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Health and Safety at ST Barts University

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Introduction

Health and Safety in St. Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry In this piece of coursework, I am evaluating the Health and Safety system at my work experience placement at St. Barts University Whitechapel. I am hoping to establish whether the health and safety work legislation is effective in the laboratory situations. In order to achieve my goal of assessing whether health and safety is effective at St. Barts University I shall: * Be working as an assistant lab-technician in the Neurology sector with hazardous chemicals and dangerous equipment; I will therefore need to be familiar with - and follow - health and safety procedures by wearing correct lab-gear, being aware of the fire and bomb-threat procedures etc. (see Appendix 'A', job description). * Investigate the effectiveness of the Health and Safety policy. * Interview my health and safety inspector. (Appendix 'D') * Distribute a questionnaire in the Neurology department to all fifty employees who work in the laboratories. (see Appendix 'E' and 'F') * Look at government Health and Safety policies and compare St. Bart's to verify if their employees meet the requirements. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/HealthAndSafetyAtWork/DG_4016686 (Appendix 'G') * I will evaluate how effective their health and safety policy is along with an evaluation of the efficiency of their fire and bomb-threat procedures. Activity Log. On the first day at the Institute of Cell and Molecular Science (07/07/08), I had an induction of the building in addition to the laboratories and I received a copy of the risk assessment and safety rules (Appendix 'B' and 'C'). ...read more.

Middle

Why? By Friday, I had received fifty of the sixty-eight questionnaires. In questions one, two, three and eight, people found that health and safety excelled in these areas, however agreeing that health and safety could be improved in general. In questions four, five, six and seven, most employees found that the Health and Safety policy was not effective in these areas such as employees not wearing correct clothing when in the labs or sanitation. Comments made on some of the questions consisted of 'lack of encouragement in wearing correct clothing in the labs' 'I've worked here for years and I've never needed to wear lab-gear' 'what's the point in washing your hands when you've been wearing gloves?' (The point obviously is risk of contamination!). The results that I concluded from the employee questionnaire is need of 'nagging' to get people to wear correct clothing whilst in the labs for the sake of their health and others; in addition to 'nagging' them to wash their hands! Posters by an unused sink are not effective enough. I noticed in my research that I was the only colleague in the labs to be wearing goggles, latex gloves and a lab-coat! Soon after concluding my questionnaire research, I contacted the Head of the Neurology department and showed him my findings. He was just as displeased as I was and hosted a meeting for three weeks after my leave. ...read more.

Conclusion

My employer fulfilled all of these requirements where I was concerned and therefore successfully met with the demands of health and safety. Evaluation My findings and research on the University's Health and Safety policy and how effective it was, resulted successfully. I discovered its strengths as well as its weaknesses. It excelled in the areas of the role of the employer's duty to care, treating employees with independence, the bomb-threat procedures, communication between employees about standard procedures covering who does what, when and where, communication of health and safety matters between the employees and making health and safety responsibilities clear to the staff on the other hand, not enforcing these responsibilities need to be followed. However, they fail heavily in the health and safety of the employees themselves (in not wearing correct lab-wear), sanitation and hygiene entering and exiting the labs, enforcing rules of health and safety that need to be followed religiously, fire rules and procedures (doing regular drills to refresh employees minds of where to stand and exit the building), improving identification, investigation, notification and reporting of accidents and ill-health of employees and the health and safety advisers monitoring the activity within the laboratories regularly. I think that if there were more communication between the employers and their employees and an established framework of rules (such as the contract), then they would have an effective Health and Safety policy with which both employees and employers are content. BY RACHEL SHORTLAND. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachel Shortland 11MHi Citizenship ...read more.

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