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Safety at the Observatory

The Safety Officer at UCLO is Mick Pearson.
  1. All students enrolled in practical courses at the Observatory should read this document and indicate that they have done so by signing the safety logbook before they will be permitted to use any telescope or other equipment.

  2. Anyone on Observatory property is required to pay due regard to their own safety and that of others. Adequate steps should be taken to ensure that the security of equipment is maintained.

  3. Do not rush about; when working in darkness think before undertaking any new activity.

  4. No person shall operate or use any telescope without staff supervision unless they have been trained and passed as competent in the use of that telescope by their course supervisor or Dr. P.K. Thomas.

  5. The rising floor of the Radcliffe Telescope must only be operated at slow speed when anyone is guiding the telescope. All staff and demonstrators should ensure that the fast-speed control at the telescope breech is locked out when anyone is positioned under the breech end of the telescope.

  6. When moving telescopes to new positions, or when moving the rising floor of the Radcliffe telescope, all persons doing so must ensure first that no collision with equipment or fixed objects will occur. The Radcliffe pendant floor cut-off must not be disabled by users.

  7. During observational sessions under supervision of the Night Duty Officer, the Observatory front gate and all outside doors must be kept locked, including those of the domes in use. Telephones are available in each dome if assistance is required, e.g., if an intruder is suspected. After 6.00 p.m. the Observatory front gate must be kept shut, and locked when no classes are in progress.

  8. Students should make sure that when they have finished observing, telescopes are adequately parked and clamped, that equipment is not left under power and is safe; that the domes are securely fastened and that the Night Duty Officer or Demonstrator in charge has been advised of their departure.

  9. Direct solar viewing should not be attempted unless one is using the approved solar filters fitted to the front-end of the Joynson or Fry telescopes. The installation of filters may only be done by a qualified technician or staff members, not by students.  The telescope logbook should be signed by the person who attached it whenever such a filter is put in place, to confirm that this has been done correctly.

  10. If any equipment is damaged, report immediately to the Night Duty Officer, Demonstrator or Technician. The Night Duty Officer, Demonstrator or Technician will decide on whether or not use of the equipment can continue.

  11. Report any accidents to persons immediately, to the most senior member of staff (academic or technical) present. Ensure that the emergency services have been called if needed. Injuries, even if they appear trivial, should be recorded in the Safety Officer's accident book.

  12. Be familiar with the sound of the fire bells. If the fire bells ring, check immediately if there are other persons working in your vicinity, warn them, and immediately vacate the building. Ensure that the emergency services have been called. The assembly area is the lawn at the front of the Observatory; keep the driveway and entrance clear for fire-engine access.

  13. If a bomb is suspected on Observatory premises, leave the suspect object alone; proceed as for fire and call for police assistance.

  14. Food and drink should be consumed only in the special area provided in the Wilson Building, and are not to be brought into classrooms and domes. The Observatory buildings and domes are No Smoking areas. Smoking is permitted outdoors only.

  15. Parking on-site is not normally allowed, but if cars or other vehicles are brought onto Observatory property they must be removed at the end of each visit, observing the courtesy that headlights do not interfere with any observational work that may be in progress. Students may not bring cars to the Observatory during classes because there is insufficient parking space.

  16. Students may not bring data or programs on floppy disks to install on Observatory computers unless the disk is first scanned for viruses and cleared by the technician on duty. The same applies to network file transfers. No exceptions!