Priority for universities for the next term is the safety of staff and students and maximising the student experience

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“As the country prepares to adapt to further changes in the public health guidelines, the universities represented by the IUA are now completing the process of communicating with their staff and students on plans for the next semester …” (more)

[IUA, 27 November]

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Clear national health and safety approach needed for face-to-face teaching in universities, says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Ad-hoc approach by individual colleges would ‘risk chaos for staff and students alike’. The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has called for a single, clear health and safety framework for any reopening of face-to-face teaching in the New Year, saying that without it college administrations are currently planning in a vacuum and devising contradictory measures related to preventing the spread of Covid-19 …” (more)

[IFUT, 23 November]

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Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 has been highlighted by the arrival of COVID-19

Posted in Governance and administration on October 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Trade Union movement in Ireland was instrumental in the setting up of the Barrington Commission in the 1980s, which arose from pressure from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to have a more comprehensive approach to health and safety in the workplace, at a time when only 20% of employments were covered by any legislation, such as the Factories Acts …” (more)

[IFUT, 29 October]

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High-Risk Staff Being Obliged to Teach is ‘Very Worrying’, Says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on September 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has described the government’s decision to potentially compel high-risk staff members to work as ‘very worrying’. The government currently allows higher education institutions to assess a high-risk staff member’s capacity to work in person on a case-by-case basis …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 16 September]

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All Areas of College to Produce Safety Statement Before Staff Return to Work

Posted in Governance and administration on May 15th, 2020 by steve

“All areas of Trinity will have to produce a safety statement and workplace audit before staff return to work, as part of the College’s roadmap to re-opening fully amid the pandemic. Trinity has set up a Return to Work Committee to manage the transition back to College for staff, and current staffing levels will not be increased before an audit undertaken alongside the College safety officer, according to an email sent to staff members of Unite the Union last Friday …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 15 May]

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Investigation into high levels of cancer among staff at Ulster University

Posted in Governance and administration on December 1st, 2018 by steve

“An investigation has found that a Ulster University campus was not responsible for high levels of cancer among staff. The BBC has reported that a Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) investigation found insufficient evidence that the Jordanstown campus was responsible for causing higher than average levels of cancer among the staff …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 30 November]

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Ulster University ‘cancer cluster’ investigated

Posted in Governance and administration on November 30th, 2018 by steve

“A cancer agency has investigated allegations of a ‘cancer cluster’ in part of an Ulster University’s (UU) campus, BBC News NI has learned. A inquiry by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) found insufficient evidence that UU’s Jordanstown campus was responsible for any cancers among staff …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 30 November]

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UL failed to inform students of Baldonnel chemical fears

Posted in Governance and administration on April 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick failed to pass on health concerns about the Air Corps hangars to its work placement students, despite several warnings over chemical exposure fears. Although it was told that students ‘may have been exposed to toxic chemicals and organic solvents during the course of their work placement’, UL did not follow up on requests to inform the relevant students …” (more)

[Joe Leogue, Irish Examiner, 19 April]

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Horror at Irish university as deadly superbugs are found on laptops, mobile phones and door handles

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Deadly superbugs including MRSA have been found on mobile phones, laptops, ATMs and door handles in an Irish university. Despite looking clean to the naked eye, everyday surfaces like elevator buttons, trays and bin lids were riddled with the killer germs …” (more)

[Ruairi Cotter, Irish Sun, 26 February]


Students left fighting for lives after taking enough caffeine for 300 cups of coffee in botched university experiment

Posted in Legal issues, Research on January 26th, 2017 by steve

“Two students were nearly killed after they were given enough caffeine for 300 cups of coffee during a botched science experiment. Northumbria University has been fined £400,000 for the incident in March 2015 …” (more)

[Henry Bodkin, Telegraph, 25 January]

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University Addressing Security Breach in Lab Waste Disposal on Campus

Posted in Legal issues on September 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“UCD is dealing with concerns over breaches in its security measures for the storage of hazardous laboratory waste on campus. The response comes after the Tribune identified a breach in the security of the UCD Conway Institute’s hazardous lab waste disposal compound …” (more)

[College Tribune, 21 September]

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New rules to ‘protect’ women researchers abroad are sexist and dangerous

Posted in Research on August 19th, 2016 by steve

UK“I have been conducting fieldwork for 20 years, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. My research has taken place under the auspices of universities in three countries and, so far, the worst thing that has happened to me was a heavy load of intestinal parasites that wiped me out for a week …” (more)

[Guardian, 19 August]

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University ban on mortarboard throwing: ‘We’ll Photoshop them in’

Posted in Legal issues on May 18th, 2016 by steve

UK“Health and safety initiative at University of East Anglia apparently triggered by spate of injuries caused by falling hats. It’s a much-loved academic tradition that has fallen foul of health and safety concerns of late, as universities strive to prevent graduates flinging their mortarboards in the air …” (more)

[Ben Quinn, Guardian, 18 May]

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Safety overhaul after UCC death

Posted in Legal issues on March 4th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A university which was fined €80,000 for breaches of health and safety legislation after an employee was crushed to death by a cherrypicker has overhauled its policies and introduced new equipment and training …” (more)

[Eoin English, Irish Examiner, 4 March]

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Machine operators too complacent, says judge in UCC case

Posted in Legal issues on November 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Operators of machinery such as cherry pickers have become far too complacent, a judge said yesterday as he fined University College Cork €80,000 for breaches of health and safety legislation following a fatal accident two years ago …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 20 November]

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UCC fined €80k over death of employee following cherry-picker accident

Posted in Legal issues on November 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“UCC was fined €80,000 and ordered to pay Health and Safety Authority costs of €4,000 for breaches which resulted in the death of an employee assisting a cherry-picker operator on campus, as the judge spoke about complacency with such vehicles on the streets of Cork …” (more)

[Liam Heylin, Irish Examiner, 20 November]

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UCC to receive penalty over fatal cherry-picker accident

Posted in Legal issues on November 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“UCC did not fully train the operator of a cherry-picker or the employee on the ground who was killed during a day’s work, a health and safety inspector said yesterday as the college said it was the first fatal accident involving a member of staff and that it operated to the world’s highest standards …” (more)

[Liam Heylin, Irish Examiner, 18 November]

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UCC guilty pleas over crane death

Posted in Legal issues on October 28th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Guilty pleas were entered on behalf of UCC at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday in a Health & Safety Authority prosecution arising out of a fatal accident where a member of the college’s governing body died while working near a crane …” (more)

[Liam Heylin, Irish Examiner, 28 October]

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Aidan Kenny, ‘Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology sector’

Posted in Life on July 13th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: This article presents findings from a survey of professional workers in the institutes of technology sector in Ireland regarding work-related stress. The research instrument was based on a work-related stress questionnaire developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive, augmented with a specific subset of questions relevant to the Irish higher education sector. The questionnaire format was modified to enable online delivery. It was distributed to a sample population in 2014 with a response rate over 30% (n=1,131). The research provides baseline data on work-related stress levels experienced by workers in this sector. The results associate increased levels of risk of work-related stress in circumstances of poor consultation, lack of engagement with staff, excessive workload, demanding task with unrealistic deadlines and lack of support provided by management. Low risk levels were associated with peer support and relationships. Good social relations between workers seem to assist in the alleviation of the risk. The results support established research into work-related stress which claims that developing supportive working environments and work cultures can greatly assist in the reduction of risk levels.”

Recommended Citation: Kenny A. (2015) Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology Sector, DIT Level3, Issue 13, June 2015.

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Trinity College acid spill: Fire fighters in hazmat suits called to science lab at Dublin university

Posted in Life on April 17th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Fire fighters in protective suits were called to an acid spill in Trinity College yesterday. A number of units from Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) attended the scene at the university after the incident in a zoology science lab …” (more)

[David Coleman, Irish Mirror, 17 April]

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