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Safety should I act? Opinion

Postby ericmark » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:59 pm

Should I take this further? I was at University and working on PLC’s as with most University subjects I got given a project and on the paper work it asked for any health and safety issues. Thinking they already knew the problems and wanted me to show I had also identified them I looked to see what was wrong.
I noted the plastic door over the live terminals where the 230 volt supply entered the PLC could be opened by just pressing on the release button so I quoted 413-03-08 which says a tool should be required and 471-05-02 plus 413-03-04 which are in regard to the size of holes in the enclosure. I further pointed out the documentation from the manufactures which said how there were of an open design and should be used inside another enclosure. It seems that they had not expected any heath and safety issues to be raised and unless I would agree I felt safe working in the Lab I would not be allowed to continue with my studies. I of course with drew my complaints. Now I have my degree should I raise the subject again or let it drop. I have degree now so does not matter to me but if a school leaver were to fiddle and open lid etc would I forgive myself as to IP rating this is no real danger but a simple tie rape would secure the lid so a tool (Snips) would be required to open it. Am I being pedantic and should I consider University students should know better than touch live wire or should I write to University? Your thoughts Please Eric


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Postby sparx » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:47 pm

Hi Eric,
Interesting one this...
2 ways of looking at it, they may say you are in Lab. conditions & should take more care, BUT I would say that H&S @work act Requires anyone seeing an unsafe condition to report it, further it has been proven in case law that if you see such a condition & don't report it in writing You are equally to blame for any accident. As you have already raised the issue I would follow it up.
We were told by HSE legal-beagle as an instance that say we found a missing manhole cover over a deep hole we had to guard it and send someone else to report it as if in the interim time an accident occured we would be in the smelly stuff! A bit extreme, but the law can be.
As a former tech. college lecturer I can see both point of view but I would play safe, if they write back and say you are wrong put letter in safe place!!!
regards SPARX
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Postby ericmark » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:18 pm

Thanks I did put it in writing of course which sparked off problem it's in my assignment. And as LAB conditions maybe it is OK. Originally Mitsubishi PLC's were used these were 24 volt DC but the lecturer who had taken over the PLC lab like Alan Bradley which were 230 volt.
The Health and Safety was bad throughout the University with open tread stair cases in Library and not kick boards on many of the others. Extractor fans very really switched on for soldering etc. In fact only time I did see them on was when we had 2 hour safety lecture at start of first year the controls were not accessible by students. But you could hear the fans and after that demo I never did again. Students working in Labs on there own was also an issue.
Since I was mature born 1951 I was able to avoid most hazards but not so sure on the young and even I did not realise the toxic nature of lead free solder flux at first looking at COSHH regs on RS web site very nasty far worse than old leaded stuff.
So seems I should write letter to clear myself then. Since Christmas break starts soon no rush I will wait for any other replies first.
Thanks Eric

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