General Safety Arrangements

General Safety Arrangements

  • Research Staff
    Academic Staff who supervise experimental work carried out by post doc research assistants and technical staff, are required to give careful attention to the health and safety of those under their supervision. This applies not only to work on College premises but also in supervised fieldwork and to College work carried out elsewhere. To fulfil its function the degree of supervision must have reasonable regard to the level of training and expertise of the staff being supervised.
  • Supervisors must include for/provide:
    •  the direct provision of relevant training in all matters necessary to ensure the health and safety of their staff while working in College premises, on supervised fieldwork exercises and during College work elsewhere
    • Completion of Risk assessments and approval of safe operating systems and method statements
    • Assessment of Chemicals and Biological agents prior to purchase in relation to safer alternatives, H&S risk controls necessary, safe storage, minimising volumes, stock use, safe disposal (licensed) and cost benefit.
    • safe removal and disposal  of all surplus materials/ work product/ chemicals purchased

The standards of safety in College Research Laboratories should be of the highest standard. 

  • Post Graduate Students
    Academic Staff who supervise experimental activities carried out by post graduate students are required to give careful attention to the health and safety of those under their supervision. This applies not only to work on College premises but also in supervised fieldwork and to College work carried out elsewhere. To fulfil its function the degree of supervision must include for:
    •  the direct provision of relevant training in all matters necessary to ensure their health and safety while working in College premises on supervised fieldwork exercises and during College work elsewhere and
    • reasonable regard to the level of training and experience of the p/g students being supervised.
    • Risk assessments and approval of safe operating systems and method statements
    • Assessment of Chemicals and Biological agents prior to purchase in relation to safer alternatives, H&S risk controls necessary, safe storage, minimising volumes, stock use, safe disposal (licensed) and cost benefit.
    • safe removal and disposal  of all materials/ work product/ chemicals and purchased prior to graduation.   

The standards of safety in College P/G Laboratories should be of the highest standard. P/G students should not be allowed to operate alone in laboratories or whilst engaged in  field work. 

  • Undergraduates
    Undergraduates should be assumed to be initially untrained in all matters of safety. Academic, and, where appropriate, technical officers staff therefore have a duty to instruct students, so far as is reasonably practicable, in all matters necessary to ensure their health and safety while working in College premises on supervised fieldwork exercises and during College activities elsewhere.
  • General requirements for Students
    Potentially hazardous equipment should not be used by students unless adequate risk controls at source and protective devices are in operation. If such protective devices are not practicable, adequate specific training must be given by the supervising academic or technical officer before unsupervised operation is allowed. As far as is reasonably practicable, no substance, equipment or apparatus shall be introduced into practical activities for or by students unless the hazards and risks associated with it have been assessed and recorded and approved by the supervising member of staff. Where reliable information is not available, all substances and processes should be regarded as potentially dangerous. Written instructions to undergraduates and post graduatesin their practical activities must draw attention to potential hazards of  the environment/ area,  substances and equipment used.

  • Access to College Buildings and Late Working
    Departmental Heads shall specify who shall be allowed access to the parts of the College under their Control. The permission of the Head of Department will be required for access to a Department or building outside normal working hours.

Undergraduates and post graduates  must not occupy College premises without the knowledge of members of the College staff.

Persons using College buildings during the early morning, evening or weekend must make an entry in the departmental or building late working book both on entering and leaving the building. General Services Operatives have the authority to ask the identity of persons found in the building outside normal working hours and to check this information against the entries in the late working book.

Departmental Heads must prohibit any work, which entails a risk of serious injury or fire, by persons working alone in the evenings or at weekends, irrespective of the status of the worker.

Departmental Heads must ensure that well publicised information is available on the procedures to be adopted if any accident or emergency occurs during the evening or weekend.

In departments where lifts are not fitted with an emergency telephone giving direct access to the College Security Services, the lifts must not be used in the evenings or at weekends. Supervised Cleaning Staff are, however, allowed to use the lifts during their own normal working hours.

Dogs are not allowed in College buildings, with the exception of guide dogs.

  • Visitors to the College
    All visitors to the College, do so only with the permission of the Head of Department and must follow all College and departmental safety procedures.
  • Safety Queries and Problems
    Members of the College staff and students who encounter a safety problem which cannot be resolved in the first instance by discussion with that person's immediate supervisor, should thereafter follow the reporting stages up to the department head. (see also Appendix 1)
  • Guidance on Safety (see also Appendix 1)
    In many instances safe systems of work, and safety in the workplace generally, follow naturally from the application of rules, procedures and advice contained in a variety of Regulations, Codes of Practice, Guidance Notes, Rules and other written material. Some of these have legal force, but all of them are relevant to ensuring an appropriate level of safety. There is in force a wide range of legislation relating to safety in connection with the activities of the Colleges/ the University. This may take the form of Acts of the Oireachtas or Statutory Regulations made under such Acts. In many instances important practical guidance with respect to fulfilment of the requirements of legislation is to be found in Approved Codes of Practice issued by the Health and Safety Authority. In addition, reference should be made to any relevant Guidance Notes issued by the Health and Safety Authority. The University  and constituent Colleges have in many instances formulated rules and procedures applicable to particular areas. These are contained in departmental safety statements,  SOP's, College/department codes of practice, guidance notes, method statements, rules and other written instructions. Furthermore, reference should be made to the written material published by other bodies and relevant to particular areas. These come from a variety of sources, including official bodies, industrial organisations etc. In every area the  departmental safety statement and any HSA/HSE guidance material must be considered as the minimum working safety code to be considered along with any other written material as referred to above. The attention of the University Safety Officer should be drawn to any information received on safety matters which could usefully be brought to the attention of other departments.
  • Departmental Safety Statement ( Safety management system))
    Departments are required to prepare and maintain a safety statement appropriate to the work of the department and the any/all work equipment and premises. These must include arrangements for identifying hazards, risk assessment, risk controls, safety consultation, accident investigation, first aid, control of contractors, emergencies, staff H&S training, managing and securing health and safety in the Department, action plans. The Departmental Safety Statement must be signed by the Head of Department and bear the date of issue. It must be kept constantly under review and updated to take account of experience, new places of work, new equipment and new activities as they are introduced.
  • Monitoring of Departmental Safety Policy
    The effectiveness of the Departmental Safety Policy can be usefully monitored by regular self inspection at departmental level. This device is often referred to as a departmental Safety Audit. A written record of each inspection and subsequent action should be kept and should be available for scrutiny by the College Head or the University Safety Officer, Insurers and Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority. An annual report of implementation of safety policy must also be prepared and submitted by Heads of Department to the relevant Head of College and the H&S Office.
  • Dangerous Substances
    Any person who plans to introduces into a College, a dangerous or hazardous substance, or manufacture such a substance, has a duty to assess the risk prior to purchase and first use or creation; determine the  hazards and risks,  and implement the necessary risk controls for the hazard during use, storage and the eventual disposal. Accurate records of acquisition, use and disposal of dangerous substances must be kept. Persons who obtain dangerous substances for research or other purposes should obtain from the supplier, a MSDS statement detailing the known and potential hazards and must heed such warnings. Such information must be made available by the supplier by law. The University Safety Officer and the Radiation Protection Officer are both available to advise users of dangerous substances of the known or predicted hazards. The Radiation Protection Officer must be informed, in advance, of all acquisitions and uses of radioactive substances.
  • Work equipment and Guarding of Machinery
    Any person who plans to introduces into a College, a dangerous machine or item of work equipment, or manufacture such an item, has a duty to assess the risk prior to purchase and first use or creation; determine the  hazards and risks,  and implement the necessary risk controls for the hazard during use, and the eventual disposal.All work equipment and  machinery must be properly maintained , operated in accordance with manufacturers instructions for the purpose intended and regularly inspected for condition and damage. All machinery, whether fixed or portable, must be fitted with appropriate guards and no person shall be permitted to use a machine unless adequate safe guards, training and supervision is provided. Where access to the moving parts of a machine is necessary, such an activity shall only be permitted when the risks have been assessed and minimised and the operator has been suitably instructed and has suitably PPE. All fixed machinery, shall be fitted with emergency stop buttons and with local electrical/energy/pressure source lock offs
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 
    The issue of personal protective equipment, other than normal protective clothing and eye protection, should be considered appropriate only for short term or emergency situations. Every effort should be made either to eliminate the process giving rise to the hazard or to re-organise the operation so that the hazard is eliminated. Where this is not possible, protective equipment should be issued only after it has been positively assessed as being suitable for coping with the hazard. Every person provided with personal protective equipment must take reasonable care of such equipment and must make proper use of it when there is a foreseeable risk of injury.
  • Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences
    Departmental Heads must ensure that all fires, accidents and dangerous occurrences within the department are recorded, investigated and reported to the University Safety Officer; that lessons are learned and acted upon and that this records are regularly reviewed for prompt corrective action.
  • Enforcement of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

    For the information of Employees, the following is a brief summary of the scheme of enforcement of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.

    College Departments are subject to random inspections by the Health and Safety Authority. Comments and recommendations arising from these visits are received in the form of a letter sent to the University/College management.

    There is a system of improvement and prohibition notices which may be served on the University/ a College, employees and other persons and which can be used to secure the termination, immediate if necessary, of a dangerous activity.

    There is the possibility that an Inspector from the Health and Safety Authority can bring criminal proceedings against the University/ a College, or any individual, for a breach of any duty under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.

  • Liability Insurance
    The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 does not in any way, alter the general position regarding civil liability. Employer's Liability Insurance covers the University for any successful action in Civil Law arising out of the negligence by its employees at work. This policy protects individual  employees against any successful action in civil law arising from a neglectful act whilst carrying out their normal duties as employees. Public Liability Insurance covers the University  for any successful action in civil law brought by a member of the public against the University/ a College for negligence.

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