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Question Academy safety survey

1 month 3 weeks ago #41558 by Cookerty
Prior to becoming an academy the local authority conducted regular safety surveys of our school but now an outside contractor does so.

We've been asked to reinstate the Radiation hazard warning sign on the locked storeroom as the local authority had previously asked us to remove it. in case it attracted unwanted attention from any students.

Is the location of your radioactive store labelled as such?

Ron

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41559 by SteveKeys
No, for exactly the reason you mentioned - to prevent curiosity.

My suggestion would be this. Realistically they'll be saying it should be labelled so if the emergency services have to go in there they'll know what to expect. In fairness, you can see the 'logic' in this. So ask your local fire and rescue senior officer to come and take a look and see what they would want on the door? After all its for their safety. Explain both side of the argument.

I did exactly this when CLEAPSS were adamant I couldn't store the radioactives safe in the same room as the flammable cupboards (big room - opposite ends) and the fire brigade said they were absolutely happy with our setup. Once I had that in writing I told CLEAPSS it wasn't moving, and nothing has been mentioned since - despite several inspections since passing with flying colours.

Steve

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41561 by AndyG
Door has been painted so I just put a new rad-haz sign on the locked chem store where the bunker is ...
And no, I'm not shifting the contents of a 6" wall, locked concrete bunker in a locked, ventilated store into a cheap tin box in an insecure, unventilated room because someone thinks it's a better idea at the time!

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41565 by Kasey
I don't even have one on the Chemical store.

Instructions on where it is and whats in it are in the folder given to the fire dept who are perfectly happy with this arrangement.

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #41566 by TecHKnow
TecHKnow walked into this post with his Official Occupational Health and Safety Hat on and said.....
The main and important point in all of this is outlined here in Cookerty's Post.

Prior to becoming an academy the local authority conducted regular safety surveys of our school but now an outside contractor does so.


The Basics

The fundamental cornerstone of any health and safety management system is Risk Assessment. This involves the identification of potential hazards associated with a process, activity or area, estimating and evaluating the associated risks and then introducing appropriate workplace precautions to control the identified risks. (Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999)

Previously, this risk assessment was carried out by the local authority. Now it is carried out by an outside contractor. The contractor should follow the prescribed procedure for carrying out a risk assessment and at the end of this process provide a quantified risk rating (will be allocated to each hazard) which can then be used by your employer to prioritise action plan(s) that will help to control the risk and manage resources effectively.

In the event of any risks due to fire, accidents, theft of radioactive isotopes etc.,, the Health and Safety Executive will look towards who provided the "expert opinion, and ultimately safety information and instruction" to the academy. So in this instance it would be the Consultant.

If your employer was shown to deviate from what the consultant has suggested, then your employer would be clearly at fault. If the Consultant carried out the risk assessment incorrectly and/or provide insufficient or the wrong advice to your academy, then the consultant would be held legally liable.

With this in mind, I suggest, through your Trade union that you ask for a copy of the consultants Risk assessment and see what they have suggested.

If your employer is not following the recommendations of the consultant, then this should be brought to their attention in writing.

Through your Trade union, you can arrange for an independent Risk assessment to be carried out. Indeed in the old days when I served on Health and Safety Committees, we regularly carried out termly Risk assessments of the various areas of my workplace and brought our findings in writing to the attention of our employer.

In many instance, they were unaware of the safety issues and were grateful for the “expertise” help and/or reminded them of what else they needed to do to comply with their legal obligations.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41572 by woody
I used to have a sign on the door to the room where our sources are stored, I was asked to remove it and informed that the sign on the locked cupboard containing the cabinet is all that is needed.

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #41573 by TecHKnow
Even if your employer takes all the appropriate measures in order to keep your workplace area safe, they simply cannot account for everything. Your employer must provide safety signs wherever the risk of threat is posed, even if all measurements have been taken to prevent said risk. Safety signage should be used to warn or instruct all persons on the premises about the Hazard and what precautions need to be taken in order to reduce the risk(s), such as wear suitable PPE gear or quite simply, do not enter this area unless you are authroised to do so!!!

If you can see the sign clearly from outside the corridor door through a window, then it is perfectly okay just to have the sign on the cabinet door. However, in this is not always possiblw and so additional signage on the outside of the door would be advisory

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The following user(s) said Thank You: AndyG

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1 month 3 weeks ago #41580 by Baldilocks
As a former RPA I used to know the regs, and the avoidance methods backwards, the avoidance was accepted by the radiochemical inspectors as pragmatic compromises to obeying the regs but not alarming the public. 'Proportionality' was a frequently used word.

For low level stores (and schools are very low level) it was deemed appropriate to have the trefoil clearly visible on opening a locked door. In the case of radioactive waste stores (of which I managed many) this meant that the trefoil was a large one on the inside of the door.

Ian

“Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.” -Abraham Lincoln
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1 month 10 hours ago #41602 by Leigh Preece
When we moved into our new building I had to update the local fire service of the whereabouts in the building the radiation was stored and who the key holders are. They were perfectly happy with that.

Recent fire service visit during the summer hols: whereabouts checked and okay and the main chap said "is that all it is?", obviously expecting the likes of something from Sellafield!

Rest of the place raised a few questions: what's stored where? Flammables locked away? Aerosols kept locked away? As a former 'fire safety person' in a previous school, it was all "a yes from me".

Seemed happy enough.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”

Albert Einstein

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