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Continuous Running Equipment


 School of Engineering



1. General

A safe system of work (SSOW) shall be written which will consider any risks associated with the activity and only if the risks are insignificant shall a person consider leaving a piece of apparatus/experiment running unattended and/or overnight. The person directly responsible for the apparatus / experiment must obtain approval from the academic member of staff responsible for the laboratory / workshop and consult with the Technical Services Manager or his/her nominated representative to ensure that the running of the equipment at the times proposed does not interfere with other operations that are taking place at that time prior to leaving the apparatus / experiment unattended.

Where there are specific safety implications that could result as a consequence of the apparatus / experiment being stopped without following a set procedure or where the apparatus / experiment could pose a risk to others entering the area (e.g. cleaning or security staff, emergency services etc), a Continuous Running Notice MUST be displayed on the equipment and on the laboratory / workshop door so that anybody entering the area are made aware of what equipment is running, what hazards it may present and what to do in an emergency.

2. Continuous Running Notice

Notices can be completed using the form available <here>. These should be printed out, agreed with your supervisor (where relevant) and signed off by the Facilities Manager. One notice is required for each apparatus / experiment. Old notices should be kept for 1 year before destroying. The Facilities Manager will maintain a register detailing all equipment / apparatus to be left running and responsible persons who have been issued a Continuous Running Notice. This shall be kept up to date and made available for inspection.

3. Completing the Continuous Running Notice

(a) Responsible Person

This is the person directly responsible for the apparatus / experiment. To include room and extension number (where you are based within the School) and emergency contact details should this be required. Note that you no longer have to provide your private address details.

(b) Brief Description

This should consist of a few words to identify the apparatus / experiment.

(c) Emergency Action

An Emergency Shutdown Procedure should be given to stop the apparatus / experiment. This should consist of the minimum numbers of actions required to render the apparatus / equipment safe. Steps designed to save data should be excluded. If services are to be turned off all relevant switches and taps should be referred to by a single unique letter in the text and labelled at the switch / tap. Make it as fail safe as possible as in an emergency, the apparatus / experiment will be turned off using this procedure!

(d) Details and location of Services

All services used by the apparatus / equipment should be identified.

(e) Request From and Request To or Permanent

Approval will normally be given for the period that the apparatus / experiment is expected to run. The form should be completed for the dates required. For equipment that is to be left running for more than 1 year, 'Permanent' should be selected.

(f) Approved By and Approval Expired

As stated above, the Continous Running Notice must be approved by both your supervisor (where relevant) and the Facility Manager. Upon expiry of the continuous running period the Continuous Running Notice must be returned to the Facility Manager for closure/sign off.

4. Approval Expired

Equipment found running after the expiry date of the approval will be notified to the responsible academic who will either complete a new Continuous Running Notice or will arrange for the apparatus / experiment to be shutdown. Where equipment is shutdown, the Facilities Manager shall be informed so that the register can be updated.

5. Equipment Running Without a Continuous Running Notice

Any person has the right to question whether it is safe to run equipment unattended. If anyone considers that an apparatus / experiment is unsafe to run without a Continuous Running Notice, the matter should be brought to the attention of the academic member of staff in charge of the laboratory / workshop and/or the School's Facility Manager, who will make relevant enquiries.

6. Auditing

A quarterly audit of Continuous Running Equipment will be performed which will check notices on equipment and doors with the Continuous Running Register. Non-conformances will be notified to the responsible academic and where considered necessary, the Head of Department.