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College of Natural Sciences Health and Safety Services

Electricity and Electrical Appliances

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Further information on electrical safety etc can be found on the Health and Safety Services Website under the A-Z of Health and Safety.

However, some of the basic considerations when working with electrical equipment are:

  • Never use equipment if it, or its power lead (including the plug) show signs of damage eg cracked case, splits in leads, burn marks, smell of burning, exposed wires
  • Never use equipment that is not designed for the environment it is to be used in ie aquaria / wet areas
  • Never use open bar heaters - they are not allowed at the University
  • Never over load extension leads or daisy chain them by connecting one into another.  In addition, fully unwind coiled extension leads as they can overheat - but do then remember you may be left with trailing leads
  • Never position power leads where they could trip someone up
  • Never use an unsafe item - remove it from use and tell someone immediately eg Technician
  • NEVER TAMPER WITH, OR TRY TO FIX electrical equipment

In addition, the following applies to these specific items of equipment:

Fridges and Freezers
  • Store food / drink intended for personal use in the correct fridge / freezer ie those in kitchens, coffee rooms, offices
  • Never store samples, chemicals etc in the above fridges / freezers
  • Label all samples, chemicals so others know what they are & who they belong to
  • Lock and label fridges / freezers containing very toxic substances
  • Store flammable solvents in flashproof fridges / freezers
Fume Cupboards
  • Do not use fume hoods for storage
  • Label all items left in fume hoods so others know what the item is & who it belongs to
  • Before using a fume hood, check it is working - fan noise does not guarantee this
  • Never allow tissues, papers etc to be sucked into the hood
  • Work as cleanly as possible
  • Keep the sash at the correct height
Other Items
  • Information on the safe use of other elecrtrical equipment can be found on the HSS Website