I forgot to mention in the previous post the possibility to include in the student handbook and simplified overview of basic health and safety, what to do in the event of a fire, or even what differentiates safety signs from prohibitive, guidance, mandatory and advisory etc.
I explained to my supervisor that students can acquire a student handbook which gives advice on managing money, staying safe and things to do as a student, yet there was limited information on health and safety. My supervisor stated he has not read so is not fully aware of its contents in this student handbook readily available to students. I told him I had two and so will give him my spare copy.
I strongly feel this method of information giving could be a valuable platform to feature the basic health and safety guidelines of importance to the students. From a brainstorming perspective, it could be as little as a floor plan that included the fire assemble points to a more detailed plan of what to do in the event of a fire. When talking to peers there is a confusion as to whether to take personal belongings or not. This could be highlighted in a page that, unless personal belongings are not upon your person, take them with you. There seems to be a lack of understanding that in a working environment personal effects are in a locker room and not on the person. In this instance leaving the building without retrieving personal possessions is a must. However, within a teaching environment i.e a classroom or lecture hall where personal possessions are on the student, it is advisable for the student to take with them their possessions. Thus reducing security risks, or in the event of fire evacuation slip, trip and fall risks to other peers.
Note to self take spare student handbook to next meeting.
Today’s visit was of particular interest as I was taken on a walkabout of the campus (North, West and South of the building). During this time I was asked to identify any areas of concern or where improvements could be taken. As I have never had to be knowledgable about fire refuge points in buildings this was of personal interest. When asked about what I would do in certain situations regarding in the scenario of the building is on fire and my peer was wheelchair bound would I stay with them or leave them? The evacuation chair would I used it? What signage was missing? It was apparent from the tour the “on the spot” rectification of potential hazards is exactly from what I would have expected. A slip hazard sign left on the stair was removed upon instantly seeing it, to a less hazardous place near the building entrance. I commended the lack of trip, slip and fall hazards throughout that are clearly kept to a minimal. As the majority of workplace accidents are caused by slipping or tripping on something I fully believe that Marjon is one of the safest places I’ve seen.
That said, there are places that could be improved, though this is from a critical perspective when I am looking to nitpick.
With hindsight looking back whilst drafting signage guidance I am surprised at the reliance on photoluminescent signage over luminaries. There seems to be an abundance of such signs, which when used alongside emergency lighting are sufficient to comply with regulations, but from personal experience of luminaries and emergency lighting testing, I cannot help feeling more confident in luminaries running with and on emergency lighting. The picture below shows the deterioration in photoluminescent signage (on the right) compared to the luminaire (on the left).
the bottom three show time elapse after 10, 30 and 60 minutes of power failure.
I may bring this to attention in my next meeting. However, this is just a matter of opinion of which is the better practice. I fully understand the importance that budgeting and funding have on the ability to provide top-notch systems. It may well be that as long as the minimum is being achieved there are other areas whos needs that need addressing first.
After the initial first day of the placement, several hours were spent on reading various UCOP and the general statement on health and safety available from
it became apparent that as comprehensive as the health and safety policy was there was little corresponding documentation on the use of safety signage subsequent supporting guidance. In fact in the general policy of health and safety, signage was covered in 2 and a half sentences. Although mindful signage could be explored in greater detail within individual UCOP’s, I was of the belief that in its own right safety signs and signage should and could have its own guidance. Why do I think this is simply because signs and signage convey the importance of the identified risks performed in risk assessments from “behind the scenes” to the general public. In basic terms, if there are requirements needed to be undertaken or behaviours that need controlling then this should be documented within its own separate document without referring to various other UCOP’s.
This opinion was expressed during my second day of placement. I stressed the importance that correct health and safety signage could in its own right deserve separate guidance and perhaps it’s own policy and procedure. It was agreed that I could create a draft document that could be used to convey such importance.
Between day two and day three, several hours were used to conduct background literature reading on health and safety signage. Although wishing to complete a full draft of guidance on the use of signage, there was a lot of literature to read and so only the beginning of a draft was commenced.