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Importance of Complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH) for the Cleaning Industry

04 October 2018

According to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002, employers are obliged to prevent or at least reduce exposure of their workers to potentially hazardous substances.

This can be achieved by:
- determining what hazardous substances their employees could be exposed at work
- determining what are the risks to health due to exposure to hazardous substances including how to handle with accidents and incidents involving health hazards and dealing with emergencies
- determining clear and easy to follow measures to prevent exposure or if not possible, to reduce or control exposure to particular hazardous substances
- providing employees with information about hazardous substances they may be exposed to and their health risks as well as offering instruction and training on how to prevent, reduce or control exposure to health hazards

While complying with the COSHH is important for all industries, it is particularly important for industries such as cleaning because it involves exposure to many forms of health risks ranging from chemicals to dusts and vapours to biological agents (e.g. bacteria and mould).

It is not yet fully understood what - if any - impact exposure to nanomaterials has on health but the HSE advises taking measures to reduce exposure to these materials to minimum as well.

The good news for both cleaners and their employers is that, despite the fact that the profession involves a continuous exposure to a variety of hazardous substances, potentially very serious health risks can be prevented by relatively simple measures:
- handling, using and storing chemical cleaning products safely to prevent or reduce direct skin contact
- wearing protective equipment; in the first place, protective gloves and apron
- following work techniques that help prevent or reduce contact with hazardous substances
- dealing with incidents and accidents involving hazardous substances immediately, e.g. rinsing hands immediately if there was a direct skin contact with harsh chemicals
- ensuring there is good ventilation from the start to the end of the cleaning process

London Cleaning System (LCS) is a leading provider of end of tenancy cleaning London but the cleaning company also provides the following services: office cleaning, communal area cleaning, after builders cleaning, regular domestic cleaning, carpet cleaning, gardening services, handyman services and house removals.

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