Complying with the COSHH regulations is an essential part of keeping your business in the clear when it comes to the legality of your health and safety in the workplace. Not only will it stop costly lawsuits, it will also help keep your employees safe. Here we take a look at 5 key steps that can help you comply with the COSHH regulations.
COSHH stands for (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and they are focused around the safe management of dangerous substances within the workplace. Making sure you are compliant can cover a variety of areas ranging from the correct signage to properly conducted risk assessments.
- Perform COSHH risk assessments
When it comes to COSHH, risk assessments are essential for identifying which substances might be hazardous within the workplace. As an employer, you should either carry out the risk assessment yourself or identify a responsible person for the task. Make sure they are capable and this can come in the form of qualifications and experience.
- Take the necessary COSHH precautions
After you have completed the COSHH risk assessment you should try to take some precautions for the workplace. Preventative steps are good here, work out if you could use a non-hazardous substance to perform the same task. This is also a good time to take stock of any control measures you already have and improve them.
- Make sure you prevent and control the exposure
If you can feasibly introduce adequate control methods, it is time to look at your work processes and how you can prevent employees from COSHH substance exposure. Look at some of the following areas:
- Can the substance be stored in a safe area?
- Can certain equipment be used to control the exposure?
- Is PPE needed to protect employees?
These are just some of the potential control methods you can use to ensure you are COSHH compliant within the workplace.
- Maintain the correct control methods
After you have implemented the COSHH control measures, you need to ensure you maintain them. Ensure any equipment you use is always kept in good condition and keep PPE clean. Beyond that good training for your employees will help them stay compliant with any control measures you introduce.
- Monitor potential exposures to employees
When you have good ongoing maintenance of the control measures, you need to make sure you constantly monitor the presence of the substances and their potential dangers for employees. Establish a work exposure limit (WEL) to make sure that you are familiar with what level the substances should be at.
Make sure you keep a holistic health and safety management strategy
Complying with these points is essential for any business because following them is crucial when it comes to COSHH compliance. That being said to have good health and safety in a business, you need to look beyond COSHH. Make sure you have a good strategy for managing any potential accidents and mental/occupational health issues that may occur in the company.