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health and safety

Posted by sshcc (sshcc), 12 October 2003
 HuhHello out there! i have just set up a new household cleaning co. and want to know more about health and safety. I am aware i need to include it in my training..but where do i find out about the standards? and what i need to include? if anyone can help i would be very gratefull!
from jo in lincoln
we have got to make sure we cover our backs!!  
Posted by pristineclean (pristineclean), 13 October 2003
I would recommend that you get in touch with your local college, and undertake both the Basic, and the Managing Health & Safety, courses.
On the assumptions that you're working for yourself and that you're employing less than 250 people, these courses should be free under the European Social Fund scheme.

Also, check out the HSE.GOV.UK website which should give you all the legal stuff you need.  While you dont need a health & safety policy for less than 5 people in an organisation, it's never a bad idea to have one anyway, to keep yourself covered.

Best of luck
Posted by sshcc (sshcc), 13 October 2003
Roll Eyes Thanks callum! there is just so much to think about!
from jo in lincoln
Posted by M4RK (M4RK), 15 October 2003
I recently sent off for some free leaflets from the HSE web site. The codes were MISC611, MISC612 and MISC613.
They are worth reading.
Posted by dave (dave), 16 October 2003
What you can do on any product you are using is contact the company, the address is on all the labels and ask for cossh details to be sent to you.

We have received loads of information about  each particular product and will make up a health & safety pack to make staff aware of  of the chemicals they are using and the problems and irritants that can be caused if used incorrectly.

Regards Dave
Posted by Fox (Fox), 16 October 2003
Just to let you know that COSHH is different to Health & Saftey - COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) is the sheet that suppliers give you to let you know the chemical components of a product, from there you do a risk assessment sheet showing the steps you should take to protect yourself when using the product.
Health & Safety is a statement explaining how you intend to keep yourself and any Employees safe in thier working environment.  If you like me to send you an example of one let me know.
Posted by petra (petra), 16 October 2003
Well yes they are different from each other, but if a site does have the pleasure of an H&S inspection, H&S want all Coshh sheets and risk assesments and they may want to see your H&S policy too. This is fact as I have seen them require all this information.
So realy it does all fall under H&S (Health & Saftey)
Posted by Fox (Fox), 16 October 2003
Yes you are right they do come into H & S what was I was trying to explain is there are many different areas to concentrate on:
Safe systems
Protective clothing
Evacuation procedures
Need I go on?
Posted by dave (dave), 16 October 2003
As many of us are small businesses with probably only two or three employees can someone tell us the level of health & safety requirements we actually need!!.

I believe H & S is common sense but it appears that companies are bringing in more & more policies which confuses everyone (big brother watching us!!)

In the transport industry, I had to sign a H & S form on telling me how to unscrew, fill the washer up with water and how to screw the top back on. This was to save the company money they pay for insurance.

Will we have to wear fluorescent jackets soon to clean peoples houses, I hope not!!

Posted by petra (petra), 17 October 2003
There is no specific level, but there are alot of different procedures, and it denpend on what activaty you are under taking, You need to phone H&S or visit their site.
There are standard things all companies have to follow ie, H&S policy, H&S Poster, Electrical works act (for using a Hoover). First Aid procedure, Accident book, Staff training. That before we even think of putting someone to work. The list is endless, and every time you think you have got there something new comes along or somthing changes.

Hope this helps
Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 19 October 2003

You are now entering a minefield.

Legislation is continually changing and I have heard that in 2004 it is going to be compulsory for all companies, even owner operators, to have a H & S Certificate.... I am trying to find out exactly what this entails and when it is to become law.

All the various H & S sections are governed by the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) which is backed up by Criminal Law

Transgress and....

Fines can be unlimited

They can impose Prison sentences

You are guilty unless you can prove your innocence

You can lose your insurance which effectively puts you out of business

Posted by ALEXDH (ALEXDH), 21 October 2003

I do a bit of health and safety in my current job what i would recommend is first visit the hse website, it is really good for getting/downloading information.

Your main goal as i see it would be firstly protect yourself for any injury you may perform on your customers.

Chemicals, use them correctly READ the datasheets.
Suppliers must give you these by LAW.

Make sure you use the CORRECT Personal protective equipment PPE.and maintain it.

Make sure you pat test your equipment incase you fry a customer.(Get yourself some stickers and a multimeter keep a log of checks.)Earth continuity.

Make sure you label all decanted fluids correctly.

Dont take any risks with chemicals.

you probably wont need a policy and if you decide you do then just copy one from the web and edit it. to get yourself a start point.   will be good for you.

Don't be scared by it all , remember if you get a member of staff who does not act safely and you catch them warn them in writing, if they misbehave again SACK EM

sounds harsh but it can be you future they are messing as well as thier own health,

One definatley to watch out for is minors , dont employ them without making sure they can't get hurt and have a mentor , employing a youngun in the summer holidays has cost a lot of small businesses more than it was worth.

Best of luck

Posted by Anj (Anj), 5 November 2003

you could  apply to  B.I.C.S they will assist you and train you in H&S and C.O.S.H.H this also looks good on your

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