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1 – Intro Emergencies and Special Issues. Domestic Arrangements Outline of training session Presented by Vincent Theobald University Safety Office 1 Park Terrace Tel. 6274. 2 – Intro Objectives. By the end of this session you should be able to :- define what an Emergency is

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1 – IntroEmergencies and Special Issues

  • Domestic Arrangements

  • Outline of training session

  • Presented by Vincent Theobald

  • University Safety Office1 Park TerraceTel. 6274

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2 – IntroObjectives

By the end of this session you should be able to :-

  • define what an Emergency is

  • plan to contain Emergencies

  • describe the main information sources

  • Start to identify special issues in your School

  • source further information and assistance for planning to control special issues identified.

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3 – IntroOutline of Session

  • Basics

  • A System

  • Emergency Planning

  • Further Information

  • Summary

  • Questions

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4 – BasicsWhat is an Emergency

  • To come up out of a liquid

  • come into view

  • come out

  • become known as a result of inquiry or trial

  • Emerge :

  • Emergency :

  • A sudden state of danger etc.

  • Condition needing immediate treatment

  • Does not mean that it is not foreseeable or able to be planned for.

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5 – BasicsHow do Emergencies Happen


Sudden events that are realistically unforeseeable

e.g. air crash on campus


There is not a lot you can do with these except have plans in place to cope with the consequences - e.g. regular contact with the Police and Fire Brigade etc.

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6 – BasicsHow do Emergencies Happen


Situation that is foreseeable but out of the direct control of the University

e.g. Fire Brigade strike, progress of SARS outbreak etc.


When things start to happen establish a plan of action and start to ensure people know what action is necessary and that they follow the temporary rules etc.

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7 – BasicsHow do Emergencies Happen


Situations that are foreseeable and are in the control of the University

e.g. building fires, chemical spillage, biological escapes, fall causing injury whilst on a field trip.


These MUST be controlled as fast as possible and to do this you have to work out a plan of action. This is best done having understood the “Chain of Causation”.

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8 – BasicsSources of Information

  • ChemicalsMSDS, COSHH, Haz-Chem databasesRisk Assessments

  • BiologicalBioCOSHH, MSDS (and similar from Suppliers) Risk Assessments

  • BuildingsFire and Workplace Risk Assessments

  • Field TripsRisk Assessments, The people being visited ...

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9 – BasicsSpecial Issues

Emergencies are mainly preventable the following is a brief list of examples of special issues that should be systematically controlled.

  • Fire

    • Highly Flammable materials (esp. HFL’s)

    • Hot-work

  • Work with Phenol and cyanides

  • Work with biological agents (Class 2 and above)

  • Field Trips and work experience placements

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10 – BasicsExternal Emergency Assistance

The following are Emergency Services that may be involved in providing assistance for the University

  • Fire Brigade

  • Ambulance Service

  • Police – including specialist units

  • Coastguard – e.g. boat or field trips

  • Home Office

  • Chemical Companies

  • Transport Co.’s – e.g. Dangerous Goods International

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11 – A SystemIdentifying Issues

Using the information already provided on Emergencies and the control approach the following sections will concentrate on fire as an example of a special issue requiring control. This applies to everybody - whilst the other issues may only apply to a few staff.

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12 – A SystemChain of causation - FIRE

Examine the causes of fire

Start with the mechanics of fire

Move on to the means of controlling fires

From this develop the Emergency Response

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13 – A SystemThe Fire Triangle

Some sources of Ignition

SmokingRadiant Heat and TransferElectrical FaultsSparksFrictionOpen FlamesLightningSunlightChemical Reactions

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14 – A System Sources of Fuel

  • Fuel includes anything that can burn. Especially highly flammable materials

  • Fuel may also include the structure of the building

  • However things only burn once they have been converted to a gas phase - solids and liquids do not burn without conversion to a gas.

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15 – A System Supply of Oxygen

  • Mainly from the air at about 21%.

  • HoweverOxygen cylinders,Oxidising agents / chemicalsdecomposition products from otherwise stable materialscan all provide oxygen supplies.

  • Inadequate oxygen can lead to fires producing carbon monoxide and other partial combustion products which are Toxic, and may also explode when provided with O2.

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16 – A System Products of Fire

Primary products are :

  • HeatVery large amounts - this makes the fire self sustaining

  • SmokeThis may vary from thick and dark to invisible.

  • Toxic fumesIn all but a perfect situation of complete combustion (very unlikely) a fire will produce CO and various other toxic materials.

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17 – A System Effects of fire

  • Generate heat

  • Obscure escape / access routes with smoke

  • Damage the structure of the building

  • Generate toxic by-products

  • May be loud sounds

  • May be secondary explosions

  • May cut electrical supply and other services

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18 – A System Effects of fire

Fire Doors control smoke as shown in the Old Library Fire. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/internal/safety/fire/smoke-doors.html

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19 Emergency PlanningBasics

Using the knowledge you have

  • Prevent the Emergency from happening

  • Plan for the event and train people in the response

  • Control the Emergency when it does happen

  • Manage the effects of the Emergency to minimise disruption

  • Learn from the event after it has happened.

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20 Emergency Planning Prevent the Emergency

This is a fundamental aspect of Risk Assessment

  • Identify Hazards, and probabilities to be able to understand the Risks present.

  • Having identified Risks you need to look at what happens to make them happen

  • Knowing the Causation Chain you can take action to make the event less probable.

  • You may then be able to re-assess the risk and demonstrate a safer workplace.

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21 Emergency PlanningPrevent the Emergency

Preventing Fires

  • Control the fuel – especially HFL’s

  • Control the sources of ignition

  • Control other fire risk items (e.g. oxidising chemicals)

  • Manage the structure to contain fires and give escape

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22 Emergency PlanningPrevent the Emergency

Permits to Work

  • Why have them ?

  • How do they assure Safety

  • How to administer them

  • Examples of University PtW’s

    • Welding and Hot Work

    • Roof access for FC’s

    • Access into underground ducts

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23 Emergency PlanningPlanning for the Event

University General Fire Plan

  • Building fire risk assessments identifying routes

  • Alarms installed and Evacuations planned

  • School risk assessments identifying special issues

  • Permit to Work schemes e.g. for “hot work”

  • Building Fire Safety Co-ordinators spotting hazards

  • Fire Wardens and Marshals to manage people

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24 Emergency PlanningWhen do you need a Plan

  • Use Hindsight - has an incident happened before

    • USO Circulars and personal knowledge

  • Use Foresight - could something foreseeably happen

  • Use MSDS and other sources - what do others say

    • Oxygen therapy for CN users

    • PEG300/meths (70/30) treatment for Phenol users

  • Use Legislation - when does the law require a plan

    • Explosive atmospheres (DSEAR Regulations)

  • Use Policy - when does the University require a plan

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25 Emergency PlanningTesting your Plans

  • No plan is perfectfind errors, problems and improvements

  • Test the ability to responddoes it meet specified standards

  • Training people requires practice

  • For Fires these are covered by the Fire Drill

    • Legally required

    • Policy states we have them for all buildings

    • Policy defines the roles of Warden and Marshal

    • Policy and Guidance state how often drills will be conducted

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26 Emergency PlanningSetting up an Emergency Drill

  • Set the date and scope of the drill

  • Tell only the minimum number of people

    • Those where special roles may be needed e.g. Fire Wardens / Marshals, University Security, USO

    • Disabled staff who may be in danger from a drill (e.g. needing special evacuation)

  • Run the drill – with conditions as realistic as possible

  • Monitor the response

  • Reset any systems and record results (including informing USO if necessary e.g. fire drills)

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27 Emergency PlanningControl the Emergency

Special Issues

  • These are identified as special are special because they require additional control beyond normal work practice or standard Risk Assessment.

  • The key controls are normally managerial - though they may include additional physical constraints (as with active stop devices for Robots).

  • In most cases they will also require specific training for the people involved - though this may be very simple.

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28 Emergency PlanningControl of a Fire Emergency

e.g. a Fire Evacuation

  • Evacuate the people

    • Raise the alarm (may be automatic)

    • Get people out to safe areas – Wardens and Marshals

  • Prevent the fire spreading

    • Keep the fire in a segregated part of the building – close doors

    • Prevent smoke spreading – close doors and shut down vents

  • Fight the fire

    • Includes involving the Fire Brigade or staff

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29 Emergency PlanningSpecific Additions

  • Some equipment may be a danger if left unattended OR may be a danger to others (e.g. the Fire Brigade during a search)

  • Evacuation of non ambulant disabled persons

    • This is an issue for any drill requiring evacuation not only fire drills

  • Security of building may be an issue - especially external doors and high security areas and preventing people entering the ‘danger area’

  • Keep any emergency access routes clear of people

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30 Emergency PlanningManaging the Effects

  • There is a new University wide system being introduced to assist Schools with the managing of the effects of Emergencies.

  • The Old Library Fire resulted in people not being able to use much of the building for some weeks.

  • Insurance will pay for most BUT NOT ALL of the costs. Some materials (e.g. data) are unable to be recovered.

  • Other incidents may have very different knock on effects.

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31 Emergency PlanningReview and Learn

  • Unless a review is undertaken after EVERY Emergency and EVERY Drill there is a high probability that lessons will not be learnt.

  • It is necessary to find where the systems worked and where they failed.

  • Once better information is available then the plans may need to be revised.

  • Other people may also benefit from lessons learnt so the USO will distribute lesson where these may be of wider benefit – so tell us what you find.

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32 – Further InformationHighly Flammable Liquids (HFL’s)

  • Strictly HFL’s are any liquid that has a flash point of 32oC or less, but the precautions may also be applied to some other sensitive materials.

  • Materials in this class used at the University are mainly Solvents and petroleum products.

  • There are specific requirements for bulk storage - lab storage - disposal - bulk dispensingand the COSHH and Risk Assessments need to consider fire hazard.

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33 – Further InformationFlammable Substances

Other Flammable Substances include :-

  • Flammable Gasses

    • LPG, Acetylene, Hydrogen etc.

  • Flammable solids

    • Sodium and other reactive metals

    • strong oxidising agents that can cause fire when near good fuels

  • Oxygen cylinders

    • Because leaks promote combustion in any fuel nearby

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34 – Further InformationFlammable Substances

HSE guidance

  • Safe working with flammable substances

    • IND(G)227(L)

    • Free from the HSE website leaflets section

  • The safe use and handling of Flammable Liquids

    • HS(G)140

    • Available from the Technical Indexes site

    • ISBN 0-7176-0967-7

  • Any many others

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35 – SummaryFurther Information Sources

  • USO website

  • USO Circulars

  • Technical Indexes website

  • MSDS, Supplier information

  • HSE website

  • Risk Assessments

  • Legal requirements

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36 – SummarySummary of Session

The session has:-

  • Covered Emergencies

    • Definition, control and management

    • Role of Risk Assessment in identifying the controls needed

  • Explored special issues requiring management

    • Used Fire issues as a common example

  • Briefly overviewed other examples of Special Issues

    • Use of Permit to Work systems

    • Management of Flammable Substances