous or risky situations.

20. Members accessing facilities after hours or working alone must at all times abide by the guidelines for personal safety set out in table 2 and any conditions of approval for that facility.

21. Members who wish to access a facility after hours or to work alone have an obligation to check with a manager whether an approval is required or whether a general approval is in operation for that facility and to comply with all conditions of that approval. The holding of an access card or similar access mechanism does not constitute an approval to work alone or access a facility after hours and should not be used in such a fashion.

Access for contractors and subcontractors

22. This policy is also intended to ensure that those supervisors or managers who have responsibility for contractors and sub-contractors who require access to a facility or who access a facility after hours also identify and assess actual or potential hazards for such contractors or sub-contractors as required under the relevant legislation and take such steps as the law requires to control or minimise hazards identified in the hazard assessment, consistent with this Policy. It should be noted that some contractors or sub-contractors will assume responsibility for all or some areas of a facility.


The following definitions apply to this document:

After hours means unless specifically stated otherwise any time between the hours of 7.30 pm and 7 am Monday to Friday, all day Saturday, Sunday, statutory holidays and University holidays. This definition is not to overrule nor is it intended to overrule any employment agreement with a University staff member. It is not to overrule any more specific access regime which has extended access times otherwise complying with this policy for any specific facility, e.g. Libraries, Information Commons.

Approval means either a general or an individual approval for access to a specified facility appropriate for the risk level and granted in accordance with this policy.

Facility means all land and buildings and parts of them operated, controlled, or occupied by the University and includes, but is not restricted to remote campuses or other sites such as Leigh Marine Laboratory, Tai Tokerau Campus, University controlled halls of residence, covered car parks, the Maraes including those on the City and Epsom Campuses and Falé.

HASNO Exempt Laboratory refers to the code of practice for CRI and University Exempt Laboratories and the Safe Method of Use 19 General Exempt Laboratory requirements.

Hazard Assessment means the hazard assessment undertaken in accordance with this policy.

Manager means the Vice-Chancellor of the University or delegate who has responsibility for a particular facility.

Members means those persons who make up the University as set out in s3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and all employees, students, Council committee members, and employees of University owned companies and where appropriate contractors and sub-contractors and invitees.

No-access time means any time after midnight or before 5 am in the morning or such other time as a manager will determine beyond which, without a demonstrated and approved need, a facility will not be accessed.

Risk level means the risk categories of "Low Risk", "Moderate Risk", "High Risk" and "Extreme Risk" set out in Table 1 and used to determine whether or not to grant an Approval and the conditions of that Approval.

Rule means a rule of conduct as defined in s2 of the Disciplinary Statute 1998.

Supervisor means a staff member with authority to supervise, control or direct work activities of a member visitors, and persons with business at the University in relation to a facility seeking to access to a facility. A supervisor cannot override any approval given by a manager.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Working alone means a situation where normal supervision or peer support is or may not be readily available.

Workshop Safety Guidelines refers to the University Health and Safety Guidelines document and the Safe Method of Use (19) General Exempt Laboratory requirements.

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Content manager: OESHAC, Property Services, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Owned by: DVCO and Registrar
Approved by: The Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: April 2011
Review date: April 2016