In short, the answer is more than likely yes. No business is too small for CoSHH, the CoSHH regulations apply to all businesses since almost every organisation uses some sort of chemicals in their workplace; even if it’s only hand soap!
As everybody is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of each other in the workplace, to maintain a safe workplace, you must:
- assess the risk of harm to your staff from using these products and;
- manage these risks by replacing any harmful products where possible or controlling their use.
For example, providing rubber gloves for the cleaner when using bleach or other products can eliminate the risk of damage to their skin. If there is no risk of harm to your staff, there's no need to do anything more.
The main issue for small and medium-sized businesses is simply not being aware of the risk to staff. A fairly simple CoSHH risk assessment should identify hazardous substances and you can then manage the risks appropriately.
Job roles that could involve using hazardous substances, which some people some people overlook are...
- Hairdressers - Prolonged use of shampoos, cleaners and other products can cause dermatitis and other skin conditions.
- Woodworkers - Dusty or fume-laden air can cause lung diseases.
- Florists - Flowers and bulbs can cause dermatitis.
- Caterers & cleaners - Constant wet work can cause dermatitis.
- Builders - Prolonged contact with wet cement and other substances can cause chemical burns and/or dermatitis.
Online CoSHH Training
Here at iHASCO, we offer an Online CoSHH Training course that covers the types of hazardous substances, the use and meaning of warning symbols, the different types of hazards and risks that substances pose, and how to protect yourself against these hazards.
The CPD Accredited & IOSH Approved course only takes 20 minutes to complete and provides you with a printable certificate upon completion.