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Unpleasant Smells and Emissions

  1. From time to time, people in the University may be exposed to unpleasant smells or emissions of unknown origin. In most cases, these can be traced to:
    • gas leaks;
    • work in laboratories; or
    • activities of contractors.
    However, other sources, including those outside University premises should not be ruled out.
  2. Some emissions way affect the health of exposed people by causing symptoms such as:
    • eye or mucus membrane irritation;
    • sore throat, cough, wheeze or respiratory distress;
    • skin irritation; or
    • nausea.
    Some people, such as asthmatics may be particularly affected. Any symptoms, however mild, indicate that substances are present in potentially harmful concentrations and that action is required.
  3. Security Control at the Main Gate (22083) must be informed forthwith. The following should also he contacted:
    • the Departmental Safety Officer (if available), otherwise the Head of Department or other responsible person;
    • the University Safety Office (see telephone directory); and
    • the Estates Office (22567).
  4. The Safety Office, in conjunction with the Estates Office, Security and others as appropriate will attempt to identify the source of the problem and take appropriate remedial action.
  5. People should avoid exposure where possible and affected areas should he evacuated. However, if the concentration appears to be greater outside the building, people should stay indoors and shut windows, ventilation inlets etc, and await further instructions.
  6. Departmental Safety Officers should compile a report of the incident, including the names of anybody suffering adverse effects. A copy must be sent to the Safety Office.
  7. Departments must inform all employees about this guidance.


Note: This guidance will be incorporated into Safety in the University Part 2.