The project we are working on at present is the refurbishment of the Chemistry Building at the University of Manchester.
We deemed the chances of accidental exposure to health risks to be somewhat higher due to the nature of the building, which is known to contain asbestos, residual mercury from spills during experiments, and is also a user of a large amounts of chemicals.
Although surveys are in place along with no go areas, it is always possible that an accident may happen. Also, due to the size of the building, there was a chance that operatives may be a long distance from the site cabins where first aid kits and advice would usually be kept.
We met with the University health and safety officer and our in house health and safety officer to discuss what should happen in the unfortunate event that an accident may happen. This resulted in an emergency board being created that all new operatives on site are briefed on.
The emergency board was oversized and clear with bright and clear symbols, and wording on the advice crib sheet was simple. The board covered asbestos, first aid and chemicals.
In the asbestos section overalls, area segregation tape, masks, haz bags, wipes and signage were held in case of asbestos being disturbed.
The first aid section had a fully stocked first aid kit with advice sheets and contact numbers.
The chemical section contained specialist Diphoterine emergency washing spray and eye wash solution that neutralises any chemical spill on the skin or in the eyes.
The board received positive feedback from all who viewed it, and agreed comments received were that we were taking safety and resolution of incidents seriously.