Oh my COSHH!

CoSHH: this is the law that requires employers to manage the control of substances hazardous to health.  At a very basic level, this involves having a folder on hand that contains datasheets for every substance in the workplace that poses any kind of risk (no matter how small).  These sheets detail the risks involved, how to control/combat them, all the manufacture and ingredient details as well as how the substance ‘behaves’.  Once this folder is up to date and comprehensive, it is used to make risk assessments based on the risk level, the amount used, and how frequently said substance is used.

The COSHH folder at Hereford was a mixed bag. It was generally OK but needed a solid overhaul, making sure all the datasheets were current, whilst adding the newer substances.  This was and is one of my tasks.  I spent two days going through the flammable liquids store in the basement, listing its contents and as much information as I could glean from the packaging in a spreadsheet and downloaded any datasheets that I could.  Now I have to reconcile that with the old folder and bring it up to date, ready for the risk assessments to be carried out. I hope I’m not doing that bit!

Here’s a slideshow that explains and walks one through COSHH in a really clear and comprehensive way.  Don’t read it if you don’t need to!

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