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Leading Health and Safety at Work Health and Safety Management Responsibilities of Principal Investigators and Managers.

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Presentation on theme: "Leading Health and Safety at Work Health and Safety Management Responsibilities of Principal Investigators and Managers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leading Health and Safety at Work Health and Safety Management Responsibilities of Principal Investigators and Managers

2 Why Health and Safety Is Important Reputation –University of Nottingham aims for excellence in teaching and research –Quality in teaching and research is achieved through quality in all aspects of operations. –Bad publicity from unsafe, unhealthy or environmentally damaging events undermines this. Moral imperative –To provide a safe and healthy working environment –Clear conscience

3 Why Health and Safety Is Important Legal requirements –Law specifies standards –Penalties if not followed Financial Reasons –Staff absences –Lost output/data –Damaged equipment –Compensation pay-outs and insurance premiums –Uninsured costs >>> Insured costs

4 Legal Environment Statutory Law Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Duties towards employees, students and visitors –Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, health, safety and welfare at work Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 –Duties on manager to ensure the above –Risk assessment!!! Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 –Death resulting from systemic failures to manage health and safety –Implies senior management failures in risk management –See Podcast for further information

5 Penalties Prosecution – fines and imprisonment. Prohibition Notice – stop work now Improvement notices – put certain measure in place within a specified time Corporate Manslaughter Penalties –Unlimited fine –Publicity order

6 14 February 1999 IMPERIAL College, London, renowned as one of Britain’s leading research institutions, was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay more than £21,000 costs yesterday for exposing staff to a potentially lethal new virus for which there is no cure. The college’s “seriously flawed” approach to health and safety matters raised a distinct possibility that both hepatitis C and dengue fever could be released into the open while it was attempting to create a hybrid from the two. Neither staff nor members of the public were adequately protected from the possibility that the man-made organism could have escaped, Blackfriars Crown Court in London was told. Scientists, led by Dr John Monjardino, failed to use sealed cabinets while studying the virus and made no emergency plan for dealing with a spillage. Staff at the college, part of London University, were not provided with protective clothing and had to walk through a room used as an office by other university employees in order to dispose of contaminated material. Keith Morton, for the prosecution, said: “They were creating a hybrid virus for which no vaccine or treatment exists. Safety measures should have been of a very high standard to protect staff and the general public. They have shown a disregard for basic measures to ensure and monitor safety, as a consequence of which their employees were exposed to a very real risk of infection.” Contrary to expected procedures, the Health and Safety Executive was only notified that the research had begun when a researcher inquired about transporting the hybrid virus to Oxford. A subsequent inspection in December 1998 uncovered the potentially hazardous regime. While Judge David Martineau acknowledged that work on finding a vaccine for the two diseases was very important, there could be no excuse for such lapses, he said. Hepatitis C is frequently fatal, while dengue fever causes a severe but non-fatal reaction. Imperial College admitted one count of “failing to apply principles of good microbiological practices and principles of good occupational safety and hygiene” under the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations It also pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act The college and its safety advisers were each fined £20,000 in March for exposing the public to an “unacceptable risk” from the HIV virus. In 1998 it was fined £4,500 for exposing a worker to an “animal allergen”. College exposes staff to lethal virus B Y H ELEN S TUDD 24 July 2001

7 Civil Liability Common Law Duty of Care owed to employees, students & visitors. Failure can result in personal injury claims for negligence.

8 Organisation – lines of responsibility

9 Safety Responsibilities Risk assessment Training Competency Supervision Monitoring Detailed information can be found in the University’s Safety Management Standard: ‘Effective Safety Management’: management/esm/effective-safety.aspxhttp://nottingham.ac.uk/safety/safety- management/esm/effective-safety.aspx

10 Risk Assessment For all hazardous activities/procedures New procedures New & existing equipment Written SOPs [standard operating procedures] Signed off by PI/Snr academic/manager

11 Risk Assessment continued Procedural –Substances [ e.g.chemicals, biological material] –Equipment –Manual handling –Cylinders –Cryogenics DSE Lone working

12 Training & Competence Identify training needs – initial & ongoing Ensure training delivered by competent person Assess competency Record training and attainment of competency (specific record form, PSRF or e lab book)

13 Training Delivery University & External courses Local induction Job/task specific training (techniques & equipment) Refresher training –When procedure/equipment changes –High risk operations –Infrequent operations –Following accident/incident –Where competency is in question

14 Competency Assessment Assess practical skills & knowledge Assessment by competent person Methods of assessment Written test [ e.g. induction questionnaire Verbal discussion/questioning Observation [ for practical tasks] Self assessment [ where appropriate] Continual assessment – ensure standards maintained

15 Supervision Levels of supervision are determined by: the severity of the hazard and the complexity of the control measures required to reduce risk the competence of the person Source HSE – HSG 65

16 Monitoring Active monitoring –Local housekeeping checks – recorded. –Regular meetings [ present findings of above] –Regular entry into the lab by PI – to check –School safety inspections & audits Accident/incident/near misses –Reported –Investigated

17 Remember You can delegate safety management duties You cannot delegate legal responsibility You remain accountable in law for the safety of students/staff that you manage/supervise


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