COSHH Training is super-important - you need to keep yourself and your team safe every day.
Protect your cleaning team, by adhering to these 10 rules.
Remember prevention is better than cure!
Here are the 10 Golden rules:
1. Only use the products approved by your company
There is a reason that you haven't got hundreds of chemical in the cupboard. Not least because for every chemical you use you require a COSHH Risk Assesment. Many cleaners like to think that the chemicals under their kitchen sink at home are more effective than the ones they use at work - but don't fall into this trap - there are usually plenty of good reasons for the chemical you are using.
2. Do not mix chemicals - mixing can kill.
Seems obvoius, but overlooked too often - dont mix chemicals. Don't forget this can include the occasions when you are using a chemcial to clean a surface - it doesn't work, so you use another - this is still mixing chemicals. Chemical mixing is a very dangerous occupation and can ultimately kill you!
3. Never decant chemicals unless the container is properly labelled.
If the label has completly worn away (or even has no label at all) then don't use it. You should report it to your manager, and the product should be removed from the cleaning cupboard. If you dont know what the product is, then you certainly shouldnt be using it, If you have a bottle without a label, then you could attract a hefty fine from the HSE too!
4. Always store chemicals, preferrably in a locked cupboard. Acids away from Alkali and Chlorine away from both. Extra care should be taken in food areas.
When the consequence of mixing chemicals can be a case of life or death, it makes sense to keep the products seperate in your cleaning cupboard. Particular products to watch out for are bleach (chlorine), toilet bowl cleaner (generally strong acid) and hard surface cleaners or carpet pre-sprays (generally alkalis).
5. Never use any substance for any other purpose than what it was designed for.
When a manufacturer produces a chemical, it has a particular purpose in mind - and they will have tested it before taking it to market. Protect yourself from harm by only using it for the purpose it was designed for.
6. Always wear the appropriate protective clothing and use the corrrect equipment.
Always wear the appropriate PPE, and yes that does include wearing goggles when decanting chemicals.
7. Keep Material Safety Data Sheets and any other relevant information in a safe accesible place.
It is a good idea to put all your safety data sheets in a safe and readily accesible place - the most logical place to put your folder is in the cleaning cupboard to ensure the cleaners have them to hand should they need them.
8. Always add chemical to water rather than water to chemicals to avoid splash-back and excess foam.
A simple rule, that makes everyones lives easier as well as being much safer.
9. Always follow manufacturers instructions.
The manufacturer will have done tests etc before bringing the chemical to market - make sure you follow their instructions to ensure you stay safe.
10. Remember - More is not always better!
Something that we have to keep repeating - using more is definitely not always better. In fact it can mean you leave a sticky residue that attracts the dirt back quicker, or even leave the surface slippery or smeary.
Make sure you keep your team updated, why not try our free online coshh training course for your new team members and refresher courses alike!