Safetyline 35

H & S UPDATE NOVEMBER 2003

Last year there were more than 4,000 injuries to employees and the public caused by slips and trips at educational institutions in the UK. This has prompted the HSE to issue new Guidance on preventing slip and trip incidents in this sector. These measures include: -

Designing in appropriate flooring with slip resistant surfaces, especially around machinery,

Regular maintenance and inspection of all floors and traffic routes,

Remedial work taken expeditiously and recorded, replacement of damaged carpets & tiles.

Procedures for cleaning spillages immediately and drying them after cleaning,

Displaying signs warning of the risks of slipping,

Consider the risks of over-polished floors.

Having a sensible shoe policy for staff and students,

Avoiding trailing cables from equipment and tools,

Provide adequate lighting to ensure hazards aren’t obscured,

Changing working practices where applicable.

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The University continues to support the use of cycles as a sustainable mode of transport and has invested considerable time and money in providing storage facilities and showers on campus (see www.shef.ac.uk/cycleforum/ for more info). Despite the large number of cycle parking facilities provided across the campus it has been brought to our attention that more and more cyclists are bringing cycles in to buildings - against University Policy. Cycles in buildings create significant obstructions to safe emergency evacuation and should not be brought into buildings under any circumstances. Any cycles found in buildings will be removed. Cycle parking facilities are adjacent to the Hicks Building, Arts Tower, Library and Mappin Buildings, all of which are monitored by CCTV for your peace of mind. Cycle thefts across campus are very rare if good locks are used and peripheral equipment such as helmets and panniers are removed. Additional capacity is to be considered shortly by the Cycle Forum.

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CCOHS has revamped the CCINFOweb to provide an enhanced service to better meet the needs of their clients. On September 29, the enhanced Web Information Service was released, replacing the old CCINFOweb. An additional enhancement to the new service is an Academic Support Program (ASP) Gateway Page, loaded with a powerful new search interface, cross-database searching, "Subscriber Extras", a Chemical Notification service and more, the ASP Gateway allows you to access all of the databases in the program, as well as any Supplements that you may also subscribe to -- with one simple search !! A beta version of this gateway page is now available at http://ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca/asp/ and your feedback would be appreciated. Comments and questions can be sent via email to:beta@ccohs.ca

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Royal Ordinance has been fined £100,000 after an explosion injured three workmen. Although the immediate cause was the action taken by a subcontractor, the company had failed to ensure that a risk assessment had been carried out, which would have revealed an obvious hazard. The subcontractor had been contracted to clean out redundant oil tanks and decided to use kerosene to thin residual oil in a tank, and then heated the resulting mixture for 48 hours. The injuries occurred when the mixture exploded. Royal Ordinance was fined as they had not followed up their request for a risk assessment and did not stop the work when the subcontractor failed to produce one. HSE commented that that it is essential for those engaging contractors to ensure that they are competent to do the work and that “no matter how good written procedures may be they are only as effective as the extent to which they are put into practice”.

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Many thanks to those of you who completed and returned the health and safety self-audit forms I sent out during September. So far 41 returns have been submitted, several for more than one section of a Department. Please forward outstanding returns to me as quickly as possible.

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HSE guidance on “Driving at work: managing work-related road safety” can be found on www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg382.pdf


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