SAFETYLINE 9

H & S Update Sept 2001- the "Whos got the new car then?" issue

The Biocidal Products Regulations 2001are now in force. They mainly affect producers and suppliers of these substances, but they do have some impact on users. Biocides are products that are intended to kill or exert some influence on harmful organisms by chemical or biological means. They can be found in a wide range of products including disinfectants, pesticides, detergents, paints, preservatives, adhesives, plastics, leather, etc. They help prevent or control diseases, contamination of foods, bacterial or fungal growth, insect and animal pests, or act as preservatives to resist the effects of bacteria, fungi, slimes and moulds. Authorised Biocides will (eventually) have unique identification numbers.

Labels on Biocidal products will indicate the category of danger and the hazards with suitable risk phrases and indicate what protective equipment should be used when using the products. Packaging should be appropriate for the product and not be possible to mistake for foodstuffs. Labels should give comprehensive information about the product and how to use them safely. Safety data sheets will still be available for all such products and you should ask for them if not supplied with the product. Read the labels and follow all the information and advice provided.

[Food preservatives, medicines, veterinary medicines and sheep dips, personal hygiene products and plant protection products, e.g. for greenfly control, are not covered by the Regulations.]

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A research student narrowly avoided injury in the Chemistry Department recently when a gas cylinder fell over while she was trying to move it. The cylinder had been delivered, secured in a trolley, but became unstable during the attempted move. The message is - Do not try to handle or move gas cylinders if you have not been trained properly to do so get help from an experienced Laboratory Technician. Full cylinders (size W) weigh around 100 kg and could cause a serious injury if it fell on you.

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RM (Research Machines) have issued a product warning about high speed CD-ROM drives (48x or greater) in use with PCs. If CDs are damaged or cracked it is possible they could shatter or fragment at high speed and fragments could be expelled through the front cover of the drive. RM state that this is a rare event and no injuries have been reported to date. Check discs before use for cracks. Further information is available on www.rm.com/safety/ .

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An explosion and major fire were caused in a chemistry laboratory in UC Irvine (Orange County, US) during purification of benzene in a solvent purification still. The explosion is believed to have occurred when the sodium (being used to purify the benzene) was removed too quickly, causing a flash that ignited the flammable benzene. One researcher was injured and two buildings evacuated. 100 fire fighters took 2 hours to contain the fire.

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Tallescope (M2414) - manual portable working platform. The working platform is secured using a few pop rivets, which, when worn, causes the platform to be unsafe to use. If you have such a structure check the fixings of the platform carefully before use.

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Working "out of Hours" please remember to sign in and out in the register in your department this is the means by which we, or the Emergency Services, know you are in the building should an emergency arise.

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Health and safety training dates are now on the Safety Services Web pages.

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Fire drills will be carried out at all University buildings during October

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HSE have recently produced a free information sheet on "CNC turning machines - controlling risks from ejected parts" (Engineering information Sheet No 33) Tel 01787 881165.


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This information has been provided by b.a.coddington@sheffield.ac.uk,
The University of Sheffield