University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory

Health and Safety Committee


Chairman: Dr P Brooks                                                                        Secretary: Mrs L Heptonstall


Minutes of a meeting of the Health and Safety Committee held at 14.15 on Wednesday 20th April 2005 in Room GC22, William Gates Building.

Present:            Dr P Brooks                             Mrs C Matthews

                        Mrs L Heptonstall                     Mr M McDonnell                    

                        Dr M Kuhn                              Mr D Cottingham

                        Mr I Burton-Palmer                  Mrs A Barreto             

                        Mrs F Billingsley                       Mr A Wonfor

                        Mrs R Moss


Apologies:        Mrs M Levitt


0.  The Chairman welcomed to the committee Ian Burton-Palmer, the new Building Services Manager.  

1.      Minutes of the last meeting


1.1 The minutes of the meeting held on the 16th March were approved and signed.


2.      Matters arising from the Minutes


2.1 It was reported that the lamppost in item 4.5 of March’s minutes had been removed, but a hole still remains.


3.   Correspondence


3.1 D Cottingham asked whether Andy Hopper had sent another letter to EMBS concerning the chicanes, highlighting the concerns over the wheelchair user who has to use them, as he is returning next term.                                         

                                                                                                            ACTION MAL


4   First Aid and Accidents


4.1 One new accident report form has been received;


NR055: A student fell and slipped while in the shower, users in the committee agreed that the floors were dangerous when coming out of the shower and a mat would prevent further incidents. PB recommended a wooden duck board as this would also lessen the height of the step out of the shower. Consideration must be made for the doors as they open internally.


                                                                                                            ACTION MMcD





4.2 PB reported that there is another change in procedure to remember when calling for an ambulance, in that the patient may be taken to a different hospital than they might expect. He said this is probably meant for cities where there are other hospitals available, but people should check where the ambulance is going when they take someone away.



5.  Workplace Assessments 


6. Fire


6.1 PB announced that it was the first anniversary of the Alarm earth loop fault. IBP confirmed that the next service visit by Defensor is due in the next 6-8 weeks, and he says they have promised to allow extra time to solve the problem.                                                                                               

6.2 MMcD confirmed that he had 3 fire wardens for the 2nd floor, 3 for the ground floor but only 1 for the first floor. Ideally we would like 3 per corrider, so MMcD is to try and encourage more volunteers. When this is sorted EMBS will be contacted and training arranged. AW brought to the committees attention that he had never actually heard the fire alarm, so when the new fire wardens have been trained it was decided that a test fire alarm would take place during ‘office’ hours.


                                                                                                            ACTION MMcD



a)  IBP told how he has found the weekly fire alarm test log kept in reception doesn’t have sufficient detail. Only the zone being tested is recorded, rather than the call point use to test it. The part 1 and 2 Fire Risk assessment should also be in reception and a copy of the fire certificate. MMcD confirmed that there is a copy of the certificate in the fire safe and will put a copy in the file.


b) When a smoke detector goes off, the room number is shown on the display. However, when a call point is activated its address is shown. MK suggested using the nearest room number for call points, or maybe a room number and address in all cases. IBP and MMcD are to check with Defensor if this is allowed. PB asked the committee for suggestions as what to put on the strings.




a) The first Evac+Chair training session had been held, 3 people from the building attended and MMcD confirmed that the chairs were all now in place.


b) RM queried who was allowed to operate the chairs if a trained person is not available in the event of a fire. PB relayed that the Fire Brigade are no longer a rescue service and it is up to the individual to be aware of this and not to go above the ground floor if they are unable to exit the building safely. It was decided that signs should be displayed in the lift, so when people see this they will notify reception, who will have a list of fire wardens in the building to be contacted to let them know there is a person in there area who will need help in the event of an emergency.





c) CM queried that as the Fire and Rescue Brigade are no longer a rescue service, are fire wardens obliged to re-enter a building to rescue people. PB confirmed that Fire Wardens can check for obvious signs of a Fire, and if there is none, they can but are not required to; proceed with caution to the person requiring help. If there are signs of actual danger, Fire Warden must not enter.





a) CM is to contact everyone on the list to see if they have any objections to the list being kept on reception in the log book and therefore publicly available.


                                                                                                            ACTION CM


b) IBP suggested that tenants must also have contact names in the log, so R Moss, A Wonfor and A Barreto are to confirm names and numbers of their contacts.

                                                                                                            ACTION RM/AW/AB          


7. Building Matters


7.1 The main staff car parking area has been marked with bays; PB confirmed that four of these bays are large enough for disabled access parking. They are not marked as such yet, but will be if and when a member of staff joins the lab who is registered disabled.


7.2 One of the “Emergency Access” signs in the front of the building are to be changed to “Disabled Parking only” as emergency vehicles will still be able to access the building if this space is occupied. MMcD confirmed that the signs had been ordered.


7.3 PB asked if following the two events that were held in the street there were any problems that needed to be addressed.


a) LH requested if reception could be made aware of any events in advance so they are prepared to answer any questions.


b) CM reported a problem with trolleys accessing the lab due to the matting on the entrance near the café. It was agreed that for future use BS should acquire a sheet of hard wood or M.D.F to be placed over the matted area.


                                                                                                            ACTION BS

8. West Cambridge Site


9. Any Other Business


9.1 There was a delivery of UPS replacement batteries and on accepting the delivery it wasn’t clear what was involved, and inappropriate storage and lifting equipment was available. MMcD confirmed that this was a one off and no further action was needed.



9.2 D Cottingham enquired as to who was responsible for recycling in the department and what the procedure was. It was decided that a check of recycling points on the building should be done and more recycling boxes ordered accordingly.

                                                                                                            ACTION BS


Dates of the future meetings:

The next meeting will be on Wednesday the 18th May, and then after that the 15th June, 20th July, 17th August,  21st September, 19th October, 16th November and the 21st December.