SAFETYLINE 5

HEALTH & SAFETY UPDATE MAY 2001- the "What - no election!" issue

The HSE have produced thorough critical assessments of current data on the human health hazards, occupational health exposures and risks associated with use for bromochloromethane (ISBN 0 7176 1842 0), methyl cyanoacrylate and ethyl cyanoacrylate (ISBN 0 7176 1843 0). These can be obtained from HSE Books for £10 each.

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Analysis of accident databases across industry indicates that the proportion of accidents occurring when process plant is in an "abnormal state" may be 40% or more. The HSE commissioned research found that maintenance appears to be a particularly important "abnormal state", and as such risk assessments for maintenance of machinery must take into account the higher risks involved e.g. the removal of guards and closer involvement of personnel in the process.

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We have reduced the length of "Out of Hours" training to the minimum needed to convey the information you need to meet the University’s requirements. As such latecomers would not get all the information they should have, so we feel unable to let staff join who arrive more than 5 minutes late as we do not have the time to go over the information lost. We are very sorry if this causes you inconvenience but we believe to do otherwise would disrupt the course for those who arrive on time and extend the length of the course thereby affecting the next group of trainees. Our plea for all health and safety courses is - please be on time.

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Laboratory Gas Safety courses are being run by Central Mechanical Workshops to give those handling, storing and using cylinders of gas in laboratories, basic safety information about these aspects. It includes the maintenance requirements of gas regulators and associated control equipment. Contact John Lane on 22130 for more details.

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If you intend to purchase equipment from abroad, especially outside the EU, be aware that if bought direct rather, than through an importer, then you will be responsible for the compliance of that equipment with relevant CE requirements as the importer. There are instances of equipment being bought from EU countries which were assumed to comply with the "harmonised standards" required by the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992, but subsequent to an injury of an employee, the owner of the equipment was prosecuted for failing to meet adequate safety standards.

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Up to 1000 people die on the roads in incidents that are connected to work, according to the Work-related Road Safety Task Group, more than in all other work related accidents. The Group says that employers should manage such risks by proper risk assessment and applying principles of accident prevention, as set out in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Employers could face HSE prosecution if they fail to manage these risks associated with at-work journeys and other on-the road activities. ------------------------------------------------

Key messages from the University Safety Association conference is that, across the UK, some 1,200,000 employees suffer from musculoskeletal disorders and 500,000 suffer stress, at a cost to the UK of around £12 billion per year and 200 million days lost. The TUC recently released figures showing that the UK’s 4 million young workers are more vulnerable to Repetitive Strain Injuries than their older colleagues due to a higher incidence of repetitive movements and working in awkward or tiring positions in this group.

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Product recall - All users of LifeScan PocketScan Blood Glucose meters should contact LifeScan UK Customer Service Care Line immediately to arrange for a replacement meter – there is a problem with the generation of the "Y" shaped non-numeric character on the display. The Care Line telephone number is 0800 121 200


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