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Please read the information on this page including the Risk Assessment before filling in the parental permission and student agreement forms.


Placement Details

Name of organisation

NDORMS, University of Oxford

Address of placement


Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Windmill Road


Dates of placement

8-12 July 2024 or 15-19 July 2024

Name of Supervisor

Natalie Ford

Supervisor Job title

Outreach and Engagement Officer

Employer’s liability insurance number

NHE 18CA04 0023 (renewed annually in July)

Placement Description


The Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) is a medical research department of the University of Oxford. Our department is made up of biomedical scientists, surgeons, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and medical imagers who all work on research related to orthopaedic surgery, joint inflammation, inflammatory diseases and diseases and conditions of muscles and joints.


During your placement with us we will aim to show you the very broad range of research taking pace at NDORMS and give you a chance to spend time with our staff in laboratories and other research areas. Students will undertake a wide range of activities designed to showcase the breadth of work of the department, which may include talks with scientists and clinicians (informal and/or seminar style), workshops, work shadowing, lab work and other similar activities. 


Please make sure that you have read the risk assessment below before signing this form.


If you are unable to attend any day of your placement or if you experience any problems during your placement please call Natalie Ford on 01865 223671.




Risk Assessment

Risk assessment for students under 18 years of age for access to laboratories in Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science

This risk assessment is for work experience students under the age of 18 who come to NDORMS laboratories for short visits of up to 1 week.  The University rules (in University Safety Policy S1/13) state that people must be over 16 to enter a containment laboratory, except in relation to organised educational activities. 

The University safety policy can be found at the following link:-

Hazards at NDORMS

The work undertaken in NDORMS is scientific research with a focus on rheumatology and musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  The work is highly varied and encompasses both clinical work and basic research at the biochemical, genetic and cellular levels as well as clinical trials/statistics, orthopaedic engineering and materials science.  Consequently there are many hazards present, such as biological hazards (genetically modified organisms, human tissue), chemical hazards, high voltages, lasers, compressed gases, cryogenic liquids and mechanical hazards from scientific equipment.


Control Measures

Students must be continuously supervised by a member of staff and work outside of core hours (i.e. 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) is forbidden.  The student must undergo the routine building induction as conducted by the buildings manager and also a laboratory specific induction to be conducted by the supervising member of staff.  The student must agree to abide by the instructions given by the supervising member of staff without question.


No hazardous work should be undertaken by the student, but observation of work activities that may contain a hazardous element is permitted e.g. watching the preparation of cells from a human blood sample.  Hazardous work will include, but is not restricted to the following. In cases of doubt please consult the Safety Officer:-

No working with Ionizing radiation.

No working with liquid nitrogen.

No handling hazardous chemicals e.g. mutagens such as ethidium bromide, concentrated acids or alkalis, oxidising agents, large volumes of solvents, acetonitrile and any other toxic chemical.

No heavy lifting or using dangerous equipment e.g. autoclaves, mechanical testing equipment, etc.

No working with blood or patient samples, pathogens, genetically modified organisms or any viral work.

All work must be done in accordance with a current risk assessment. Personal protective equipment e.g. labcoat, gloves, eye protection must be worn as appropriate.  Eye protection and a labcoat must be worn at all times in containment level 2 laboratories. 

Overall assessment of Risk

Visits by under 18’s on work experience placements are considered to be low risk activities when the above points are taken into consideration. All of the above Hazards have a low likelihood of causing injury.  The consequences of the above Hazards could be significant but are likely to be low to insignificant. Therefore the overall risk to a visitor can therefore be considered low to negligible. 


Assessment date 2 May 2024

Assessor J. Dunford (NDORMS safety officer)




Other information

Usual hours

 During the placement

Your usual hours during the placement will be 9am until 5pm, apart from on your first day. You will be given more information about the times for your first day nearer the placement. 

It is possible that you may finish a little earlier or later on some days depending on your individual work experience timetable.  We aim that your day will never be any longer than 9am until 5pm and you will always usually have an hour lunch break each day (on some days this may need to be shortened slightly).

You will be given your work experience timetable on the first day of your placement.


Dress code

Please wear smart casual clothes with comfortable closed-toe shoes; sandals are not permitted for health and safety reasons. If you have long hair, please make sure that you will be able to tie your hair back whilst spending time in our laboratories. If you have any questions about the dress code please get in touch.


In case of emergency, or if you are unable to attend your placement on any day, please contact Natalie Ford on .  If you do not get a response please contact NDORMS HR on 01865 737541 or email as soon as possible.  They will contact the relevant people.