Cambridge University Reporter

Annual Report of the Health and Safety Executive Committee, 2006

This Report covers the calendar year 2006 and follows the same format as in previous years. The report of the Fire Safety Team and Occupational Health Service is included.

1. Legislation updates

1.1 During 2006, minor amendments to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (limitations on the heavy metal content of electrical and electronic equipment), Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (definitions of ethics committees, and registered health care professionals), and updated regulations for work with asbestos were introduced.

1.2 In a discipline related to safety, definitions were added to the Disability Discrimination Act.

1.3 Similarly, in a related discipline, the Human Tissue Act 2006 introduced the need for licensing, for the use and storage of, or research activities with human tissue. This Act was brought in under a new licensing authority, principally to address ethical issues associated with the use of human tissue.

1.4 Expected in 2007 are amendments to Schedule 5 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act: this will impact on the security aspects of activities associated with certain chemical and biological agents.

1.5 The requirements of the High Activity Sealed Source Regulations (2005), in respect of existing large radioactive sources in the University, must be met by 30 December 2007.

2. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA), and other Enforcement Agency information

2.1 Staff of the Health and Safety Division (HSD) have continued to accompany inspectors and to provide work of a defensive, collaborative, or training nature with all agencies. During 2006, at least fifteen composite visits were received representing five agencies: HSE, EA, Environmental Health, the Police, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

2.2 This level of interaction, especially when coupled with activity in areas associated with but not directly safety regulations, supports the continuing need for maintaining University investment in resources for providing defensive actions.

2.3 In 2006, an Improvement Notice was served in connection with manual handling training.

2.4 Detailed investigations by the HSE further to a reportable laser incident, and by the EA in response to a suspected release of a radioactive substance, did not, however, result in any enforcement actions.

2.5 Positive collaboration with the agencies is welcomed and during 2006 this aspect of HSD's work included the initiation of a potential project on environmental measurements for nanofibres (with the HSE), speakers from HSE at a Biological Safety Officer update, a speaker from the EA at the University's postgraduate safety symposium in October, and promotion on National Food Safety Week by the Principal Environmental Health Officer from Cambridge City Council.

2.6 Table 1 shows the number of enforcement agency visits over successive years; this continues to be high compared to other Universities, although showing a small reduction compared to 2005.

3. Safety policy and publications

3.1 New codes of practice issued in 2006 included the long awaited Risk Assessment Handbook and templates and guidance on Pressure Equipment.

3.2 A series of guidance leaflets on food safety, and on specialist areas such as sealed radioactive sources, were issued in response to particular needs.

Table 2 lists publications issued or revised during 2006.

3.3 Analysis has commenced on which publications are the most frequently requested in order to target resources most effectively.

3.4 The number of hits on the website now exceeds 42,000 monthly and in October 2006, it peaked at over 50,000 hits.

The total numbers per month for July - December 2006 are illustrated in Table 3.

3.5 The statistics indicate that the most popular domain is 'safety auditing', and there is a steady number of enquiries from outside the University.

4. Safety strategy and reviews

4.1 Progress against targets defined in the Safety Strategy continue to be monitored via the Health and Safety Executive Committee.

4.2 A review paper on safety committee composition, and a paper on proposals for managing safety in schools, were prepared for the HSEC and are progressing through the committee structure.

4.3 There are encouraging signs of progress in some quarters to engage the academic community in safety awareness; e.g. a short course for Principal Investigators has been successfully run for several Departments. See 7.5.

5. Accident and incident summary report

5.1 Table 4 shows the accident rate over the last six years for staff for incidents which are reportable under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations), and compares the rates with those for universities nationally (data provided by the Universities Safety and Health Association).

5.2 For students (all types) a total of eight RIDDOR reportable injuries were recorded.


Table 2

New policy or guidance

Food safety legislation

Catering options - A guide for Departments and Faculties

Staff kitchens and tearooms - General hygiene requirements

Food hygiene training requirements

Purchase, delivery, and storage of food

Preparation and service of food

Personal hygiene requirements for individuals preparing or serving food

Cleaning and pest control in food preparation areas

Leak testing of sealed sources

Driving at work - Competence for driving on University business

Competent and safe use of latex disposable gloves

Managing mercury contamination

Working away from Cambridge

Latex initial health assessment questionnaire

Latex annual health assessment questionnaire

Guidance on the manual handling of loads

Risk management handbook

Risk assessment form

Pressure equipment


Revised/reissued policy or guidance

Electrical safety, 12 rules

Fume cupboard users, 12 rules

The Consultative Committee for Safety - Information for new members of the Committee

Health and safety in the University - Information for new Departmental Safety Officers

Safety stations (integral eye wash and drench units) - The good practice guide

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV)

Checking the fit of your face mask

Working with wood

Your responsibility for safety

Health and safety in the University - Safety for students

Hazardous substances policy

Man made mineral fibres

University health and safety policy

Disposal of chemical waste policy

Guidance for the use of compressed gases

Health record form

University food safety policy






6. Safety audit and inspection

6.1 The University safety auditing programme continued to run to schedule, with reports issued as below.

Table 5 - Safety audits completed

Reports issued during 2006
Date of issue
Board of Graduate Studies January 2006
Clinical Neurosciences February 2006
Fitzwilliam House February 2006
Clinical School Administration March 2006
Economics and Politics April 2006
Plant Sciences April 2006
University Biomedical Support April 2006
Kettle's Yard May 2006
University Centre July 2006
Earth Sciences August 2006
Fitzwilliam Museum August 2006
Oriental Studies August 2006
Disability Resource Centre August 2006
Clinical Biochemistry November 2006

6.2 The executive reports for each Department as submitted to HSEC were compiled into summary reports to highlight the main features and overall score, allowing the Committee more effectively to extract the most significant points. However, the full executive reports continue to be received by the Committee to provide additional explanation where needed.

6.3 Trend analysis from auditing has now commenced.

6.4 A paper 'Building in Assurances' on the University horizontal slice pilot audit for compliance with the Construction Design and Management Regulations, authors Sara Cooper and John Emmines, was published in The Health and Safety Practitioner in August 2006.

6.5 Specialist auditing (e.g. Radiation Protection) provided significant supplementary assurances of compliance in specific areas, and is now fully co-ordinated with the main safety management audit programme.

6.6 Environmental monitoring services continue to provide high quality data for a range of parameters. In 2006, the number of series of measurements exceeded 200, more than 80% of which were for mercury contamination.

Chart 1 shows the breakdown of types of tests undertaken during 2006 together with a legend.

Chart 1 - Environmental measurements





6.7 The PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) service was maintained throughout 2006, with more than 10,000 items being tested as part of the programme.

6.8 The programme for examination and testing of portable radioactive monitoring equipment continued in 2006, with more than 350 instruments checked.

7. Safety education and training

7.1 The safety education programme provided an extensive programme throughout the year. Data calculated on the academical year are shown in Tables 6 and 7.

7.2 Whilst the number of person half days given is lower, this reflects the fact that the base means for calculating the figures has changed slightly, and there has also been a reduction in numbers attending the postgraduate safety course for new graduates because of some substitution of events within Departments. Furthermore, these figures do not include many of the bespoke courses, such as Risk Assessment workshops run by the Assistant Director for Departments, nor the Biological Safety Officer training.

7.3 During 2006, 31 staff completed the externally accredited Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Foundation course in Food Hygiene, which is run by the Food Safety Adviser. Training in basic food handling and hygiene was given by the Food Safety Adviser to almost 100 staff of the University.

7.4 Specialist courses are offered in many subjects such as radiation protection and noise which reflects the breadth and competence of the staff of HSD in a wide range of subjects. This provides a cost effective approach to safety training compared to purchase of courses or places on courses from external providers.

7.5 Some success has been achieved with initiatives aimed at increasing engagement with academic staff: thus, Dr Martin Vinnell provided short courses throughout 2006 to Principal Investigators, 'Know Your Responsibilities'. See 4.3.

7.6 Manual handling courses have been popular throughout 2006, and have been given by either HSD's Chief Technician or the Assistant Director. Thus in 2006, twelve courses were given to sixteen Departments, 175 persons attending.

7.7 Attendance by postgraduate students on the postgraduate safety seminar is recognized as a transferable skill and as such can be credited to the individual's portfolio.

7.8 The conference for first aiders was attended in 2006 by 169 individuals and 60 users of hydrofluoric acid attended courses which included first aid advice.

7.9 In August 2006, the potential for 'job swaps' with HSD was advertised to appropriate staff. This is a project developed through the Accelerated Experience Scheme (AES) operated through Personnel. Interest in this project was positive, and several individual projects are now progressing.

7.10 Dr Kefford Tibbles, the Clinical School safety officer undertook a special project working with HSD, to review and recommend improvements to the accident reporting procedures. This project was funded by the AES.

7.11 A pilot scheme to provide the four-day Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) accredited course 'Managing Safety' was progressed late in 2006, and will be run for the first time in March/April, tutored by Sarada Crowe, the Safety Officer for Chemical Engineering, with full administrative support provided by HSD.

8. Health issues

Occupational Health Service: Report to the Health and Safety Executive Committee, May 2007

8.1 Work-related stress

Work-related mental ill-health and musculo-skeletal disorders are the two main reasons for referral to the Occupational Health Service (OHS). Funding provided by the HEFCE Human Resource Strategy continues to support a limited number of private referrals to a consultant clinical psychologist, consultant rheumatologist, or physiotherapist for fast-track advice and initiation of treatment in those cases where normal NHS referral through the general practitioner (GP) would lead to unacceptable delay.

Where occupational factors play an important part in triggering or prolonging mental ill-health, a targeted assessment by a skilled clinical psychologist can be invaluable in bringing about a rapid resolution of personal difficulties. Without such intervention, our experience shows that delays in obtaining suitable treatment can result in protracted recovery and lengthy sickness absence. The OHS advises individuals and Departments on fitness for work and redeployment where appropriate, as well as monitoring the health of individuals and giving necessary advice to Departments, after they resume working.

The absence of an appropriate capability procedure in Departments, including knowing when to refer to the OHS, has contributed significantly to the difficulties of numerous individuals seen over the last year. Suitable redeployment to posts in other Departments when individuals are fit to return to work may also be recommended on medical grounds, but long delays may occur in achieving this, if it happens at all. In the absence of a clear capability procedure and an effective redeployment policy the lengthy timescales taken to obtain resolution can further compromise the person's health and leave the Department with a non-operative post. We consider that these factors can impact on the reputation of the University as well as giving additional cause for an aggrieved individual to seek legal redress.

8.2 Clinical psychologist referrals

Since we began referring selected individuals three and a half years ago, 35 employees have been sent for a clinical psychology assessment. About half had mental health problems that were directly related to, or caused by, work. Forty per cent remained at work and a small number were successfully redeployed within the University. About a third left to seek jobs outside the University or took early retirement (12% took ill health retirement). The success rate has been very high in resolving the psychological issues, including when individuals have retired or left the University.

8.3 Work-related musculo-skeletal disorders

The majority of the work-related musculo-skeletal disorders we see are upper limb problems associated with computer and/or pipette use. During 2007-08 the OHS plans to revise the University Display Screen Equipment (DSE) policy and to support this with training and information for all computer users. In addition, we will develop information on preventing upper limb disorders in users of laboratory pipettes.

8.4 Physiotherapy referrals

If a physiotherapy assessment is needed in a patient with a work-related musculo-skeletal disorder, a private referral is usually initiated within 24 hours of being seen in the OHS. This has an obvious advantage compared to the average four-month wait for physiotherapy via the GP, with benefits to both the employee and University in reducing sickness absence.

8.5 Manual handling policy

Last August, the OHS revised the University Policy and Code of Practice for Manual Handling Operations, which is awaiting comment and final approval.

8.6 Laboratory Animal Allergy (LAA) health surveillance programme

Between January and December 2006, 250 staff and students underwent pre-employment health screening under the COSHH Regulations. They were also seen at six and at twelve weeks post commencement, in accordance with University policy. At initial screening, five individuals were highlighted as having a pre-existing allergy to laboratory animals and required further investigation or higher levels of respiratory protection. At six-week follow-up, two individuals showed new symptoms that required further investigation, but none showed new symptoms at twelve weeks.

One thousand and forty-one LAA health questionnaires were sent to registered laboratory animal workers in over 33 Departments, with a response rate of 97%. Twenty-one individuals reported symptoms that could be related to their animal exposure and were assessed in the OHS. Of these, four were referred to a respiratory specialist for further investigation and the others were followed up in the OHS under enhanced surveillance. A consistent pattern is emerging over the years of a marked decline in the incidence and prevalence of LAA following the transformation of the facilities and working procedures in University animal houses.

8.7 Noise and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) health surveillance

Following the changes in the Control of Noise at Work Regulations last year and the subsequent introduction of a noise risk assessment programme conducted by members of the Health and Safety Division, the OHS audiometry (hearing tests) screening has risen from 10 to 70 employees so far. This risk assessment programme is ongoing.

In accordance with the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, an appropriate health surveillance programme is being developed for employees using vibrating tools and who are at risk of developing HAVS.

8.8 Emerging risks

The OHS worked with other University groups in the implementation of the revised University Stress Policy, which was led by the HR Division. As part of the launch of the Stress Policy, training programmes were set up to raise awareness on reducing work-related stress and the risk assessment process, as laid out in the Policy and according to HSE guidelines.

The Consultant Occupational Physician is a member of the University and Colleges' Emergency Planning Working Party concerned with contingency planning and guidance in preparation for a human influenza pandemic. He is also a member of the working group investigating the possible health risks associated with the increasing use of nanotechnology. Health surveillance of staff and students engaged in certain forms of nanotechnology work is under consideration as part of measures to monitor the potential hazards.

8.9 Activity analysis

The implementation of the new specialized software package to facilitate the collection and utilization of the OHS activity statistics had been delayed due to difficulties in staff recruitment and the need to prioritize workload to meet the clinical demands of the service. Discussions have now been resumed with the software providers and MISD. A transfer date is scheduled in September. The presentation of statistics in this report has not been possible because of the problems inherited from the old system.

8.10 Recruitment

The OHS is developing under the new Occupational Health nurse manager. The vacant senior OH nurse post was eventually filled in February 2007. Following the retirement of a secretary, a newly appointed office manager started at the beginning of April 2007. An additional Consultant Occupational Physician will be providing one three-hour clinical session per week from May 2007.

9. Fire safety

Fire Safety Unit

9.1 Executive summary

9.1.1 Despite a year of low incidence of serious fire the danger of complacency must be avoided by continuing to pursue a proactive programme of prevention and protection.

9.1.2 The risk of enforcement action continues to be minimized by the adoption of a close professional working arrangement with the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS). However the introduction by the CFRS of specific 'Audit Initiators' will inevitably now result in far closer scrutiny of fire safety arrangements in our buildings.

9.1.3 The expected gradual reduction in the CFRS level of operational attendance to calls generated by Automatic Fire Alarms has begun and will necessitate even more careful management of our premises.

9.1.4 Difficulty in meeting requests for training in Q4 is indicative of the problems associated with recruitment and retention of suitably qualified staff in a very competitive external employment market.

9.1.5 The introduction of a revised Stage 2 Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) procedure has confirmed emerging inadequacies in the management of fire safety arrangements in buildings and sites in multiple occupation. These matters primarily relate to overall control and co-operation of users together with the levels of compartmentation and zoning of fire alarm systems. The investment of additional resources will be necessary to address these matters.

9.1.6 The introduction of the Departmental Response Emergency Action Manual (DREAM) system and Premises Information Boxes (PIBs) has been well received and this principle will continue to be developed as the focal point for the availability of all information necessary to assist the safe conduct of an operational event.

9.1.7 There are indications that the University's insurers may exert some future influence regarding the inclusion of water sprinkler systems in the fire strategy arrangements for new build and refurbished premises.

9.2 Operational emergencies

During the period under report there have been 24 reported incidents of fire. None of these incidents resulted in serious injury, significant damage to property, or interruption to business continuity.

9.3 Enforcement action

During the period covered by this report the Fire Safety Unit (FSU) did not receive any notification of enforcement action by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Fire & Rescue Authority.

Table 1 - Unwanted fire signals

January - December 2006
UWFS 2006 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July August Sept Oct Nov Dec Total
1 = Good intent 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2 = Malicious 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 = Dust etc 2 5 1 3 2 5 9 10 9 2 4 6 58
4 = Fault 4 3 4 5 6 8 16 17 10 13 9 6 101
5 = Design 1 1 3 1 1 0 1 1 4 2 3 3 21
6 = Other 7 6 10 7 8 9 9 5 6 4 5 3 79
7 = Fire 1 1 0 3 0 3 0 2 1 1 1 0 13
Total 15 16 18 20 17 25 35 35 30 22 22 18 273
Non attendance 4 2 2 1 5 5 6 8 8 14 8 1 64

For information

Since January 2005, all unwanted calls are classified in the following manner:

(1) GI = Good Intent

(2) M = Malicious

(3) App = Dust (aerosols/insects/contractors)

(4) AppDefect = System Fault

(5) AppDesign = Wrong Type Detection (steam)

(6) AppOther = Accidental Damage (misoperation, not known)

(7) Fire

Table 1A

Table 2 - Training completed

January - December 2006

Total number of people attending courses per month
2006 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Contractors awareness 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 0 14 0
Fire Managers 18 15 23 0 13 14 0 6 7 23 6 0
Head of Department safety briefing 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New staff induction 25 22 28 29 0 45 45 0 45 45 35 0
Fire Wardens 51 74 73 53 64 9 27 26 69 154 0 0
Postgraduate H&S induction 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1,050 0 0
Undergraduate induction0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 75 345 0 0
New academic staff exhibition0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 100 0 0 0
Annual safety seminar 0 0 250 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Postgraduate fire safety procedures 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire awareness 8 115 53 225 33 223 28 20 88 235 115 115
Extinguisher 0 0 16 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
Evac chair 0 0 76 0 31 25 0 10 25 30 70 18
Stairclimber 0 0 58 0 0 0 0 0 12 14 10 6
Total 137 226 577 357 141 316 100 66 425 1,896 264 139
Annual total 4,644



9.4 Unwanted Fire Signals (UwFS)

9.4.1 Table 1 illustrates causation trends during the period of report. Defect/system faults (Table 1 (4 and 5)) continue to be a problem and this is now being addressed by implementation of a phased plan for replacement and upgrade of obsolescent fire alarm and detection systems.

9.4.2 Table 1A compares the number of UwFS with the previous year (2005). The high incidence of nuisance calls during vacation periods is mainly due to increased contractor activity at a time when access to premises is less disruptive to academic work. This excludes non attendance by CFRS.

9.4.3 During the year the CFRS reported that the number of UwFS emanating from premises across the county is among the worst recorded by all Brigades nationwide. As expected, this has prompted a significant change in CFRS policy relating to attendance in response to calls generated by Remotely Monitored Fire Alarm Systems (RMFAS). Although this is officially due to take effect on 1 June 2007 it has become apparent that changes are already being implemented and the FSU has now issued appropriate advice to all 'Responsible Persons'.

9.5 Training

9.5.1 Attendance figures for training courses are shown in Table 2. Table 2A compares attendance levels with the previous year (2005) and shows an improvement in uptake over nine months of the period of report.

9.5.2 The year saw considerable progress in delivery of a full range of mandatory training to stakeholders throughout the University and reception has been extremely encouraging. However, the recent retirement of the Assistant University Fire Officer (Training) and the subsequent need to recruit a suitably qualified replacement will inevitably mean a short-term reduction in the FSU's ability to deliver to the same standard.

9.5.3 The FSU remains committed to the need to tailor training arrangements around the busy agendas of all University staff and is actively exploring the availability and application of more innovative delivery systems including online self assessments.

9.6 Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs)

9.6.1 The final return for completed FRA1-06 (Stage 1 Fire Risk Assessments) was 75% and the level of response continues to be a matter of concern. The format of this document has now been reconfigured for use as a Departmental Audit Report and redesignated as a Fire Safety Audit Report form (FSAR1-07). It is hoped that this change will encourage a better return.

9.6.2 The FSU has also introduced a revised Stage 2 FRA which is being completed by its own Officers working together with Departmental Fire Safety Managers (DFSM). An automated process is also being introduced to allow easier and more precise completion and review of stage 2 FRA reports. These will now be released to DFSM as well as continuing to be used to inform the FSU Priority Works Programme (PWP).

9.6.3 To complement the above process the FSU has issued an amended FIRESAFE Factfile F2 which explains in detail the process of fire risk assessment together with revised arrangements that have been put in place to assist compliance with the new Fire Safety Order (see also 9.9 below).

9.7 Emergency planning

9.7.1 The DREAM rollout programme has continued to remain on target and the full contract requirement of 160 files were delivered on schedule by 31 March this year. Each file contains the relevant details made available by Departments at the time of compilation although in some cases certain information still needs to be retrieved. It is anticipated that outstanding matters can be resolved during the process of routine audit which started on 1 April 2007.

9.7.2 DREAM files are being issued and placed in the new security rated PIBs which also contain other information relevant to the effective management and control of all fire safety arrangements necessary to satisfy legal requirements. DREAM is fully approved and recognized by CFRS and other external agencies, and it is hoped that this will become the focal point for all other information relevant to the safe conduct of an operational emergency.

9.8 Provision for the disabled

9.8.1 Considerable progress continues to be made to assist the University to maintain compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 whilst at the same time ensuring all disabled persons can safely vacate a building in the event of an emergency.

9.8.2 In June 2006 the EMBS Head of Maintenance and Minor Works commissioned representatives from the FSU to work with colleagues from the Service Maintenance Unit and Lift Maintenance Unit to undertake a full survey of existing lifts. The purpose is to recommend the most suitable method to upgrade secondary power supplies to allow safe use of lifts under emergency conditions.

9.8.3 At the time of reporting HM Government has issued a new Supplementary Guide to complement a suite of other guidance issued to assist stakeholder compliance with the introduction of new fire regulations. This deals specifically with fire safety risk assessment to determine satisfactory Means of Escape for Disabled Persons and the FSU is now considering its scope and application.

9.9 Legislation

9.9.1 Following disbandment of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), Communities and Local Government (CLG) have now assumed governmental responsibility for all Fire & Rescue Services.

9.9.2 The new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (The Fire Safety Order) finally took effect on 1 October 2006 and is now the primary legislation used to regulate the adequacy of fire safety arrangements in almost all premises and structures other than private domestic dwellings.

9.9.3 With the advent of the new Fire Safety Order, CLG has placed a responsibility on all Fire & Rescue Service Authorities to demonstrate an inspection, audit, and enforcement regime compatible with targeting those premises where the risk to life is considered to be high.

9.9.4 Any action taken by the Fire & Rescue Authority will be in accordance with an approved Enforcement Concordat which embodies the principles, expectations, and methodology of the Enforcement Management Model (EMM) which is also used by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

9.9.5 The FSU continues to develop its partnership arrangements with the CFRS and this has included assisting the local authority with undertaking its own risk assessment of University premises to inform the requirements of the new legislation.

9.9.6 Despite this professional relationship a far more rigorous interest by the CFRS in the way 'Responsible Persons' manage fire safety arrangements can now be expected. However, the maintenance and availability of the suite of documents referred to in 9.5 and 9.6 above will assist those responsible for fire safety matters at Departmental level to provide evidence of compliance.

9.10 General

9.10.1 The existing contract for the servicing and maintenance of all active fire safety systems expires on 31 July 2007 and the procurement process to appoint the next generation service provider started in February 2006. The University Central Purchasing Office has been a key player in this process.

The new contract has now been awarded to Hallmark Fire Limited and prior to full takeover there will be a three-month transitional phase commencing on 1 May 2007 during which the new service provider will work closely with the present incumbent (Defensor) to ensure a seamless transfer of services.

The new contract will relate only to Automatic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems and Fire Suppression systems and post 1 August 2007 all matters affecting Emergency Lighting will be referred for action by the EMBS Service and Maintenance Unit.

9.10.2 The FSU website has now been completely redesigned and will continue to be updated on a regular basis to assist all stakeholders with access to the latest information necessary to advise and assist in the discharge of their own responsibilities relating to all fire safety matters.

9.10.3 At the time of reporting, the University's principal insurers, Royal Sun Alliance (RSA), have begun a programme of inspections of fire safety arrangements at each of the main sites. RSA staff are being accompanied by FSU officers and also the University Insurance Manager using information from relevant DREAM files to plan and inform the conduct of visits.

RSA are showing an increasing interest in the availability of water sprinkler systems as a means of detecting and controlling an incipient fire and minimizing consequential damage. This coincides with the introduction of revised operational tactics and attendance arrangements by the Fire & Rescue Service and the inevitable need to improve the protection and management of our own buildings.

10 The Health and Safety Division

10.1 The Division was stable in 2006, maintaining expertise in all subject areas.

The Director is delighted to note staff successes over the last two years as follows.

10.2 For a national safety award, 'Co-operating Cambridge Style', HSD's submission was a finalist. The entry, demonstrating 'Employer Commitment to Safety' illustrated the integration of safety into all aspects of construction work.

10.3 Staff of HSD are often asked to participate in working parties, local networking events, or to give workshops for organizations such as ISTR (Institute for Safety in Technology and Research). Furthermore several staff of HSD have achieved successes in examinations and study for safety qualifications, some with distinction.

These are all nationally recognized and externally accredited courses demonstrating competence in safety.

A. MINSON Chairman