SAFETYLINE 2

HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATE FEBRUARY 2001

Liverpool University report that a proprietary disinfectant supplied by Anachem Ltd, called "Microsol 3", can cause blistering and reddening of skin. The Hazard Data Sheet states "Gloves and safety glasses recommended if available" but in the light of concerns at Liverpool the wearing of gloves and eye-protection when using "Microsol 3" should be compulsory. Please inform all users of this change of practice, and if possible arrange for a suitable sign to be fixed to containers. Biological laboratories are likely to be the main users of this product.

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The HSE has revised its 1998 guidance on the safety of industrial robots aimed at designers, manufacturers, suppliers and users of industrial robots in setting up safe robot systems and safe working methods. They do not introduce new technical requirements and cover "teach and playback" robots that use pendant controls for the teaching function. These are used principally for welding, painting, assembly tasks, machine loading / unloading and palletising. HSG43; ISBN 0 1767 1310 0 from HSE Books on 01787 881165. Price 13.5 0

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A Customer Survey questionnaire was sent to Heads of Department last month to get your views on what you need or expect from Safety Services. Our service must address the needs of the University if it is to have value. I have received several of your returns so far and will be examining these with the rest of the team to see how we can implement your views. If you would like us to visit you to discuss your needs please e-mail us on Safety@sheffield.ac.uk

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The University takes its fire safety responsibilities very seriously and expects all staff and students to participate fully in the Fire Drills, or whenever fire alarms sound, and evacuate the building. Over the next few years there will be significant expenditure on fire safety engineering aspects in our buildings to make them even safer, but no engineering design can save people in a real fire who refuse to evacuate when an alarm sounds. Staff or students who refuse to evacuate buildings when fire alarms sound will face disciplinary action in the future. The use of personal stereos can affect your ability to hear fire alarms sounding and their use in buildings should be discouraged.

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In order to meet your requirements, and that of the Data Protection Act 2000, all attendees at future training courses / seminars arranged by Safety Services will be asked to sign an attendance sheet stating that doing so gives their permission for their names to be listed on the Safety Services web page of course attendees.

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Stress is becoming a major cause of absence from work, according to the CBI, and the work environment is one of many factors that may lead to this condition. Managers should look for signs of stress among their staff in order that intervention can be made before someone suffers seriously. The University has a useful booklet for staff on "Managing Stress" which gives information on symptoms, effects, causes and means of dealing with stress.

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In a recent court case the MoD were found to owe a duty of care to a drunken, off-duty soldier who fell from the back of an MoD vehicle carrying him back to barracks after a night out, when he tried to climb on the roof of the vehicle whilst travelling. The court felt it was foreseeable that the soldiers would be drunk and behave dangerously and therefore would need supervision to prevent accidents. This could have implications for us on fieldtrips if a student was injured in similar circumstances.

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Over the next couple of months I will visit as many Heads of Department as possible to discuss Contingency Planning issues with you regarding your Departments, and the steps needed to overcome major disruption to your work or workplace.


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This information has been provided by b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk,
The University of Sheffield