Safety comes first

October 15, 1999

Your report "University safety record panned" (THES, October 1) about concerns over safety in universities and research institutions rightly says that the University of Cambridge takes health and safety issues very seriously.

The incident in Cambridge was judged to be a case of misplaced enthusiasm that would not have occurred if procedures had been followed properly. The public was not at risk, and there had never been an incident of radiation overexposure in the university.

Nevertheless, we have carried out a full review and will appoint a director of health and safety, with authority to shut labs that do not conform to procedures. It is important that our staff and students feel confident in our procedures.

Timothy Mead Registrary University of Cambridge

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