UCL SAFETY SERVICES
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

ACCIDENTS

What do I do if I have an accident at work?

All accidents and other incidents with the potential for injury or damage must be reported using SafetyNET "Report an incident" tool. Check your Departmental Statement of Safety Policy for any specific local arrangements in place.

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DISPLAY SCREEN EQUIPMENT (DSE)

I use a computer at work, can I get free glasses?

No. The fact that you have a computer does not automatically entitle you to free glasses.  If you have been identified as a "DSE User" ie someone who uses a computer for significant amount of time during their normal working day, you are entitled to a free eye test and free glasses (if specifically needed to use your computer).See UCLs Eyecare Scheme at the following link:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/occ_health/health_advice/eyecare.php

I've had my workstation assessed but I'm still not comfortable.

If the changes made as a result of the workstation assessment don't resolve pain, discomfort or health issues then ask your Manager to refer you to Occupational Health for advice.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/occ_health/what_do_we_do/management_referral.php

Do I need a DSE assessment if I use a laptop?

Yes, if you use the laptop for prolonged periods then ask your Manager to arrange for an assessment.

I work at home with DSE do I need to have my worksatation assessed?

If you regularly work at home as part of your job and it's in your terms and conditions of employment then ask your Manager to arrange for an assessment.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/work_life_balance.php

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/guidance/dse/working_at_home.pdf

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FACE FIT TESTING

What happens if I fail face fit testing?

The fit tester should ask you to refit the mask and repeat the fit test. If a better fit is not obtained you may be asked to try on a different type of mask and repeat the test.

You should not use a mask that does not fit you properly and you must stop using the mask that was used in testing if you fail to pass. In this event, a respirator that doesn’t rely on a tight face seal, such as a powered hood type, should be worn instead.

What if I normally wear more than one type of respirator?

If you need to wear more than one type of face mask for your job, e.g. a disposable mask and a full face respirator, then you should be fit tested for each type you wear.

Can I be fit tested in the mask I usually wear?

The fit test will be carried out using the mask you normally wear or one identical to it, but you don’t need to take a mask with you to the test session. If you want to bring your own face mask, please make sure it is clean and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Does fit testing mean I don’t need to maintain or check my mask?

No, fit testing does not assess the quality of maintenance of a mask, you must continue to maintain any reusable masks in good working order and make sure they are cleaned after use, if required.

Does fit testing mean that we now need to have our own masks?

No, however you need to ensure that the make and model of mask that you wear is the same as the mask(s) used during testing.

Do I need to pay for fit testing or face masks?

No, UCL as your employer pays for any protective equipment you need and will pay for face fit testing, however the cost of face masks and fit testing should be factored into departmental budget planning.

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FIRST AID

What training is available for first aiders?

There are two certificate courses available.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/training/

Which course should I attend?

A first aid assessment will determine the number required and the course they should attend.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/guidance/firstaid/index.htm

Why aren't defibrillators provided in UCL buildings?

Safety Services advice is that because our first aiders are trained to carry out CPR and most of our buildings are relatively close to an A&E department then defibrillators do not need to be provided routinely. In an organisation of our size it would be difficult to locate sufficient numbers of defibrillators to provide adequate cover in all of our buildings.

If however an assessment of risk indicates that a defibrillator is appropriate then it should be provided in the area where it will be needed.

Examples of risk based provision include:

  • where research participants  are selected because they have a history or a vulnerability to heart attack
  • the workplace is some distance from an A&E department

If Departments decide to provide a defibrillator then staff must be trained to use it.

Are first-aiders allowed to give tablets and medication to casualties?

First aid at work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illness.

The exceptions to this are:

  • A first aider who assists an individual to take their own medication which has been prescribed by their doctor before contacting the emergency services if appropriate e.g. an inhaler for asthma.
  • First aiders who have been trained to administer a dose of adrenalin from an Epipen.  An Epipen is carried by individuals who are at risk of anaphylactic shock and has been prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Tablets and medicines are never included in the contents of the first-aid box. See the following link for a list of contents.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/guidance/firstaid/guidance/index.htm#contents

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LONE WORKING

What is Lone Working?

Working without close or direct supervision or remote from colleagues i.e. colleagues may be in the next room or on other floors in the same building. Lone workers can be peripatetic (routinely walks between work locations) or in fixed locations. Lone working can occur at any time i.e. either during normal working hours or out of hours.

Is it legal to work alone?

Although there is no general prohibition to working alone, there is a legal duty to assess the risks of the work. If the task is to be carried out by someone while they are alone the risk assessment must consider the hazards of being alone in addition to the hazards involved with the work itself.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/guidance/lone_working/index.htm

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PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

Do I need to pay for my own PPE?

No, if you are employed at UCL PPE will be provided free of charge when required.

How do I know if my PPE is the correct type?

Check your local risk assessment or speak to your Manager or Departmental Safety Officer.

What do I do if my PPE does't fit or is uncomfortable to wear?

Check if different sizes are available and that you are wearing the correct size. If you wear PPE for long periods take frequent breaks or change your PPE regularly to avoid discomfort. If the PPE model / brand you are using is not suitable an alternative can usually be sourced. Speak to your Manager or Departmental Safety Officer.

What does CE marking mean and why do we need to check for it?

CE marking signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements and in some cases will be tested and certified by an independant body.

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VIBRATION

Will using gloves protect me from vibration?
Using gloves will not protect you from the effects of vibration. Gloves should be used to keep the hands warm and provide protection from chemicals and other physical effects.

My power tool has a green symbol on it what does this mean?
Some tool manufacturer’s and tool hire firms use a traffic light system to indicate HAVS risks from using the tool. Green is low; amber medium and red is high. Check the user handbook for conformation.

How do I know if using a power tool will cause health problems?
Any vibrating tool or process, which causes tingling or numbness after 5-10 minutes is suspect and measures to reduce exposure must be taken.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/guidance/noise/index.htm

WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT

What is the minimum/maximum temperature allowed in my workplace?

The law says that during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings must be reasonable.  The minimum temperature should be 16°C, but if your work involves severe physical effort, it can be as low as 13°C. These temperatures may not ensure reasonable comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and relative humidity.  There is no maximum prescribed working temperature. Further guidance can be found on the HSE website at the following link:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/index.htm


My workplace seems very cramped, is there any guidance on how much space each person should have?

The Health and Safety Executive recommend that there should be at least a minimum 11m3 for each person in a workspace.  This figure doesn’t take into account any furniture or equipment in the workspace so in reality it is unlikely that people will have this amount of clear space to themselves. What has to be ensured is that people are provided with adequate space to do their work and that there is good access/egress to and from their workstation and when moving around the room.

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