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Instruction for the Fire Brigades Union Strike Action

Note: There will not be any fire drills or testing during strike periods.

During any period when the Fire Brigade is on strike, you should assume that they will not provide assistance across the whole range of their response capabilities (fire, chemical releases, people trapped in equipment or at height, flooding etc) and therefore we must take what action we can to reduce risks during these periods.

Generally we CAN continue to work normally throughout these periods, however all research groups MUST follow the guidelines set out below:

  • Do not carry out any unattended "at risk" procedures;
  • Do not perform scale-up experiments. Work at the smallest scale possible;
  • Do not carry out any new or unpredictable procedures that could result in a heightened or unknown risk;
  • Minimise the amount of solvents and flammable materials in your labs;
  • Do not allow waste solvent to build up, dispose of it promptly through the normal route;
  • Remember that when you risk assess a procedure, the Fire Brigade are not a control measure
  • Check that everything that can be switched off at the wall socket, is switched off, particularly heat sources such as hot plate stirrers, hot air guns etc when not in use;
  • You can use Bunsen burners for microbiological procedures during strikes, but ALWAYS switch them off immediately, do not leave unattended.

There are a few places where we have specific risks, relating to bulk deliveries* and our workshops which MUST not be carried out during strike periods, particularly where there is a risk of sparks being generated or a risk of entrapment. Fully guarded machinery can continue to be used in this period.

Please take the following sensible precautions:

Do not arrange or accept bulk* deliveries of fuel, highly combustibles such as fertilisers, flammable solvents; LPG and other flammable gases.

Glass blowing;Brazing;Gas welding / hot works;Use of abrasive wheels, lathes and mills.

*Bulk = tanker loads or multiple drum or cylinder loads

Management of contractors by your department

You are responsible for ensuring that any Contractors you have engaged are notified and have accepted the following instructions for the period of the strike. The Estates Office is applying the same rules to any operatives or contractors under their control.