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School of Biological Sciences
Health and Safety Individual Hazard Assessment 2011
All Departments/Schools in the University are required to provide a yearly assessment of their
hazards. This includes hazards to all members of the School - all continuing and part-time staff,
retired staff, post-graduate students, contract staff and visitors. Everyone must undertake their own
hazard identification assessment. There are two parts to the form which will be sent to you by
email. The forms are also available on the School Intranet.
Since we did the last excercise in 2009 the University has revised the values used for the hazard
descriptions. There is no longer a frequency description and so the new risk ratings are lower with a
maximum. value of 25.
Part 1. Individual hazard description. This is based on the Consequences (scale 1-5) and
Likelihood (scale 1-5) which multiplied together (Consequences x Likelihood) give Risk
Rating (RR). A “high” serious hazard is identified as any hazard with a risk rating greater than
Part 2. This describes the procedures and safety methods that are in place to minimise the
effects of the hazards. It includes a re-evaluation (as described above) of each hazard once the
safety controls are in place. For each hazard you are asked whether the controls eliminate (E),
isolate (I) or minimise (M) the hazard.
Please type your responses onto the form and send it electronically to Nicki and deposit a signed
hard copy of the forms into a labelled box in the office. Please name the electronic copy of the file
with your family or surname first eg Jones V.C. Hazard ID.
The forms must be completed and handed in as soon as possible.
Staff and others who completed the 2009 Assessment Monday 15 August
New Staff and students Monday 29 August
The returns will be reviewed by the Hazard Assessment Team and combined into a Significant
Hazard Log for the School. This will be forwarded to the University together with details about
specific hazard controls and responsibilities.
Some guidelines and commonly asked questions about filling in the forms
The information on your individual hazard assessment form is a summary of the whole range of
hazards that you are exposed to. This includes laboratory hazards, fieldwork hazards and those in
the workshop and/or office.
1. Status: this is a description of your role in the school eg lecturer, technician, technical assistant,
post doc, contract teaching, demonstrator, post-graduate, visitor, administrator. As well as
describing your status please put an X in the appropriate box.
2. What numbers should I use to describe particular hazards?
Use the numbers on Page 1 of the form as a guide.
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Risk rating (RR): This is the Consequences x Likelihood. Some hazards must have high ratings
because they are accepted as risky activities. We will not be penalised for having high risk ratings
provided we have adequate controls in place.
3. What are the different types of hazards?
Use the below table to identify the hazard number.
no. type Some examples of hazard causes and effects
1 OOS - Repetitive strain injury, operating computers, sitting at desk, eye
Occupational strain, working long hours, stress.
2 Physical Exposure to bright light, bending, lifting, sharps, bruising or
crushing, contact with objects.
3 Chemical Burns, toxics, poisoning, contact with skin, irritations. Exposure
4 Electrical Shocks, burns, death.
5 Lab Equipment Specific equipment, eg centrifuges, shakers.
6 Workshop Mechanical, physical, equipment risk.
7 Radioactive Contamination, exposure, burns.
8 Biological Infection, micro-organisms, bites, waste.
9 Boating Drowning, exposure, breakdowns, crush injury.
10 Diving Bends, drowning, exposure.
11 Fieldwork Travel, exposure, equipment failure, isolation stress, electric
12 Other Workplace driving, medical condition, allergies.
OOS (1) This is probably the most common hazard in the University If you use a work station then
your risk rating (RR) could be high. If you have experienced problems that have resulted in an
ACC claim then your risk rating must be higher, unless the problems have been adequately
PHYSICAL (2) This includes the many hazards associated with bending and lifting. For some
people the frequency may be high and if you have had accidents in the past that could significantly
raise your risk of further susceptibility then your risk rating could be above 10.
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CHEMICALS (3) This can be a summary of information currently held or soon to be available in
all research laboratories. On your form it is acceptable to group chemicals together rather than
producing extensive lists. The controls include chemical data sheets, training and protective gear.
RADIOACTIVE (7) Chris Glover has assessed the risks in this area. Please use the RR values
and controls from the assessment.
BIOLOGICAL (8) These are compliance areas and would have a rating greater than 10.
BOATING (9) AND DIVING (10) These are covered by special policies and regulations. The
risks associated with diving are always above 15.
FIELDWORK (11) This can be a summary of the assessment made as part of the field
management programme. Please include driving as a separate category in Other (12).
OTHER (12) This should include any other hazards and they should be listed separately. They
include the following:
Driving, Building Syndrome associated with poor ventilation, Noisy equipment, Explosion/fire.
4. ID numbers. These identify individual hazards items. Some people may have several items with
different risk ratings within a particular hazard type. These should be listed separately in Part 1 and
the controls entered using the same ID number in Part 2.
5. Meaning of Hazard Number
Having calculated the Risk Rating number check against the below table for what is expected in
response to this hazard. Using this information and that discussed in section 6 below, fill PART 2 of
the form - SAFETY CONTROLS AND RE–EVALUATION OF RISK RATING.
1-4.9 Low hazard Risk perhaps acceptable, attention indicated
5- 9.9 Moderate hazard Correction required
10- 19.9 High hazard Inform people, immediate action to be taken and applied
20+ Significant hazard For consideration, consult immediately with your
Supervisor/Manager to stop activity/process, action
6. How to minimise the effects of the hazard: some suggestions
Elimination (E) Substitute hazardous substance or process for a less hazardous one.
Use external agencies (eg, commercial industrial companies).
Screening for suitability for the task.
Isolation (I) (Incorporates engineering controls and barrier controls)
Lab and Equipment design.
Use of fume cupboards and biological cabinets.
Reduced exposure to hazard (eg, noise).
Minimisation Use of appropriate Personal Protection Equipment eg, gloves and safety
Signage to alert workers and others.
Training and workplace monitoring.
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Codes of Practice/UC Regulations/Safe methods of use documents/MSDS
Provision of fire extinguishers, eye wash stations.
Appropriate waste disposal procedures.
First aid cabinets.
The list of examples in each category is not intended to be exhaustive, but a useful prompt. There
will be many more general and specific control measures that may be implemented.
7. Recalculating Risk Rating for part 2.
Having identified the hazard and entered the means of minimising the effects of the hazard the
recalculated risk rating in the second table should be reduced as far as practicable. For example, the
effect of wearing eye protection should reduce the likelihood of a chemical spill causing the loss of
vision to “0.5, Conceivable but very unlikely”.
8. Can we put in group returns? Not officially because each person has to do a return. The most
efficient way of doing this exercise is for research groups, laboratory managers and/or supervisors
to get together. Most people in the research group will have similar returns.
9. How long will it take to fill out the forms? This is difficult to assess. People who did an
assessment in 2009 can review their information directly from their old forms. These will be
available from the office. The new assessment will probably take less than 30 minutes. Most
people should be able to do it in less than an hour. It may take a little longer for people who have
responsibilities and exposure to a wide range of hazards. Once the assessment is done it will be
easy to update the information annually.
10. Why do supervisors have to sign the forms of their students? Because they are responsible
for their students’ safety. All practicable steps must be taken to ensure student safety.
11. Who do I ask if I have difficulty filling out the forms? Please ask any member of the HAT
group (IDM, DL, GB, NA, NJ).
General question: Islay Marsden, David Leung, Neil Andrews, Selwyn Cox,
Chemicals Nicole Lauren-Manuera, Graeme Bull
Biological safety Craig Galilee, Bill Davison, Nicole Lauren-Manuera
Field work Jim Briskie, Jenny Ladley
Radioactivity Chris Glover
Electrical Alan Woods
Boating/Diving Rennie Bishop, John Pirker
Workshop/glasshouses Nick Etheridge, Dave Conder
Electronic submission Nicki Judson