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.
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."
Accredited COSHH Training
As well as our own two COSHH training courses which can be tailored to your requirements, we also offer an accredited COSHH course by way of the British Safety Council (BSC) Level 2 Award in COSHH Risk Assessment. This is also primarily run as an in-house course, but because it is accredited it needs to follow a set course outline. For more details and to see the course outline, please click here.
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.