The HSE has launched Electronic CoSHH Essentials ( – for free advice on limiting exposure to harmful substances. CoSHH requires employers to:

·         Assess the risks to health from exposure to substances hazardous to health,

·         Prevent or adequately control exposure;

·         Ensure that control measures are used, maintained, examined and tested;

·         In some instances to monitor exposure and carry out health surveillance; and

·         Inform, instruct and train employees.

In many cases (depending on the risk assessment) control measures can be very simple, e.g. providing suitable ventilation. Have a relevant data sheet handy as the process requires you to input risk phrases to get the necessary advice on what to do.


DEFRA has just established a Fire, Health and Safety Directorate to bring together health and safety at work, the fire service and building control. The move follows the announcement that fire safety legislation is set to receive a major overhaul in the next 12 months.


Safety Notices & Device Alerts received from the NHS: -

1.      Smith & Nephew Homecraft Ltd - Liftmaster 160 & 190 Hoists – risk of detachment of spreader bar on models supplied November 1997 - June 1999. Some Hoists not returned for modification following 1999 recall. Serial No’s SN4000001 – SN4001999 affected.

2.      Intersurgical Breathing Systems Lot Numbers 3021471 to 3022477 – potential for small piece of red plastic to migrate into the breathing system from incorrectly moulded 22 mm red safety end caps. Do not use affected breathing systems.

3.      Medex 2010 Pumps – failure of pumps made before 1994 to hold BD 50 ml syringes. Upgrades are required to syringe plungers.

4.      Eli Lilly HumaPen Ergo insulin pens – if the insulin cartridge holder is blue it should be replaced with a new clear cartridge holder to ensure proper delivery of insulin.

5.      Mobile X-ray Units GEC D38 and CD38S – risk of electric shock while operating the motor driven vertical column due to incorrectly rated push buttons.

6.      Scandinavian Mobility Popular Plus Powered Wheelchair – risk of overheating or fire in battery cables and connector plugs as a result of wear or damage.

Further details can be obtained by contacting Safety Services on 26198


Two websites that may be of interest:-

1. – for a checklist of health-related items to take with you on holiday and a country by county guide to vaccination requirements and travel health support groups.

2. – for a source of second-hand laboratory plant and equipment, e.g autoclaves, blenders, centrifuges, microscopes etc. The company may be interested in buying surplus equipment from you or as part-exchange for other items.


High speed CD drives – Viglen (our main supplier) state their CD drives have strengthened doors which should resist bits of CDs flying out of the machine. Also when discarding cracked CDs, do not try to bend or break them as they can shatter sending shards in all directions.


On Friday 21st June, an accident occurred in the University when a 2.5 litre Winchester of concentrated Sulphuric Acid was accidentally dropped when lifting it from its safety cabinet onto a workbench. The bottle broke spraying acid onto the feet and legs of the person lifting the bottle. Fortunately the person was wearing jeans and shoes which prevented contact with bare skin and which could have caused significant injury to the person. We are aware that protection for laboratory staff at present is limited to lab coats, gloves and safety eyewear and that people often wear skirts or shorts and open shoes or sandals which would provide no protection under the circumstances of this accident. It would seem prudent to insist that people wear clothing to protect their feet and legs from a similar incident unless other suitable measures are taken to prevent such an occurrence.

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