COSHH for small business

COSHH Risk Assessment can be daunting  for smaller businesses. Most of the businesses in the UK are small or medium sized enterprises.  The same health and safety laws apply to small businesses as apply to big ones, with a few exemptions on written risk assessments and policy documentation for very small companies.  It should be noted that these size based exemptions are not exemptions from the risk assessment itself, but from the need for a written record of the assessment.

The basic principles of COSHH for small business (the COSHH Risk Assessment)

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) require that the health risks arising from exposure to substances hazardous to health are avoided where this is reasonably practicable or that they are controlled where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid them.  In order to comply with the principles of COSHH, the employer should:

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HSE Inspections 2017 (respiratory sensitisers and/or carcinogens)

According to the HSE website, here is some information about HSE inspections 2017:From January 2017 inspectors will be targeting sites that carry out metal fabrication looking at the control of exposure to welding fume and metalworking fluids.  Information on controlling the risks from these hazardous substances can be found through the inspection programme link above.

From January 2017 inspectors will be targeting sites that carry out metal fabrication looking at the control of exposure to welding fume and metalworking fluids.  Information on controlling the risks from these hazardous substances can be found through this inspection programme link for Manufacturing Sector Workplan 2016-17: Occupational asthmagens and carcinogens in manufacturing industries.

Ill health effects from exposure to respiratory sensitisers and/or carcinogens can be chronic and life-changing. Every year, many workers develop occupational asthma or occupational cancer as a result of exposures to substances in their workplace. The purpose of the HSE inspections 2017 programme is to target sectors where carcinogens and/or asthmagens are regularly used, produced or process generated to ensure the risks are properly managed and to reduce the incidence of serious health effects from exposure.

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Food Safety 48 Hour Rule

Do you know the Food Safety 48 Hour Rule?

As a food handler, you must let your employer know immediately if you:

  • Are suffering from vomiting, diarrhoea or if you have an infected cut or sore
  • If you have suffered from the above whilst abroad
  • If someone in your family is suffering from any of the above

Staff must then not handle or prepare food until 48 hours after they are free from the symptoms.

At LRB Consulting, we strive to help you understand and comply with the Health & Safety, Fire Safety and Food Safety rules and regulations that may affect your business.

Food Safety – Pest Control

We already know that human beings carry a number of bacteria around with them; the same is true of insects, birds and animals. Pests can contaminate food with bacteria and disease, but they also cause physical contamination from droppings, urine, fur and feathers. Food Safety Pest Control should be managed properly.

Pest problems can result in lost revenue through damaged stock, gaining a bad reputation, and in some cases legal action being taken against the business. A number of food premises have been closed down as a result of pest infestation.

It should be part of your regular inspection routine to check for signs of pest infestation, if you see, or think you see evidence of infestation, you should seek the necessary professional help. It is always preferable to treat the problem by remove the pest, this avoids the possibility of it dying inside the food area and causing further contamination.

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Food Safety – Cross Contamination

This is the first in a series of Food Safety blogs that we are writing, we’ll cover some of the most important aspects of Food Safety and provide you with some helpful advice to help your business, and your customers, stay safe.

Cross contamination is the term used to describe when harmful bacteria is moved from a source to a high risk area, such as ready to eat food. Food that is of high risk to cross-contamination are meat and dairy products, egg dishes, and high protein foods

We can greatly reduce the risks to health that are posed by bacteria and micro-organisms by:

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ISO45001 Update

At this stage, unfortunately, there is not that much of an update. The Health and Safety Standard ISO 45001 is being produced to provide organisations with a framework that is designed to help them to identify health and safety risks and apply appropriate control measures. It will replace OHSAS 18001 and will help organisations to follow a structured approach to reducing risks and maintaining legal compliance. This new standard will follow a similar approach to health and safety management as the 2015 versions of the Environmental Standard (ISO 14001) and the Quality Standard (ISO 9001) do.

ISO45001 Update: In mid-2016 it was understood that a new ISO 45001 standard for occupational safety and health was in the pipeline (and that it would be published in October 2016. It is understood that this is still delayed.

ISO45001 Update: According to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), there are still many issues that need to be resolved. As there are a lot of interested parties, this is not likely to be a quick process. At the end of November 2016, IOSH estimated that a draft of the updated standard would be posted in June 2017 and the full standard published at the end of 2017. At this stage, it is possible that there will be further delays.

COSHH extrinsic allergic alveolitis leads to £800,000 fine

Metalworking fluid – COSHH extrinsic allergic alveolitis – an Uxbridge manufacturer of ejector seats has been fined £800,000 after three workers developed debilitating lung conditions.

Three skilled CNC machine operators developed extrinsic allergic alveolitis after many years of years of exposure to the mist of working metal fluid. The lung condition, also known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, is a body’s allergic reaction to breathing in a substance and symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and joint pain.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard how the workers, who had served with the company for more than 20 years, were exposed to the metalworking fluid mist over at least a three-year period. One worker has been so severely affected they have become virtually paralysed by the illness, another will never be able to work with metalworking fluids again, a key material in the industry and a third must have special measures in place to ensure he never comes into contact with the substance.

COSHH extrinsic allergic alveolitis: An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the measures in place within the factory to stop the exposure to workers were inadequate. The fluid is commonly used as a lubricant and coolant in engineering processes. During the process of using the machines, the fluid creates a mist, which in this case was breathed in by around 60 workers.

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