Regular Safety Inspections of laboratories, workshops, stores, offices and other rooms and spaces are carried out in order to maintain as high a level of Safety as is practicable, to comply with legal requirements
In order to inspect all areas of the Department of Chemistry on a regular, frequent basis, Inspections are divided into three principle formats:-
Self Assessments by the Academic Staff Member in charge of Research Laboratories
At the beginning of each new Academic year, members of the Academic Staff are requested to complete a Safety Assessment of the laboratories for which they have responsibility. This Assessment, as far as possible, is conducted with the assistance of the researchers who work in those laboratories (whilst remaining the responsibility of the Academic Member) at the same time as the annual Risk Assessment/COSHH Assessment exercise. A standard Lab Self Assessment Form is used to complete the Assessment and a copy sent to the Departmental Safety Committee. Any necessary remedial work identified by the Assessment should be arranged at this time.
From time to time unannounced, Spot Inspections are carried out. The purposes of this type of Inspection are to ensure that all parts of the Building are visited regularly to see that obvious failings, identified to the Academic in charge, are dealt with quickly and to allow a basis for the prioritisation of more in-depth inspections.
Full Safety Inspections
"Problem" areas identified in the course of "blanket" Inspections or by having generated an accident/incident may be inspected more frequently. These Inspections may benotified in advance by standard letter in order to enable the Academic to be present to provide information and any paperwork requested. Serious problems are reported verbally, for immediate attention, at the time of Inspection and a written report sent to the Academic in charge within a few days. These written reports point out any faults that have been found and indicate a time scale for their remedy. They may be made public within the Department and posted (for internal use only). In cases where significant faults have been found, a follow up re-inspection takes place, usually within four weeks.
If, in the course of these Inspections, or by any other means, the Inspection Team, or any of its members, identifies a situation in a laboratory, workshop or other area which, in their opinion, constitutes a serious danger to workers in that area or to any member of the School of Chemistry, the Departmental Safety Committee will recommend to the Head of Department that that laboratory, workshop or area be closed until such time as the situation has been remedied to the satisfaction of the Inspection Team.
A checklist of items examined in the course of Safety Inspections can be found here.