Safe Use of Equipment

  • Basics:-

  • Every staff member and student has the right to safe equipment for use in their normal course of work.
  • More than 70% of common faults to electrical equipment can be detected by a visual check without special equipment - damaged equipment should be clearly labelled as soon as it is known to be unsafe and this is every user's responsibility.
  • No equipment should be left unattended in an unsafe condition. In exceptional circumstances, the nature of the hazard must be clearly labelled beside the equipment.
  • Overnight/unattended running of equipment does require special procedures - see Unattended Equipment form and guidance.
  • Read guidance notes before using equipment for the first time, and if in doubt, ask for assistance. Be aware of the Risk Assessment process.
  • No modifications to equipment are permitted without prior discussion with the supplier/manufacturer or University workshops as appropriate. Staff responsible for modified equipment should be vigilant in the training of all new users.

Specific risks are associated with the following equipment and all users are expected to comply with the guidelines given for their use:-

FBLS Asset Register

The Faculty holds a single Asset Register for items bought through University-managed funds, or donated to FBLS members of staff. The Register is managed by Alison Neill, Room 418, West Medical Building at extension 6151.

Definition of Asset for FBLS purposes

  • All non-expendable items valued above £800 per item (an asset can be of lower value if it is of sufficient importance to the research group).
  • All items of computing and audio visual equipment irrespective of purchase value.

Keeping the Asset Register Up-to-Date

  • Every item of equipment that is designated an Asset is given a unique reference number and is listed on a database, to which chief technicians have access. For portable electrical equipment, this reference number is also the PAT-test number. Both assets and electrical equipment are held on the same database which includes details, eg. who owns the equipment, when it was purchased, where it is located.
  • If you have responsibility for PAT testing equipment, please ensure that you tell Alison Neill or John McDougall if equipment is moved to a new location or thrown out. The following details should then by updated on the database:
    • the old and new location
    • the previous and new member of staff responsible for it (if this has changed)
    • the date and method of disposal (if disposed permanently)
    • When you pass on this information, please include both the PAT/asset number and the make/model and serial number (if accessible) to enable us to update older, incomplete records.


  • Never transfer an asset label from one piece of equipment to another - each item has its unique number and database history.
  • Never remove a label from equipment until it is being permanently disposed (the number transfers to a new location with the equipment, unless it is leaving the University).