UCL Ear Institute


February 11 2016 Safety Committee Meeting

Thursday 11th February 2016

Attending: Elena Bedisti (chair EB), Jennifer Linden (JL, to 11.40 a.m.), Sally Dawson (SD), Miriam Gomez (MG), Graham Neville (GN), Kate Faxen (KF), Marta Polancec (MP, minutes)
Apologies: Priya Singh (PS), Nico Daudet (ND), Steph Juniat (SJ), Amjad Mahmood (AM)


· EB stated that the last Safety Committee meeting took place November 2014.  They typically take place about twice a year, though ideally they should take place termly. 

· Terms of reference should be drawn up which state the Safety meeting’s aims and objectives, membership, quorum, frequency of meetings and its reporting lines to the Ear Institute Board.

· Health and Safety documents on the website need to be reviewed and updated as necessary.  GN stated that the Safety Advice and Safety Arrangement and Policy are continuously reviewed and revised and the content and listed people are up to date.


· EB and GN to review Health and Safety documents and update as necessary


PREVIOUS MINUTES: Actions from last meeting


· Fire alarm still not extended to first floor booth.  This has been actioned.

· First Aiders.  KF reported that we now have 6 First Aiders, which is more than enough.  The certificate must be renewed every 3 years. Ricky Kemp’s and Nick Jacobs’ certificates will soon be due for renewal.  In addition, it is highly recommended (though not compulsory) for First Aiders to undertake an annual skills update: EB stated that such updates should be made compulsory for EI staff.  We also need to designate Emergency First Aiders, which involves a 3 day training course.

· Chemical Waste collection.  Another collection is now due.

· Cabling.  The issue of potentially unsafe cabling comes up at every meeting and a number of instances of exposed wires and cabling have been identified in the offices.  EB wondered whether, in the current absence of a Facilities Officer, UCL Estates would perform a check, though GN was of the view that they were likely to say that this was our responsibility.  EB confirmed that HR approval has been obtained for the Facilities Officer post and this will be advertised soon. 


· KF to email all First Aiders with dates of training and update courses

· EB to communicate to First Aiders that they should do the 3 day Emergency First Aid course and to identify an Emergency First Aider to be in the building at any given time.

· EB to enquire with UCL Estates whether they will perform a cabling check pending the appointment of a new Facilities Officer.


· Representation from a PI involved with animal procedures and the new Institute Manager.  Jennifer Linden has joined the Safety Committee.


· Monthly inspections by Facilities Officer.  GN confirmed that an inspection is carried out before each H&S meeting.  There is a standard Safety Inspection checklist available on the UCL Estates website.  EB stated that, once in post, the new Facilities Officer should complete this monthly and compile a report for each H&S meeting.

· Recycling bins and waste collection.

o Recycling bins were delivered at some point, but there was an issue with the lids and their current whereabouts are unknown.  In addition, there does not appear to be space for these bins in the hospital yard. 

o There are regular waste bins which can be used for items such as packaging and, if in doubt, waste should be put into the yellow bags for incineration.  There should be a regular waste bin outside the door of the wet lab. 

o A considerable amount of electrical equipment needs to be disposed of.  It was agreed that the best way forward is to make an inspection to identify all electrical equipment which is faulty, obviously not in use or which poses a health and safety hazard.  Staff will be informed that all equipment on this list will be disposed of unless they give a reason to keep it.  The best method and cost of disposing of this equipment also needs to be determined (e.g. hiring a skip).

o EB highlighted that Adam Pyne’s departure means that the EI is now without a Green Champion.  She will assume the role as it requires someone at senior level to push policies and initiatives, but she will require support from the incoming Facilities Officer.  She will also seek advice from UCL’s central Green Team.

· Safety Minutes.  The minutes of the previous meeting have been uploaded to the EI website.  From now on, draft minutes will be circulated by email to attendees as soon as possible after the meeting for corrections and comments.  Once the minutes are finalised KF upload them to the website and will send an email to all staff with the link.


· GN to send EB the link to the UCL Safety Inspection checklist

· KF to send an email enquiring about the whereabouts of the recycling bins.  Once this is known, she will issue notices and communications to staff about recycling arrangements.

· GN and MG to conduct an inspection and list electrical equipment to be disposed of

· EB to consult the UCL central Green Team and its website and include supporting the Green Champion in the job description for the Facilities Officer

· EB to circulate draft minutes to attendees once available for comment and approval  

· KF to upload Safety Minutes to the EI website once finalised and email EI staff with link


· Autoclave – service is up to date, next service is due in May 2016

· Benches and stair area - SD reported that maintenance and cleanliness has improved

· Fire Risk Assessment - issues arising from assessment made before previous H&S Meeting:

o The first floor fire door continues to be wedged open as people complain that it sticks.  This door should be planed or otherwise repaired to prevent it sticking.

o Hazardous signage for labs has now been altered for some rooms

o Some open notice boards remain.  These need to be monitored to remove outdated notices and minimise paper.

o Clutter remains an ongoing issue.

· Fire Marshalls – As regards Fire Marshalls, several staff members have now left and it is difficult to get volunteers.  We need a list of existing Marshalls to identify which areas of the building currently lack cover.  Also, we need to ensure that at the beginning of term the teaching team speak to students using the Skills Lab about location of fire exits and evacuation procedures

· Deaf Message Service – this is active but there is still no signal in the basement area, despite the installation of a booster.  Users should be made aware of this and the need to rely on lights as alarm signals in this area.

· PPE – more PPE has been ordered for the second floor and this is contained in a marked drawer.  GN has notified staff about the need to face fit masks for animal work, although, owing to changes in staffing, he is not sure that this has been done.  Another issue to be considered is whether people walking through the labs but not actually working there need to be protected.  We should seek advice on current best practice in this area.  Those who do animal work undergo allergy screening before they begin, but a person needs to be designated to ensure that allergen controls are followed.

· Bike sheds/storage – GN spoke to Alex Green but there has been no progress


· GN to send an email to all staff highlighting that it is a legal obligation to keep fire doors closed

· GN to compile list of existing Fire Marshalls

· GN to speak to Guoping Li and Amjad Mahmood about fire evacuation talk to students using the Skills Lab

· JL to be designated Allergen Control person or to nominate another staff member who does regular animal work


· Additions to responsible persons register

o Deputy DSO – this is EB, no further action needed

o Emergency First Aider – all First Aiders are capable of fulfilling this role, so the Emergency First Aider will be stated as whichever First Aider is present in the building and available

o Deputy Fire Marshall – the Committee nominates Dan Jagger

· Changes to BSU and DMS

· Risk assessments – for many areas these are out of date and all risk assessments should ideally be uploaded to the UCL college website using the RiskNet tool.  There was discussion about how staff should learn to use RiskNet (arranging workshop attendance could prove difficult, is online learning an option or is the tool reasonably self-explanatory without the need for formal training?).  SD commented that she has had no communication from UCL’s Safety Office about the new RiskNet system, nor of the implications for the individual PI and the EI if RiskNet does not have a relevant and up to date risk assessment.  PIs must be reminded that risk assessments are a legal obligation, that a new risk assessment is required whenever there is a change of circumstances or procedure and that assessments need to be updated regularly.  It is also important for risk assessments to be stored centrally either on RiskNet or in an EI shared folder for reference and inspection purposes.  GN stated that up to date risk assessments are in place for general lab activities such as use of chemicals and specialist equipment such as the autoclave.  SD and MG will discuss whether a general risk assessment is needed for the second floor lab.

· Results of building inspection

o Yellow bags need to be emptied more often

o Numerous areas in the building are cluttered with paperwork (primarily teaching materials for various courses) and cardboard which constitutes a fire risk.  These include the “cottage” bathroom on the top floor, under the stairs in the Admin section and behind the student common room.  The paperwork is likely to include confidential patient data so needs to be disposed of appropriately

o A ceiling tile is missing in room 218 and there are holes in the ceiling outside the student common room and room 249 which may have resulted from the recent asbestos inspection.

o The light in the second floor toilet remains a problem.

o An electrical socket used by Ricky Kemp is blackened and potentially dangerous

o A small floor strip is missing in the basement corridor near the Fire Exit, but this is a minor issue.

o The Fire Door in the Skills Lab is regularly propped open and it should be closed at all times. 

o The discussion highlighted issues in relation to dealings with Estates.  It is important when logging issues with Estates to obtain a job number so that EB can follow them up if necessary when she meets with Nigel at CIMA.  Estates do not typically communicate when they are dealing with issues, and EB has informed them that if they do not notify the EI beforehand their contractors will be turned away from the building as we need to know what the work involves and its impact on our business.

o Mice infestation – Ricky Kemp has been very proactive in liaising with Estates to resolve this issue.  The problem arises mainly from food remnants in the plant room and elsewhere in the building resulting from catering for events and people eating at their desks.  Staff should be instructed that all food on their desks should be kept in Tupperware.  Cleaners should be instructed to clear away all food thoroughly.

· Service contracts for lab equipment.  MG reported that these are needed for the following equipment in accordance with legal requirements – Autoclave, Oxygen Sensors, Centrifuge,Tissue Culture.  Cathy used to be the liaison for this.  The estimated cost for cover until July or August is £3,000.  EB confirmed that Cathy’s replacement will be in post from 21 March, but that she will deal with this matter in the meantime.


· GN to review existing risk assessments to check whether they are up to date and distribute a list to PIs

· H&S Committee to emphasise to PIs their legal obligations relating to risk assessments and request PIs to copy all risk assessments to GN and MG for storage in a shared folder and/or Risknet.  The Committee will monitor compliance by PIs.

· MG to remind staff about the obligation and process for emptying yellow bags.  GN to arrange a chemical waste collection.

· EB to email relevant staff members regarding course paperwork which is cluttering common areas and liaise with Ricky Kemp about disposing of it in confidential waste bags as necessary.

· GN to email EB about the missing ceiling tiles and holes in the ceiling for liaison with Estates about making good if resulting from their inspection.

· GN/MG to log a call to Estates about the second floor toilet light

· GN to tape up Ricky Kemp’s electrical socket to prevent use and inspect all other sockets in the building

· GN to ask Amjad Mahmood to follow up the issue relating to the Skills Lab Fire Door.

· MG to forward lab equipment service contracts to EB for liaison with Research and Funds Administrator.


· ND sent apologies with the message that there was nothing new to report from the GM front.


· The Environment Agency Inspection has taken place (there is a new inspector).  This highlighted some issues, all of which have been actioned.  The next inspection is due in November 2016.

· HTA inspection is due in spring 2016.  Shak Saeed is aware of this.


· It is important for a representative from Teaching to attend H&S meetings.  PS gave her apologies for this meeting, stating that she has nominated Amjad Mahmood to represent Teaching at Safety meetings.  AM gave his apologies also since he does not work at the EI on Thursdays.   The representative from Teaching should preferably be a full time staff member (to avoid scheduling difficulties) who has contact with students.

· SJ gave her apologies and raised the issue of her replacement in future Safety meetings since she is coming the end of her PhD. 

· SD highlighted that most recurring safety issues had typically been dealt with by the Facilities Officer (previously Adam Pine), so it might be advisable to include his Line Manager on the Committee.

· Soundseekers representatives and Andy Minnis, UCL Safety Advisor will be sent copies of the Safety Meeting minutes and informed of matters arising.


· EB to nominate Teaching representative

· SD to nominate second year PhD representative to replace SJ

NEXT MEETING:  Date to be scheduled and advised

Attending: Elena Bedisti (chair EB), Jennifer Linden (JL, to 11.40 a.m.), Sally Dawson (SD), Miriam Gomez (MG), Graham Neville (GN), Kate Faxen (KF), Marta Polancec (MP, minutes)
Apologies: Priya Singh (PS), Nico Daudet (ND), Steph Juniat (SJ), Amjad Mahmood (AM)
Circulation: Elena Bedisti (EB, Chair), Nico Daudet (ND), Sally Dawson (SD). Kate Faxen (KF), Miriam Gomez (MG), Steph Juniat (SJ), Jennifer Linden (JL), Andy Minnis (UCL Safety Advisor), David McAlpine (DM), Graham Neville (GN), Priya Singh (PS)