H & S UPDATE MARCH
into two fires at University residences at Manchester, one of which resulted in
the loss of the entire room contents, have concluded that inappropriate
use of halogen
desk lamps caused both
fires. The surface temperatures of the bulbs in these lamps exceed 200oC
in normal usage, which can ignite paper, paper products or fabrics if left in
close proximity to the bulbs. We ask all owners and users of these items to be
aware of the potential for fires to be caused by these items and to use them
strictly in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
Safetyline 27 (April 2003), Alpha Laboratories would like to clarify the
freezing medium in which their Cryogenic
Vials should be used.
They state they have never knowingly claimed their vials should be used in the
liquid phase of liquid nitrogen. The vials are suitable for use only in the
vapour phase of liquid nitrogen because immersion in the liquid phase can put
your sample and personal safety at risk when the vial is thawed. Usually the
vapour phase is sufficient for sample storage. This is now made clear in their
Over the past month, it has become
evident that many of the Oxygen Deficiency Sensing units installed in laboratories
containing compressed gases or cryogens are not calibrated correctly and would
be unlikely to alarm at 18% oxygen concentration as intended. Crowcon Engineers
are currently checking each monitor installed and recalibrating as necessary.
The sensors should be able to be triggered by exhaling directly onto the sensor
for as long as you can. If they donít trigger please inform Safety Services on
The NRPB have recently updated
their web site to include a section on Medical Radiation, with surveys of radiology
practice, reviews of the national patient dose database and the latest
recommended reference doses for X-ray examinations. See www.nrpb.org/
The HSE has recently published the
general ACOP for the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres
Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). It
contains extensive guidance on how to comply with the regulations including the
factors to consider when doing risk assessments, and how DSEAR fits in with
other health and safety law such as CoSHH and the Confined Space Regulations.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002, ACOP and
Guidance (L138) ISBN 0 7176 2203 7, is available from HSE Books at £15.50.
general information on DSEAR can be found on the HSE website on www.hse.gov.uk/spd/dsear.htm
Thanks to all of you who responded
to my request for views on the service we provide or donít provide, in the Customer Survey I sent out in January. I will reply by e-mail to everyone who responded
and we will be actively implementing those proposals that we can do or explain
why we canít.
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