Do Cleaning staff need COSHH training?

by Ken Buckley on 20-7-2017

Chemical suit.jpg

Often get asked, do cleaning staff need COSHH training?

The answer is, if they use chemicals with a CLP symbols on (see below), then they should be trained in the safe use of the chemical/chemicals. 

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A lot of cleaning chemicals now have one of the above CLP symbols. Nearly all QUAT based cleaner disinfectants or sanitisers have the "Corrosive" symbol and  hard surface cleaners of any concentrate strength have the exclamation symbol. 

Download our free CLP poster (should have one of these in every cleaning cupboard)

This means, in practice, commercial cleaning operations do need to provide their staff with training in the safe use and handling of the chemicals they are expected to use.

This is not exactly COSHH training necessarily. As long as they are trained in the safe use of the products they will be using, they don't need to learn all about industrial and agricultural chemicals. 

We recommend you give your staff basic "Safe handling and use of Cleaning Chemical" training, see link below to a free online training module, and then run through all the chemicals they will use and cover the following details;

  • What the product is for and how to use it
  • Any risks to them or others
  • Any Personal Protective Equipment they will need to use
  • Where the MSDS and COSHH Risk assessments are kept
  • How to correctly dilute the chemicals safely 

This could be done with a print off, however staff should ideally be trained by management, in person. Just giving staff a print out doesn't guarantee they will read or understand it. 

All new staff should be trained before  they have any contact with these chemicals. 

Also, remember if you introduce new chemicals to existing staff, with new risks, you must train your staff before they use them. This is something which often gets missed. 

We also recommend that you give your staff dilution charts if they are going to be diluting chemicals, see our free dilution chart template. This helps control any risk by ensuring the chemicals are not made too strong. 

As with any staff training, you need to keep a record of training given, ideally get them to sign to say they have recieved the training. Keep this record on their personal file. 



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