4 August 2016
The fourth step in the COSHH testing and COSHH risk assessment process is to ensure that all exposure controls installed are used and maintained.
From over 20 years of experience in the field, we know that making sure the above statement is put into practice can be like fighting a losing battle. However, operators are likely to be more compliant in the use of controls when they feel involved.
One way to do this is to involve operators in the design of machinery. Alternatively, providing the operators with information, instruction and training on the use of the controls in place can be another way of motivating them to use the equipment, and also ensure that as far as possible, controls are used correctly. However the other side of the coin is to make sure controls are reviewed to ensure they are not excessive.
On top of involving operators, there should be adequate supervision whilst working on the factory floor, to ensure that controls are used. Once again, on site, we have seen a number of cases involving LEV ducts being intentionally moved out of the way, and no supervision to correct the action.
All controls, regardless of what they are, need to be maintained and records of this maintenance need to be kept up to date. Under the COSHH regulation, all Local Exhaust Ventilation systems need to be tested on at least a 14 monthly basis (with some systems needing more regular LEV testing).
As well as the physical engineering controls, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs to undergo regular maintenance. This may be as simple as disposing of a dust mask after you’ve taken it off rather than reusing (dust masks are single use PPE), checking that your safety glasses are clean and without scratches or checking the air fed line for your respirators.
Where a substance requires COSHH testing, the following procedure should be followed. We will be going into further detail of each of these steps over the next few months. Below you can find our nine individual COSHH assessment articles:
Understanding – What Is COSHH?
Step 1 – Assess The Risks
Step 2 – Decide What Precautions Are Required
Step 3 – Prevent or Adequately Control Exposure
Step 4 – Ensure That Control Measures Are Used and Maintained
Step 5 – Monitor The Exposure
Step 6 – Carry Out Appropriate Health Surveillance
Step 7 – Prepare A Plan For Accidents and Emergencies
Step 8 – Ensure Employees Are Properly Informed, Trained and Supervised
Envirocare is a leading Occupational Hygiene and Health and Safety services provider with over 150 years of combined experience.
Envirocare will aid your COSHH assessments by carrying out air monitoring to determine the levels of substances in the workplace and ensure the Workplace Exposure Limits value is not exceeded for the substances you use. We will also provide a detailed report on work practices and findings together with recommendations for remedial action.
Local exhaust ventilation testing and inspection services are amongst the other services Envirocare provide. This includes visual inspections, measurements and qualitative assessments that are instrumental in determining whether your LEV system is capable of providing satisfactory control of the hazardous substances as required by COSHH regulations.
Comprehensive, informative and easy to read reports are also provided for all COSHH LEV testing.
Call us on 01274 738668 or fill out our Envirocare Enquiry Form for any queries regarding how to control exposure, COSHH testing, LEV COSHH testing or any of our many other accredited services.