<<

Chapter 11 COSHH ASSESSMENT

An assessment is a judgement based on one's impressions, knowledge and experience and allows an assessor to make rational decisions:

If you want to cross the road - you look right, left and right again and if there are no vehicles approaching, you cross. However, if vehicles are present, you must make a judgement on whether you should cross or not. This judgement is based on many things - past experience of the vehicles, knowledge of the speed of the vehicle, the state of the road, how quick you are on your feet, etc. You take all these things into consideration and make a decision - cross the road or not!

So, an assessment is the gathering of information and the collating of it to allow a judgement to be made.

As we explained in the last chapter, somewhere during the assessment you must observe the protocol which must be observed with COSHH

  1. PREVENT EXPOSURE- by elimination or substitution
  2. CONTROL EXPOSURE- either administratively or by Engineering
  3. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT - (PPE) must only be looked on as a last resort.


Let us look at a checklist for a COSHH Assessment - never take any checklist as foolproof - it all depends on the circumstances of your workplace - it is up to you to identify any discrepancies.


COSHH ASSESSMENT CHECKLIST


DATE ..................................

This is to ensure that the assessment is reviewed at an acceptable frequency - yearly would be acceptable - 5 yearly not - in view of advances in technology of chemicals and equipment.

ASSESSOR ..........................................................................................

This is to ensure that due care is taken in carrying out the assessment - an employer can delegate responsibility but not abdicate it - delegation can only be done if the assessor has been properly trained and with enough experience to make a competent judgement.

SUBSTANCE ........................................................................................

ACTIVE INGREDIENT..........................................................................

FORMULATION .........................................................................

The form it comes in - liquid, granule, dust etc.

TYPE OF CONTAINER .....................................................................

Both what it is made of and the pack sizes available.

HAZARD SIGN ;

VERY TOXIC ; TOXIC ; HARMFUL ; CORROSIVE ; IRRITANT

Can be seen on the label

MEL ;......................................................................................................

Can be seen on the label

OES ; .......................................................................................................

Can be seen on the label

USE/MODE OF ACTION........................................................................

How the chemical is applied and how it works

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LABEL ......................................

..........................................................................................................

The manufacturer will include special instructions - basically if he does so observe them - they may be there because of past problems or complaints.

DATA SHEET RECEIVED......................................................................

LD 50 ......................................................................................................

On the Data Sheet it normally gives details including the LD 50 - a measure of the substances toxicity.

PERCEIVED HAZARD & RISK


SUBSTITUTION & ELIMINATION .......................................................

Is there any other substance available which will be as effective but has a significant lowering of risk?

EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT ..................................................................

What should you have available in case of accident?

EMERGENCY PLAN.............................................................................

...............................................................................................................

What should the operator do in case of accident?

TRANSPORT........................................................................................

How do you keep the substance secure during transport - include for accidents!!

..

STORAGE YARD..................................................................................

Do you have a 'built store' or do you use a Chemical Safe?

SITE .....................................................................................................

How do you look after the chemical containers away from base?

HEALTH MONITORING .......................................................................

Some chemicals can build up in the body over time and must be monitored - most of the chemicals we now use in Groundsmanship do not require this.

MAINTENANCE RECORDS ..............................................................

EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT ..............................................................

How often do you check/ repair/ replace ?

EQUIPMENT..........................................................................................

How often do you check/ repair/ replace ?

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING....................................................................

How often do you check/ repair/ replace ?

WHERE TO BE USED ............................................................................

Consider where the chemical is being used - who is exposed - is there an access interval?

EQUIPMENT ..........................................................................................

What equipment is to be used

TECHNICAL CONTROLS TO BE USED...............................................

............................................................................................................

Does the equipment have any Engineering controls - do they work?

OPERATOR COMPETENCE & TRAINING USING

Does the operator know what he/she is doing? Is he/she competent?

LABEL AVAILABLE .......................................................................

Is the label available and has the operator read it?

SYSTEM OF WORK .......................................................................

..............................................................................................................

How will the operator apply the chemical - is there a safe working practice

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING :..................................................................

...........................................................................................................

...........................................................................................................

What Personal Protective Equipment does the operator have to wear during the work?

DISPOSAL:

How are you going to get rid of containers and washings?

SIGNS & NOTIFICATION REQUIRED .................................................

Are signs required - do we have to exclude people for a time interval - Access interval


If used properly, as above and label instructions, then the risk is very low.

Signed ............................................. Date ..........................


The last is a statement that the assessor have made a judgement, having taken into consideration all the factors, and found that the risk has now been reduced to acceptable levels.

If you don't do a COSHH Assessment you cannot carry out the work - if you carry out the work without an Assessment being carried out, then you break the law. If a member of staff does not carry out the work as described in the COSHH Assessment, he/she breaks the law - if the Assessment is wrong and endangers members of staff then the assessor has broken the law!!

There is no loophole, COSHH Assessments must be carried out for all substances you have identified as coming under the Regulations!!!


<<