COSHH Contamination and Accidental Ingestion
One precaution involves the consumption of food. A number of workers will be tempted to have lunch or a snack but either forget or deliberately choose to not wash their hands before handling food. If they have been working with a hazardous substance, this may still be present on their hands and be transferred onto the food before it is eaten and ingested. Even if the person has not been involved in the handling of the substance, they may still have gotten it on their hands from touching objects such as door handles which have been touched by others who have. Examples of such COSHH risks include paint, chemical cleaners and petrol. In fact, petrol and chemical cleaners will be particularly hard to detect as they will be practically invisible, unlike paint which should be easy to detect on a hand or door handle.
To combat this risk of COSHH contamination and accidental ingestion, workers should be made aware through suitable COSHH courses of the necessity for taking precautions such as washing hands after handling substances and before touching food. They should also be fully informed before starting work of the dangers posed by the substances they are working with, as well as the welfare facilities in place.
It is important that workers understand that COSHH related illnesses and conditions may not show up for many years or late into a person's life. Exposure to hazardous substances over time, even those considered low-risk and in small quantities, can build up over time until the damage becomes irreversible, so whilst some instances of a substance being consumed may not do any damage, if it becomes a regular occurrence over the course of a person's working life, it may be too late to reverse the consequences.
As well as performing sufficient and regular COSHH risk assessments, suitable health and safety training for both workers and management is vital in order to prevent occupational illness and injury from hazardous substances.
Because of the wide-ranging nature of COSHH risks according to the activities of each business, a COSHH open course would not be that practical, as it is unlikely to be totally relevant for people coming on the course with differing workplace activities and hazards. A COSHH training course is much more effective if done in-house to a group of employees from the same company.
We have two COSHH courses that are sometimes scheduled as open courses, but are more often used as a basis upon which to build a bespoke COSHH course which is tailored to your requirements and particular working environment. It can also focus more accurately on the specific COSHH regulations affecting your organisation.
Please click on the course titles below to read more about our COSHH courses.
Our COSHH Awareness training course is aimed at employees who deal with hazardous substances on a daily basis, and will give them a sound understanding of their COSHH responsibilities for controlling these hazardous substances.
Our COSHH for Managers and Supervisors course covers issues such as COSHH regulations, practical control measures, conducting a COSHH risk assessment and maintaining appropriate records.
Bespoke COSHH Training
COSHH training is most effective when run as a bespoke health and safety training course for an organisation, which is tailored to the particular substances and risks that their workers face. Attending an open course which tells your workers to store substances correctly and not to spill them is fine, but a COSHH training course which focuses on the correct storage and handling of the actual substances they use, and incorporates the firm's specific health and safety policy and operating procedures will be much more beneficial.
If you would like to discuss your COSHH training requirements with one of our expert health and safety consultants, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online by clicking the "Contact" tab at the top of the page.