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The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH)

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH) require the company to put into place specific controls to protect partners, staff and people affected by a businesses activities, from potentially harmful substances in the workplace.

Snowik Limited recognises and accepts its responsibilities in respect of this regulation and the following procedures should be adopted to secure compliance.

Summary of responsibilities

Snowik Limited will manage the control of substances hazardous to health regarding the provision of water services, heating and ventilation and air.

Snowik Limited will:

  • initiate assessments in all cases and retain records on site;
  • control the safe storage and disposal of hazardous substances identified by the; risk assessment
  • provide employees and those affected with adequate information and/or training on the safe use of hazardous substances;
  • advise first aiders of potentially hazardous substances

Those responsible for the procurement responsibilities should ensure that:

  • the least hazardous substances are purchased;
  • users are told of any dangerous substances and the appropriate method of work.
Snowik Limited is responsible for monitoring that effective arrangements as described above are in place.

Safety Procedures

Examples of substances hazardous to health include liquids, gases, vapours, fumes, dust, micro-organisms, and solids that are hazardous if inhaled, swallowed, absorbed through the skin or eyes that could have an adverse effect to health.

While the substances used and hazards created will vary from office to office there are a number of chemicals and environmental issues common to most office environments, these are:

  • Adhesive and mastics
  • Paints
  • Cleaning materials;
  • Glue;
  • Plaster dust;
  • Cement and concrete

Snowik Limited must ensure that risk assessments are carried out in accordance with the company's procedures (see below), in respect of water services, air quality, heating and ventilation and that remedial action is taken when necessary to safeguard employees and visitors.

Snowik Limited should take the following action in respect of all other substances:

  • identify which substances are used every day in buildings;
  • identify those likely to be hazardous to health;
  • establish how each substance is used, the work practices and the method of handling, storing, usage and disposal;
  • assess the exposure and risks to health of employees and visitors who may be affected by the process, either from one exposure, from short-term exposure or from long-term exposure;

Where the assessment indicates an unacceptable exposure of risk, agree upon the action required to reduce the exposure. Options typically used are:

  1. Remove the substance from use;
  2. Change the work practice;
  3. Use a less hazardous substance;
  4. Use a less hazardous form of the same substance;
  5. Improve the environment (perhaps ventilation or exhaust extraction);
  6. Introduce control measures.
  7. Complete the initial assessment and any assessment reports.
  8. Provide employees who may be exposed to substances hazardous to health with the information, instruction and training which is "suitable" and "sufficient" for them to know the risk to health created by that exposure and the precautions that should be taken;
  9. Advise first aiders accordingly;
  10. Ensure that any storage areas where hazardous substances are kept are clearly labelled as hazardous and contain a visible list of the substances in question.
  11. Ensure hazardous substances are disposed of in accordance with current requirements.

Responsibilities of Snowik Limited and all employees

While Snowik Limited takes all possible precautions to protect employees and visitors from health hazards when using substances, employees also have responsibilities and duties under COSHH are as follows.

It is the duty of all employees to follow the guidelines, procedures and processes shown in the assessment reports, including storage and disposal arrangements. They should also know their duties under COSHH and co-operate with the company to ensure it is a safe and healthy place to work in.

  • Store equipment properly;
  • Use personal protective equipment if specified (required under the personal protective equipment at work regulations);
  • Where specified use control measures;
  • Use materials as directed on labels properly.
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