UCL Ear Institute


25 July 2012 Minutes

Health and Safety Meeting held on Wednesday 25th July at 3.00 p.m.


  • Dr S Dawson (SD)

  • Mr G Nevill (GN)

  • Dr N Daudet (ND)

  • Mrs C Overington (CO)

  • Mr W Potter (WP)

  • Mr A Pyne (AP)

  • Dr P Singh (PS)

  • Ms J Ziff (JZ)

In attendance Ms A Kelly

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Miriam Gomez.

2. Safety Officers Update (WP, GN)

a. Results of June Safety audit

BP reported that there were no safety issues on the first floor. The new door arrangement seems to be working well.

BP reported that there is a build-up of rubbish near the fire doors again. GN added that rubbish was an issue for Linda Tilling when she carried out her electrical inspection at the EI. It was also noted that the freezer in the riser room, that contains animal waste, needs to be removed, and could be placed in the basement with the microscopes. At the moment it is accessible by those who collect the waste. If moved they will need to be given the code to access the waste. The other freezers can be moved to the corridor, as long as they do not block the fire exit or obstruct anything. AP added that he is contacting the cleaning company regarding waste removal, but added that lack of storage space has also meant that the cleaners no longer have storage for their equipment and use the toilets for this.

Action: GN / AP to ensure that the freezer is removed. AP to speak to the cleaners about regular removal of rubbish from fire exits.

PAT Testing

GN reported that although wiring was checked a few months ago, there is now testing of the equipment which is plugged into sockets. This is part of the 5-year check. This is portable appliance testing (anything with a plug). All sockets are OK but plugs need to be checked. It was acknowledged the UCL are responsible for ensuring this is checked properly. UCL will check the 250 computer plugs. Priority for PAT testing given to genuinely portable items and/or equipment with heating elements

Suggested that a rota is set so that a check is made internally and regularly of certain areas to make sure that.a visual check is done by users of bench equipment to monitor condition of cables and plugs etc

b. Fire marshal retraining

Everybody has now been retrained.

Second floor of the cottage building where Ifat and Debbie are based will now also house David Kemp, Rosie Lovett and Tobias. No one on the second floor is a fire marshal. Ifat has Asthma and cannot be one. The work involves checking your floor to make sure it is clear before leaving your area.

Action: AP to ask one or two people on that floor if they might be able to be a marshal.

c. First aid cover

First aiders have now be organised, they are:

Kate Faxen



Kate is the principle first aider and will organising retraining courses. Kate has also organised new first aid boxes in the building. First Aiders are listed on the staff noticeboard and their names should also be listed in new staff packs.

Action CO: to check that starter packs up to date

d. Pressurised gas cylinder storage

GN stated that the gas cylinders have now been moved to a new storage area which is in the corridor opposite the hospital keypads. GN has the key for this, as well as porters. The racking is going to be moved in there. AP added that there had been some discussion about EI being charged for using this area.

e. Chemical waste removal

AP added that MITIE had been difficult organising the alcohol waste removal at EI they are trying to link this to the hospital waste removal (old alcohol, specimens going back to the 50s, 60s and 70s). We have organised a routine waste chemical pick up from the EI to be done by UCL

Action: 8 gallon container of methylated spirit could be used by SD. AP to chase Mitie about the clearance.

f. Modification to -80 room

Safety advised that there should be a door on the fire door for that room. It had been removed because of the liquid nitrogen, and the need for ventilation. They have added extra ventilation for the room. The door will only release and close if there is a real fire alarm.

Action: The sensor and sign is to be moved to the corridor. The fire drill will be on 30th October 2012.
3. GM Officer

Nothing to report

4. Radiation Officer

Nothing to report

5. Building Supervisor

New system to manage the satellites, a new estates manager for EI section is due to start at the end of August. They are still considering if they will need to recruit more staff to cover the work.

6. Teaching representative

Skills Lab will be used for teaching purposes and as a lab in the academic year, and there are some concerns over the storage of chairs in this area, which could get in the way and be potentially hazardous. As there will be combined practical sessions, classes will be bigger this year. AP highlighted that storage is short at the moment, and there is no space for storage of chairs.

Action: AP to look into moving chairs into the mechanical room when the freezer is moved. AP also suggested keeping the cleaning supplies in there too.

7. Student Representative

Students in the back office felt that the temperature is too hot. AP confirmed that Air Con will be installed next week. This is quite a big unit and the room should be cooled. AP also announced that on the second floor of the cottage (Ghada’s old room), there will now be approximately four PhD students writing up.

Students are also concerned about the number of dead cockroaches in the kitchen that do not seem to be cleared away. AP agreed that the pest company have not been very active dealing with the problem and will chase this up. The caterers are also slow clearing away food after events, and this is not helping the problem. JZ suggested that the bin is cleaned on the Friday before the weekend.

Action: AP to speak to pest control about the cockroach issue and alternative method of extermination (at the moment sticking traps are used).

8. Outstanding item from previous meeting

As part of the fire risk assessment GN reported that it had been suggested that the electrical cabinet outside the admin office be removed. Simon has not yet made a definitive judgement on the move, and it is dependent on his opinion. They also identified mess and boxes in corridors as a problem. AP stated that boxes and rubbish must be marked as rubbish before cleaners will remove it.

The basement of the admin area will be cleared in August and could be used to store furniture, and non- perishable items, due to damp.

SD confirmed that service contracts have been setup and as per health and safety policy. SD reported that Miriam was concerned about the floor cracking in room B33 and becoming a trip hazard. At the moment the floor is taped, as not glued.

Action: AP to organise a monthly walk around rota to show that areas are checked regularly to show that it is being kept clear. AP to take a look at possible trip hazard in B33.

9. Any Other Business

Regular but shorter meetings to be held with one longer meeting at year end.

10. Date of next meeting

CO suggested the next meeting to take place in October/November.