Safety Policy

CHaOS endeavours to carry out all of its activities in as safe a way as possible. This document describes the steps that we take to do this. (approved by the CHaOS committee, 22nd June 2010)

1. Experiment safety

All CHaOS experiments are individually risk assessed, and all demonstrators are required to read, understand and sign the risk assessment before demonstrating. The committee Safety Officer will ensure that each such risk assessment is checked annually by a suitable member of the committee (e.g. the appropriate subject representative).

2. Safety during events

Safety during events is the responsibility of everyone, but a venue safety officer will be appointed for each event to manage event safety issues before, during and after the event.

The venue safety officer will:
a) Have read this document.
b) Have been approved by the committee to act as a venue safety officer for the event in question (or for all events of the same type, e.g. school visits)
c) Consider what first aid provision will be available, and what to do in the event of a first aid emergency.
d) Check first aid equipment is present, including eye washes, and the incident record book.
e) Write a Venue Risk Assessment for the event, and communicate this information to volunteers.
f) Consult with others on the CHaOS committee if in doubt about anything.
g) Ensure that demonstrators are aware of their responsibilities for safety, eliminating any developing hazards and/or reporting them to a suitable person as appropriate.
h) Ensure that there is time for volunteers to familiarise themselves with their experiments and their associated risks, and have understood and signed the risk assessment.
i) Be familiar with the risk assessments for experiments in use at an event.
j) Ensure an appropriate level of supervision of volunteers and the event.
k) Have the authority to stop or delay the event, experiments or demonstrators from demonstrating if safety would be compromised (e.g. if demonstrators are tired or incompetent).
l) Ensure that a competent person records in the Incident Report Book any incidents where a person was injured or any first aid was administered. Note the injured person’s name and address and some details of the accident.
m) If desired, relinquish this role to another person after the initial safety assessment and briefing is over provided that the other person is competent and similarly approved (e.g. if they want to leave the event).
n) After the event, return the signed risk assessments to the committee for storage.

3. Driving safety

Driving is perhaps the most dangerous regular activity undertaken by CHaOS, in particular on the Summer Roadshow. To manage this risk, the committee will:
a) Ensure that all drivers are legally allowed to drive in the UK.
b) In general, only allow those who are 21 or above to drive vehicles carrying passengers on behalf of CHaOS. The committee may make specific exceptions for drivers under 21, who will usually be experienced drivers.
c) Committee members present may decide that a particular individual should not drive a CHaOS vehicle, either on a specific occasion (e.g. due to tiredness), or more generally.
d) Ensure that there are sufficient drivers on the roadshow that drivers can be swapped around if required (e.g. in case of illness, or on long journeys).
e) Plan long journeys to allow drivers to have sufficient breaks.

4. Carrying boxes

All volunteers are likely to end up carrying boxes and other items of equipment to help set up events at venues. The committee will endeavour to ensure that, as far as possible:
a) Volunteers are advised to follow safe lifting technique.
b) Heavy boxes are marked as such.
c) Volunteers are encouraged to seek assistance rather than lifting any item that is too heavy.

Volunteers must take responsibility for deciding what they are able to lift safely.

5. Safety when building/repairing experiments

Many CHaOS experiments are built by members of the committee. Though CHaOS strongly recommends that safety should be taken into account while doing this, all such building work is undertaken entirely at members' own risk, and is not covered by CHaOS insurance. Members who are not happy with this should not take part in building work.