Definitions and actions required

1.    Specified injuries

Specified injuries are defined as follows and they should be reported to the Safety Office without delay:

(a)  fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes

(b)  amputations

(c)  any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight

(d)  any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs

(e)  serious burns (including scalding) which cover more than 10% of the body or which cause significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs

(f)   any scalping (separation of the skin from the head) requiring hospital treatment

(g)  any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia

(h)  any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.

2.    Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences relevant to the University are as follows and they should be reported to the Safety Office without delay:

(a)  Lifting equipment: The collapse, overturning or failure of any load-bearing part of any lifting equipment, other than an accessory for lifting.

(b)  Pressure systems: The failure of any closed vessel, its protective devices or of any associated pipework forming part of a pressure system, where that failure could cause the death of any person.

(c)  Overhead electric lines: Incidents where any plant or equipment unintentionally comes into

 contact with an uninsulated overhead electric line in which the voltage exceeds 200 volts; or which comes into close proximity with such an electric line such that it causes an electrical discharge.

(d)  Electrical incidents causing explosion or fire: Any explosion or fire caused by an electrical short circuit or overload (including those resulting from accidental damage to the electrical plant) which either results in the stoppage of the plant involved for more than 24 hours or causes a significant risk of death.

(e)  Explosives: Certain incidents involving explosives.

(f)   Biological agents: Any accident or incident which results in, or could have resulted in, the release or escape of a biological agent likely to cause severe human infection or illness (i.e. biological agents in Hazard Group 3).

(g)  Radiation generators (i.e. any electrical equipment emitting ionising radiation and containing components operating at a potential difference of more than 5 kV): The malfunction of a radiation generator or its ancillary equipment used in fixed or mobile industrial radiography, or the processing of products by irradiation, which causes it to fail to de-energise at the end of the intended exposure period; or malfunction of equipment used in fixed or mobile industrial radiography or gamma irradiation that causes a radioactive source to fail to return to its safe position by the normal means at the end of the intended exposure period.

(h)  Diving operations: The failure or endangering of diving equipment, the trapping of a diver, an explosion near a diver or an uncontrolled ascent or decompression.

(i)    Collapse of scaffolding: The complete or partial collapse (including falling, buckling or overturning) of a substantial part of any scaffold more than 5 metres in height; or any supporting part of any slung or suspended scaffold which causes a working platform to fall (whether or not in use); or any part of any scaffold in circumstances such that there would be a significant risk of drowning to a person falling from the scaffold.

(j)    Structural collapse: The unintentional collapse or partial collapse of any structure, which involves a fall of more than 5 tonnes of material; or any floor or wall of any place of work

arising from, or in connection with, ongoing construction work (including demolition, refurbishment and maintenance), whether above or below ground; the unintentional collapse or partial collapse of any falsework.

(k)  Explosion or fire: any unintentional explosion or fire in any plant or premises which results in the stoppage of that plant or the suspension of normal work in those premises for more than 24 hours.

(l)    Carriage of dangerous substances: any incident involving a vehicle carrying a dangerous substance where there was an uncontrolled release or escape of the dangerous substance, or a fire which involved the dangerous substance.

(m) Release of flammable liquids and gases: The sudden, unintentional and uncontrolled release inside a building of 100 kilograms or more of a flammable liquid; or of 10 kilograms or more of a flammable liquid at a temperature above its normal boiling point; or of 10 kilograms or more of a flammable gas; or the release in the open air of 500 kilograms or more of a flammable liquid or gas.

(n)  Hazardous escapes of substances: the unintentional release or escape of any substance which could cause personal injury to any person other than through the combustion of flammable liquids or gases.

3.    Minor injuries

These comprise all injuries not listed in 1 above. In the event of any such injury to staff, students, members of the public or other visitors (including contractors)

  • arrange for first aid assistance
  • as soon as possible, complete an Accident/Incident Report Form
  • return the top copy to the University Safety Office and retain the yellow part in departmental records.

4.    Other incidents, including fires

Following an incident that has not resulted in injury (e.g. a fire, explosion, major spillage or release of hazardous substances, including biological agents)

  • make the situation safe, arranging for the emergency services to attend if necessary
  • if necessary, immediately notify the University Safety Office (tel.(2)70811, fax (2)70816) or, out of normal office hours, the Security Centre Control Room (tel.(2)89999)
  • as soon as possible, complete an Accident/Incident Report Form
  • send the top copy to the University Safety Office and retain the yellow part in departmental records.

5.    Near misses

Near misses are incidents or accidents that could potentially have caused serious injury or serious property damage. Staff and students should be actively encouraged to report near misses without fear of blame. Recognizing and reporting near miss incidents can provide opportunities to learn lessons that prevent future injury accidents or other losses.

  • as soon as possible, complete an Accident/Incident Report Form
  • send the top copy to the University Safety Office and retain the yellow part in departmental records.

6.    Occupational diseases

Cases of cancer must be reported where there is an established causal link between the type of cancer diagnosed, and the hazards to which the person has been exposed through work. These hazards include all known human carcinogens and mutagens, including ionising radiation.

All diseases and any acute illness needing medical treatment that are attributable to a work-related exposure to a biological agent must be reported whenever there is reasonable evidence to suggest that a work-related exposure was the likely cause of the disease.

Reporting of the following diseases is required only if the diseases are associated with particular work activities specified in the Regulations: carpal tunnel syndrome, cramp of the hand or forearm, occupational dermatitis, hand arm vibration syndrome, occupational asthma, and tendonitis or tenosynovitis.

  • report all cases of suspected occupationally related ill health to the University Occupational Health Service
  • report any incidents suspected of giving rise to such cases (e.g. a spillage or release of hazardous substances, or a specific manual handling incident) to the Safety Office on an Accident/Incident Report Form.