COSHH stands for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. It is a regulation that has been put in place to protect all members of staff and is especially important in schools. This is done by ensuring that all harmful substances are monitored, secured, and out of reach of children.
Not only is COSHH important in schools, but it’s also important in other organisations that work with hazardous substances. Dangerous substances that can be found in schools include aerosols, bleach, petrol, diesel and more.
Due to the high amount of hazardous substances that can be found in schools, it’s important to have the right health and safety measures in place (such as COSHH). Throughout this blog, we will be exploring our guide to COSHH in schools, read on to find out more information.
What Are Hazardous Substances?
A hazardous substance applies to any material that has the ability to cause harm, such as through toxicity, explosiveness, oxidation, flammability, and more. Most materials that have been deemed dangerous are now covered and regulated by COSHH. Some of the laws that COSHH covers are:
- Biological agents
- Products that contain a chemical
Exposure to hazardous substances can cause harm to anyone who comes into contact with them. Depending on the fatality of the substances, coming into contact with these hazards can be fatal in some cases.
What Role Does COSHH Play In Schools?
There are many ways COSHH can be implemented in schools, such as through legislation and policies. COSHH covers the riskiest areas, for example, where hazardous materials are accessible, kept and used.
Hazards are everywhere; all that matters is how you handle them, whilst doing your best to prevent any injuries or accidents from occurring. It is up to the staff members to manage the risks of harmful substances in order to prevent them.
Some of the hazards found in schools can cause skin damage, burns, and illnesses. Some may even result in death if not dealt with effectively. It is crucial to work towards compliance in line with the COSHH regulations to ensure all staff and pupils remain safe at work.
It is important that all members of staff and students are aware of the COSHH symbols that are found on the packaging of all dangerous substances. This is one of the main reasons why COSHH should be implemented in all schools.
There are some areas in schools that require more attention, such as storerooms with cleaning products. This is because it’s where most hazardous substances are stored. If chemicals are left unattended, this can pose a risk to those who come into contact with these products.
For example, cleaning staff will have to be aware of the risks associated with the chemicals that they are using. It is vital that all cleaning products are examined by a member of staff before being used, and you will have to wear the correct PPE at all times to ensure you remain safe.
What Are Employer's Responsibilities In Schools?
Employers have a range of responsibilities to ensure all members of staff and students are safe at all times. Some of these responsibilities include providing employees with training, information and PPE, as well as making sure all control measures are in place.
It is also important that COSHH risk analysis is completed regularly and that chemicals are not exposed past the limit (WEL).
Making sure that all safety procedures are in place at all times is important to ensure that all staff members and students are protected at all times.
Employer responsibilities also include making sure that they are constantly regulating or preventing exposure to dangerous substances that have the ability to cause harm.
Become COSHH Compliant With Beaconrisk
As discussed, COSHH is crucial for all workplaces that deal with hazardous substances, and it is important that you have the proper training to be able to deal with any dangerous substances in the workplace to ensure that you’re COSHH compliant.
We offer a COSHH e-learning course that covers everything you need to know. The course is aimed at anyone who is exposed to dangerous substances at work.
For more information on the courses we offer or to speak directly with a member of our team, contact us via telephone at 0151 647 8658. We are more than happy to help and look forward to hearing from you.