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A - Z Health & Safety Topics


This list includes all health and safety topics that are relevant to the work of the University. All information, standards and resources are available within the topic section.

Safety Management Standards (SMS)

These documents are in the process of being produced for all the topics listed and will assist the University in ensuring it has a robust health and safety management system. These documents provide information to managers on what steps they must take to comply with legislative requirements.

Example Local Arrangement

To demonstrate how each area will comply with the requirements of each SMS, they will need to produce a local arrangement. The example found in each of the topic areas are based on how they would be implemented within the Health and Safety Unit. Local managers must therefore develop these for their own areas. Local arrangements play an essential role in auditing compliance with the SMS.

Internal Resources

You will find in this section any other information, guidance or training that supports Schools and Support Areas in implementing the SMS.

External Resources

You will find in this section links to other information or guidance from external websites.

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

Download the form, guidance and flowchart below: 

External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

Example Local Arrangement

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

  • Further information relating to Contractors can be accessed through the ECD intranet page.

External Resources

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

From time to time, we receive inquiries from staff and students who wish to organise events and activities either as individuals, or in support of their School or Department, Club or Society.

Event success in safety terms comes down to thorough advanced planning. Through the early involvement of the Health & Safety Unit, University Security, Estates & Capital Development, Campus Services and Risk & Insurance, your event is more likely to succeed.

Events on campus are usually authorised by the Chief of Operations and Estates who will need the reassurance that plans have been passed and approved by the above departments. 

We will need to know specific things about your event and you will need to complete a risk assessment for each aspect. The things that we need to know are as follows:

  • Date(s) and time(s)
  • Venue
  • Name of event organiser(s)
  • Number of staff attending
  • Number of visitors expected
  • Welfare arrangements (toilets, rest breaks, etc)
  • First Aid arrangements
  • Fire Safety arrangements
  • Refreshments
  • Planned activities

For more information on event management, please click here.



Barbeque Safety

Barbeques may be used if the following guidelines are followed:

Setting up

 

  • All barbeques, should be used outdoors in a well ventilated area. 
  • Security must be informed prior to any barbeque event.
  • Nominate one person to be in charge of the barbeque - they must avoid consuming alcohol (as this increases the chance of an accident) and they should be in a position to manage the barbeque and prevent uninvited people attending.
  • Ensure barbeques are sited at least 3 metres away from buildings, fences, shrubbery/trees, garden furniture, waste storage areas and other combustible risks.  If there is a wind blowing, make sure it is blowing away from you when lighting the barbeque.
  • Barbeques should be sited on a flat, stable surface (preferably on the ground).
  • Use solid fire lighters to light barbeque charcoal, and you should ideally use "cook's" matches instead of a cigarette lighter.  Never use petrol, lighter fuel, kerosene, methylated spirits or other volatile fuel to light a barbeque (nor to relight one which seems to have gone out since being ignited).  Alternatively, you could use specially treated barbeque briquettes instead of charcoal.
  • Make sure you are not wearing any loose clothing which could flap onto the barbeque and catch fire.
  • If you are using a gas barbeque, check the condition of all pipes and connections before lighting, and only change the cylinder in the open air, with the barbeque unlit.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn the gas off immediately.
  • Have a pair of thick oven gloves for handling hot utensils.
  • If possible, keep a supply of water nearby in case of emergency.
  • Keep games like football, cricket, volleyball etc, well away from the cooking area.
  • Take care when cooking fatty foods; fat spilling onto the coals may cause fires to flare up.
  • Be careful when lifting the lid on a covered barbeque, as a sudden rush of air may cause severe flames.  

BBQ set up

BBQ set up

BBQ hot coals ready to cook

BBQ hot coals ready to cook

Food hygiene

  • Always wash your hands before preparing food, and after handling raw meat products. 
  • Wait until the charcoal is glowing red, with a powdery grey surface, before you start to cook.
  • Make sure that frozen foods are completely thawed before cooking.
  • Raw foods must be cooked through (particulatly chicken & minced meat products). 
  • Bring raw meat or chicken products up to room temperature before starting, to ensure even cooking; turn food regularly, and move it around the barbeque griddle surface.
  • Make sure that raw foods are cooked through (particularly chicken and meat products) by checking that the centre of the food is piping hot, with no pink meat left - never assume that if it is charred on the outside it will be cooked in the middle.  
  • Use separate tongs for raw and cooked foods.
  • Keep raw foods separate from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

Clearing up

  • When you have finished, douse the coals with water until they are completely out, and leave them to cool; alternatively, simply close the lid on a covered barbeque (on smaller barbeques, transfer the coals to a metal bucket with a lid).
  • Never put ashes straight into a dustbin, wheelie bin, plastic container, or other container with combustible materials inside.  If the ashes are still hot, they can melt plastic and cause a fire.  Special blue fireproof bins are provided outside Dalton Tower, by the recycling station.
  • When using a gas barbeque, always ensure that gas cylinders are switched off before disconnecting the hose.
  • Thoroughly clean all utensils and the griddle on re-usable barbeques before storage.

Internal Resources


Safety Management Standards

Example Local Arrangement

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Safety Management Standard

Internal Resources & Training

 

Safe Evacuation Procedures for:

Fire Evacuation Video:
(This includes the sounds of the recently installed voice enhanced fire alarm.)


Please note:
 should the fire activation be in your immediate risk area the system will bypass the 3 minute alert (stage one) and revert straight into (stage two) full evacuation which must be undertaken immediately.  

The University provides mandatory fire awareness training for all staff.  In addition, volunteer staff nominated by their Schools or Departments act as local Fire Wardens and provide points of contact and advice during both real emergencies and practice evacuations.

In an emergency you have responsibility to protect yourself & those working with you.  Failure of staff or students to react quickly to an alarm activation or discovery of a fire can lead to loss of life and is seen as a serious matter by the University.

The University has formulated a Fire Safety Management Plan to assist managers responsible for fire safety in the premises to discharge their duties effectively.  To provide documentary record of the fire safety arrangements in the premise and to assist in demonstrating compliance with the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005; and to provide information and assistance to the Fire Brigade in the case of an emergency.

 External Resources

Safety Management Standard

Internal Resources & Training

External Resources

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Safety Management Standard

Internal Resources & Training

External Resources

A major source of information can be found at the Health and Safety Executive COSHH website (HSE - COSHH). These webpages contain a wealth of very useful information (eg. guidance, the Approved Code of Practice, COSHH essentials web tool, example risk assessments, case studies etc.) and those seeking additional advice are advised to visit the site. The Regulations themselves can be viewed by clicking here. 

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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We all have responsibility for our own safety, and the safety of others. 

You are expected to view the following resources as part of your induction to the University.
 

Health & Safety - An Introduction to H & S at Work

The Aston University Health and Safety Video (subtitled)

H & S Induction for Managers

Bookings for courses are made through the Aston Staff Portal. With the permission of their Line Manager, employees can manage their own course bookings, and Managers can now book their employees onto courses and view their training. Guidance on using this is available.   

If you are interested in undertaking a course that is not listed above, please contact the Health & Safety Unit or Staff Development. 

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training 

External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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Safety Management Standards

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View the pandemic plan here. 

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Here you will find useful information about the Radiological Safety Sub-Committee (RSS-C).

The following Minutes of the Sub-Committee are available for viewing and printing:

Radioactive Materials (Radionuclides)

Here you will find useful information and documents, for example:

  • How to apply and become a Radiation Worker - The application form can be viewed and printed byclicking here
  • Local Rules - just issued, the April 2010 edition can be viewed and printed by clicking here
  • Training - As a new worker, the extent of training you will receive will largely depend on both your previous radiation history and experience. The topics that you will receive training in can be viewed and printed by clicking here
  • Risk Assessment - Currently there is no specific Risk Assessment form for Radionuclides. However, every Radiation Area has undergone a Risk Assessment process and the pro-forma used can be viewed and printed by clicking here
  • Ordering, Use and Disposal of Radioactive Materials - see Local Rules above (more detialed information to follow)
  • Fume Cupboards - A  guidance document on Fume Cupboard Use and Testing in Radiation Areas can viewed and printed by clicking here. In addition to this guidance, there is a video available which demonstrates effectively some of the do's and don'ts of Fume Cupboards - many of these are covered in the guidance document. If you would like to view the video please contact the Site Radiation Officer

Here you will find useful information and documents, for example:

  • How to apply and become a Radiation Worker - The application form can be viewed and printed by clicking here. (Note: completion of the application form is not required for work involving Low Risk X-ray Producing Equipment - see below)
  • Local Rules (pro-forma)
  • Training
  • Risk Assessment

These pages are still under construction and, until complete, items of interest will continue to be shown below:

X-ray Producing Equipment

Currently, the University has only one designated radiation area containing an X-Ray Crystallography Set and its use is strictly controlled. To oversee the work in that area and to ensure the equipment is operated safely and within the legal requirements, a Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) and a Local Radiation Assistant (LRA) have been appointed and Local Rules have been written - these Local Rules can be viewed and printed by clicking here.

In addition to the above, it is recognised that other equipment (such as Electron Microscopes and Electron Spectrometers) also have the potential for producing X-rays. However, the design of this equipment prevents the escape of X-rays and, thus, the location or the equipment itself does not require any special designation or written local rules. In view of the low risk of exposure from this equipment, an LRA, rather than an RPS, has been appointed to oversee the use of this equipment and, instead of local rules, a procedural document has been written and can be viewed and printed by clicking here.

Note: Any piece of equipment that generates electron or ion beams accelerated by voltages in excess of 5kV should be regarded as a possible source of ionising radiations (X-rays) - ‘home-made’ equipment is potentially the most  hazardous. Any equipment that falls (or is suspected to fall) into this category should be bought to the attention of the appropriate School personnel and the Site Radiation Officer so that a suitable and sufficient assessment can be made.

Here you will find useful information and documents, for example:

  • Local Rules (pro-forma)
  • Training (click below for useful training videos made freely available from the National Physics Laboratory)
    • Laser Controlled Areas
    • Laser Alignment
    • Laser eyewear and filters
    • Laser classification
  • Risk Assessment

Here you will find useful information and documents, for example:

  • Local Rules (pro-forma)
  • Training
  • Risk Assessment

Here you will find useful information and documents, for example: 

  • Local Rules (pro-forma)
  • Training
  • Risk Assessment

At its meeting in December 2008, the Radiological Safety Sub-Committee (RSS-C) discussed the issue of whether microwave ovens should be routinely tested for microwave leakage. At the request of the RSS-C the Safety Office produced the following two documents:

  • “Microwave Ovens: should they be routinely tested for microwave leakage?” - which provides useful background information, the sources of information used and its concluding recommendation, and can be viewed and printed by clicking here.

 

  • “Guidance for the Inspection and Safe Use of Domestic Microwave Ovens” - which sets out model checklists for both the ‘tester’ and the ‘user’, and can be viewed and printed by clicking here.

Both the RSS-C and the University’s Health & Safety Committee have received and discussed the above documents and agreed to formally ratify the guidance and approved its circulation to Schools & Departments for implementation.

Also, do take a moment to look at this website. It contains useful information (including a small movie) relating to the phenomenon known as 'Superheating'

University Contacts:

The Site Radiation Officer - Mr Kevin Hughes, MB726, Telephone 3963
(mobile 07917886247), Email Kevin Hughes

Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing - Mrs Susan Braithwaite, MB726, Telephone 4742,
(mobile 07771387530), Email Andrew Vickers

Assistant Safety Adviser - Ms Darnette Cowan, MB726, Telephone 4743,
Email Darnette Cowan

School Contacts:

Life & Health Sciences - Pharmacy/Biology

Top 

Position

Name

Area of Supervision

Contact Details

RPS

Mr Kevin Hughes

All Radiation areas within LHS

Room MB545,

Telephone 3936,

(Mobile 07917886247),

Email Kevin Hughes

LRA

Mr Chris Bache

MB324A (Radiation Area) and MB535A (X-ray Area)

Room MB536,

Telephone 3897,
Email Chris Bache

Awaiting appointment of responsible person

Mrs Karen Farrow - current local contact

MB720 (NMR Area)

Room MB721,
Telephone 3932,
Email Karen Farrow

 

 

 

 

Life & Health Sciences - Aston University Day Hospital

Top

Position

Name

Area of Supervision

Contact Details

LPS

Ms Tara Clark,

Theatres (Medical Lasers)

Room AUDH107, Telephone 3875,
Email Tara Clark

or

Deputy LPS

Ms Sarah Maddox

Theatres (Medical Lasers)

Room AUDH107, Telephone 3870,
Email Sarah Maddox

Magnetic Resonance

Safety Officer

Ms Liz Wilkinson

Scanner & Control Room (MRI)

Room AUDH115, Telephone 3865,
Email Liz Wilkinson

 

 

 

 

Engineering & Applied Science - Electronic Engineering

Top 

Position

Name

Area of Supervision

Contact Details

LPS

Mr Bert Biggs

All laser areas within Electronic Engineering, particularly Photonics Research Area (Industrial Lasers)

Room NW322, Telephone 3491,

Email Bert Biggs

LLA and LRA

Mr Andy Abbot

NW406 (Laser Teaching Area) and NW608 (Research equipment capable of producing X-rays)

Room NW609,

Telephone 3482,

Email Andy Abbot

 

 

 

 

Engineering & Applied Science - Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry

Top

Position

Name

Area of Supervision

Contact Details

Awaiting appointment of responsible person

Dr Mike Perry - current local contact

CE509 (NMR Area)

Room CE410, Telephone 3416,

Email Mike Perry

LPS

Dr Val Franklin

CE312 (MicroBAM 2 Laser System)

Room CE319, Telephone 3390,

Email Val Franklin

 

 

 

 

Engineering & Applied Science - Mechanical Engineering & Design

Top

Position

Name

Area of Supervision

Contact Details

LRA

Mr James Duggins

LG79 (Scanning Electron Microscope)

Room MB159/G18, Telephone 3627,

Email James Duggins

LPS

Prof Geoff Tansley

MB186 (Dantec Dynamics Laser System)

Room MB162

Telephone 3580,

Email Geoff Tansley

Key to table abbreviations: RPS - Radiation Protection Supervisor, LPS - Laser Protection Supervisor, LRA - Local Radiation Assistant, LLA - Local Laser Assistant, MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging, NMR - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy

External Contacts:

University Radiation Protection Advisers, based at the RRPPS

Mr Eddy Rafiqi - Adviser for Radionuclides, MRI and NMR - Email Eddy Rafiqi

Dr David Temperton - Adviser for X-rays - Email David Temperton

Mr Simon Wharmby - Adviser for Lasers - Email Simon Wharmby

Note: All of the above can be contacted by telephone on 0121 627 2090/1                    

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

The University offers a risk assessment training course which can be booked via the Aston Staff Portal.

In order to comply with the Risk Assessment SMS, those staff who are required to completed risk assessments must undertake the in-house training. This covers the University risk assessment methodology which must be used for all University risk assessments. Relevant documents can be found here:

Further guidance:

  • More information about organising events and activities on campus and guidance documents  

External Resources

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The aim of the project is to provide an SMS for each health and safety topic area required by the University. All topics have been prioritised and every few months a new set of standards will be launched. The project will take 2 years to be fully implemented.

A project group decides the order in which topics are developed and consultation takes place before the SMS are published.

As each set of SMS’s are published on the HSU website, all Executive Deans and Directors and Health and Safety Coordinators will receive a briefing and a note will be put into Aspects.  

The priorities are:

 

PRIORITY 1

 

PRIORITY 2

 

PRIORITY 3

 

PRIORITY 4

 

PRIORITY 5

 

PRIORITY 6

 

PRIORITY 
7

Risk Assessment

Accident Reporting

Fire

Radiation

Hazardous Substances

Display Screen Equipment

Stress

Inspections

Control of Contractors

Pressure Vessels

Lifting Operations

 

First Aid

Working Conditions

New and Expectant Mothers

Noise

Manual Handling

Lone Working

 

Driving at Work

Personal Protective Equipment

Working at Height

 

Electricity

Vibration

Violence

Events

 

Safety Signs

Home Working

Work Equipment

 

Building Maintenance  

Off site visits including overseas visits

 


The new health and safety management system needs to be audited to make sure all managers are aware of the standards and they are complied with. As the project progresses, each new standard will be audited six months after it is launched. If you are requested to provide information for a desktop audit or receive an invitation to an audit meeting you should:

  1. Read the relevant SMS and make sure you understand the requirements of the standards
  2. Complete the audit form which appears in Appendix 1 in all SMS’s - you can use this form at any time to check your compliance.
  3. Contact the HSU if you have any queries about the process.

Following the audit, you will receive a completed audit form from the auditee (a member of the HSU team) and an action plan, if required. We will also specify a date by which actions should be closed.  

As this system is new to everyone, we are keen to check the effectiveness of the system and undertaking audits is a sensible way of evaluating this. Data from audits will go to Health and Safety Committee so that a review of the system can take place but we will not be scoring areas on compliance levels.

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Improving Your Stress Resilience

The aims and outcomes of this presentation:

  • To understand what causes stress and how it can impact on you
  • To help you to recognise and manage stress  
  • To help you to develop the resilience to cope with stress in a healthy way

External Resources

For the university Health and Safety Policy, please click here.

Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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Safety Management Standards

Internal Resources & Training

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External Resources

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