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 Health & Safety News 5/05                                                     Richard Pope

                                                                               tel: 01793 411577
 September 2005
 A newsletter for NERC safety advisers, published electronically
 every 2 months.


Vibration: in a news release on 29 June the HSE announced the introduction of the Physical Agents
(Vibration) Regulations 2005 on 6 July 2005 – publicised in earlier issues of this newsletter. The
news release (available at includes hyperlinks to 4 new
free leaflets and announces a series of roadshows on the new regulations which are to be held later this
year.     If you are interested in attending one of the roadshows, see an earlier news release at for details.

Fire: the Association of Building Engineers is running a series of seminars on the Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005, the regulation that will bring in the new fire safety regime from April 2006.
See the Association’s website at for details of the seminars, which will be run in
January-March 2006 at a number of venues round England and Wales. The seminars are reasonably
priced at £82.25 including VAT.

PPE: HSE has published revised guidance on personal protective equipment, available as a priced
publication and a free leaflet. You can find a copy of the free leaflet on the HSE web site at For further information, including details of the priced booklet,
see the HSE press release at .


In the January 2005 newsletter I mentioned an HSE news release about a new system for assessing the
likelihood of slips and trips on contaminated surfaces. The HSE now has a web page on trips and slips
at It includes the slips assessment system mentioned in the
news release. HSE says that slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work, and
recommends the system as a way of identifying surfaces that are likely to cause slips or trips.


This initiative, endorsed by RoSPA, encourages people to use video conference facilities rather than
travel to meetings. As most NERC sites now have video conferencing, this is an idea that we could
adopt. See for further details.


The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) has just published new guidance on
Biological agents: managing the risks in laboratories and healthcare premises. Previous legislation
and guidance has been aimed at people who deliberately work with biological agents. The new
guidance also applies to inadvertent work with potentially infectious material such as BGS field
samples, which may now come under the COSHH regulations. See Appendix 1 for details, or visit the
website at


HSE has prepared a speaker’s pack for people giving presentations on the Work at Height Regulations
– see . Inspectors have received formal training on

the regulations, implying that we can expect them to start implementing the regulations, which came
into force on 6 April 2005 and were featured in the May 2005 issue of Health & Safety News.


Joy Reid from CEH Banchory sent details of a device designed to remove ticks from human or animal

without leaving the mouth-parts of the tick planted in the skin; without compressing the abdomen of
the ticks, minimizing the transfer agents (Lyme disease, babesiosis...);without ether or other products;
in a few seconds, without pain.

See the website at for details of the device.

Richard Pope
September 2005

Health & Safety News no 5/05                                            Appendix 1

Previous Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) guidance has been aimed at those who
deliberately work with biological agents in a laboratory setting, but this new guidance now also covers
those laboratories that work with potentially infectious material which may be covered by the COSHH
Regulations. Also covered, for the first time, is exposure to biological agents in the healthcare setting
(both human and animal) as ACDP consider this to be the highest risk of exposure outside the
laboratory. The new guidance publication Biological agents: managing the risks in laboratories and
healthcare premises is intended to link the more specific pieces of ACDP guidance and provide advice
on the central themes of managing the risks from biological agents at work, such as risk assessment. It
does not duplicate the more specific guidance on, for example, containment requirements, but signposts
the reader to appropriate publications, both those published by ACDP and other relevant publications.

For enquiries relating to specific technical issues (such as risk assessment or containment measures) or
detailed interpretation of the legislation or guidance you should contact:

The Specialist Inspector Team
HID Specialised Industries SI4
Health and Safety Executive
Magdalen House
Stanley Precinct
Merseyside L20 3QZ
Tel: 0151 951 3779
Fax: 0151 951 3474

For advice on general government policy on safety issues relating to micro-organisms and GMOs you
should contact:

Biological Agents and GMOs team
Policy Group
Health and Safety Executive
Rose Court
2 Southwark Bridge
London SE1 9HS
Tel: 020 7717 6206
Fax: 020 7717 6199
Email: BA&