SUERC Safety Policy

SUERC Safety Policy

The Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) is administered by the University of Glasgow (hereafter referred to as the University) and has a collaborative consortium arrangement with the University of Edinburgh. SUERC abides by the Health and Safety Policy Statement 2000 of the University of Glasgow, issued by the University Court, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The SUERC Safety Policy, as required by the University Safety Policy, is provided below.  SUERC occupies the site of the former Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre (SURRC) which, until 2008, was a Licensed Nuclear Site under the terms of the Nuclear Installations Act, 1965. The Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) facility and NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory are parts of SUERC. The AMS facility abides by SUERC Safety Policy, while the Radiocarbon Laboratory abides by NERC and SUERC Safety Policy.

1   Statement of General Policy

It is the policy of the Centre to do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure a safe and healthy working environment and to comply with the Environmental Health and Safety Policy of the University.

2   Responsibility for Health and Safety

2.1   The Director of SUERC is responsible to the Court of the University of Glasgow for Health and Safety in the Centre.

2.2   All members of staff are responsible for Health and Safety in their place of work. Academic, academic related and technical staff are responsible for work which they and research students and staff for whom they have line management responsibility are engaged upon in laboratories.

2.3   The Director is responsible for establishing a Safety Committee and for appointing a Safety Coordinator, who will act as chairperson of the Safety Committee. The Safety Committee meets on a quarterly basis and is responsible for recommending conventional safety policy to the Director. Recommendations from the Committee are made to the Director in the minutes of the Committee Meetings and, if authorised, are implemented through appropriate members of academic staff who have supervisory responsibilities for particular areas or operations within the Centre.  Details of staff members involved in the Safety Committee can be found in the “Safety Policy and Laboratory Rules and Safety Information” document.

2.4   The University of Glasgow Radiation Protection Officer is responsible for supervising the implementation of the Ionising Radiation Regulations, 1999.

2.5   Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974, students, visitors and contractors working on site are “persons other than employees” and they have a Common Law Duty to take reasonable care and observe statutory rules.

3. Implementation

3.1   Laboratory Rules and Safety Information will be issued to all employees and full-time students at the Centre. Members of staff are responsible for ensuring that part time students, visitors and contractors working on site are familiar with relevant sections of the Laboratory Rules and Safety Information.

3.2    All SUERC staff and students are required to ensure that laboratories and offices for which they have responsibility are maintained in a safe condition and that any deficiencies are immediately attended to. It is also the responsibility of academic staff to ensure that risk assessments are completed in respect of all potential hazards which arise in areas for which they have responsibility.

3.3    A safety inspection group, convened by the Safety Coordinator, will inspect the premises at least once a year to ensure compliance with the Safety Policy of the Centre. The inspection group will report any potential hazards to the Director and to staff with line management responsibility for safety in the area affected, who should arrange for necessary corrective actions or repairs.

3.4    Any person identifying shortcomings in the Health and Safety arrangements for the Centre is required to inform the Safety Coordinator.

COSHH Policy Statement

COSHH Policy Statement

This policy statement describes how SUERC and the NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory will meet the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 1999.

1   Responsibility for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

1.1   The Director of SUERC is responsible to the Court of the University of Glasgow and to the Management Committee for the control of substances hazardous to health at the Centre. The Officer-in-charge of the NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory is responsible to NERC for the control of substances hazardous to health in that laboratory.

1.2   All members of staff, students and visitors are responsible for ensuring that no person is exposed to significant levels of substances hazardous to health in their place of work.

1.3   Research Group Leaders are responsible for ensuring that COSHH risk assessments are completed for all operations involving substances hazardous to health, in accordance with the Glasgow University COSHH Handbook, and that these assessments are countersigned by persons to whom the operation relates.

1.4   Laboratory COSHH Coordinators are responsible for maintaining up-to-date COSHH records for their areas of responsibility under the supervision of their Research Group Leader.

1.5   A Centre COSHH Coordinator (for SUERC) will maintain an up-to-date record of all COSHH risk assessments for the Centre. Upon renewal, amendment or generation of new COSHH risk assessments, laboratory COSHH coordinators should forward a copy of the revised version to the Centre COSHH Coordinator. The current COSHH Coordinator is named in the “Safety Policy and Laboratory Rules and Safety Information” document.

2   Implementation

2.1   No laboratory activities should be undertaken without a completed risk assessment.

2.2   Laboratory COSHH Coordinators (or Research Group Leaders) will identify operations in which there is a potential for exposure to substances hazardous to health and will submit risk assessment forms (via the Research Group Leader) to the Centre COSHH Coordinator for accreditation.  The names of Centre and Laboratory COSHH Coordinators are given in Appendix II of Laboratory Rules and Safety Information, Part 2, General Rules.

2.3   After accreditation, electronic copies of assessment forms will be retained by the Laboratory COSHH Coordinators, who will ensure that they are countersigned by all persons to whom the operation relates.  Accepted (Signed) copies of assessment forms will be returned to the Centre COSHH Coordinator, who will retain such forms on behalf of the Director for as long as they are relevant.  A further accepted copy will be retained by Laboratory COSHH Coordinators.

2.4   The Centre COSHH Coordinator will arrange appropriate monitoring, should this be required, and inform the Safety Committee of any results.

2.5   The Safety Coordinator will arrange for inspection of laboratories at least once per year by a Safety Inspection Group to ensure that accredited control and monitoring strategies are adhered to and that any deficiencies are rectified.

Further information can be obtained in the Chemical safety section of the SEPS webpages.