In our final article on how to comply with COSHH regulations, we look at the last two of the eight steps necessary to comply. You can read about steps 1 & 2 here; steps 3 & 4 here; and steps 5 & 6 here. The final two steps are: ‘Put together a plan in case of accidents or emergencies’ and ‘Inform, train, and supervise employees.’
How to comply with COSHH Regulations: Step 7
Put together a plan in case of accidents or emergencies
If there is a possibility of a workplace accident or emergency involving a hazardous substance you have identified, COSHH regulations require that you have a plan in place to manage the situation before it arises.
This means that you need:
- The proper equipment to deal with the incident or emergency, such as protective equipment and decontamination products
- The correct procedures in place to deal with an accident or injury
- The right people who are trained to take action
- A solution for dealing with any waste that might be a by-product of the incident
You should also be able to make your plan quickly available to the emergency services, and all safety representatives and employees should be aware of your emergency plans.
How to comply with COSHH Regulations: Step 8
Inform, train, and supervise employees
COSHH regulations require you to provide information, training, and instructions to employees who work with substances hazardous to health (including cleaning and maintenance staff).
Your employees should know:
- The names of the hazardous substances they could be exposed to
- The associated risks of these substances and the workplace exposure limits (WEL)
- Access to relevant material safety data sheets
- The main conclusions from your risk assessment
- Any necessary precautions to take to protect both themselves and other employees
- How to use relevant personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Anonymous and general results of exposure monitoring and health surveillance
- What to do in case of accidents or emergencies
- Relevant information about planned changes to processes or hazardous substances
REACH & COSHH
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is a European regulation concerning the safe use of chemicals that works alongside COSHH. REACH enables better information about the hazards of chemicals and how to use them safely to be passed down the supply chain by chemical suppliers and manufacturers via improved safety data sheets.
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