The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations were first established in 1999, creating a legal requirement for employers to maintain control over hazardous substance exposure and to prevent ill health on their premises These important regulations include schools, so extra precautions must be made to ensure the standards are followed in educational institutions.
COSHH helps to protect staff and students in schools by ensuring that all harmful substances are secure, monitored, and only available to designated staff members. The regulations also aim to give all parties access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
Hazardous substances are frequently present throughout school campuses, making COSHH an important aspect in school rules. In this blog, we’ll go through what COSHH is, what the hazardous substances are, and how to implement COSHH policies in schools.
We’ll also talk about how COSHH is administered in schools, educational employers’ duties, and how Elliott Hygiene can help.
How can Elliott’s help?
We can assist and advise you on every aspect of the COSHH process, thanks to our years of experience.
We’d start by aiding you with the material to generate a COSHH risk assessment, which entails extensively evaluating any potential hazards on the school grounds. The next stage would be to put in place suitable control measures to reduce risk and harm to health, as well as identifying which appropriate staff members are in charge of putting them in place.
For the appropriate employees, Elliott’s can give COSHH training, signage, PPE, information, and instruction. We’ll also have an emergency plan in place, as well as health monitoring and surveillance as needed.
We are a proudly independent, family-owned firm with significant product knowledge and a competitively priced range of products and services. Our outstanding customer service and assistance ensure that none of our customers ever feel alone, keeping your business clean AND compliant.
Along with our COSHH services, we also offer a range of products specifically for schools and other educational facilities.
What are hazardous substances?
Any material with one or more harmful qualities qualifies as a hazardous substance. Toxicity, explosiveness, oxidation ability, and flammability are all factors to consider.
The majority of common compounds that have been proved to be dangerous to health are covered by COSHH rules in the UK (it’s worth noting that these substances might appear in a variety of forms). COSHH laws cover the following substances:
- Products that contain chemicals.
- Gases and asphyxiating gases
- Germs that cause diseases
- Biological agents
What role does COSHH play in schools?
COSHH can be implemented in schools through legislation and policies. This covers the most ‘risky’ areas, such as those where hazardous materials are housed, accessible, and used. The students and staff should be aware of the meaning of any COSHH symbols, which must be prominently displayed on the packaging of all hazardous items.
These COSHH symbols are crucial because they identify the dangers and potential consequences of coming into contact with the material in question. COSHH must be implemented throughout the school, not simply in locations where hazardous substances are present.
However, there are some aspects of schools that may demand extra attention:
Cleaning products/cleaning storerooms
It’s vital to understand that cleaning chemicals, if abused or left unattended, can pose a substantial risk.
Cleaning staff, on the other hand, must be legally aware of any risks caused by the chemicals they use on a daily basis and they must also grasp the need of exercising caution in a workplace where children are present. As a result, all chemicals must be carefully stored after use and should never be made available to pupils.
Cleaning products should also be provided by the school or examined by a certified member of staff before being used. School administrators should consult with hygiene professionals and ensure that all employees have undergone a COSHH training session. Your school’s COSHH policy must include cleaning personnel, ensuring that they have access to and apply proper PPE at all times.
Employer responsibilities include:
- Throughout the school grounds, preventing or regulating any exposure to harmful substances.
- Putting in place and following safety procedures to protect workers and students from harmful substances.
- Wherever necessary, providing all employees with information, training, instructions, and PPE.
- Assuring that all control measures are clean, operational, and well kept.
- Developing and executing protocols for dealing with hazardous– substance-related incidents and crises.
- Assuring that chemicals are never exposed to levels that exceed the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL).
- Performing a COSHH risk analysis.
We hope you found these tips helpful. If you would like some bespoke advice on achieving an excellent COSHH standard within your education setting, don’t hesitate to contact us via 01482 327580 or firstname.lastname@example.org