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LibNet staff news



Safety Services – New Website.

NoelForrester10 October 2018

In line with UCLs policy to adopt a standard website content management system Safety Services website has had a makeover and can now be found at the following link:

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for please e-mail safety@ucl.ac.uk and a Safety Advisor will contact you.

NB. The old web address https://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/ will be redirected to the new home page.

Emergency Vehicle Access South Quadrangle – New Student Centre Works.

NoelForrester20 September 2018

As part of the New Student Centre works, MACE need to remove access via the Emergency Vehicle Road from Gordon Street to South Quadrangle for a temporary period from THURSDAY 20th SEPTEMBER 2018 for 3 weeks.  This means that we cannot provide any fire brigade or ambulance vehicle access during this sensitive period to buildings off the South Quadrangle.

What does this mean – during this period it is recommended that staff / Fire Evacuation Marshals (FEMs) remain extra vigilant to the potential of fire breaking out.

Please find attached a briefing note issued by The UCL Fire Officer.

UCL Estates and the Principal Contractors apologies for any inconvenience that these restrictions may cause your departments but this work is essential for the New Student Centre to progress.  Your cooperation and assistance in all matters of safety is greatly appreciated.



Wellbeing Champions.

NoelForrester30 November 2017

There are currently 40 Wellbeing Champions across UCL,  but it is hoped to increase this to 50 by the end of the year and 100 by the end of the academic year. 12 champions have attended Mental Health First Aid Training for HE and further dates are planned. UCL has funded seven MHFA instructor places, enabling UCL to deliver an increased number of courses and relieve the pressures on the Head of Wellbeing. These seven instructors will be Senior Wellbeing Champions and form part of the Wellbeing Champion Framework. It is recognised that not every Faculty or Professional Services Department has taken part in a wellbeing activity. In the 2017/18 academic year Wellbeing will work with local champions to deliver an event/initiative in each Faculty / Professional Services area. If you are interested in becoming a Wellbeing Champion for Library Services, further information can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/wellbeing/wellbeing-champions. Please obtain permission from your Manager before applying.

Further information on Wellbeing @UCL can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/wellbeing.

Contacting the Duty Officer in an Emergency.

NoelForrester3 October 2017

The Library Services Duty Officer is here to be the single, senior representative of UCL Library Services in a variety of non-standard and potentially serious events/circumstances. The D.O. is expected to act as senior decision-maker, a communication link in the event of an emergency and may be required to act as a spokesperson for Library Services within UCL. As you are aware, the Duty Officer rota is sent out on a weekly basis to all Library Services staff and is available at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/duty-officer.

In the event of an emergency, where you are not able to access the rota, due to a building evacuation, loss of power or lack of available IT equipment, UCL Security will make contact with the Duty Officer on your behalf. UCL Security can be contacted on 020 7679 2222 or extension 222.

UCL Security are available 24/7. Please ensure that you memorise this important information – in an emergency call 222 from any UCL phone. If you have any questions regarding contacting the Duty Officer, please do not hesitate to contact me or refer to the Duty Officer guidelines at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/duty-officer/policy.pdf.

Noel Forrester
Departmental Safety Officer & Security Manager
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
Tel: 0203 108 7855 (57855)
Mobile 07917555624

Incident/accident reporting at UCL.

NoelForrester2 October 2017

Since January 2011, it is mandatory at UCL that all accidents, incidents and near misses are reported via the on-line tool RiskNET. Anyone can report the incident or accident including the individual involved, the individual’s line manager, a witness or First Aider.

The RiskNET on-line incident reporting system uses the following incident types.

Incident Type Description.

  • Work-related Injury Incident resulting in an injury to a member of staff or student (other than undergraduate) Student Injury Incident resulting in an injury to an undergraduate student.
  • Violence at Work Incidents which involve actual or threatened violence to staff or students on UCL premises or while on UCL ‘business’. Recreational/ Sporting Accident Incidents including injuries to people not taking part in ‘work’ including incidents in Residences.
  • Taken Ill at Work Includes reports of staff/students who suffer acute onset of illness at work. It does not cover staff who leave work due to minor illness such as colds. NB Staff absence due to illness must be reported using the sickness absence recording procedures (see HR website).
  • Road Traffic Accident Road traffic accident (RTAs) whilst travelling on UCL business or in UCL vehicles NB Does not include RTAs while travelling to and from work.
  • Damage or Loss Incidents resulting in damage to equipment or loss of resources including lost time NB This does not include theft which should be reported to Security.
  • Hazard Observation of an unsafe condition or activity that could result in injury or loss Near Miss An incident that caused no injury or loss but which had the potential to cause harm.
  • Fire Incident An incident involving a real fire or activation of the fire alarm or use of a fire extinguisher or any injury resulting from a fire Pollution Incident Incidents involving actual or potential (i.e. near miss) pollution, contamination or damage to air, land, water, flora, fauna and aquatic species. This includes exceeding environmental permit or external reporting requirements and notifications from environmental regulatory bodies.

I would like to remind all staff of the importance to immediately report any accidents or incidents, especially near misses or hazard observations. All reports submitted are confidential and fully investigated by Safety Services and the Library Services Departmental Safety Officer to:

  • Ensure action is taken to prevent recurrence.
  • Meet statutory requirements.
  • Help monitor and improve health and safety performance.
  •  Provide information for responding to claims made against UCL.
  •  Enable UCL to respond quickly and accurately to external enquiries

If you have any doubt about reporting an incident or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. For more information on RiskNet and health and safety at UCL, see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/safetynet/.

Library Duty Officer – what is their role?

JayWoodhouse31 July 2015

*All Staff Please Read* (sorry a little long, but important)

The Library Duty Officer role is in place to make day-to-day service and emergency decision on behalf of the Director of Library Services. The aim is to have one clear point of responsibility, which is able to take the lead and react quickly to immediate issues.

The Duty Officer is in this way is the final authority for any immediate problems across Library Services and as such their advice and instructions must be followed. The SMT and Director will not intervene on day-to-day problems unless requested to do so by the Duty Officer.

It is therefore vital that any immediate issues be reported to the Duty Officer. The areas that should be reported are:

  1. Staffing issues
  • Where a site or service may have to close. This should not happen without the knowledge and approval of the Duty Officer
  • Staffing will drop below minimum numbers for the site. This is listed in the Safety Arrangement documents for each site and we must not open or operate a site below this number of staff. The Duty Officer will prioritise services and may choose to close another service / site rather than the one that is short of staff.
  • Where there is a risk of lone working. This is where a staff member will be alone for more than one hour and where they are not due to have contact with another member of staff. (A member of staff on their own at the start of the day, but with other staff arriving within the hour is not lone working. A member of staff working for the same hour at the end of the day, when no one will be checking on them, is lone working and must be avoided.)
  1. Medical Emergencies – the Duty Officer must be informed if:
  • A member of staff is taken ill at work.
  • An ambulance is called and a staff, student or visitor is taken to hospital (please ensure you deal with the person before you contact the Duty Office unless you need assistance.)
  1. Fire or Flood
  • All instances of fire or flood must be reported as soon as possible to the Duty Officer. The Library has access to a number of support resources and the Duty officer will be able to assist immediately or initiate recovery planning.
  1. Bomb or Terrorist Threat
  • Any direct threat received by the Library must be reported to UCL Security via 222 or your local emergency number immediately and then inform the Duty Officer as soon as possible. If you have been requested to evacuate, please contact the Duty Officer after you have cleared the Library and are in a safe place.
  • Threats outside the Library will be assessed by the Duty Officer in conjunction with UCL Security. Advice and / or instructions will be issued by the Duty Officer to all of Library Services.
  1. Student or Other Occupation
  • Library Services has a standing agreement with UCLU that they will not occupy Library space during protests. If there are any individuals or groups occupying Library space and refusing to leave, contact UCL Security via 222 or your local emergency number and then inform the Duty Officer as soon as possible.

How do I contact the Library Duty Officer?

By e-mail on lib-dutyofficer@ucl.ac.uk

The Daily Diary is stopping from 31st July 2015. A weekly e-mail with the Duty Officer rota for the following week will continue for the time being. This will be replaced by an entry on LibNet displaying the current Duty Officer. When this feature goes live the weekly e-mails will stop.

Who will be Duty Officer?

The list of staff who will act as Duty Officer is as below:

Regular Duty Officers List:

Noel Forrester – noel.forrester@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 2545 ext: 32545 – mobile: 07917 555624 #6496

Jay Woodhouse –james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 7094 ext: 37094 – mobile: 07500 605994 #6592

Robert Lamb – robert.lamb@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 2545 ext: 32545 – mobile: 07957 666817 #6602

Phil Watson – phil.watson@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 1141 ext: 51141 – mobile: 07747 474798 #6568

Sam Temblett – s.temblett@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 2545 ext: 32545 – mobile: 07824 857753 #6612 (on order)

Noreen Beecher – n.beecher@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 4226 ext: 34226 – mobile: 07824 864322 #6619

James McCaughey – j.mccaughey@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 2545 ext: 32545 – mobile: 07824 864350 #6618

Reserve Duty Officers:

Paul Ayris – p.ayris@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 7834 ext: 37834 – mobile: 07771 974051 #6611

Martin Moyle – m.moyle@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 7833 ext: 37833 – mobile: 07824 864504 #6614

Ben Meunier – benjamin.meunier@ucl.ac.uk

020 7679 2607 ext: 32607 – mobile: 07771 974069 #6593

Why should I contact the Duty Officer, can’t I sort this out myself?

The Library has a duty of care to both staff, students and visitors. In order to fulfil these obligations it is vital that we understand what is happening across all our sites. Therefor we need staff to inform the Duty Officer of any situation that is unusual. In many circumstances this will be just providing information on issues that have already happened, rather than asking for advice.

However, were there are situations such as those listed above, the Library procedures is that the Duty Officer should take the final decision. The Duty Officer will ask for information about the situation and have a conversation about what you feel is the correct course of action. The Duty Officer must consider the Libraries legal obligations as well as the service and will balance these sometimes conflicting requirements.

It is imperative that staff follow the Duty Officers instructions and advice. If you decide to ignore such instructions and do other than requested, you become legally responsible for any consequences and could open yourself up personally to criminal prosecution for any breach of Health, safety or Fire regulations. If you follow management instructions it is the manager and the organisation that are legally responsible and the individual staff member is protected from personal responsibility and possible criminal prosecution.

Examples of situations where the Duty Officer must balance Health & Safety needs against maintaining our services:

Problem: mains power goes off in library

Consideration: A public spaces must have working emergency lighting at all times.

Impact: Emergency lighting is designed, when new, to work for 3 hours on batteries. If the system is older it may not work for this long. Rule of thumb for safety is only use a third of the safe design. So it must be considered that the building has 1 hour of emergency lighting after which the building must be evacuated.

Action by Duty Officer: Allow library to continue working for one hour and then evacuate and close space if power is not returned in this time. If Maintenance state the power will be back on in 15-20 beyond the hour, if would be acceptable to hold off on evacuation, but for no longer.

Other Considerations: If the power has been off in the same space earlier in the day, the batteries for the emergency lights will be partly or full depleted. These batteries take 24 hours to fully recharge, so the space may need to be evacuated immediately.


Problem: a fire exit is blocked

Consideration: All public spaces must have two emergency exit routes which travel in opposite directions.

Impact: Taking the Institute of Archaeology Library as an example, which has three fire escape routes, one at the entrance, one in the middle and one from the rear in the stacks. If the stacks exit is blocked the front of the library could remain open, with the stacks area closed as there would be both the front and middle routes available. If the middle route was blocked the whole library could remain open as the front and rear stacks would be available. However, if the library was busy and near capacity, the two remaining exits may not be able to cope with the traffic and the library would have to close.


As you can see the decisions the Duty Officer make are not always as straightforward as they seem at first. In these situations it is important to take control, manage the problem and make a choice. Where there have been significant prosecutions under Health and Safety rules it is usually because no decisions were made, rather than the wrong decisions being made.

We ask you please to work with the Duty Officers and help them with a difficult role and when a decision is reached, follow that decision. We do review events and try to learn from them for the future and welcome input from staff on the scene. This should be done afterwards when we have time to reflect, delays at the time could lead to serious problems.

Thank You on behalf of the entire Duty Officer Team

Jay Woodhouse

Departmental Safety Officer

Off-site Working-New Guidance

JayWoodhouse10 July 2015

UCL Safety Services have changed the guidance for Off-site Working, with the previous Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for Fieldwork being withdrawn.

The scope of the guidance has been expanded to encompass more than just fieldwork and is now likely to cover some activities within Library Services that were not previously within the scope of the Fieldwork ACOP.

The new guidance covers Meetings & Conferences, Hosted Research, Work Placements, Home Visits and Fieldwork, or any work undertaken on a site not owned or leased by UCL.

All staff working away from a UCL site should view the guidance and undertake the action suggested, including a risk assessment, if required.

Off-site Working Guidance can be found at the following link:


A new role of Off-site Work Co-ordinator has been created. Library Services is reviewing our activities in this area and is likely to appoint this role in due course.

Off-site Work Co-ordinator responsibilities can be found at the following link:


For more information or support please contact me directly.

Best Regards


Important Safety Information – extension leads

JayWoodhouse8 October 2014

UCL has a general aim to not use extension leads if possible, as they can be a significant fire risk if used incorrectly. It is understood that it is sometimes necessary to use extension leads as wall mounted power sockets are not always in suitable positions and having additional sockets fitted can be difficult and take sometime. However, wall mounted power sockets are the favoured method of providing power and should be requested where long-term use of extension leads is occurring.

Electrical extension leads are not a direct replacement for a wall socket. Extension leads have a 13 amp or less rating and wall sockets a 30 amp rating. This means it is much easier to overload an extension lead, which is likely to lead to a fire.

In the use of extension leads, what is plugged in is more important than how many items. Multiple low amp items may be fine, but one high amp item, such as an electric heater, is likely to overload the lead and cause a fire.

The total ampage of the items plugged into the extension lead must be less than the rating of the lead, usually 13 amp (See table at the bottom of this blog). Check your extension cables for their rating, usually listed on the back.

Have a look at the Electrical Safety First webpage and try their Socket Overload Calculator:



  • Use wall sockets if possible
  • Use extension leads with an earth – three cable leads
  • Visually check leads for cuts, broken plastic cover or exposed wires – discard if any found
  • Ensure leads do not create a trip hazard

Do Not:

  • Use double insulated leads  – these will have a symbol with a square within a square and do not have an earth
  • Daisy chain leads, linking more than on lead together is very dangerous
  • Use reel extension leads – these are banned on all UCL sites as they are dangerous if improperly used. please dispose of any reel extension leads you may have

This is a simplified explanation and if you are unsure, plug it into the wall. I am happy to give more detailed advice about individual issues.




Table of common electrical equipment

Domestic Portable Appliance          Amps Used Watts Used
Laptop <0.5 65 – 100
Mobile phone charger <0.5 <12
Kettle 13 3000
Satellite TV box <0.5 30
Printer <0.5 50
Radio <0.5 40
Radiator 8.5 2000
DVD player <0.5 28
Hair dryer 10.0 2200
Landline cordless telephone charger <0.5 10
Computer monitor <0.5 100
Desktop computer 3.0 700
Television 42″ HD 0.5 120
Games console 0.86 <200
Washing machine 10 2200
Toaster 9.0 2000
Tumble dryer 11.0 2500
Dishwasher 10.0 2200
Iron 12.5 2800
Microwave 4.5w 1000
Vacuum cleaner 9.0 2000
Radiator (oil filled) 13.0 3000

Changes to Fire Safety Training for UCL Managed Sites

JayWoodhouse16 September 2014

UCL are changing the way that we manage fire safety and training. It is important that all staff are aware of the changes and ensure they have followed the procedures below.

Rather than having annual fire refresher training, both of individual safety and Fire Evacuation Marshelling (FEM), UCL is now grading buildings by their risk levels. There will be three levels, and these will determine how often staff require basic fire  and FEM training. These levels will also set how often the building Fire Risk Assessment must be refreshed. The levels are as below:

For Level 1 buildings the frequency is 4 years

For Level 2 buildings the frequency is 3 years

For Level 3 buildings the frequency is 2 years

The level of your building can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/maintenance/fire/risk-assessments/ . The majority of Library Services sites are within buildings that are level 2. This means that staff should undertake refresher training in fire safety and FEM every 3 years.

There is a new concept of the UCL Fire Safe Person, who is a member of staff that has completed the UCL Basic Fire Safety e-learning as well as a local familiarization (fire tour) briefing from the department. All staff should complete this training. This course can be found at https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/ , search for Basic Fire Safety.

The training for FEM will also, from October 2014, be provided via moodle. This on-line course should also be use for refresher training.

FEM training will be supplemented by Toolbox talks, which will be provided by the UCL Fire Safety Team to FEMs at the end of the Fire Drill for your building. If you are a FEM, please attend the fire drill for your building. The dates for the fire drills can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/maintenance/fire/fire-drill-schedule/ .

As this is a new system, we should treat October 2014 as year one for our building schedules. All staff should undertake the Moodle Basic Fire Safety training. From October, all FEMs should undertake the Moodle FEM course as refresher training.

If you have any queries or encounter any issues with the new on-line training please contact me at james.woodhouse@ucl.ac.uk .