Sypol is pleased to announce the launch of its FREE Hazardous Substance Management Update eBook. This document is essential to businesses that want to stay up-to-date with the latest COSHH regulation changes and read about the HSE and UK government’s guidance on minimizing the spread and exposure of COVID-19.
In this blog, Alcumus Sypol’s in-house COSHH scientist, Mike Harris, looks at how managing COSHH can help you to operate a COVID-19 secure workplace. Find further details and information in our eBook.
COVID-19 is here for the long-term, so it is essential that a COVID-19 secure working environment is part of your company’s future strategy.
In June 2020, the HSE resumed spot inspections on businesses to make sure workplaces are COVID-19 secure and aligned with the Safer Workplace guidance. COVID-19 is classified as a biological agent and therefore falls under COSHH regulations. This means that employers have a legal duty to control and manage any foreseeable exposure to the virus, just as they would any other hazardous substance in their business.
Important things to think about as you journey back to your new normal:
- Risk assessments: Make sure you have COSHH risk assessments for all hazardous substances in use, it’s a legal requirement. This includes a COVID-19 risk assessment.
- Re-training: It is important to address all employees’ concerns, to make them feel at ease with their return to work. Also remember, health and safety is everyone’s responsibility - not just your health and safety team’s.
- Social interaction and mental health: Make sure your employees know what measures you have put in place for a safe return. Be mindful that returning to work will cause anxiety for many.
It is crucial to remember that the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations are reviewed and updated periodically. It is a legal requirement for your business to be up to date with the latest changes, therefore managing your COSHH assessments must be done both efficiently and effectively.
Hints and tips on managing COSHH
- Be proactive: Continuously review your business’s approach to COVID-19 and align to government and HSE guidance.
- Know your stuff: With COSHH regulations ever-changing, make sure you stay up to date with the latest changes. This not only avoids a non-compliance but predominantly keeps your employees safe.
- Have COSHH risk assessments for every hazardous substance on your site: It is a legal requirement to have COSHH risk assessments for every exposure in your workplace, including dusts and fumes.
- Educate yourself on PPE: PPE is an effective control measure however; it should be used as a last resort and in conjunction with other forms of control.
- Keep communication open with your employees: Engage employees in your COSHH process and allow them to have a voice. This demonstrates that you have taken actions to facilitate their safety at work.
- Have visibility of your COSHH risks business-wide: COSHH is complex and requires continuous management. Using software to centralise your hazardous substance usage can simplify your COSHH processes and help you to gain full visibility of your business’s risk profile.
To learn more, download your FREE Hazardous Substance Management Update eBook
Written by Mike Harris, Head of Account Management for Sypol.
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