SAFETYLINE 22

H & S UPDATE OCTOBER 2002

The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002. These Regulations make minor amendments to UK law to come into line with the requirements of the original Directives. These Regulations came into force on 17th September, the amendments include:

·   That all DSE workstations should conform to the recognised standard as stated in the DSE Regulation. Also DSE eyesight tests to be provided for users as soon as practicable after the request or, for prospective employees or users, before becoming a user.

·    Risk assessments for Manual Handling Operations must take into account the physical suitability of the employee, the PPE being worn, the persons knowledge and training, whether the individual is “especially at risk” and the results of any health surveillance.

·    PPE must be appropriate for the risk or risks, the conditions in the workplace where exposure to the risk may occur and the period it is to be worn. It must also take into account ergonomic requirement, the state of health of the person wearing it and the workstation characteristics.

·    Minor changes to the definitions in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations and to the wording about thermal insulation of buildings and avoidance of excessive effects of sunlight. Also requires rest rooms to include suitable arrangements to protect non-smokers from smoke discomfort, to have adequate tables and seating with backs and an adequate amount of suitable seating for the disabled.

·    Specifying the “hierarchy of controls” expected of new work equipment and ensuring control systems are safe and chosen making due allowance for the failures, faults & constraints to be expected in use.

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Health and Safety audits of departments – Please return your completed self-audit forms to Safety Services by 31st October. Thanks.

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Fire alarm testing – the weekly testing regime formally starts next month on 1st November although several departments have already commenced weekly testing. We are relying on staff to play a part by letting Estates Services know if the sounders are not operating properly in their work areas by informing the Estates Helpline on 29000. 

Several departments have not yet contacted us to arrange for training of staff for testing the alarms – please contact Steve Massey to agree a date as soon as possible.

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Safety Notices & Device Alerts received from the NHS: -

·    Risk of Pneumococcal Meningitis in Non-vaccinated Cochlear Implant Patients. Dept. of Health is recommending that Pneumococcal vaccine is given to all patients with Cochlear implants

·    Biosense Webster – Radio-opacity of new temporary pacemaker leads is lower than that of previous models and the visibility of the catheter body significantly less when imaging systems with default low dose settings are used.

·    Dinamap Pro 100-400 Series and Pro 1000 – Blood Pressure and Vital Signs patient monitors – the mains input connector can be pulled out of the case exposing live electrical terminals with a risk of electric shock to users of the equipment.

·    Cardiotograph (CTG) monitoring of fetus during labour – a number of stillbirths have occurred in the presence of CTG traces interpreted as being normal. MDA are issuing updated advise.

Further details can be obtained by contacting Safety Services on 26198

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The Procurement Department has 3 samples of the Post Office’s Safebox (for sending biological samples in the post) for those who wish to have a look at them. Contact Yvette Everitt on 22173.

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HSE has produced a Hazard Assessment Document (EH75/3, ISBN 0 7176 2350 5) for the solvent n-propyl bromide (nPB) which is being marketed as a possible substitute for trichloroethylene. Contact HSE Books on 01787 881165, price £7.50.

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Fire Drills start on 7th October for all University buildings – that’s from next Monday for 2 weeks!

WARNING - One local supplier of protective equipment is still advertising and selling gloves made of asbestos for handling hot items. Selling asbestos is illegal and there are numerous alternatives to asbestos gloves for handling hot items. If your department has gloves made of a grey, flaky material for handling hot items please inform Safety Services immediately.

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The HSE has produced the following two Risk Assessment Documents – EH72/15 Vanadium and its Volatile Compounds (ISBN 0 7176 1845 5 ) and EH72/16 Acetic Anhydride (ISBN 0 7176 2364 5). Both are priced at £10 and are available from HSE Books.

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Guidance on the selection of gloves to protect against chemical hazards can be found in the Guidance section of Safety Service’s web pages. This is based on HSE guidance and explains the main risks associated with gloves and provides information on the types of glove required to protect against different substances. The tables provided should help when choosing the most suitable glove material to use. Unfortunately the range of substances used in the University is huge and the tables provided may not cover substances you use. Check suppliers Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for advice on the most suitable glove material or contact the suppliers/manufacturers and ask which glove material would be most appropriate.

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Fire alarm testing. Letters have been sent to all occupiers of 75 of our smaller buildings asking that a member of staff be nominated to take on the responsibility of testing the alarms weekly and recording the result of the test. Around half of those contacted have already arranged for testing to be done within the department. Technical Services will test the 26 larger buildings, and memos have been sent to all relevant Heads of Departments with a copy of the proposed testing regime. Please contact us if you occupy one of the larger buildings and have not received a letter from me. We hope to have the new testing regime fully in place by the 1st November 2002 for all buildings with fire alarms.

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Reg. 8 of the PPE at Work Regulations 1992 requires employers to provide appropriate accommodation for PPE when not in use, this can be a simple peg for laboratory coats to protective cases for safety glasses. Storage must be suitable to protect the PPE from harmful substances, abrasion, dirt, sunlight, damp and mechanical damage.

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The recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease in Barrow-in-Furness originated in a cooling tower associated with an air conditioning plant at a Council run civic centre. Four people died and over one hundred people contracted the disease. This incident emphasises the need for control of Legionella through proper disinfection, testing and maintenance regimes which are in place here in the University.

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A copy of a 2-page article by BOC on training for users of cryogenic substances is available to help departments training new users. Copies can be obtained by contacting Dionne Edwards on 26198.

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The 2-week programme of Fire Drills for all University buildings will start on 7th October.

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The Royal Mail has launched a new concept in diagnostic sample distribution. SafeBox is a tough plastic container divided into 2 compartments designed to accommodate a variety of sample containers. Absorbent cushioning and a ziplock bag are provided for sealing the samples before they are placed into the inner transparent compartment, the sample documents go into the other compartment. When shut plastic tabs securely lock the container and the self adhesive address label is stuck over the seal for added security. Once sealed the samples cannot be removed without breaking open the container so the sample is safe from contamination or tampering. SafeBox is opened by pulling off a tear strip. They designed for once only use. There are 2 prepaid service options First Class at £1.95 /item, Special Delivery (next day) at £4.95 /item. SafeBox can be ordered calling the orderline on 08450 762 000 (minimum order of 50).

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Check www.shef.ac.uk/estates/energy/waste_procedures.htm for a full listing of procedures for dealing with all types of wastes produced in the University.


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