Health and Safety at Hampshire Astronomical Group
Whilst astronomy is intrinsically a safe activity, all members of the Hampshire Astronomical Group have a ‘Duty of Care’ to each other when on site and in particular for all guests and visitors. The Hampshire Astronomical Group regularly undertakes a Health & Safety check of the facilities and will pursue reasonable solutions to those identified risks. One member of the committee takes the lead in Health & Safety.
The following offers guidance and a general reminder to Members of their responsibilities in the application of modern Health & Safety practices.
One must ensure that everyone is aware of the need for appropriate footwear and clothing for the conditions that can exist at the observatory site especially during the hours of darkness. All should carry a fully functioning torch.
When members arrive on site they must sign in the Club's register and include names of any guests. When there is a visiting Group, the name of the group leader and total numbers in the party will suffice.
When on site everyone should be aware, and if there is any doubt, made aware of any actual or potential risks and hazards such as slippery grass, uneven surfaces and low entrances to the domes etc. which may affect their safety whilst on site.
If a person should discover a potential or actual hazard it should be removed or rendered safe only if doing so does not put the discoverer themself at risk or risk to others. Such findings should be reported to an Officer of the committee at the earliest opportunity, telephone numbers of such members are in the support building kitchen by the telephone. Record all such actions in the Group register which is held in the support building.
A primary First-Aid kit, complete with both a foil and cotton blanket along with printed guidelines can be found in the support building kitchen with a torch. Additionally, smaller First-Aid kits are also to be found in the workshop, 5-inch dome, 7-inch dome, 24-inch dome, and 16-inch dome.
A number of fire extinguishers suitable for differing classifications of fire can be found in the support building lobby along with simple instructions on their use. Additional CO2 extinguishers can be found in the 12-inch and 24-inch domes. Fires should not be tackled if by doing so places the member at unacceptable risk e.g. injury or death.
In the event of the need to call the Emergency Services, there is a land-line telephone in the support building kitchen with printed advice on the wall which includes the address and telephone number of the observatory site. Members are also advised to carry their own mobile on site at all times if members' possess one.
If a member has a medical condition which may increase the risk to the individual (or others) then the member has a duty to inform other(s) on site for interests of safety.
On the notice board in the support building, is the Group's ‘Accident Log Book’. Every accident occurring on site, however trivial, must be recorded in the accident log with all the relevant details (note it is on two sides). On completion, tear the completed copy from the book, seal in the envelope provided, and affix to the Group notice board for the attention of the ‘Health & Safety Representative’. Additionally all ‘near misses’ must likewise be recorded.
Remember, managing Health & Safety is the application of common sense and good housekeeping and is everyone's business.January 2009