A Control of Substances Hazard to Health (COSHH) risk assessment is a mandatory requirement of any construction business working with harmful materials and nanomaterials. It’s designed to ensure they protect employees, contractors, and anyone else in the vicinity of these goods from harm.
As you might expect, breaches of these regulations can be exceedingly costly, both financially and ethically. Few firms can hope to dodge serious consequences after serious lapses of judgement around COSHH. Business reputations can rightly become unsalvageable.
Therefore, it’s vital to carry out COSHH risk assessments as carefully as possible. Here are some essential steps your construction business will need to take in this.
Download a Risk Assessment Template
There can be quite a lengthy itinerary for a thorough COSHH risk assessment. Forgetfulness is no excuse, so it’s important to order everything you must attend to with clarity.
Bring structure to the proceedings by downloading a free COSHH risk assessment template from HS Direct. The template includes space to help you record possible hazards and their classification, safety measures your firm needs to implement, and the details of any person that might be at high risk should exposure to harmful hazards occur. Simply fill out your details on their online form, which can be delivered straight to your inbox.
These matters are important, so ensure you procure risk assessment templates from trustworthy sources. Gauge their other activities too. For example, HS Direct also conducts COSHH assessments geared towards specific substances and chemicals that could be hazardous to health. They’re dedicated to these tasks, so you can rely on their guidance without worry.
Constantly Review Precautions
Construction businesses are going through a lot of change. As companies become more well-being oriented, and as new technologies and work capabilities come to the fore, something like a COSHH risk assessment should be under constant review.
Gauge your firm’s use of each hazardous substance and consider whether it’s needed. Are there other options out there that are safer to use? If you must use the substance, can you at least avoid manufacturing it yourself? Must everyone in the hazardous workspace be there? After answering these enquiries, the next step is to outline control and safeguarding measures to mitigate exposure to hazardous substances.
Remember, the point of a COSHH assessment is not to just identify hazards and have a loose awareness of them. There should be a constant push-pull dynamic between risks in your business that are necessary and those that aren’t. Even little victories are worth taking, and it’s a process that should undergo constant refinement over time.
Collaborate with Employees
COSHH risk assessments are a team effort. No person can be expected to make a workplace safe and tick many corresponding boxes alone.
Everyone in a business can have a part to play. Workplace cleaning rotas can be optimised to minimise exposure to harmful substances. Sourcing the right cleaning equipment can help make that process even more efficient. Vacuuming rather than sweeping is another sensible route to take.
Build a sense of collaboration around the COSHH risk assessment procedures. Few things will motivate people to be extra careful, like looking after each other’s well-being, so ensure that you’re getting the best out of everybody, and therefore your COSHH risk assessment too.