SAFETYLINE 32

H & S UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2003

The HSE are issuing “Chemical Hazard Alert Notices” (CHANs) for substances for which the Occupational Exposure Standard has been withdrawn based on evidence that they may not be adequate to protect health. They give advice on health effects associated with exposure and good practice. The latest set relates to: - Nitrogen monoxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Glycerol trinitrate, Ethylene dinitrate, Divinylbenzene, Furfuryl alcohol and Sulphur dioxide.  A full set of CHANs can be found on http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/chindex.htm.

                        ------------------------------------------------------------------

Safety Management Tips” have been placed on the Safety Services web pages in the “Guidance” section to indicate the issues Departments  should be considering and addressing.

                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------

A market research report of 500 people found that 52% had no idea where the first aid supplies were kept at work. The research also showed that knowledge of how to treat minor injuries is rare in UK workers, 43% of those polled stated that they had never received first aid training at work. Over 1 million accidents occur in the workplace annually so knowing where the first aid kit is and how to use it in the event of an accident is important.

                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------

HSE has issued a warning to firms buying second hand machinery to ensure it is safe when being set, used, cleaned and maintained. Buyers and sellers of machinery are warned that “sold as seen” is no protection from liabilities under safety laws. The warning follows an HSE prosecution of both the supplier of the second-hand machinery and the buyer after an experienced machine operator sustained serious hand injuries when cleaning the powered rollers. The machine had been supplied “as seen, as is” having come from a previous user who had it in storage for some years. No changes were made to the machine by the supplier before delivery and no documentation other than an invoice stating “free from any damage other than normal wear and tear” and machine manuals were provided to the user. The supplier did ot obtain any written undertaking from the user in relation to ensuring safety before use. The user carried out an extensive overhaul returning the machine to almost original condition but making no changes to its design or safety features.

                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------

The Creosote (Prohibition on Use and Marketing) (No 2) Regulations 2003 came into force in June 2003 and ban the use of creosote with wood based products due to concerns about carcinogenicity. Most new commercially treated timber does not use creosote and is not affected by this change. Restrictions on private usage now mean that householders could be committing an offence if they use creosote on a fence or shed. The Regulations also aim to stop the use of creosote treated wood where there is a risk of frequent contact, e.g. inside buildings, in playgrounds, parks, gardens and outdoor recreational areas. Retailers are likely to withdraw remaining stocks.

                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------

Safety Tips to reduce the amount of chemicals emitted from laboratory fume hoods without compromising safety have been listed in Lab. Saf. Environ. Manage., Spring 2003, these include: keeping caps on chemical reagent bottles tight and check fittings on laboratory glassware to minimise vapour losses; not using fume hoods for chemical storage; substituting less hazardous or less volatile chemicals when possible; introduce process changes that improve safety and reduce emissions to the environment; implement capture devices to salvage product for reuse; develop processes to evaluate research proposals for waste generation and add a component to evaluate laboratory emissions.

                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------

One NMR user narrowly escaped having a serious accident recently when their liquid nitrogen liquefier was not functioning correctly, and unknown to the user the condensate contained a high percentage of liquid oxygen. When such a mixture is filled weekly into the nitrogen tank of a cryomagnet, a dangerously high concentration of liquid oxygen will build up. All users of cryomagnets are urged to check liquefiers regularly to ensure oxygen is not being condensed. NMR cryomagnets should only be filled with pure liquid nitrogen.

                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------

Check out www.nrpb.org/understand.index.htm for information on EMF and other radiation matters.                 


| Safetyline Index |

| Safety Services | | Facilities Management Directorate |


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