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Preventing Manual Handling Injuries

Manual handling it is one of the most common causes of injury and it carries a high risk of causing Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) such as upper and lower limb pain/disorders, joint and repetitive strain injuries of various types.


When moving heavy or awkward loads, these injuries can be prevented by a combination of training, adequate supervision and risk assessment of the activity.
The HSE has published a brief guide Manual Handling at Work leaflet that identifies simple filters that will help to identify low-risk tasks and (conversely) when a more detailed risk assessment may be required.

Please refer to the Faculty’s Manual Handling H&S intranet page for further information, links to the University Safety Services guidance on musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and the Safety Services Safety Toolkits for Manual Handling.  

We strongly recommend that all those involved in manual handling complete an online training course in manual handling available from Staff Learning and Development TLCO510.
 

Safe Storage of Hazardous Substances

Recent Labcup audits have identified many examples of good practice regarding the storage of hazardous substances however there have also been some very poor practice’s identified. These include degraded containers, substances over 10 years past their expiry date and incompatible substances being stored together.
Additionally the audits have identified some substances that have been stored in the wrong location e.g. corrosives stored in flammables cabinets as illustrated by this photograph taken during an inspection. 

Damaged cabinet
 
Cabinet degradation caused by storing corrosives in a flammables cabinet.
White powder formation due to storing incompatible corrosives together causing a reaction.
Expired substances taking up space and becoming highly unstable during long term storage. 
Substances taking up space and becoming highly unstable during long term storage.  

There is an intranet page with detailed information on to how to procure and store hazardous substances that you can refer to which includes general rules of procuring and storing hazardous substances, storing peroxide forming solvents, storage of flammable substances and corrosives and storage of poisons.
It is essential to segregate incompatible substances when storing them to prevent dangerous interactions: you may also find this compatibility table for chemical storage a useful reference guide for your lab.

Additional information is on the safety data sheet for each substance and should be in your COSHH risk assessments.

What you need to do:

  • Dispose of old and unwanted hazardous substances via Stopford Stores hazardous waste disposal. 
  • Download  the Compatibility Table for Chemical Storage, go through it with your lab staff and place a copy of it in your lab safety file.
  • Buy smaller amounts of hazardous substance to free up space in cabinets and reduce expired substances in storage.
  • Develop and follow a robust chemical hygiene plan,  for procurement and storage of hazardous substance and chemical waste management. 
  • Report damaged cabinets to your infrastructure technicians.

Over the next few months there will be ongoing Labcup audits for specific substances and you will be contacted if any issues are identified and supported in resolving them.

Risk assessments

Risk Assessments 

COVID risk assessments

The Health and Safety Executive are conducting spot checks regarding COVID control measures and an important part of the measures include effective and up-to date COVID risk assessments.
In light of the recent COVID variants being identified, please ensure that your COVID risk assessments are up to date. Guidance on what is required can be found at https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/bmh/ps-activities/health-safety/local-arrangements/risk-assessments/covid/

It is also important to ensure that the assessment has been clearly communicated to all those affected by it and that they have also read and signed it.

General risk assessments, updates and training

The most effective way of ensuring good health and safety is through the use of risk assessments.
Individuals must be aware of the hazards (i.e. things that can cause harm) involved in their work whether it be a simple task of lifting or a complex experimental procedure. The primary aim should be to prevent  harm occurring, however it is recognised that this may not always be possible, in which case control measures should be identified that will as far as reasonably practicable reduce the risk of harm occurring to an acceptable level.
Risk assessment (as required by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations) should be the first step in deciding the control measures needed.
It is expected that all labs have risk assessment in place for all activities including those from simple task of lifting or a complex experimental procedures, that these risk assessments have been authorised by your PI / line manager and all involved in the activity have read and signed the risk assessment.
If you have had no training in how to write risk assessments then please complete the following FBMH health and safety training modules on Blackboard. 

  • The principles of risk assessment part 1 – principles of general risk assessment
  • The principles of risk assessment part 2 – COSHH and DSEAR risk assessments

There is further guidance on the FBMH H&S intranet and a library of generic risk assessments you can download from the FBMH risk assessment library.
If you are simply reviewing your risk assessments and there are no substantial changes, remember review doesn’t mean re-write. Just update the assessment and communicate the changes to all those affected.

Electrical safety

Recently there have reports of electrical shocks  caused by faulty University electrical equipment.
Research has proven that 95% of equipment electrical faults are picked up by a simple visual check before use and are the most effective way of using your electrical equipment safely. It should form the basis of any risk assessment for electrical equipment.
The checks that should be carried out before electrical equipment is used include:
   
  • Damage to the lead such as fraying, scuffing, splits.
  • Coloured wires visible where the lead joins the plug (the cable is not being gripped where it enters the plug).
  • Damage to the plug, e.g. to the cover or bent pins or charring.
  • Signs of overheating, such as burn marks or staining on the plug, lead or piece of equipment.
  • Damage to the outer cover of the equipment itself, including loose parts or screws, rust and dents.
  • Condensation, wet sockets.
  • Cracked / damaged plug sockets.
 
If signs of damage are noted take the equipment out of service and notify your PI / line manager so repairs can be arranged. If it is communal equipment notify the responsible technician immediately. Do not assume someone else has reported the fault.
You also need to keep a check on plug sockets and the electrical trunking / walls they are mounted on. If there are signs of damage such as moisture, burns marks or loose wires you must report it to Estates as an urgent health and safety issue.
 

Finally, don’t forget you need a risk assessment in place for safe use of electrical equipment in your laboratory. A generic risk assessment that can be downloaded and modified from the FBMH risk assessment library.
 
For further guidance about electrical appliance safety, visual check, portable appliance testing and causes and prevention of electrical fires please see the FBMH health and safety electrical safety intranet page.

Keeping COVID Risk Assessments up to date

Risk assessments are dynamic, living documents that must be kept up to date and reviewed regularly. Review dates should be recorded at the top of the assessment.

Please ensure that you have updated your COVID risk assessments following recent changes, for example it is mandatory to wear disposable face masks in research laboratories.

With the emergence of new variants we need to ensure everyone is strictly adhering to the COVID-secure measures we have in place.

COVID risk assessments should be updated with the following background information:

Background

The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) has classified SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of COVID-19, as a hazard group 3 pathogen, which has spread in early 2020 to cause a global pandemic. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurs by inhalation of aerosolised virus or by contact with droplets and contaminated fomites (surfaces). Transmission of the disease is either through the direct inhalation of respiratory droplets from people coughing or sneezing (there is also a theoretical risk of transmission through normal conversation) or by transferring contamination from surfaces that have been exposed to respiratory droplets. The most common symptoms are recent onset of a new continuous cough, high temperature or change in taste or smell (anosmia).

The new variant of coronavirus with a mutated spike protein is recognised as the emerging predominate strain in circulation during the winter of 2020 which has resulted in stricter government controls. Although this variant is generally regarded as being more effective at binding to cellular receptors, the control measures required to reduce the onward transmission (hand face space) remain the same but these should be more stringently applied and monitored through local COVID secure observations, reporting to the relevant management unit as described the locally managed specific risk assessment.

This risk assessment evaluates risks relating to SARS-CoV-2 infection and specifies risk control measure arrangements to minimise these risks, so far as is reasonably practicable, to facilitate a safe learning environment for teacher and students.

The risk for any individual activity, with the mitigations in place and separating the activity risk from the health risk, is low (i.e. not increased above the general risk for COVID infection). Specific health risk is addressed through the Guidance for staff on Vulnerability and the risk health matrix available to all returning staff and with manager’s guidance on this matter. Individuals who are concerned about their risk should discuss the matter with their line manager and/or GP.

The new variant of coronavirus, with a mutated spike protein, is recognised as the emerging predominate strain in circulation during the winter of 2020 and has resulted in stricter government controls. Although this variant is generally regarded as being more effective at binding to cellular receptors, the control measures required to reduce the onward transmission (“hand, face, space”) remain the same but these should be more stringently applied and monitored through local COVID secure observation, reporting to the relevant management unit as described in the locally managed specific risk assessment.

Recommendations

Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Scope

To evaluate the risks of COVID-19 infection and specify control measures and arrangements to minimise these risks, so far as is reasonably practicable, to facilitate safe working within any FBMH occupied space either on campus or in off-site locations.

To highlight where a review of existing measures (risk and COSHH assessments, standard operating procedures) will be required to ensure they meet the guidance set out by UK Government and the University of Manchester for returning to work following this pandemic.

The repopulation of campus and University occupied spaces will be in a phased and controlled manner. All requests must go through the correct approval process for authorisation.

Lone Working on Campus - Keep Safe during the Christmas Holidays 2020

Anyone who is working out of sight and sound of others is considered to be lone working. You are more likely to be lone working during the University closure days such as the Christmas holidays than at any other time.

When lone working and in particular when lone working out of hours, the risks associated with all work activities are considered to be higher. Additionally although Campus Security provide 24/7 emergency cover, out of hours there are no fire marshals, local first aiders, hazardous spill kit teams, chemical burns advisors, experienced colleagues or Health and Safety staff on site. Should something go wrong the victim may not be able to call for help or there may be a delay in help arriving.

Whilst the simplest way not to put yourself at risk is not to lone work out of hours, we recognise that in some instances it is unavoidable. To keep safe we ask that you comply with the University Lone Working Arrangements and Guidance - key points of which are outlined below.

  1. Lone workers must have explicit permission from their Principal Investigator or line manager.
  2. Only low risk laboratory work may be undertaken by lone workers and PIs / line managers should define the nature of the work.
  3. An on campus lone working check list must have been completed. This checklist is an aide-memoir to assist in the production of a lone working risk assessment and safe systems of work. Use this check list to guide you through the issues that must be considered before lone working takes place and to help develop appropriate control measures.
  4. A lone working risk assessment must be in place that has been checked and countersigned by Principal Investigator / Line Manager. It needs to consider those tasks that present a particular risk to the lone worker e.g. personal security, actions to be taken in the event of an emergency or in the event of personal injury and identify the control measures necessary to minimise the risk.
  5. Your risk assessments must include COVID secure cleaning regimes in addition to the lone working arrangements.

The anti-viral products when used by house services to clean high touch points are active for 28 days and will offer protection over closure. Lab users will continue to clean their areas and equipment before and after use with COVID secure measures in place.

There is additional guidance on the FBMH Health and Safety Intranet, a simple Do’s and Don’ts list and an example lone working risk assessment with a completed check list that you can download and modify. To use example risk assessments: ensure all of the activities have been covered, hazards identified and that control measures are at least equivalent to or better than those described and take account of your Local Rules. 

SafeZone

SafeZone, is a University mobile app designed to give students and staff of The University of Manchester extra peace of mind when coming to campus or living in accommodation, particularly during the current pandemic.
It allows you to contact our COVID-19 helpline to ask any questions, report concerns and get advice on how to report a positive COVID-19 test. It also allows you to contact the Security team directly if you are in an immediate emergency or require first aid. It is compatible with both iPhones and Android phones, follow this link to download the SafeZone app.

We strongly encourage you to download and use this app, it adds an extra layer of safety when working on campus. If you are intending to use it, don’t forget to check it works by trying one of the non-emergency links; don’t forget that if you have your phone in the lab keep it in your lab coat pocket and do not touch with gloves on.  

Fairy Lights

To prevent Christmas decoration related mishaps you must do the following before using fairy lights:

  1. Check your fairy lights conform to the British Standard and are in good working order.
  2. If the lights are mains powered then check the plug for visible signs of damage such as cracks or discoloration ,
  3. If the lights are battery operated make sure the batteries are in good condition; if they are last year’s lights replace the batteries.
  4. In both cases visually inspect the lights prior to use - look for obvious imperfections such as broken bulbs, damage to the flex, loose wires etc. If you are at all unsure then don’t use them.
  5. Replace blown bulbs quickly and always replace like for like.
  6. To prevent circuits being overloaded avoid using extension leads (ensure you avoid trip hazards).
  7. Turn fairy lights off before you leave work.

Remember - Christmas decorations burn easily - don't attach them to lights or near other heat sources. Make sure decorations are firmly secured and don't hang baubles and the like off the balconies (they have fallen on people’s heads in the past).

Happy Christmas and enjoy your break.

Safe use of Bunsen burners

There have been several near miss incidents involving the unsafe use of Bunsen burners, the causes included:

  • Leaving lit Bunsen’s unattended.
  • Using perished Bunsen tubing.  

Please ensure your Standard Operating Procedures and associated risk assessments are up to date and are being followed. 
Check your Bunsen tubing prior to next use. If it is showing signs of damage or degradation, you must dispose of it. Replacement tubing it is available in Stopford Stores.

There is a Bunsen burner SOP and example Bunsen burner risk assessment in the risk assessment library that you can download and modify. 

For further guidance, please refer to the safe use of Bunsen burners intranet page

Remember:

  • It is unacceptable to leave a lit Bunsen burner unattended.
  • The use of matches, lighters or any other naked flame to light a gas burner is strictly prohibited.

Health and safety training on blackboard

Blackboard

On-line training resources for Faculty staff and postgraduates have been developed by the Compliance and Risk Team, these can be accessed via Blackboard under “My Communities / FBMH Health and Safety Training Resources".

Each 15 minute module is intended as a supplement, not a replacement, for face-to-face training and supervision. To meet the Faculty's commitment to high standards of safety, we strongly recommend all staff and students complete the sessions that address the hazards that you may face in the workplace.

Current Blackboard Modules

    Chemical Safety – how to use, store, transport and dispose of chemicals safely.
    Chemical spills - how to respond to chemical spills, including the location and use of spill kits.
    PPE – correct use and selection of personal protective equipment for your work.
    Safe use of sharps - what sharps are, and how to use and dispose of them safely.
    Thermal and cryogenic burns - the prevention and management of thermal and cryogenic burns in the laboratory
    Chemical burns - the emergency management of chemical splashes on the skin and eyes in the laboratory.

February 2020 Travel risk assessments

Travel risk assessments

Wherever and whenever you travel there will be some form of risk involved.  All staff and students must comply with the University’s Travel Policy and the health and safety guidance for working off-campus. If you are planning to travel away from the University – whether it is on University business such as a conference or meeting, or for research fieldwork – your trip requires a risk assessment and may need pre-travel approval.

A new flowchart has been developed which simplifies the requirements around pre-travel risk assessments and helps you determine which risk assessment may be required. It also provides links to some downloadable generic travel risk assessments for travel within the UK, and for travel to low or moderate risk destinations.

For trips or fieldwork that pose further risks; such as travelling in bad weather, travel to remote or dangerous locations, or an individual’s specific needs, these risk assessments can be adapted to include the additional hazards or circumstances and the control measures to be implemented.  For high risk travel a specific risk assessment must be written.

Prior to travel please refer to the FBMH risk and compliance guidance for pre-travel risk assessments and pre-travel approval. It breaks the process down into 4 easy to follow steps and provides links to extra information such as generic risk assessments, booking trips and activities via Key Travel and so on.

UPDATE March 6th 2020 - Coronavirus and risk assessment procedures for upcoming travel

Please read the University guidance

Owing to the current health issues in many countries, colleagues going overseas for business travel are reminded to re-assess their trip before travel and take into consideration any potential health risks in the country they will be visiting by:

•    Checking the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice
•    Following the Public Health England guidance
•    Reading the University guidance

Colleagues should also follow the University’s Travel Policy and consider their own personal circumstances, such as any pre-existing health conditions.   If there is any significant change in risks, the travel plan must be discussed and re-approved by line managers before travel, taking into account the risks involved against the benefit of the trip.

January 2020 Important safety update for caesium chloride

Historically Caesium Chloride has been considered to be a non-hazardous substance however it has recently been recognised as a reproductive toxin and assigned as “H361fd Suspected of damaging fertility. Suspected of damaging the unborn child.”

If you have this subspace you need to update your COSHH risk assessment for caesium chloride, and  replace / update any associated risk assessments and standard operating procedures.

There is an updated COSHH risk assessment available for you to use in the FBMH COSHH risk assessment library. Please downloaded it and modify it to your lab practices.


As yet, not all relevant safety data sheets have been revised so if you would like to review reference material please go to the European Chemicals Agency .

Alternatively you may wish to dispose of it, for further information please refer to the disposal of hazardous waste intranet page

Lone Working on Campus - Keep Safe during the Christmas Holidays

Anyone who is working out of sight and sound of others is considered to be lone working. You are more likely to be lone working during the University closure days such as the Christmas holidays than at any other time. 

When lone working and in particular when lone working out of hours, the risks associated with all work activities are considered to be higher. Additionally although Campus Security provide 24/7 emergency cover, out of hours there are no fire marshals, local first aiders, hazardous spill kit teams, chemical burns advisors, experienced colleagues  or Health and Safety staff on site. Should something go wrong the victim may not be able to call for help or there may be a delay in help arriving.

Whilst the simplest way not to put yourself at risk is not to lone work out of hours, we recognise that in some instances it is unavoidable. To keep safe we ask that you comply with the University Lone Working Arrangements and Guidance - key points of which are outlined below:

  • Lone workers must have explicit permission from their Principal Investigator or line manager.
  • Only low risk laboratory work may be undertaken by lone workers and PIs / line managers should define the nature of the work.
  • An on campus lone working check list must have been completed. This checklist is an aide-memoir to assist in the production of a lone working risk assessment and safe systems of work. Use this check list to guide you through the issues that must be considered before lone working takes place and to help develop appropriate control measures.
  • A lone working risk assessment must be in place that has been checked and countersigned by Principal Investigator / Line Manager. It needs to consider those tasks that present a particular risk to the lone worker e.g. personal security, actions to be taken in the event of an emergency or in the event of personal injury and identify the control measures necessary to minimise the risk. 

There is additional guidance on the FBMH Lone Working web-page with a simple Dos and Don’ts list and an example lone working risk assessment with a completed check list that you can download and modify. To use   example risk assessments: ensure all of the activities have been covered, hazards identified and that control measures are at least equivalent to or better than those described and take account of your Local Rules.

Filming and photography in FBMH research buildings and laboratories

Filming in FBMH Building and Laboratories

The Press Office have contacted us to request that they are made aware of all filming and photography that is to take place on campus. This is to avoid any intrusive media attention and to ensure that should security become aware, they can be referred to the media team.
If filming is to take place in a sensitive area of the University, then a member of staff and/or a media officer should be present at all times. Filming on public thoroughfares - such as streets or parks - do not need permission from the media office. The Faculty Media Relations contact is Mike Addelman.

Recently there have been a few queries regarding the health and safety aspects of filming and photography in FBMH research buildings and laboratories. For guidance and an example risk assessment please refer to the events intranet page.

Eye protection

Eye Protection is Cheap – Eyesight is Priceless 

A series of preventable eye injuries have occurred in FBMH laboratories. Don’t let this happen to you or the people you are responsible for.

Remember:

  • Your risk assessments must specify types of eyes / face protection to be worn.
  • When your risk assessment says wear eye or face protection wear it.
  • Select the correct type of protection for the hazard identified.
  • Safety glasses offer impact protection only, only goggles offer liquid splash protection.
  • Vision corrective spectacles offer no protection from hazardous substances.
  • There is no such thing as “one size fits all” safety glasses and goggles, they must be selected, owned and used on an individual basis.
  • It must be comfortable to wear and are a good fit (with no gaps between the frame and your face).
  • Take care of your eye-wear, clean it with lint free wipes, keep it in a protective case when not in use.
  • Never use damaged or scratched visors / eye-wear, take it out of service and report it immediately.


Stopford Stores supply a range of safety goggles and glasses and have a “try before you buy” policy so you can ensure you choose the best pair possible for you. They also sell protective cases and neck straps. It is strongly recommended that you also purchase a protective case to prevent damage to your eyewear.

If you don’t find a suitable pair of spectacles or goggles there are also a wide range available on eMarketplace and suppliers are often willing to provide free samples. Further information and guidance can be found on the Health and Safety area of the FBMH intranet under “Eye, Face and Throat Protection”.

For those requiring prescription safety eyewear please contact your School or Faculty Compliance and Risk Manager.

Filming and photography in FBMH research buildings and laboratories

Recently there have been a few queries regarding the health and safety aspects of filming and photography in FBMH research buildings and laboratories. For guidance and an example risk assessment please refer to the events intranet page

Procurement and storage of hazardous substances

July 2019 Procurement and Storage of Hazardous Substances

Incorrect management and storage of hazardous substances and hazardous waste can had serious consequences for you and your research.


All labs must have a robust chemical hygiene plan that includes procurement and storage of hazardous substance and appropriate hazardous waste management. Here is a simple do's and don'ts to download and follow.

For more detailed guidance please refer to the Procurement and Storage of Hazardous Substances guidance.

May 2019 Safety Services Circular Personal Protective Equipment

Recently, Safety Services undertook a series of inspections looking at selection, management and use of PPE. This was because there had been a number of accidents and near misses whereby:
PPE had not been identified in risk assessments when it should have been;
PPE was required and not used
or
Inappropriate PPE was used.

Please bring the contents of this safety circular to the attention of your staff and students and ensure they are wearing the correct PPE as specified in the relevant risk assessment.

 

StarGuard Comfort Nitrile Gloves Recall - Batch Fault

A batch of StarGuard Comfort Nitrile Gloves with the lot number 1010182332 has been identified as being defective. They very tear very easily as you put them on and when in use. Please check to see if you have any of gloves with this lot number in your laboratory.

If you do have any gloves with this lot number, unopened boxes can be returned to Stopford Stores who will issue you free replacements. Replacements will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis. Should more be required then please give your details to the Stores staff who will then send out your replacements when they receive another delivery.

Unfortunately opened boxes cannot be returned to Stores and should be disposed of.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact Victoria Kelly or your School Compliance and Risk Manager.

Please note the company have not put put a full product recall, if you purchase these gloves from other sources check the batch number. 

 

Faculty Health and Safety Inspections

Health and Safety inspections across the Faculty are underway and will continue running throughout the year. The areas being looked at include all research laboratories, write –up areas and offices.  The inspection teams lead will notify you a week in advance to let you know to expect them, please make every effort to accommodate them.   After the inspection, you can expect a written report that notes areas of excellence and issues that need resolving. Actions that need taking and a time frame in which they should be taken are included in the report as are full guidance notes. You can also expect support from your local safety adviser and your School Compliance and Risk Manager.

Previous inspections have highlighted a lot of good practice in the Faculty however; they have also repeatedly noted poor housekeeping practices as a source of risk to staff and students. These include cluttered fume hoods, poor waste management and a build of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.

Now is a good time to have a general tidy up of your areas, not only can it free up much needed space but it will enable the inspection teams to focus on significant any significant hazards that are present in your areas.

Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are the second highest cause of injury to University staff and students. They can result in minor injuries such as bruising but can also cause serious and debilitating injuries such as broken bones and head injuries. 

They are easily avoidable and everyone has a degree of responsibility in helping to prevent them.

These are the most common causes of slips and trips and simple measure you can take to prevent injury to yourself and others.

Building issues e.g. loose carpet fittings, loose stair treads and flooding

  • Never assume someone else has reported these or that it’s someone else’s responsibility to do so - anyone can contact the Estates Helpdesk to report an issue - Estates helpdesk Tel: x52424
  • If there is flooding then also report it to House Services who will assist with the clean up

Poor Housekeeping e.g. spilt tea and coffee, trailing electrical cables and bags left in walkways

  • When carrying a drink (in particular carrying one up the stairs) use a cup with a lid to prevent accidental spillages – if you do spill your drink mop it up so that no-one slips on the spill.
  • Have a look round your desk and lab area for trailing cables and move them where possible -when it’s not please consider the use of cable ramps and cable ties. 

Laboratory activities e.g. carrying samples, defrosting freezers and using ice machines

  • Cover samples with a firmly closed lid or use box / tray to contain any splashed / spills. 
  • When using an ice machine or freezer; if ice melts on the floor mop it up with blue roll immediately (good maintenance will prevent ice build-up in the first place). 
  • When defrosting a -80 freezer borrow a “wet-floor” sign from the building attendants, arrange to borrow the wet-vac via your Laboratory Technical Officer and warn those in the area that the floor might be wet.

For further guidance refer to Safety Service Reducing Slips Trips and Falls
Should you have the misfortune to slip, trip or fall – don’t forget to report it using the accident and incident report form.

Use and transport of compressed gases

Use and transport of compressed gases

After a recent incident we’d like to remind everyone that staff and students should not be using or transporting compressed gases without the relevant training, an appropriate risk assessment and the use of the correct personal protective equipment.

The Biomedical Corridor Stopford Stores will no longer issue gas cylinders unless at least one of the pair of users collecting it has a valid gas passport and both are wearing the correct personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment must include:

EN166 compliant impact resistant safety spectacles (users own)
EN 388:2016 compliant gloves against mechanical risks (can be borrowed from Stopford Stores)
ISO 20345:2011 compliant safety footwear with steel toe caps (can be borrowed from Stopford Stores).  We recommend that people who regularly move cylinders have their own shoes and gloves. There is a wide range available on eMarketplace, prices start at £9.

The gloves and boots can be borrowed from Stopford Stores refer to the procedure for borrowing PPE from Stores for further information. It is expected that all staff and students will have their own safety spectacles.

Training is available via Staff Learning Development and consists of the following modules:
TLCA101 Compressed Gases & Cryogenic Workshop
TLCA105 Compressed Gases Workshop
TLCA100 Cryogenic Gases E Learning

Once the modules have been successfully completed candidates are issued with a gas passport which is valid for 3 years and transferable to other institutions.

Please note these modules require the candidate to supply their own safety shoes, gloves and safety spectacles. Shoes and gloves can be borrowed from Stopford Stores. It is expected that all staff and students will have their own safety spectacles.

Once the modules have been successfully completed candidates are issued with a gas passport which is valid for 3 years and transferable to other institutions. Further information is available on the FBMH health and safety entrant compressed gases training arrangements.
 

Safety alerts

Safety alerts

1.    Malfunctioning SciQuip FlatSpin stirrer:

A group recently purchased a FlatSpin stirrer (SP2236-FS) from SciQuip Ltd through eMarketplace.  Five minutes after the equipment was initially plugged in to the mains power supply the power connector disintegrated leaving exposed terminals on the plug connected to the mains power supply.

If you have this item in your laboratory please check the power assembly is robust and intact.

The suppliers have been notified of this defect.

2.    Bacterial contamination found in Bollé Lens Cleaning Tissues:

Bollé Safety Europe has informed VWR of a possible quality issue regarding the products:

  • B100/111-0972 - Lens Cleaning Tissues Anti-Stat/Bact
  • B500/111-0576 - Lens Cleaning Tissues 5 X 100 Ind Packed 500

Subsequent laboratory testing of these products has confirmed the presence of bacterial contamination in a small percentage of the cleaning wipes, making them unsuitable for their intended use.

As a safety precaution, Bollé are advising all customers who purchased B100 and B500 products on or after 12th June 2018 to not open any unused units, to prevent their further use and to safely dispose of them.

If you hold any unused units of these products, but cannot identify when they were purchased, we advise you to take the same safety precautions and dispose of them safely.

As a precautionary measure, sales of B100 and B500 products were suspended once Bollé became aware of this potential issue. The issue has since been rectified and delivery of both products will resume by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Each box of the new unaffected products will bear a lot number (all units sold prior to the suspension in sales do not bear a lot number).

3.    Malfunctioning ALPS-25 Microplate Sealer from Thermo Fisher:

An ALPS-25 Microplate Sealer purchased from Thermo Fisher by the University of Edinburgh has malfunctioned to the point that it was emitting smoke and was well on the way to catching fire. This is the second occurrence of this type of plate sealer failing in this manner.

Please check any ALPS-25 Microplate Sealers you may have in use to ensure they are operating correctly; including a thorough visual inspection of equipment, cables and plug and ensure that is has passed Portable Appliance Testing within the last 12 months. Where possible equipment should be switched off when not in use.

If you require further help or advice please contact the FBMH Compliance and Risk Team (FBMHhealthandsafety@manchester.ac.uk)