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Basic Health & Safety. Domestic arrangements Outline of training session Presented by Vincent Theobald University Safety Office 1 Park Terrace Tel. 6274. Health and Safety.

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basic health safety
Basic Health & Safety
  • Domestic arrangements
  • Outline of training session
  • Presented by

Vincent Theobald

  • University Safety Office

1 Park Terrace

Tel. 6274

health and safety
Health and Safety

Health and safety is intended to bring about condition free from risk of injury or threat to our health and well-being.

This objective is not a natural state of affairs.

we believe
We Believe

Workplace accidents, illness and incidents are


provided that

Health and Safety is Managed

fundamental misconceptions
Fundamental misconceptions

Some frequently quoted misconceptions :

  • Accidents cannot be prevented
  • We don’t have many accidents
  • Safety is expensive
  • We are insured anyway
injuries and near misses
Injuries and near-misses

Major injury is the tip of the iceberg.

  • major injury
  • minor injury
  • damage
  • accident without loss
how big is the iceberg
How big is the iceberg

APAU studies showed accidents cost:

  • One organisation 37% of annualised profit.
  • Another 8.5% of tender price.
  • Another 5% of running costs.
safety savings
Safety savings

“We recognise the importance of costing loss events as part of total safety management. Good safety is good business.” (ICI group SHE Manager)

“Safety is, without doubt, the most crucial investment we can make, and the question is not what it costs us, but what we save.” (Chairman & Managing Director, Conoco (UK) Ltd)

“Prevention is not only better but cheaper than cure … Profits and safety are not in competition. On the contrary, safety at work is good business.” (MD British Petroleum plc)

an aside on insurance issues
An aside on Insurance Issues

The main types of insurance are

  • Employers Liability required by law
  • Public Liability required by law
  • Product Liability for organisations making / supplying things or services
  • Motor Vehicle and specific issues
so we re covered by insurance
So we’re covered by insurance?

Insured costs:

  • Covering injury,
  • ill-health, damage

Uninsured costs:

  • Product and material damage, tool and equipment damage, legal costs, expenditure on emergency supplies, cleaning site, production delays, overtime working and temporary labour, investigation time, supervisors’ time diverted, clerical effort, fines, loss of expertise/experience.
what could happen
What could happen?

Minor injury



Major injury

the accident triangle
The Accident Triangle

Practical Loss Control Leadership, F E Bird and G L Germain, 1969.

health the slow accident
Health – the slow accident

Occupational ill health is responsible for more harm to people at work than accidents.

  • About 3000 people a year die from exposure to asbestos – the same number as die from road traffic accidents each year.
  • Occupationally induced musculoskeletal damage results in more work time lost than all other causes.
  • Occupational allergies are massively on the rise. This includes allergies to Latex and other common materials.
  • This issue is something the University is only beginning to address, and a new service has been established.
why report accidents and ill health
Why report accidents and ill health

Accidents, Near Misses and Occupationally induced ill health should be reported:

  • Because the law requires some specific types of events to be reported to the Enforcing Authorities.
  • Because the University Safety Policy requires all accidents and near misses to be reported to the USO.
  • To enable investigation to prevent further events.
  • To identify trends and problem areas.
legal issues
Legal Issues
  • The law makes many complex demands on the University
  • These need to be interpreted.
  • To do this you need to know a little of the law and legal language involved.
reasonably practicable
Reasonably practicable

Risk should be set against the effort required to remove it.

  • It is not reasonably practicable if the cost of removal of risk is disproportionately high
  • It is reasonably practicable if a risk can be removed at minimal cost and effort
hswa general duties employer
HSWA general duties - employer

The HSWA places the following general duties on the employer, which apply to staff ,students, visitors and contractors:

  • provide safe place of work
  • provide safe plant and equipment
  • provide safe systems of work
hswa general duties employees
HSWA general duties - employees

The HSWA places the following general duties on staff, students, visitors and contractors:

  • to take reasonable care
  • to co-operate with the employer
  • not to interfere with safety arrangements
safety management
Safety Management

This begins with Policy

and uses tools such as Local Rules

and Risk Assessmentto establish risk controls.

Is specific legal duty to manage safety so that all risks are

suitably and sufficiently controlled.

herald of free enterprise
Herald of Free Enterprise

“The failure on the part of management to give proper and clear direction was a contributory cause of the disaster.”

clapham junction accident
Clapham Junction Accident

“A concern for safety which is sincerely held and repeatedly expressed but, nevertheless, is not carried through into action, is as much protection from danger as no concern at all.”

safety policy
Safety Policy
  • Legal requirement under S2(3) of HSWA.
  • University Policy published in a book and on web.
  • Schools need their Policies.
  • Labs/buildings may need additional policy/arrangements to provide more detail.
  • Arrangements will need to include Local Rules.
  • Some local rules are needed by law - e.g. rules for Ionising Radiation.
responsible people
Responsible People
  • The VC.
  • The PVC for Safety.
  • The Provost / Registrar.
  • The Head of School / Service.
  • (The School Safety Officer).
  • The Lab/Area Manager.
  • The Lecturer.
  • Individual researchers, Staff, Students.
identifying hazards
Identifying hazards

Examples which affect safety and/or health:

  • Chemicals
  • Noise and vibration
  • Electricity
  • Biological hazards
  • Lifting and carrying
  • Repetitive movements
risk assessment
Risk assessment

The following is a systematic approach to risk management.

1) Consider tasks/situations.

2) Identify hazards and who is exposed/at risk.

3) Consider the severity and likelihood of exposure.

4) Evaluate if the hazard is adequately controlled.

5) Record your findings.

6) Consider further suitable controls (if need - go back to 4).

7) Implement the risk control measures.

8) Ensure people understand the control measures.

9) Monitor the effectiveness of the measures.

10) Review and introduce any corrective actions.

risk reduction options for control
Risk reduction: options for control

The options for control are listed in order of priority:

  • elimination e.g. do not use acrylamide
  • substitution e.g. use acrylamide gels not powders
  • containment e.g. work inside a fume cabinet
  • protection e.g. use a dust mask
result from risk control
Result from Risk Control
  • Lower danger to staff, students, visitors and others.
  • Clear responsibility as to who does what.
  • Documented assessments showing reasoning.
  • Clear procedures for “high risk” work.
  • Monitored and maintained systems of work.
  • Clear actions to take when things do go wrong (i.e. an emergency plan).
legal duties
Legal duties


  • duty of one individual to another - “Duty of Care”
  • Criminal Law
  • duty between individual and the state
the costs of failure
The costs of failure
  • Failure to manage health and safety can result in:
  • prosecution, fines and imprisonment
  • compensation claims for damages
  • loss of output or service
  • replacement costs
  • loss of reputation
cases of note
Cases of note
  • Mr RE Hill - Asbestos
  • R v. F Howe & Son (Eng) Ltd - Fines
  • R v. Associated Octel Co. Ltd - Contractors
  • UCL London - Sharps box
  • Birmingham University - Lab Safety Regs
  • A University fined £70,000 following an accident (2006)