SAFETYLINE 36

HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATE DECEMBER 2003

  

DON’T FORGET - Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is an offence from today. Under new regulations offenders can be fined £30, which can increase to a maximum of £1000 if the matter goes to court, as well as three points on their licence. Hands-free phone calls are not affected by the new rules but they are still a distraction for drivers and can increase the risk of accidents. Drivers can still risk prosecution for failing to have proper control of their vehicle, or for careless or even reckless driving, if the use of hands-free phones affects their driving ability. “Safe Driving Tipscan be found on the Safety Services web pages in the Guidance section.

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As mentioned very briefly in last months bulletin, HSE has released guAlsoidance on driving at work that employers will be expected to comply with under their obligations under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This is because one in three road traffic accidents involve a person who is working at the time, and more people are killed in work-related driving incidents than at the workplace. The guidance applies good health and safety workplace practice to driving and requires that effective management of occupational road risks are integrated with other health and safety arrangements. I urge you to read the guidance and “Safe Driving Tips and assess the risks associated with employees that drive and take appropriate measures to reduce the risks identified.

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Safe working procedures have been drafted for everyone performing electrical work in departments to follow to make electrical work safer. The procedures indicate what is required to work safely on electrical equipment and include a system to assess an individual’s competence to carry out electrical work based on their experience, training and technical ability to ensure that each person recognises, and operates within, his or her level of competence. It is expected that this assessment will identify shortcomings in training and experience among University employees and researchers and that additional training will be needed to make up those deficiencies. Work has started with the Staff Development Unit to identify suitable training programmes and techniques to “up-skill” employees to the level of competence required by each department. Funding has been made available for the relevant training but SDU need to know how many people will be involved. If you haven’t already told Dewi Thomas how many staff will require training under this programme, please do so immediately.

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Remember when filling in accident reports, be precise about the location & particulars of the incident (i.e. where it happened & how); put the full name (e.g. Jeremy Alan Bloggs not J A Bloggs) and address of the injured person, be as specific as you can about nature of the injury (cut, sprain, broken bone etc) & site i.e. what part of the body is affected (head, leg arm etc). Many of the forms coming through are lacking vital information so we have to send them back to the author for completion.

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Following an inspection after a fire alarm activation on campus, the Fire Service are strongly advising us to ensure that materials must not be stored on top of cupboards or other furniture near to fire detectors. Detectors require a minimum of 500mm all around them to operate correctly.

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Only 24 more shopping days to Christmas and the stress is building up already!  Who have you forgotten to buy for? Can the credit card stand the strain? Will you come out of the Christmas period looking ten years older? If you are already a nervous wreck, this is not for you, but here are some stress-busting tips for the rest of you.. This year buy presents for people that you know they won’t want rather than buying presents that disappoint, e.g. balloons for the mother-in-law, fluffy slippers for the father-in-law, a good book for the kids. Buy in a giant pizza for the Christmas meal and buy plenty of wine and beer, even pizzas taste acceptable after a few glasses. Get crackers, it’s fun to see people in silly hats. Buy in lots of fruit, crisps and chocolates, after snacking all day who wants to eat a meal. Insist that everyone joins you for a long walk before and after Christmas dinner because there won’t be any preparation to do. Finally, send everyone home as soon as possible as having friends and family round is great fun but can be hard work even if you minimise the effort involved. I’m feeling better already. Roll on Christmas! (The opinions in this item are not necessarily those of University management)

Happy Christmas to you all


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