Physical Geography Technician & Health & Safety Officer

  • Job Reference: NVQ Jobs
  • Date Posted: 14 September 2021
  • Recruiter: Newcastle University
  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Education, FE, Health & Safety
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £25,941  -  £27,511 with progression to £30,046 per annum
Closing Date: 1 October 2021

The Role 

To provide technical support for Physical Geography colleagues and students and to assist the Physical Geography Facilities Manager in running our field and laboratory facilities. As School Safety Officer, advise and support the Head of School in fulfilment of their health and safety responsibilities arising from operations within the School. To include the oversight of School health and safety arrangements and their operational implementation to include the specific requirements of ensuring a safe working environment in our workplace, our laboratories, with field equipment and for ensuring safe business travel for colleagues and students.

This is a part time position for 22.2 (0.6FTE) per week.

For informal enquiries please contact Ana Contessa:               

Key Accountabilities 

  • Contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of Physical Geography laboratories and associated sample and equipment stores. To include maintenance, service and repair of field and laboratory equipment
  • Organise field and laboratory equipment for academic colleagues and students and assist, when required in Physical Geography fieldwork activities to provide both H&S and technical advice in the field. This is likely to involve occasional weekend working, residential and potentially overseas fieldwork. Driving the University vehicle will also be required
  • Responsible for setting up facilities and equipment and assisting with Undergraduate practical classes, providing training and supervision where necessary.
  • Represent the School, as School Safety Officer at School, Faculty and University committees and working groups and act as the interface and conduit of appropriate information
  • Develop, update and maintain the School’s Health and Safety policy, procedures and other arrangements, as required, on behalf of the Head of School. Ensure consistency of School, Faculty and University standards and compliance with all associated H&S requirements, ensuring documentation is in place.
  • Disseminate and receive information on health and safety matters within the School via effective communication channels providing advice and support where appropriate. Providing regular updates to School Executive Board. Provide advice to colleagues and students accordingly
  • Manage and undertake a programme of routine maintenance and testing of equipment subject to statutory regulations.  Oversee the annual Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) testing programme, the examination and testing of all relevant laboratory, field, lifting and pressure equipment as required. Oversee and carry out a programme of Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). Maintain adequate records
  • Responsible for administering COSHH regulations as they apply to Geography facilities. Ensure correct storage, handling and disposal of hazardous chemical and electrical waste in accordance with School safety policies and legal requirements
  • Co-ordinate and lead a programme of required workplace inspections and local audits to include the mandatory HASMAP internal audit. Ensure that prompt action is taken to remedy faults or deficiencies, as appropriate. Assist the Head of School in production of the annual health and safety report
  • Ensure that accidents and near misses are reported promptly and investigated in accordance with University procedures. Ensure the necessary follow-up actions are implemented and the Head of School is kept briefed
  • Oversee the development, co-ordination and upkeep of the School’s risk assessment system. Assist colleagues with the identification and review of risks and oversee the end-to-end process from submission to sign-off
  • Work closely with the School Estates and wellbeing co-ordinator to ensure our working environment meets required safety standards, that we adhere to all management standards (incl. Legionella) and that colleagues are fully supported
  • Provide support for the production of the School’s Local Incident Plan and Business Continuity Plan. Attend, chair and lead on aspects of business continuity, as required
  • Oversee School health and safety training, including induction training. With reference to the University and Faculty health and safety training matrices, assist line managers / supervisors to identify health and safety training needs across the School, and, in liaison with OHSS, organize and/or deliver the necessary training courses. In liaison with OHSS, ensure any external providers of safety training provide value for money
  • Contribute to the annual health and safety inductions for the Schools undergraduate and Postgraduate students. Supervise the administration of the student health questionnaires, and ensure that the list is managed for all field work activities
  • Provide other Technical and H&S support for school activities, colleagues and students commensurate with the role

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in advising and supervising colleagues and/or students in a laboratory and/or teaching environment
  • Working knowledge of laboratory and/or field equipment
  • Fieldwork experience in Physical Geography techniques
  • Proven experience of implementing Health & Safety safety policies and practices
  • Experience and/or training in COSHH regulations
  • Effective communication, influencing and negotiation skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work under pressure often within tight deadlines.
  • Proven ability to use own initiative and think strategically
  • Excellent IT, literacy and numeracy skills
  • Willingness to assist in overseas and UK based fieldwork
  • Full Driving Licence


  • Experience as a health and safety practitioner, particularly at a technical and/or operational level
  • Experience of carrying out health and safety inspections
  • Good working knowledge of the University and HASS Faculty

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Adapts content of communication to the audience, changing style, tone and format appropriately
  • Uses face to face communication regularly; team meetings, one to ones, informal discussions/chats, briefing sessions etc.
  • Plans communication methods to add impact to messages
  • Shares relevant information with others
  • Keeps other team members up to date with progress
  • Willing to help others and share workloads
  • Works in a planned and structured way
  • Uses own and others time effectively
  • Establishes clear roles and responsibilities for self and others
  • Ensures that activities are completed on time
  • Keeps work systems up to date, neat and tidy
  • Keeps fellow team members up to date with progress
  • Co-operates with others in achieving targets
  • Has a positive attitude for doing things better
  • Pays attention to detail and strives to deliver high quality results


  • A first degree in Physical Geography, or closely related subject
  • Good working knowledge of health & safety legal requirements that apply in a technical environment


  • NEBOSH Diploma or equivalent

Interested? Then please click on the NVQ Jobs apply now button which will redirect you to our careers page where you can learn more and complete your application.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.