SAFETYLINE 31

H & S UPDATE AUGUST 2003

The 2003 edition of the University’s Health and Safety Code of Practice has now been delivered to all departments who let us know how many they required following our e-mail earlier this summer. If you are an employee or postgraduate student and have not received your copy, request one from your Departmental Safety Officer. If your department has not received any, then please let Safety Services know how many copies you need and we will arrange for them to be delivered to you. You will note that there have been significant changes to the section detailing how safety is managed within the University and the allocation of responsibilities. I urge you all to read those parts that are relevant to your department. Contact Safety Services on 26198 or e-mail safety@sheffield to let us know how many copies your department needs.

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The HSE have issued their “Strategic Research Outlook 2003” providing information on a broad spectrum of safety issues and topics, including new and emerging issues, on which the HSE expects to carry out research either now or in future years. This will normally be commissioned against a detailed specification using competitive tendering wherever appropriate. The document can be viewed on, and downloaded from, the HSE’s website at;  www.hse.gsi.uk/research

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Over the next 12 months, fire safety work will continue with a new fire detection and alarm system for the Hicks Building with detectors and sounders in all rooms, replacement of the fire doors in corridors, protection for the lift landings and a second set of fire doors to protect the stairways. Work in the Hadfield Building will continue through the installation of a second set of fire doors at all staircases to create a “lobby” to protect people in the stairways in the event of a fire later in 2004.

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Imperial Laundry are able to deal safely with level 2 pathogen contaminated laboratory coats provided they have been placed in water soluble bags, available from them, at £1.00 each.

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The CCOHS web site will not be available on August 8th, 9th and 10th, but should be fully operational on Monday August 11th. This is due to a relocation of their Headquarters. Don’t forget this website has a huge library of Material Safety Data Sheets and toxicological information on a large number of substances. It can be accessed free to University staff and students on http://ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca/.

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New Noise at Work Regulations will have to be adopted and be in force by 15th February 2006. The main impact will be a reduction in the current action levels and employers will have to reduce noise at source still further within their workplace. Hearing protectors will have to reduce noise levels to which employees are exposed by more than the present legal requirement. Under the new Regulations the first action level will be 80dB(A) and the second action level 85dB(A). There will be a limit of 87dB(A).

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A number of HSE web sites have been added to the “Useful Links” section of the Safety Services web site giving access to a large number of free safety guides from the HSE on a wide variety of topics.

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The Safety Office in Nottingham University carried out a limited survey of Legionella in laboratory water baths at different temperatures. Baths operated at temperatures of 45oC and over proved negative but baths operated at around 35oC proved positive. It is unlikely that the bacterium would be able to become airborne in normal usage but it would be prudent to change the water on a regular basis and to operate the bath for an hour or two at 45oC or higher weekly.

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The web-based fire training has been moved as a result of the new Corporate web pages. It can now be found from the University Home Page via “Information for Staff”, then click on “Training” then 2nd down in the main list, or on the Home Page for Safety Services, last button down in the left hand margin. The URL is http://firetrainingnow.co.uk/sheff/. Don’t forget you have to use the Login “sheffieldun” and the password “fire” – personal passwords will not work on this programme.

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The University’s Incident Management Plan can be found on www.shef.ac.uk/staff/ContPLans.pdf

 or on the “General Information” pages of main University web site.


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