Fire Brigades Union Industrial Action
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is in dispute with the employers which results in periodic strike action. The latest strike took place from 07:00 on Wednesday 25th February 2015 and lasted 24 hours.
These strikes do not change the School's evacuation procedures: everyone is expected to evacuate themselves upon hearing the Fire Alarm in their building as normal. Anyone who is unable to evacuate themselves due to a disability or injury should contact the Health and Safety Team to discuss their plans.
Staff and students should check the location of the Fire Assembly Point if they are visiting buildings they are not familiar with, and make sure they respond promptly to fire alarms.
Further information on the School’s arrangements for fire can be found at http://www.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/healthAndSafety/policy/fire.aspx
During FBU strikes, there are some changes to the normal service provided by the London Fire Brigade:
Fewer appliances will attend each incident;
People will have to confirm that there actually is a fire before a crew will be sent to attend;
Crews attending may not be familiar with the local geography or the premises, so will need more assistance;
With fewer appliances, response times will be increased.
The LSE and other organisations have procedures in place for calling lift engineers should a lift get stuck. This may mean that people trapped in the lift may have to wait a 2 hours or more. The fire brigade will only be called if people are at immediate risk, or are in such distress that they require medical attention.
Details of the London Fire Brigade contingency arrangements can be found at www.london-fire.gov.uk/contingency-plan.asp
Preventing fires starting, and preventing them from spreading, are key to reducing the risk of fire. Wherever you are, simple steps can reduce the risk:
Keep fire doors closed. At home, keep internal doors closed at night;
Make sure exit routes are kept clear at all times, and you know your escape route (including at home);
Take care with cooking, particularly frying, deep fat frying, using the grill, or outdoors;
Stub out cigarettes properly, and dispose of them carefully;
Do not leave candles, tealights etc. unattended – always put them in suitable holders, and keep them away from curtains, net curtains and other fabrics;
Unplug phone and laptop chargers when not in use, and any other electrical appliances which are not designed to be left on (fridges should NOT be unplugged and should be left on).
The London Fire Brigade have provided further home fire safety advice at www.london-fire.gov.uk/SafetyAtHome.asp
On 8 August 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The public health authorities in the United Kingdom are monitoring the situation and have published advice and guidance relevant for universities on the risk and on what to do if someone falls ill. The risk of contracting Ebola remains low, as it is only transmitted when someone is displaying symptoms. The incubation period of the virus (the time between contact with an infected person and the first appearance of symptoms) is from 2 to 21 days. Anyone who has recently arrived from one of the affected countries and who displays symptoms must isolate themselves and notify the health authorities (telephone number 111 or 999). The School will be guided by the public health authorities for further action required.
Anyone planning to travel to Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea must contact the Health and Safety Team to discuss their risk assessment and insurance requirements. All travel should be authorised by the Head of Department.
More detailed information is given in School guidance on Ebola.
Facilities for pregnant and nursing mothers
The room set aside for new and expectant mothers has been moved to Tower 3. This is where expectant mothers can come to rest, and where women who are still breast-feeding when they return to work or study can express and store milk. This facility is available for both staff and students to use. Anyone wanting to use the room should report to Tower 1&2 Reception.
Time to Change Pledge
The LSE signed the Time to Change Pledge on 28th November 2013. The pledge signifies the School's commitment to tackle mental health stigma and workplace discrimination. The School has written an Action Plan outlining what is being done to tackle mental health stigma.
Protect yourself from seasonal infections
Flu and other infections such as norovirus are particularly common in the winter. Simply remembering to wash your hands thoroughly with soapy water throughout the day (especially after travelling on public transport, before eating or drinking, before smoking, and after using the toilet) goes a long way to protect you and those around you from these illnesses.
We have issued some guidance on how to prevent yourself becoming infected by the norovirus, and what to do if you become ill.
Are your inoculations up to date?
Public Health England encourages all students to make sure that their inoculations are up to date, and that they are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella and Group C meningococcal (meningitis C) infection. These diseases are highly infectious, so can spread quickly. If you are not sure, contact your doctor. If you have not yet registered with a doctor now is the time to do so, don't wait until you are ill! Information on the health service in the UK and finding a GP is available on the student webpage under Health information.
Public Health England have issued guidance for students on immunisations against measles, mumps, rubella and Meningitis.
More information on meningitis can be found on the Meningitis Trust website.
'Students will you wake up!'
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) runs a campaign aimed at students living in private rented accommodation to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide fumes from faulty gas appliances.
If you live in private rented accommodation check that your landlord has had the gas appliances inspected, and ask to see a copy of the annual gas safety inspection record.
Electrical Safety for Students
The Electrical Safety Council has produced some guidance for students on electrical safety, particularly if you are in private rented accommodation. In Halls of Residence, follow the local electrical safety rules.
Fire Safety in Your Home
Most fires start accidentally in the home, often because cooking is left unattended, or due to electrical items. The London Fire Brigade has published advice on Fire Safety at Home. If you are in a Hall of Residence, follow the fire safety rules there: they are there to protect you and everyone else in the Hall.
Doing Good Does you Good
The theme for last year’s mental health awareness week from 21st May to 27th May 2012 was “Doing good does you good”. Research by the Mental Health Foundation, who sponsor mental health awareness week, has found that helping others can reduce stress, improve emotion well-being and benefit physical health. “Doing good” doesn’t have to involve grand gestures or cost money, instead it could be:
Smiling and saying thank you,
Carrying out small acts of kindness to friends or strangers
Volunteering your time
Whether you are a giver or recipient, share your experiences on The Mental Health Foundation facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthawarenessweek
Research on the importance of line managers to achieving a good work-life balance
Dr Alexandra Beauregard of LSE's Department of Management has found that even where options such as flexible working hours and help with childcare are available to employees, these do little to reduce stress unless there is positive endorsement from managers. Managers' performance appraisals should therefore include their effectiveness in helping employees achieve a good work-life balance. Further information is available in the LSE News Archive.
Mental Health Promotion Portal
The European Network for Mental Health Promotion has launched a website dedicated to supporting mental health promotion, including in the workplace.
The portal offers a range of information on promoting good mental health including e-learning packages and toolkits.
Time to change
An LSE academic has taken part in an unique social experiment to demonstrate the prejudice and stigma experienced by people experiencing mental health difficulties. The experiment, which was conducted in collaboration with the 'Time to change' campaign, MIND and RETHINK, involve scenarios involving looking for flatmates and friends on a Social networking set and tracks the reaction of people when a mental health problem is disclosed. The results of the experiment can be seen in a short video on the Time to Change website.
Well-being and stress management
Visit the Well-being and Stress management page to find out more information on the School's Employee Well-being Policy. The page also contains information for employees and managers recognising and managing stress and enhancing well-being.
Health and safety training opportunities
See the training and development portal for courses. If you can't find what you are looking for, email Health.And.Safety@lse.ac.uk
The School is required to provide health and safety training, but we know it is sometimes difficult for staff to find time to attend training courses so the School has launched an on-line training package. Staff can access the training modules covering general safety information, fire safety, using computers and manual handling at a time that is convenient for them. See the Complywise web page for more details.
Safe Posture and Avoiding RSI
Tim Hanwell, the School's Osteopath, is giving a series of talks at lunchtime throughout the year on how to avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries when using a computer or laptop. These hour-long talks are aimed at both staff and students and provide tips on how to achieve good posture and prevent aches and pains.
Anyone interested in attending should book a place through the Training and Development system, or can drop in on the day.
The Health and Safety Executive has launched a Better Backs campaign to reduce back problems caused by poor posture and working practices.
Refresher and practice sessions for evacuation volunteers
Monthly practice sessions are held for those who have volunteered to assist disabled persons evacuate in the event of an emergency using an evacuation chair. Please see Schedule for dates & venues (PDF). Training can be booked through the Training and Development system.
If you are interested in becoming an evacuation volunteer, please contact Health.And.Safety@lse.ac.uk for more information.
The School's procedure for responding to major emergencies has recently been revised and updated. It is now called the LSE Major Incident Initial Response Plan (MIIRP), and is available here.
The School is always looking for volunteers to assist the Emergency Management Teams to carry out a variety of tasks in an emergency such as help setting up emergency control rooms, staffing telephone help-lines, acting as scribes or runners.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering should contact Veronique Mizgailo (V.Mizgailo@lse.ac.uk).