If your company has hazardous or flammable chemicals stored in an old broom cupboard, then a visit from the Health & Safety Executive could prove very costly. With the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations, the HSE has produced a minefield of information and legislation that will almost certainly affect your business.
There are now strict guidelines in place for storing substances that are deemed unsafe for the general public and these can be as innocuous as potent bleach or paint stripper. It isn’t just the more extreme examples offered on the government agency’s website like nanotechnology and biological contaminants that need to be properly secured.
So if you’re winging it right now, it’s time to straighten up and get the right kind of COSHH storage for your hazardous materials. If you’re unsure of what constitutes hazardous then the supplier has to provide information, by law, if the materials are considered dangerous. There is also a wealth of information on the HSE website.
It is your responsibility to inform your employees about the potential risks of working with hazardous substances and if you employ five or more people then you have a legal obligation to record significant findings and keep the risk assessment for inspection if necessary. You should evaluate the risks to your employee’s health and take active steps to reduce any potential risk.
That means looking at your procedures and potentially substituting any dangerous work practices with safer methods. That can mean switching from solvents to water-based solutions, using less aggressive chemicals and making sure that all hazardous materials are properly stored using COSHH storage.
A COSHH storage system will go a long way towards organising your hazardous materials and making sure that your employees adopt a safety-first approach when using them. 3D Lockers [http://www.3dlockers.co.uk/products/cabinets/hazardous-substance-coshh-cabinets.html] produces a range of COSHH cabinets that adhere to HSE regulations and guidelines, not only for safe COSHH storage but also for segregation.
If the cabinets are used correctly and a rigid set of procedures put in place for the use of dangerous chemicals and hazardous materials, then your employees will inevitably treat the substances with more respect. This means there will be less chance of an accident at work and you’ll also avoid a hefty fine if the Health & Safety Executive calls in unannounced.