OBUHSN-04 Issue 06 April 2009

Responsibilities of staff or others appointed to specific health & safety roles

Introduction

  1. This Safety Notice must be read and understood by all relevant staff and others of Oxford Brookes University.

The chair of the health and safety committee

  1. The Vice-Chancellor or their nominee will chair the Committee and is responsible for the preparation of its minutes, reports and proposals and for their presentation to the Academic Board.

Faculty/Directorate health and safety advisers

  1. The Dean of each Faculty/Director of each Directorate must appoint a Faculty/Directorate Health and Safety Adviser(s) who will be responsible for advising the Dean of Faculty/Director of Directorate on health and safety matters (see OBUHSN-06). The person(s) appointed must have an overall appreciation of the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and any other statutory or local requirements specific to the work carried out in the Faculty/Directorate.
  2. The Oxford Brookes University Health and Safety Advisers' Forum (OBUHSAF) will meet once per semester, normally in week 8, rotating between the three main campuses, at a time to suit the majority, in order to discuss health and safety matters relevant to all Faculties/Directorates.

Radiation protection adviser

  1. The University Radiation Protection Advisors (RPAs) will be appointed in writing by the Vice-Chancellor or their nominee, pursuant to the requirements of section 10 of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99). Notification of the intended appointment must be made to the Health and Safety Executive in writing at least 28 days in advance of the formal appointment and an appropriate acknowledgement of the appointment received. The University shall provide any RPAs with adequate information and facilities for the performance of their functions.
    • In addition to these regulations the University is subject to Radioactive Substances Act 1993 (RSA93). The Environment Agency administers RSA93 that controls the holdings of radioactive materials, their disposal and compliance with these regulations.
    • The person(s) appointed to the role as RPAs will be experienced workers with radioactive substances or procedures and they will be undertaking this work on a regular basis and in addition will have several years of experience in this type of work. Specialised procedures may require additional RPAs to be appointed to specific roles.
    • Such person(s) will have to demonstrate that they possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of IRR99, RSA93, Work with Ionising Radiation Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L121, local rules and procedures and any other associated regulations or be willing to attend training by a recognised body to obtain such knowledge, understanding and/or qualifications.
    • They will have to display a thorough understanding of the conditions of the registration and authorisations and be able to secure compliance with the limitations and conditions of any certificates issued under the RSA93. A copy of any certificates will be posted in a prominent position either in the laboratory(s) and/or in the radioactive materials store(s). The names and contact details of the competent persons will be displayed with the certificates.
    • They will become members of the Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO) and as a minimum attend the annual conference. This is a valuable source of training and expertise and should be used as such.
    • The competency of the persons appointed to these roles will be reviewed as a minimum annually at the meeting of the Ionising Radiation Sub-Committee. The minutes of this meeting must be included in the annual report to the Health and Safety Committee in week four of Semester 1.
    • Certificates of competence are normally valid for five years and holders must keep up to date and be able to demonstrate continued competence to obtain renewal. They will follow a programme of continuing professional development so that the standard of their professional expertise can be sustained.
  2. The Ionising Radiations Sub- Committee (Safety Officer, RPAs, RPSs, relevant Faculty Safety Advisor(s)) will approve all proposals where the acquisition, disposal, use, handling of radioactive materials and/or other aspects of radiation protection is proposed. It will report at least annually to the Health, Safety and Welfare Committee in week four of Semester 1.
  3. In addition person(s) appointed as a RPA must:
    • have a thorough knowledge of the hazards of the ionising radiations present and how the hazard should be controlled and minimised;
    • have an understanding and detailed knowledge of the working practices used in the University as well as a general knowledge of the working practices in other higher education establishments;
    • possess the ability to advise the Vice‑Chancellor and others on what is required by statute in order to follow good radiation protection practice;
    • have the calibre and personality to enable them to communicate with the employees and others working or involved with the work with ionising radiation and with their representatives;
    • have the ability to keep themselves up to date with developments in the use of ionising radiation in the field in which they give advice, and with developments in radiation protection;
    • have an appreciation of their own limitations, whether of knowledge, experience, facilities or resources, etc.
  4. In addition to the above the general duties will be:
    • to ensure any registered source is legibly engraved marked or stamped with an identification number or other distinguishing mark. Any container in which a registered source is kept or used must also be marked with an identification number, the date of receipt, the name and activity of each radionuclide contained in the source on the day of its receipt;
    • to ensure that any radioactive signs displayed conform to current British Standard;
    • to ensure that no registered source is lent or hired except to a person who is registered under the Act to keep or use such a source;
    • to ensure that registered sources are not modified and so far as is reasonably practicable damaged;
    • to ensure that no registered sources are stored in such a manner as to prevent loss and access to them is restricted to authorised persons only;
    • to ensure that if a registered source is lost or stolen this is reported immediately to the Police, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and University Safety Officer;
    • to ensure that if a registered source has been damaged or that any radioactive substance is escaping or has escaped that this is reported immediately to the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and University Safety Officer;
    • to ensure that adequate records are kept of receipt or removal of each radioactive source whether a registerable source or not, showing :
      1. the radionuclide present, the date on which it was received and the activity on that date;
      2. the identification number or distinguishing marks of the source and of any container in which it is kept or used;
      3. so far as is reasonably practicable its location on the premises;
      4. if it has been removed from the premises, the date of removal, the activity on that date and the name and address of the person to whom it was transferred;
      5. such other information as an inspector may require.
    • to ensure that copies of the records detailed in paragraph 8.8 are kept with the registered sources and/or in the laboratory(s) where they are used;
    • to ensure that a risk assessment is undertaken of any new activity involving work with ionising radiation before the activity commences;
    • to ensure that leak tests are undertaken at suitable intervals to detect leakage of a radioactive substance. This period must not exceed two years between tests. Detailed records of the tests must be kept.
    • to interview all new persons who will work with ionising radiations to ensure that they are familiar with the local rules and specific items with respect to the particular work they intend to undertake, and to provide or arrange for training where necessary;
    • to ensure that new persons who will work with ionising radiations are referred to the Senior Occupational Health Advisor for medical screening and immediately notify the Senior Occupational Health Advisor when they become aware that a member of staff working with ionising radiations becomes pregnant;
    • to ensure that suitable monitoring equipment is provided and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions in order to assess the contamination of surfaces, the activity from equipment producing ionising radiations, the activity from sealed and unsealed sources and from storage sites for radioactive materials;
    • to keep an inventory of radioactive materials stored throughout the University sites and the disposal of waste via the sewers and special disposal means;
    • to order and distribute all new radioactive material required by any Faculty in the University;
    • to assess the need for personal dose monitoring of individuals and where necessary organise the purchase and distribution of relevant dose meters and to maintain dose records for those persons;
    • to investigate any abnormal dose returns and to keep records of all incidents and accidents involving ionising radiations.

Radiation protection supervisors

  1. The University will appoint Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) as may be considered necessary on the advice of the RPA to assist in a supervisory role in order to comply with the requirements of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) Radioactive substances Act 1993 (RSA93), Work with Ionising Radiation Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L121, local rules and procedures and any other associated regulations or be willing to attend training by a recognised body to obtain such knowledge, understanding and/or qualifications. An RPS should be directly involved with the work with ionising radiations, preferably in a line management position that will allow him/her to exercise close supervision of the work.
    • The RPS has a crucial role to play in helping to ensure compliance with the arrangements made by the University under IRR99 and, in particular, supervising the arrangements set out in local rules. The legal responsibility for supervision, however, remains with the University. The RPS will generally be an employee of the University, although this is not a legal requirement.
  2. As a minimum the University should arrange for a RPS to receive training in the following areas to establish a basic level of competence. RPSs training could either be provided by the RPA or an outside agency.
  3. The following are the core elements of typical RPS training.
    • The nature of ionising radiation and its interaction with tissue confined to those types of ionising radiation which may be encountered, but including:
      • the nature of any harmful effects;
      • the principle of restricting exposure to ionising radiation so far as reasonably practicable;
      • the concepts of internal and external radiation exposure.
    • The quantities used for:
      • measuring ionising radiation, including the units of measurement;
      • activity of radioactive substances;
      • contamination as appropriate to the circumstances.
    • Relevant measurement techniques (i.e. those that will be met in the course of normal work), for example:
      • film badge
      • thermo-luminescent closemeter (TLD);
      • electronic dosemeter;
      • other personal closemeter;
      • bioassay;
      • air sampling;
      • workplace portable monitors for radiation and contamination
    • Basic legal requirements:
      • the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99) and Approved Code of Practice (L121);
      • local rules, their purpose and how to use them to secure compliance with the Regulations;
      • risk assessments;
      • provisions specific to women and young people;
      • designation of people and areas;
      • appreciation of relevant general health and safety legislation, such as the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
    • The basic principles of practical radiation protection:
      • time;
      • distance;
      • shielding;
      • containment;
      • good housekeeping.
    • How those principles are carried through in the particular work situation.
      • in-house knowledge, as appropriate:
      • the University's safety policy and organisation;
      • the specific functions the RPS would be expected to undertake;
      • relevant dose limits;
      • operational levels set by the University for the particular workplace;
      • content of the local rules established by the University;
      • contingency plans;
      • where help and advice can be obtained.
    • Practical procedures to be followed in the event of an accident, incident, emergency or other unwanted occurrence, including procedures for reporting adverse incidents.

Laser officer

  1. The Laser Officer will be responsible for advising all members of the University on all matters where hazards exist, or may exist, from the handling or use of laser equipment.

    The officer will be required to:

    • approve, in advance, all proposals for the acquisition and use of any laser equipment;
    • approve the environment in which any such laser equipment is to be used;
    • review the protection and monitoring of staff, students and others concerned;
    • ensure that all laser activities are in compliance with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and those measures for control specified in BS EN 60825:207 "Safety of laser products: Equipment classification and requirements".
    • report to the Safety Officer;
    • submit an annual report to the first meeting of the Health & Safety Committee held in Semester 1

Microbiological and genetic manipulation officer

  1. The Microbiological & Genetic Manipulation Officer will be responsible for advising all members of the University on all matters where hazards exist, or may exist, from the handling and use of micro-organisms and genetic manipulation.

    The officer will be required to:

    • approve, in advance, all proposals for the acquisition, use, handling, storage and disposal of micro-organisms;
    • approve the environment in which any such work is to be carried out;
    • review the protection and monitoring of staff, students and others concerned;
    • ensure that all activities are in accordance with the various legal and statutory requirements;
    • consult with the Genetic Manipulation Safety Committee on all matters concerned with these specific areas of work;
    • report to the Safety Officer;
    • submit an annual report to the first meeting of the Health & Safety Committee held in Semester 1.

Poisons and hazardous materials adviser

  1. The Poisons & Hazardous Materials Officer will be responsible for advising all members of the University on all matters where hazards exist, or may exist, from the use, handling, storage and disposal of all Poisons and Materials Hazardous to health. (see OBHUSN‑19)

    The Officer will be required to:

    • approve, in advance, all proposals for the acquisition, use, handling, storage and disposal of such materials;
    • approve the environment in which any such work is to be carried out;
    • review the protection and monitoring of staff, students and others concerned;
    • ensure that all activities are in compliance with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations the Poisons Act 1972 and such Poisons Rules and Poisons List Orders which have been or may be issued and amended from time to time together with any other statutory obligations;
    • report to the Safety Officer;
    • submit an annual report to the first meeting of the Health & Safety Committee held in Semester 1.

Ethics officer

  1. The Chair of the University Research Ethics Committee will also hold the role of the University Ethics Officer. The Ethics Officer, through the University Research Ethics Committee, will be responsible for advising members of the University on matters where hazards exist, or may exist, from experiments or similar activities (including behavioural work) on human subjects.
  2. The Ethics Officer will be required to submit an annual report to the first meeting of the Health & Safety Committee held in the first semester.

    The annual report will contain details of the workings of the University Ethics Committee, which has terms of reference as follows:

    • To guide University staff and student on the ethics of conducting investigations involving human subjects.
    • To ensure the ethical principles are clearly laid down and disseminated to staff and students and those ethical practices are followed.
    • To establish, implement and keep review procedures and guidelines for the consideration and approval of investigations involving human subjects that are undertaken by members of staff and students.
    • To consider individual research protocols for projects, which are undertaken by members of staff and research students.
    • To ensure that Faculties have in place a procedure for approving projects involving human subjects that are undertaken by students and to monitor this.
    • To consider any issues concerning the ethics of research referred to the Committee by Faculties.