SAFETYLINE 10

H & S UPDATE OCTOBER 2001

There are around 150 dangerous occurrences in the UK each year involving unintentional releases from pressure systems. About 6 of these result in fatal or serious injury. HSE have published a revised guidance leaflet aimed at organisations that work with systems or equipment that contain liquid or gas under pressure. It has been updated to reflect the introduction of the Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999, covering the initial supply of pressure equipment and the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 which mainly covers the in-service requirements for pressure systems. Copies of this guidance leaflet are available from Safety Services.

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2 more safety Web-sites. Cronerís www.healthandsafety-centre.net is a free online information service. BOC have gas data and safety information available on www.procureweb.ac.uk/boc .

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Out of Hours training Ė in order to try to maximise the numbers attending these courses, if you are unable to attend please try to give us at least a dayís notice. We can then issue a number of late-availability places for specific "Out of Hours" courses on "announce@sheffield" as soon as we know of them. We will reply to these on a "first come, first served" basis but only to those we can accommodate. If you donít hear from us please donít turn up.

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Universities have been criticised by the HSE for inadequate supervision and training of radiation workers. At Sheffield the DRPSs role is to assist the Head of Department to ensure Local Rules for work with ionising radiations are complied with and to provide training in the departmental procedures associated with work with radioactive materials. The DRPS should also ensure academic supervisors/principle investigators are aware of their responsibility to provide training in the techniques used and to adequately supervise the work that they are responsible for. Close supervision is required until a radiation worker can demonstrate competence.

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A student in the Geography Department was "sprayed" with concentrated acid while working with a Hamilton MultiLab 530B automatic liquid dispenser. Fortunately he suffered no harm as goggles protected his eyes. The locating "clip" at the side of the equipment failed to hold the dispenser head which fell to the fume cupboard surface onto the button which actives the dispensing pump. The dispenser head sprayed the prescribed quantity of acid inside the fume cupboard and partly onto the student. The suppliers have been contacted and asked to rectify the inadequacies of this equipment, which enabled this accidental discharge to occur.

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HSE is warning electricians and engineers of the dangers of electric storage heating. Heaters with cast-iron cores can create carbon monoxide if they overheat. Such an event occurred in Scarborough, killing a tenant, when the overheating safety protection device was shorted out when the victim had previously complained the heater did not work properly in cold weather.

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The latest version of the "Safety in Mechanical Workshops" manual is now available on our web site, with a link to the Central Workshops site. This will be of particular interest to departments with their own mechanical workshops, or with staff who occasionally work in any of the technical workshops around the University. This site is intended to be responsive to all mechanical workshop users, so if you have any comments about the manual, or additions you would like incorporated into it, contact Bev Coddington (b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk) 27460 in Safety Services or John Lane (j.lane@sheffield.ac.uk) 22130 in Central Workshops ------------------------------------------------------------------

Fire Drills are to be carried out on all academic and residential buildings over the next 2 weeks. Not only are we, the University, legally obliged to carry these out, this exercise could help save lives in the event of a real fire. The recent fire in the City University, London and the small fire in Phytera, on Portobello, demonstrate we are not immune from such events and we ask everyone to co-operate with us over these next two weeks. Always keep fire safety high on your agenda Ė a fire can not only damage your workplace, but it can also destroy years of research or accumulated information, much of it irreplaceable.


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