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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Hydrofluoric Acid – First Aid

Hydrofluoric acid – First Aid Case Study

Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is very corrosive, highly irritating and poisonous. HF burns can be severe and extremely painful, causing extensive damage to the skin and eyes, and to the mucous membranes if breathed or swallowed. HF is absorbed quickly and can cause widespread damage to the body and death. Any person contaminated with HF must have immediate first aid, followed by medical treatment as soon as possible. All laboratory personnel (not just those working with HF) should know where the first aid equipment is kept and how to carry out the first aid procedures for HF exposure

COSHH ToxicCOSHH Corrosive

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CLP Serious Health Hazards

 CLP Serious Health hazard – what does this symbol mean?

CLP Serious Health Hazards

Under the CLP Regulations, there are several new symbols in use. Not everyone is as familiar with them as they should be. A hazard pictogram is an image on a label that includes a warning symbol and specific colours intended to provide information about the damage a particular substance or mixture can cause to our health or the environment. The CLP Regulation has introduced a new classification and labelling system for hazardous chemicals in the European Union. The pictograms have also changed and are in line with the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS).

This symbol is used to indicate several serious health hazards: Continue reading

Simply Put – Medical Sharps

Medical Sharps, a simple view on the legislation

Injuries arising from sharps are a well-known risk in the healthcare sector. Medical sharps can be contaminated with an infected patient’s blood so can transmit pathogens that cause a range of diseases, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis  C, and  human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A little while ago, some new regulations (The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013) came into force to help to minimise and to control the risks posed by needles and other ‘sharps’ in healthcare. These regulations supplement existing health and safety legislation that requires employers across all sectors to take effective action to control the risk from sharps injuries.

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Health and Safety Failings – Suspended jail sentence over asbestos exposure

Suspended jail sentence over asbestos exposure

Key Facts:

  • An HSE investigation was launched following asbestos exposure during works to remove asbestos insulting board from a residential property.
  • A Leeds trader undertook the work, with the assistance of two workers, despite not holding the relevant legal license required for the work.
  • The HSE said ‘It would appear that he has put profit ahead of the health and wellbeing of others, and in this case quite bafflingly, he put his own health at risk as well.’
  • The trader was sentenced to 8 months in jail, suspended for 12 months, and costs of £260 for health and safety breaches.

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A Brief History of Health and Safety

Working within the consultancy over the past few months I have gained an insight into the world of Health and Safety as it is today, and with this knowledge I have decided to, admittedly briefly, research the origins of Health and Safety in this country and plot it’s development to modern times.

From the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802 to the “Six Pack” regulations of the 90’s, here we go…

First Legislation

The “Health and Morals of Apprentices Act 1802” was the first Health and Safety legislation to be passed by parliament yet it was extremely limited an d was on the whole only applicable to apprentices in cotton and wool mills. There is also not a great deal of evidence that this legislation was ever enforced.

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