Re: General Arrangements on Safety & Health

General Arrangements on Safety & Health

This document is mounted as www.mech.hku.hk/safety/Main.html and it details the arrangement for safety and health issues of the Department. The following abbreviations are adopted in this document.

COP Code of Practice
DSR Departmental Safety Representative
ME Department of Mechanical Engineering
HoD Head of ME
LSC Laboratory & Safety Committee
SIC Staff-in-charge (the teaching staff in charge of a ME laboratory)
TIC Technician-in-charge (the technical staff in charge of a ME laboratory)
TICS Technician-in-charge of Safety (the technical staff in charge of safety in all ME laboratories.

If you see strange symbols in this document, change the browser encoding method by checking View-Encoding-Western European (Windows).   

1.         Preamble

2.        LSC and Safety Relevant Staff

3.       Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities

3.1    Supervisory Staff
3.2    Employees and all Students of the University
3.3    HoD
3.4    DSR
3.5    TICS
3.6    Administrative Assistant / Executive Officer
3.7    Departmental Radiation Safety Representative
3.8    Manual Handling Operations Risk Assessor
3.9    Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor
3.10    SIC
3.11    TIC
3.12    Fire Wardens
3.13    Technical and Office Staff

4.       General Fire Safety

4.1   Escape Routes
4.2    Fire Fighting Equipment
4.3   Emergency Evacuation

5.        Laboratory Safety Regulations

5.1    General Safety
5.2    Chemical Safety
5.3    Liquid Nitrogen Safety
5.4    Safety Regulations for using Fume Cupboard
5.5    Radiation Safety
5.6    Biological Safety
5.7    Safe Use of Engineered Nanomaterials
5.8    High-Power Lasers Safety
5.9    Electrical Safety Regulations
5.10    Machinery Safety Regulations
5.11    Regulations for Contractors 

6.       Safety in Fieldwork, Fieldtrip and Company Visit

6.1   COP for Organizer
6.2   COP for Fieldworker

7.       Occupational Health & Safety Induction for New Students & Staff

8.      In-house Inspection System

9.      In-house Incidents Reporting Procedure

10.     Injuries to be Reported

11.     Laboratory Safety Awareness Declaration

12.     Guidelines on Safety Pest Control Operation

1.     Preamble

 In addition to its commitment to excellence in teaching and research and the service it renders to both local industry and society, ME is also devoted to the improvement and maintenance of safety and occupational hygiene standards for all staff, students, visitors, etc.

 In this document, safety arrangements and regulations within the department are outlined. The principal safety responsibilities of different staff are also indicated. The order does not necessarily reflect decreasing responsibility and importance for safety.

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2.    LSC and Safety Relevant Staff  

The LSC has the following members:

    Prof. D.Y.C. Leung (Chairman & DSR), Prof.A.H.W.Ngan (HoD) and Dr. Scott Chan (DSR) 

All teaching and technical staff have their own safety responsibilities. The following lists the safety relevant staff who assume more specific safety tasks:

HoD:

Prof. A.H.W. Ngan

HW 7-12 /Tel. 3917 7900

DSR:

Prof. D.Y.C. Leung
Dr. Scott W.K. Chan  

HW 7-26 /Tel. 3917 7911
HW 7-37A /Tel. 3917 8983

TICS (also the Chemical Waste Manager) 

Mr. Michael K. F. Lau

COBLG-112/Tel. 3917 6022

Administrative Assistant:

Ms. Kimmy Lui

HW 7-15 /Tel. 3917 2823

Safety Inspection Team:

Prof. D.Y.C. Leung
Dr. Scott W.K. Chan

Mr. Michael K. F. Lau  

HW 7-26 /Tel. 3917 7911
HW 7-37A /Tel. 3917 8983
COBLG-112 /Tel: 3917 6022

Departmental Radiation Safety Representative:

Mr. K.K. Wong

HW 3-29 /Tel. 5112 1423

Manual Handling Operations Risk Assessor:

Mr. Y. C. Tam

HW G14 /Tel.2859 2620

Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor:

Ms. Cobe Chong

HW 7-17/Tel. 3917 6024

Trained/Qualified first aiders:

Ms. Kimmy Lui
Mr. Edward Lam
Mr. T.K. Liu
Mr. K.H. Tam
Mr. Michael K.F. Lau

HW 7-15 /Tel. 3917 2823
HW 7-17/Tel. 3917 2618
HW 3-15/Tel. 2859 2615
YP G/Tel. 2859 2896
COBLG-112/ Tel. 3917 6022

Fire Wardens:

HW 7/F:- Mr. K.H. Sam
HW 3/F:- Mr. K.K. Wong, Mr. T.K. Liu
HW 2/F:- Mr. K.W. Lee
HW 1/F:- Mr. K.M. Chan
HW G/F:- Mr. K.M. Tse
HW M/F:- Mr. W. T. Chan Felix
HW LG:- Mr. Y.C. Tam, Mr. T.F. Lee
YP 3/F:-  Mr. K.H. Tam
YP 1/F :- Mr. K.W. Lo
YP G/F:- Mr. K.H. Tam
CB LG1:- Mr. C.K. Chan
CB LG2:- Mr. K.L. Chau

Tel. 2859 2620
Tel. 5112 1423 / 2859 2615
Tel. 5404 6142
Tel. 5112 1420
Tel. 2859 2620
Tel. 2859 8958
Tel. 2859 8958
Tel. 2859 2896
Tel. 2859 8956
Tel. 2859 2896
Tel. 5404 6145
Tel. 2859 2617

First-Aid Box Coordinator for laboratories and student offices:

Mr. T.M. Mok

Tel. 2857 8293

Responsible staff for first-aid boxes in HW7/F:

Mr. Edward Lam

Tel. 3917 2618

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3. Managerial/Supervisory Responsibilities

In this section, the principal safety responsibilities of various parties are indicated. The order does not necessarily reflect decreasing responsibility and importance for safety. Additional descriptions on the responsibilities can be accessed at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/HKUAAS.pdf.

3.1    Supervisory Staff

All supervisory staff are responsible for ensuring that any risks to safety and health within their area of responsibility are properly identified and controlled. This responsibility extends beyond the boundaries of the University campus, and includes activities such as field trips and off campus research. 

  1. Every staff member (this includes principal investigators and lecturers teaching classes) is responsible for the health and safety of those employees and students under their care. This applies equally to academic and administrative staff as to technical staff;
  2. Staff cannot delegate out of this responsibility and should endeavour to encourage and foster safe working practices in those over whom they have charge;
  3. In cases where safety and health guidelines have not been prepared at Departmental or University level, supervisory staff must ensure that a risk assessment has been completed and appropriate provisions made to eliminate or control the risks.

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3.2   Employees and all Students of the University

All members of the University community are required to conduct themselves and to perform their duties in a safe manner so as not to endanger themselves or others who may be affected by their activities. They have a duty to cooperate with the University in order to enable the University to comply with legal and policy requirements that relate to their activities and actions in cases of emergency.  

Any accident, dangerous occurrence, property damage, or potential hazard should be brought to the attention of the safety representative of the department or the Safety Office.

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3.3   HoD

The Head of Department has overall responsibility for the staff of the ME working in the office and laboratories. 

To ensure their health and safety, adequate resources will be provided in order to ensure that healthy and safe working conditions are maintained and that only safe working practices and safe systems of work are adopted by the staff.

To do this, adequate provision will be made to provide sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety and well being of the staff.

In discharging his duties, the Head of Department seeks the co-operation of all employees of the Department in ensuring that all measures designed to safeguard the health and safety of each individual are put into practice.

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3.4   DSR

Each department should appoint at least one DSR whose responsibilities are to assist the Head of Department in fulfilling their safety responsibilities and can include (www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/HKUAAS.pdf):

(a)       informing the Head of Department and the Director of Safety of any special hazards in, or new hazards about to be introduced into, the department/unit

(b)      ensuring that new members of the department, including students, are informed of the safety and health policy, standards and procedures; 

(c)       identifying training needs and conducting activities; 

(d)      ensuring that means exist for all machinery and equipment to be maintained and used in a safe condition; 

(e)       ensuring with the assistance of the Director of Safety that first aid, personal protective equipment and safety facilities are provided and properly maintained; 

(f)       consulting with the Director of Safety, to promote, plan, and direct a regular programme of safety inspections, and participating in such inspections; 

(g)      ensuring that accidents are reported promptly in accordance with University procedures and reporting any case of non-compliance to the Head; 

(h)      maintaining liaison with the Director of Safety and the Director of University Health Service; and 

(i)      investigating accidents and incidents and recommending accident prevention measures to the Head as and when necessary. 

(j)       ensuring that the technical staff, Departmental Radiation Safety Representative, Chemical Waste Manager, first aiders and the fire wardens are adequately trained, instructed, supervised and informed of any potential hazards associated with the handling, transport and storage of various tools, equipment, chemicals, etc.;  

(k)       ensuring that laboratories/workshops are maintained in a tidy and well organised condition, and they continue to meeting the health and safety requirements; 

(l)       ensuring that safety regulations are properly enforced in laboratories/workshops; 

(m)       ensuring technical staff have appropriate tools, equipment, access to equipment and proper safety gears to enable them to carry out work safely without risks to health; 

(n)       ensuring that outside staff such as those who do the repairing and maintenance jobs in the laboratories are not put at risk by University operations and conversely to ensure that they do not jeopardise the safety and health of University staff, students, visitors, etc.;

(o)       identifying new hazards which may arise due to new equipment, projects, etc. and implementing the relevant safety measures and practices;

(p)       updating the Health & Safety Information Placard every six months and whenever new hazard(s) arises;

(q)       ensuring that the laboratories/workshops with hazards identified on the placards are visited at least once in every half working day by a technical staff;

(r)       ensuring that all machineries in laboratories/workshops conform to the standard of Regulation of The Factory and Industrial Undertakings (Guarding and Operation of Machinery) by proper inspection and maintenance regularly;

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 3.5 TICS

 TICS who is also automatically the Chemical Waste Manager in this Department is responsible for health, safety and welfare of all the technical staff working in the Department.  He/she as the immediate supervisor of all technical staff has the full responsibility in their roles in upholding the safety regulations. In particular, his/her responsibilities are:

(a)       directing and co-ordinating the handling of chemical wastes as stipulated in "Chemical Waste" at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/CHWD.pdf;

(b)       enforcing and participating in the In-house Inspection System (see Section 8).

(c)       enforcing and observing the In-house Incidents Report Procedure (see Section 9);

(d)      enforcing and participating in the Laboratory Safety Awareness Declaration (see Section 11)

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3.6 Administrative Assistant / Executive Officer

General duties of the Administrative Assistant / Executive Officer are to ensure that office staff under her control are trained, supervised, instructed and informed of any potential hazards in the general office. In particular, his/her safety responsibilities include:

(a)       maintaining the Departmental Office in a tidy and well organised condition.

(b)       ensuring the general cleanliness, tidiness and housekeeping is kept to a standard such that none are potential causes of accidents and ill health.

(c)       ensuring that electrical equipment for office and pantry equipment is regularly checked for obvious faults and dangers.

(d)       ensuring lighting in the office is adequate for work.

(e)       ensuring the position of the computer screen does not create uncomfortable viewing and that the design of the computer installation is within acceptable ergonomic standards.

(f)       ensuring the fire warden(s) and first aiders(s) who are office staff are properly trained.

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3.7 Departmental Radiation Safety Representative 

As stipulated in document "Radiation Safety" at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/RSafety.pdf, Departmental Radiation Safety Representative should

(a)       be responsible for the issue and proper use of monitoring devices;
(b)       ensure that records are kept of the usage of radioactive substances;
(c)       supervise the preparation of radioactive waste for collection;
(d)       provide advice to the Head of Department on departmental radiation hazards and toliaise with the University Radiation Protection Officer
(e)       arrange annual leak tests for sealed radioactive sources and functional tests for radiation monitors as appropriate 
(f)       inform the University Radiation Protection Officer of any changes of Designated Radiation Worker and Users
(g)       inform all staff and students within the Department of departmental radiation matters. 

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3.8 Manual Handling Operation Risks Assessor 

It is required by law (Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance) that risk assessment for manual handling operations is necessary. Manual handling operations risk assessor is a qualified assessor within the Department appointed to conduct risk assessment and to assist in carrying out the preventive and protective measures with respect to the Guidance Notes on Manual Handling Operations at www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/oh/GN-MHO.pdf. 

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3.9 Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor

The Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor is responsible for performing a risk assessment of a Display Screen Equipment in the workplace, which is being used for prolonged periods of time (5 days a week, continuous 4 hours per day) and for providing recommendations in order to ensure that they conform to ergonomic principles.

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3.10 SIC

The general duties of the SIC are to ensure that the staff (technical and research), students and visitors working in the laboratories under their supervision are trained, instructed, supervised and informed of any potential hazards (and how to overcome them) which they may be confronted with whilst at work. Their responsibilities also include: 

(a)        Ensuring the safety and health of the staff, students and visitors, as far as is reasonably practicable, whilst working in areas and laboratories other than their own; 

(b)       Identifying and upholding the safety regulations applicable to the laboratories;  

(c)        Identifying the Safety Checklist(s) applicable to the laboratories;  

(d)       Informing the LSC and the TICS of any special hazards in, or new hazards about to be introduced into the laboratory; 

(e)       Ensuring staff, students and visitors are aware of the hazard(s) in the laboratory and the applicable safety regulations;  

(f)       Ensuring proper, adequate and functioning equipment/facilities are available in the laboratory as required by various safety regulations on its activities and inventory;  

(g)       Maintaining and managing the laboratories in a tidy and well-organized condition that the health and safety requirements are met; 

(h)       Enforcing and participating in the In-house Inspection System (see Section 8), Incidents Reporting System (see Section 9) and Safety Awareness Declaration (see Section 11). 

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3.11 TIC

Technicians-in-charge are often the staff working most closely with the laboratory users. Their responsibility include: 

(a)  upholding the safety regulations in their laboratories/workshops. If the act of upholding the regulations fails, they should report the incident to the technician, the SIC and the DSR immediately;  

(b)  being aware of the hazards as well as newly appeared hazards in their respective laboratory/workshop and attending training workshops related to these hazards organized by the Safety Office or elsewhere. In general, these workshops should be re-attended once in three years as refreshment. 

(c)  maintaining and managing the laboratories/workshops in a tidy and well-organized condition and that the laboratories/workshops continue to meet the health and safety requirements; 

(d)  ensuring the well-being of all the fire-fighting, safety-related and first-aid equipment materials/facilities and learning how to operate them; 

(e)  making the hazard(s) known to undergraduate students before the laboratory sessions are started and ensuring that the undergraduate students are closely supervised;

(f)  making the hazard(s) known to contractor and their workers, ensuring that contractor and their workers sign a record book in which their name, the company name, I.D. Card number, contact telephone number. All work done by the contractor and their workers must be closely supervised;

(g)  reporting any accident, injury, near-misses and repeated violations of safety regulations occurred in their respectively laboratory or during the work by following the In-house Incidents Reporting Procedure (see Section 9 ) as soon as possible;

(h)  participating in the In-house Inspection System (see Section 8);

(i)  implementing the Laboratory Safety Awareness Declaration & Laboratory Access Authorization (see Section 11);

(j)  working with First-Aid Box Coordinator to ensure the first-aid box in their respective laboratory contain sufficient quantity of suitable first aid materials and nothing else;

(k)  if there are hazard on the placards of the laboratories/workshops, ensuring that the laboratories/workshops are visited at least once in every half working day by a technical staff;

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3.12 Fire Wardens

The roles of the fire wardens are detailed in the document   "Role of Fire Wardens"   at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/FREng.pdf. On hearing the alarm, each fire warden is requested to:  

(a)       Immediately put on the "HKU Fire Warden" cap provided by the Safety Office for identification, leave the place of work and encourage others to evacuate.

(b)       Check rooms within previously agreed area to ensure all people have left. If some people are unwilling to leave - do not delay but continue to search other rooms.

(c)       Spur on people to leave their place of work and to direct them to appropriate exit.

(d)       Note which rooms or areas were not checked due to smoke/fires and to inform fire brigade upon its arrival without delay.

(e)       Encourage people to move quickly down stairwell and out of building.

(f)        Move people away from building exits to the assembly point.

(g)       Report any problems (missing persons, non-evacuated staff etc.) to the Fire Officer of the Fire Brigade in charge of the operation directly and without delay.

(h)       Identify key holders should the fire brigade wish to enter locked rooms.

(i)       A fire warden should under no circumstances be responsible for more than one floor. Appoint sufficient fire wardens for additional floors.

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3.13 Technical and Office Staff

 All employees of the Department irrespective of status should be familiar with the safety policy of the Department and recognise that they all have a part to play in preventing accidents and incidents of ill health emanating from the workplace.  They have the responsibility to cooperate with supervisors and other staff to achieve a healthy and safe workplace and to take reasonable care of themselves and others.

They should not take risks nor carry out procedures or work practices contrary to safe working practices and if they are in any doubt they should raise such items with their immediate supervisor. 

In the event that the supervisor does not offer a reasonable solution, the matter must be referred to the Safety Representative and the Head of Department.

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4. General Fire Safety

4.1   Escape Routes

 The escape routes of each laboratory is posted near the exit, users of the laboratory should be reminded by the TIC to alert this before using the laboratory for the first time.

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4.2  Fire Fighting Equipment

(a)       Users of the laboratory should be aware of the location of the fire fighting equipment.

(b)       The fire fighting equipment should be placed in an easily accessible location and free from obstruction.

(c)       It is the TIC's responsibility to learn how to operate the fire fighting equipment in his/her laboratory.

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4.3  Emergency Evacuation

In an emergency, the TIC and the fire warden have TOTAL authority to evacuate the laboratory.  Evacuation orders MUST be followed. If fire alarm is on, unless it is on testing mode, all individuals must evacuate immediately by following an escape route.

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5. Laboratory Safety Regulations

The hazard(s) in the laboratory is(are) identified on the Health & Safety Information Placard posted on the door of the laboratory. Safety regulations and checklists can be viewed at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/lab.html and/or www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/manual.html. Following is a partial list of the relevant documents and their links:

The applicable regulations and checklists to a laboratory are specified by the SIC and endorsed by the LSC. Hardcopies of the relevant documents from the Safety Office are also kept by the TIC. The information given below is intended to be an outline of the more specific and exhaustive regulations. They should not be regarded as the only applicable regulations.

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5.1   General Safety

  1. Hazard(s) in the laboratory are identified on the Health & Safety Information Placard posted outside the laboratory door. The laboratory regulations in this poster should not be treated as exhaustive.
  2. All personnel in this laboratory MUST understand and follow the applicable safety regulations at ALL times. Violation of these regulations is sufficient ground to revoke user’s laboratory privilege by the technical staff-in-charge who is responsible to uphold the regulations. If the act of upholding the regulations fails, the technical staff-in-charge should report the incident to the DSR as soon as possible.
  3. Unauthorized experiments, are strictly prohibited.
  4. Hazardous areas in the laboratory are identified by yellow/black hazard warning tape. Never perform experiment within these areas alone or use any items inside these areas alone. Eating and drinking within these areas are also prohibited. Operating any equipment with exposed high speed moving/rotating part(s) after drug that may cause drowsiness is strictly prohibited.
  5. Long hair MUST be tied. Loosened clothes, shorts and open-toed shoes, such as slippers, pumps and sandals, must NOT be worn. Shoes MUST provide adequate protection of your feet and MUST cover the whole feet. Proper protective gear(s) MUST be worn when working in designated areas.
  6. All chemicals must be treated as poisons and properly labelled. Work with chemicals only when you are familiar with their properties: flammability, reactivity, corrosiveness, toxicity, etc. The endorsement from the technical staff-in-charge must be obtained if you intend to bring any chemical into the laboratory. Unknown chemicals will be expropriated without notice. All waste organic solvents must be disposed in specially marked containers ("WASTE SOLVENTS"). Disposal of organic solvents into the drains is strictly prohibited. Please refer to the material safety data sheets in the laboratory.
  7. All chemicals must be kept safely in their proper place. Spills must be cleaned up immediately and properly. Safety Office should be consulted in disposal of unidentified chemicals.
  8. Any work involving combustibles, volatile organic compounds, toxic gases, airborne particulates and unpleasant odours must be conducted in ventilating hoods. For maximum protection, the sash should be kept as low as practicable. If no one is working with a ventilating hood, the sash should be shut.
  9. Be aware of the location of the first aid materials/facilities, chemical spill kits, fire-fighting equipment and the fire escape route.
  10. In an emergency, the technical staff and the fire warden have TOTAL authority to evacuate the laboratory. Evacuation orders MUST be followed. If fire alarm is on, unless it is on testing intermittent mode, all personnel in the laboratory must evacuate immediately.
  11. Report all accidents, injuries (no matter how minor), near-misses and repeated violations of safety regulations to the staff listed in the Health & Safety Information Placard and the Departmental Safety Representatives as soon as possible. (See Section 9 & Section 10)
  12. Be sensible and be alert at all time. The life you save may be yours.

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5.3   Liquid Nitrogen Safety

 Liquid Nitrogen is extremely cold: -196 Degree Celsius at atmospheric pressure. This can cause severe frost bite. On vaporization it expands by a factor of 700; one liter of liquid nitrogen becomes 24.6 cubic feet of nitrogen gas. This can cause explosion of a sealed container, or it can displace oxygen in the room and cause suffocation without warning. Liquid Nitrogen can become oxygen enriched and cause ordinarily noncombustible materials to burn rapidly. Therefore the following precautions should be noted when handling it.

(a)  Treat liquid nitrogen and any object cooled with liquid nitrogen with respect.

(b)  Take care not to allow liquid nitrogen to be trapped in clothing near the skin.

(c)  Wear safety glasses or a face shield when transfering liquid nitrogen. Wear gloves when touching any object cooled by liquid nitrogen. Gloves should be loose fitting, so they could be thrown off if liquid were to pour inside them.

(d)  Use only approved unsealed containers. Never pour it into a coffee thermos. Never seal it in any container (it will explode).

(e)  Never dip a hollow tube into liquid nitrogen; it may spurt liquid.

(f)  Never use in a small poorly ventilated room, and never dispose of liquid nitrogen by pouring it on the floor. It could displace enough oxygen to cause suffocation. Nitrogen gas is colorless and odorless--the cloud that forms when you pour liquid nitrogen is condensed water vapor from the air, not nitrogen gas.

(g)  Do not store liquid nitrogen for long periods in an uncovered container (on the other hand, never totally seal a container). Because the boiling point of oxygen, -183 Degree C, is above that of nitrogen, oxygen can condense from the air into the liquid nitrogen. If the air over the nitrogen circulates, this liquid oxygen can build up to levels which may cause violent reactions with organic materials; even materials which are ordinarily nonflammable. For example, a severe clothing fire could result from ignition in the presence of liquid oxygen.

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5.4   Safety Regulationsfor using Fume Cupboard

The relevant manual/COP/guidance of the Safety Office on fume cupboard can be accessed at http://www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/FumCup.pdf.

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5.5   Radiation Safety

The relevant manual/COP/guidance of the Safety Office on high-power laser can be accessed at: www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/RSafety.pdf. In particular, the following should be noted:  

(a)       Before using/operating any radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus, the "Designation as a Radiation Worker"  must be applied for from the Radiation Control Unit of the Safety Office. Without a duly approved designation, individual must not use/operate radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus.

(b)       Access to Controlled Radiation Areas and irradiating apparatus is strictly prohibited unless permission has been granted by the University Radiation Protection Officer or the Departmental Radiation Safety Representative in the case of maintenance service, etc. 

(c)       When using/operating any radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus, the Safety Measures documented in "Radiation Safety"  (www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/RSafety.pdf) must be observed.

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5.6   Biological Safety

The relevant manual/COP/guidance of the Safety Office on biological safety can be accessed at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/HKUBSP.pdf. In particular, the following should be noted:

(a)       Only persons with appropriate animal licenses are allowed to work with animals. Ethical approval has to be obtained before the work commences. They must be aware of the risks of injury and ill-health to themselves, colleagues and the animals with which they work. They should also follow the policy and procedures as stated in the "Occupational Health Programme for Laboratory Animal Workers" available on the University Health Service (UHS) website.

(b)       Never put anything in the mouth whilst in the laboratory and avoid subsequent transfer to items such as food by always washing hands before leaving.

(c)       Avoid the likelihood of puncture wounds by careful handling procedures and always keep any breaks in the skin covered whilst in the laboratory.

(d)       Care must be taken to minimize the production of aerosols and where infectious aerosols may be generated the work should be carried out in a microbiological safety cabinet.

(e)       Place appropriate signs at appropriate areas in the laboratory including level of containment, restricted access and hand wash only, etc.

(f) Wash hands prior to and following laboratory activities and at any time contamination is suspected.

(g)       Disinfect laboratory benches and equipment prior to and at the conclusion of each laboratory session, using an appropriate disinfectant and allowing a suitable contact time. Disinfection should also be used to prevent microbial growth in spent culture fluids and used cultureware.

(h)       Biological wastes require specialist disposal. In particular, disinfected wastes should be autoclaved before placing in appropriate rubbish bags different from those of the general disposal stream. Disposal at designated garbage collection center of the University by designated personnel is required.

(i)       All broken glassware, syringe needles and other sharps involving biological hazards MUST NOT be disposed in rubbish bin but in a yellow sharp box . When the box is full, specialist disposal is required.

(j)       Care must be taken when handle and use liquid nitrogen particularly appropriate protection such as wearing thermal gloves and shoes.

(k)       Periodic examination of autoclaves must be done. Only designated personnel are allowed to use autoclaves.

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5.7  Safe use of Engineered Nanomaterials

Nanotechnology is finding its way into an increasing number of sectors. Research on nanotechnology also continues to expand rapidly worldwide. Despite the potential benefits nanotechnology will bring, there is also accumulating evidence to suggest that exposure to some engineered nanomaterials may be a health hazard. The Safety Office has compiled a guidance document "Interim Guidelines on the Safe Use of Engineered Nanomaterials" which can be accessed at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/EngNanoL.pdf.

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5.High-Power Lasers Safety

The relevant manual/COP/guidance of the Safety Office on high-power laser can be accessed at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/LCOP.pdf. In particular, the following should be noted:

  1. All users of high-power laser must attend the relevant safety training.
  2. Unauthorized personnel MUST not enter the Laser Controlled Area, where a high-power laser islocated, when a high-power laser is operating.
  3. When operating a high-power, the Safety Measures documented in  "COP on the User of High-Power Lasers" at www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/LCOP.pdf must be observed.
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5.9   Electrical Safety Regulations

The relevant webpage of the Safety Office on electrical safety regulations is: www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/manual_EH.html. In particular, the following should be noted:

  1. Be very careful with electrical equipment and never touch/operate any electrical switch gears if your hands are wet.
  2. All electrical connections must be completely and properly insulated and grounded. All conducting wires must be adequately concealed.
  3. The installation/repair of any apparatus operating at above 50V a.c. or 120V d.c. must not be done by any laboratory personnel unless he/she is an approved licensed electrician "A" holder or above from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. Otherwise, all such installations/repair must be performed by a licensed contractor or an electrician from Estates Office.
  4. For portable apparatus operating at above 50V a.c. or 120V d.c., its flexible wires must either be permanently fixed to the power supply outlet, or alternatively, its connexion to the power supply must be made through properly constructed plug and socket, the use of combination sockets is not recommended for heavy current equipment.
  5. Where any part of a portable apparatus is made of metal and not of a double insulation type; the portable apparatus must be effectively earthed; and inspected every 6 months for loose connection and fault.
    All high voltage equipment and appliances must bear the "High Voltage" warning label.
  6. A warning notice in 50 mm red characters and letters and white background bearing the following words must be displayed in a visible position at or near any conductor, apparatus or swithch board being worked on:
  7. "DANGER UNDER REPAIR    危險-在維修中"

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5.10    Machinery Safety Regulations

The relevant manual/COP/guidance of the Safety Office on machinery safety can be accessed at http://www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/MSG.pdf. In particular, the following should be noted:

(a)       All users of machinery must wear safety spectacles. Long hair and loose clothes must be tied.  Suitable personal protective equipment should be worn.

(b)       Never put your hands/fingers or any part of your body near the moving parts or in the path of motion of a machinery.

(c)       All machine guards must be inspected and maintained periodically to ensure it conforms to the standard of above said regulations at all times.

(d)       Only students with machine workshop training recognized and endorsed by the Department are allowed to operate any machinery without supervision. Moreover, these students must never work alone.

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5.11   Regulations for Contractors

(a)       The contractor is allowed to work in the laboratories with identified hazard(s) if they have signed on the record book.  The record book should bear their name, the company name, I.D. Card number, contact telephone number.

(b)       The TIC should inform the contractor the hazardous areas, equipment and substances in the laboratory and what precautions they should take.

(c)       All works carried out within the laboratory should be closely supervised by the TIC or SIC.

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6. Fieldwork, Fieldtrip & Company Visit

Fieldwork, fieldtrip and company visit include the teaching, learning and/or research activities (the activity) organized by the Department or its academic staff in sites which are not under the Department's control but where the Department is responsible for the safety of its staff and/or students and others exposed to the activity.

For simplicity, staff and/or students participating in the activity are here referred to as fieldworkers.

6.1  COP for Organizer

Organizer of a fieldwork, fieldtrip and/or company visit should be an academic staff of the Department. The organizer is responsible to the Head of Department for ensuring that adequate safety arrangements exist and are observed by participants. The suggested codes of practice for the organizer include:

(a)       informing the Department Head the itinerary, timetable, names and number of the fieldworkers and purpose of the activity at least three working days beforehand by submitting a standard form (http://www.mech.hku.hk/safety/FieldworkRecord.doc);

(b)       obtaining a written/email permission from the site owner or its representative whom should be clearly informed with the purpose of the activity;

(c)       if the work is in a remote, unsafe and/or hazardous environment, depositing the itinerary with a suitable person or authority, such as the local police;

(d)       planning the activity including method of transport, route and schedule (a pre-visit may be useful);

(e)       identifying the adequate and appropriate protective gears for the activity, they may include safety helmets, eye/face protection, ear defenders, respiratory protection, gloves, additional foot protection, reflective/fluorescent clothing, torch, etc.;

(f)       avoiding the fieldworker from working alone as far as possible;

(g)       anticipating any risk and hazard (including adverse weather), and formulating precautions and emergency plan(s);

(h)        if necessary, appointing a suitable number of competent leaders to assist in supervising the activity;

(i)       arranging suitable lines of communication (including frequency) among the fieldworkers and with the Department, and formulating procedure to follow if the communication breaks;

(j)       if applicable, preparing the next-of-kin telephone list of the fieldworkers and presenting a copy to the Department.

(k)       ensuring fieldworkers are adequately covered by insurance policy of the University, the site owner and/or the owner of the transportation vehicle;

(l)       reporting and investigating accidents encountered in the activity;

(m)       finding out and informing the fieldworker.with the local telephone number for emergency services (e.g. 999 for Hong Kong)

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6.2    COP for Fieldworker

The suggested codes of practice for fieldworker include:

  1. carrying adequately charged mobiles phone, screech alarm and the University Identity Card;

  2. heeding, understanding and observing any instruction given by the organizer or the appointed leader(s);

  3. observing all safety regulations applicable to the activity site;

  4.  reducing the number of valuables such as credit cards, expensive jewellery or watches to be carried;

  5. bringing any questions and problems (including medical problems) to the attention of the organizer or the appointed leader(s);

  6.  wearing appropriate and functioning protective gears identified by the organizer;

  7. being aware of the lines of communication (including frequency) among the fieldworkers and with the Department, emergency arrangements and the means of contacting the local emergency services.

  8. reporting all accidents and incidents to the organizer and/or the Departmental Head;

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7.      Occupational Health & Safety Induction for New Staff & Students

Upon arrival, all new staff are requested to complete a form on Occupational Health & Safety Induction (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/InductForm.pdf) to indicate the coverage of relevant information provided. The form must be returned to the respective supervisor or DSR for endorsement within three weeks. Meanwhile, the webpage www.mech.hku.hk/safety/InductRes.html has been setup to provide the new staff some brief information and www links related to the issues in the form.  

Briefing on occupational health and laboratory safety is currently offered to undergraduate students and taught postgraduate students in the Academic Orientation. Seminar on Safety is also a part of the Engineering Training (MECH2418).

Since 2016 april, a procedure of Safety Declaration for Research Higher Degrees has been introduced by Safety Office to ensure the research postgraduate student (RPG) and his/her supervisor to systematically evaluate the risks involed in their project and take proactive steps to control them. Under this policy, new student should duly complete the Form SD1 (v.2015) with the endorsement from his/her supervisor and return the form to DSR for record. For more detail, please refer to "A Guide to Safety Declaration for Research Higher Degrees" and "Information and Guidance on Safety Declaration for Research Higher Degrees"

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8.      In-house Inspection System

In-house Inspection is conducted at approximately 6-month interval. Each laboratory/office has its own checklist(s) which is specified by the teaching SIC and endorsed by the LSC. In each inspection, the administrative or technical SIC would go through the applicable checklist(s) among:

  1. General Safety (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LGen.pdf)

  2. Chemical Safety(www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LChem.pdf)

  3. Good Microbiological Practice(www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LMBio.pdf)

  4. Compressed Gas Safety (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LGas.pdf)

  5.  Mechanical Safety (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LMech.pdf)

  6. High Power Laser (Class 3b and/or 4) (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LLaser.pdf)

  7. Unsealed Radioactive Substances (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LURad.pdf)

  8. Sealed Radioactive Substances (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LSRad.pdf)

  9. Closed Beam X-ray Machine (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LCBX.pdf)

  10. Open Beam X-ray Machine (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LOBX.pdf)

and complete the Report Summary www.mech.hku.hk/safety/LIHIForm.pdf before the Inhouse Safety Inspection Team visits the laboratory/office.

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9.     In-house Incidents Reporting Procedure

Incidents here refer to health and safety related accidents, injuries, near misses, repeated violations of safety regulations, etc. All incidents must be reported to the Department as soon as possible by one of the following two ways:

The user verbally reports the incident to one of the staff in the Health & Safety Placard on the door of the Laboratory. The user and the latter should then agree on whom among themselves would notify the Department.

The user reports the incident directly to the Department.

In both ways, the user may check the link. "Report Incident" which would lead to a MS Outlook email with all the key safety relevant staff (hwngan@hku.hkycleung@hku.hkmechanwk@hku.hkkmluia@hku.hk;) as the recipients. The email report should be concise but include the following information:

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10.     Injuries to be Reported

The Head of Department needs to report any work-related injury (including those on outsiders) leading to temporary or permanent loss of work capacity to Human Resources Section of the Registry and the Safety Office. In practice, it may be difficult to judge whether a minor injury leads to any loss of work capacity.  So the policy of the University is that staff, students and visitors are encouraged to report all work-related injuries.  In particular, the injured MUST notify the Department if he/she sought medical treatment from any hospital, medical clinic or practitioner no matter how minor the injury is.

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11.    Laboratory Safety Awareness Declaration & Laboratory Access Authorization

Normally, all laboratory users are requested to sign the Laboratory Safety Awareness Declaration Form (www.mech.hku.hk/safety/SafetyAwareDec.pdf) before they start to work, except for

All signed Forms should be kept by the TIC until the Forms expire. To properly manage the access authorization, laboratory users may also request to sign the Smart Card Access Form (http://www.mech.hku.hk/safety/SmartCardAccessForm.pdf) which should be endorsed by the staff-in-charge of the laboratory and his/her own research work supervisor.

12.    Guidelines on Safe Pest Control Operation

Please read the guidelines on safety pest control operation in http://www.safety.hku.hk/homepage/pdf/PestCont.pdf.

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Revised in July 2017