A number of businesses have to deal with the supply, storage and management of hazardous substances. These include:
There are very specific rules on how hazardous substances must be stored and disposed of. A breach of these rules could lead to a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, (COSHH) require employers to carefully manage materials that are deemed dangerous to health.
Most businesses use substances that can be hazardous to health. Common examples include:
To create a successful risk management policy for the hazardous substances your business holds, you need to go further than simply ‘checking the boxes’.
As a manager, you need to understand any potential for exposure of your workers to harmful substances, and by how much, before you can decide if you need to do anything to reduce their exposure. The COSHH Regulations require employers to assess the risk to their employees, and to prevent or adequately control those risks.
If your organisation has more than five employees, the risk assessment you create must be in writing. However, even if you have less than five staff it is good practice to write down the steps you have made to recognise possible risks to peoples’ health and the environment.
If an accident involving hazardous substances occurs and people and/or the environment are injured or damaged, authorities will look at your risk management policy in detail. If it is inadequate, then you may be found guilty of breaching your legislative requirements and fined and/or imprisoned.
Control measures refer to how a combination of equipment and safety measures are used to reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous substances.
When establishing methods of controlling hazardous substances, your organisation should, in order of priority:
To find out more about risk management and your requirements under the COSHH Regulations, search for an experienced solicitor on Solicitors Guru today.