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Critical incidents

Definition of a critical incident

1. A critical incident may be defined as any event which threatens to severely disrupt (in whole or in part) the functioning of a faculty, service or the University as a whole, and/or which carries the risk of significant adverse publicity.

2. Whilst it is probably impossible to identify in advance all types of event which would constitute critical incidents, an incident would normally have the following features:

  • There are substantial threats to the safety or well-being of individuals or to the fabric or reputation of the institution; and
  • The incident is likely, or has the potential, to lead to the suspension of normal operations.

3. It follows that a critical incident might require:

  • the calling out of the emergency services
  • special communications mechanisms

and that media interest could be high.

4. Examples of critical incidents would include:

  • A major fire or explosion
  • An occurrence or outbreak of a contagious disease, such as meningitis.

In order to ensure a centrally co-ordinated response, all critical incidents should be reported to the Secretariat, via the Office of the University Secretary (34011;, or — in her absence — the University Security team.