Safetyline 43


The HSE has recently issued a “policy” relating to the status of university students taking degree course projects where they elect or wish to dive to collect samples or gather information as part of their research. A copy of the 2 page document is available by contacting safety@sheffield .


Summaries of some of the more commonly used Regulations can be found on the Safety Services web site in a new section. A new button titled “Regulations” can be found in the left hand margin of our home page.


The operation of the on-line fire training package can be disrupted if you have “pop-ups" disabled on your web browser.  You may find that you cannot get into various screens, if so re-enabling “pop-ups” will probably solve the problem. For more information on “pop-ups”, speak to your IT co-ordinator.


With over 3000 “major” & “over 3-day” eye injuries reported to HSE in 2000/2001, eye protection is clearly a fundamental part of personal protective equipment in the workplace. Eye hazards can be: - splashes from chemicals; exposure to vapour, radiation, welding arcs, dust and gases; impact from projectiles, poor lighting; and laser beams. Where risks cannot be controlled adequately by other means then an employer is required to provide suitable eye protection and ensure they are properly used. A recent prosecution highlights the risks: - In July 2002 a mechanic was injured when a vehicle battery he was recharging exploded due to a build up of hydrogen gas that ignited. The mechanic was hit by flying bits of battery casing and acid causing permanent loss of sight in one eye. The court heard that 12 months before the accident a risk assessment was carried out of the battery charging operation which identified that a safe system of work had to be implemented and for the company to ensure that employees wore suitable PPE when carrying out the work. The company had failed to provide the necessary PPE at the time of the accident. They were fined £20,000.


Concerns expressed by the adventure activities sector over the new work at height rules have been addressed by HSE, who has now confirmed that where activities fall within the remit of a relevant national governing body, then following the guidance and good practice, as identified by that governing body, will generally be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the proposed Work at Height Regulations.


“Safe Working with Flammable Substances”, a free booklet obtainable from HSE and which can be downloaded on, recommends that 5 safety principles are followed when working with flammable substances, these concern ventilation, ignition, containment, exchange & separation. The booklet gives information for working with flammable liquids, dusts and solids, oxygen and reactive chemicals.


The barbecue season is upon us again, and I thought I’d share these 10 nuggets of wisdom I found in my local paper (honest!) relating to barbecue safety: -

  1. Use only the recommended fuel for lighting barbecues – never use petrol!
  2. Don’t set them up near to properties, including garden sheds or outdoor furniture.
  3. Keep the area clean of items that could easily burn and aid fire spread.
  4. Never leave a barbecue unattended when there are children around.
  5. When using gas barbecues, check hoses are in good condition and that connections are secure to the gas cylinder and cooking equipment.
  6. Gas cylinders should never be placed near to heat.
  7. Barbecues should be cold before disposing of burnt charcoal.
  8. Read and follow the manufacturers instructions before lighting barbecues.
  9. Never cook a barbecue under the influence of alcohol.
  10.  A fire blanket & extinguisher should be on hand to deal with out of control barbecues.

[Not sure about number 9 - I thought it was compulsory. Have fun anyway – Editor]


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