SAFETYLINE 3

HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATE MARCH 2001 Ė THE "LEEK" EDITION

The COSHH Regulations apply to all substances used in the workplace which pose a risk to staff or others, including cleaning agents, oils, greases, maintenance materials as well as fuels for portable equipment Ė because of the spillage and contact risks. Domestic products used for domestic purposes, e.g. detergents for washing up etc, do not normally pose a significant risk and can be ignored for assessment purposes.

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When considering "general risks" in your department - we get many accidents every year involving broken glassware, contact with hot surfaces, slips trips and falls, etc which should be considered by departments for assessment for "general" risks. Violence against staff should also be considered where there is significant interaction with the public. Storage and use of pressurised gases and cryogenic liquids in unventilated or poorly ventilated rooms creates a "confined space" which must be risk assessed, and appropriate controls identified and implemented. Contact Safety Services for more information or assistance.

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Among the top ten causes of fires and explosions are electrical problems (No.1), contact with hot surfaces / radiant heat (No.4), overheating equipment (No.5) and smoking (No.9). We can all do our bit to keep an eye on electrical equipment, avoid clothing and other combustibles contacting direct heat sources, maintaining equipment and not smoking. Also donít hide fire extinguishers by hanging clothing on them, and if you want extinguishers relocated, ask Safety Services to do this for you.

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I have received over 20 customer surveys from you, which give a wide variety of comments on our services, and many excellent ideas on how we can help you. I will be contacting those of you have replied to discuss your comments where appropriate.

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We have been sent an excellent example of a departmental health & safety bulletin produced for the Rotunda which gives valuable information on, for example, the names of the Safety Officer, First Aider and DSE Trainer with contact numbers, locations of first aid boxes, and a reminder about reporting accidents and training dates. Well done.

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The Health and Safety Committee has agreed a modified version of the annual fire training we give to comply with fire certificates. New starters will have a full seminar, as at present, but subsequent training, we hope, will be managed by departments ensuring staff view the fire video which should be available by Easter. We will also need volunteers from all departments to undergo full fire extinguisher training. We expect to start this new format in 2002.

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The Public Health Laboratory Service wishes to identify all laboratories stocking Poliovirus, or other potentially infectious materials, in order to distribute a questionnaire to all of them. Itís to do with the cessation of immunisation when polio is finally eradicated. If your laboratory stocks Poliovirus please contact Safety Services who will arrange to get a questionnaire for you, or contact Dr Brenda Thomas on Brthomas@phls.org.uk

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Dangerous equipment - if electrical or mechanical equipment, cables, systems etc are deemed dangerously unsafe during a maintenance visit, inspection or as a result of a complaint, they may be disconnected or taken out of service immediately, with little or no warning given, to eliminate the risk to others. Where practicable, reasonable forewarning of disconnection will be given to allow work to be shut down properly, or alternative supplies or equipment to be arranged.


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This information has been provided by b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk,
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