COSHH folder?

Health and safety manager has requested a COSHH folder....now I could reply: 'what should be in the COSHH folder' but would rather avoid that. Do you have any idea what such a folder should contain?

Thanks!!
Andy
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
We keep the MSDS paper copies in folders
That is all the COSHH we have which is then applied into the risk assessments (via Hazcards from CLEAPSS which handily summarise the MSDS)

It does worry me how many of these H&S managers don't actually know what the hell they're waffling on about a lot of the time
 
My guess is they want to prepare for an imminent H&S audit and are asking about anything COSHH related.
I would ask what specific information they are after. It just show how much they know what they are asking for if they demand ONE COSHH folder.
As @CovTech mentioned it can be a folder of MSDS sheets (which are mostly online nowadays) and relevant Hazcards.
It might be your chemical store inventory list.
It might be your radioactive sources documentation.
It might also be your departmental H&S Policy (the bits of it that cover no eating and drinking in the labs would come under COSHH).
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
The long and the short of it is anyone who asks for a "COSHH folder" doesn't understand what COSHH is in relation to school science

We control our hazardous substances by restricting access, risk assessment of their storage and use and following the policies which you we get from CLEAPSS for the most part
All of this should have been tailored for your local circumstances as part of a department H&S policy

There is no such thing as the singular "COSHH folder" as they want it
 
Health and safety manager has requested a COSHH folder....now I could reply: 'what should be in the COSHH folder' but would rather avoid that. Do you have any idea what such a folder should contain?

Thanks!!
Andy
think the hazcards cover this, check with CLEAPSS
 
My COSHH folder covers all the household chemicals I have completed the COSHH assessment for that aren't covered by CLEAPSS as well as a copy of all the Hazcards.
 
During the first lockdown I had to work from home. COSH sheets had to be done for all my chemical stock. Our H&S dept. sent me a piece from HSE which stated that they had to be done using the MSDS sheets and showing on them relevant info on what it was used for etc. The COSHH was then used to do Risk Assessments for practical work technicians carried out and was available to lecturers to do their class RA. We also had to do PUWER for everything including glassware. 229 COSHH sheets later and I wanted to return.
So to answer the above MSDS are not enough to be used as a COSHH sheet although for years I've argued differently but this time lost the argument.:oops:
 
COSH sheets had to be done for all my chemical stock. Our H&S dept. sent me a piece from HSE which stated that they had to be done using the MSDS sheets and showing on them relevant info on what it was used for etc.
This is pretty much inhouse Hazcards, I think this is precisely the reason why most of the schools subscribe to CLEAPSS...
 

karen b

COMMITTEE
We were recently asked by the head of junior science what we did about COSHH. She had been asked by another JS teacher who is best buddies with the school compliance officer. We explained about CLEAPSS and their hazcards, the requirement for teachers to do their own risk assessments (and document it somewhere), etc etc. It seemed to all be new information. Slightly worrying as she is a chemistry teacher and the head of chemistry is our rep on the school health and safety committee.

We have two large lever arch files of the manufacturers safety sheets. Apart from filing stuff in them I don’t think I have ever referred to them.
 
We were recently asked by the head of junior science what we did about COSHH. She had been asked by another JS teacher who is best buddies with the school compliance officer. We explained about CLEAPSS and their hazcards, the requirement for teachers to do their own risk assessments (and document it somewhere), etc etc. It seemed to all be new information. Slightly worrying as she is a chemistry teacher and the head of chemistry is our rep on the school health and safety committee.

We have two large lever arch files of the manufacturers safety sheets. Apart from filing stuff in them I don’t think I have ever referred to them.
Hi I have just looked at CLEAPSS Hazcard Info and on page 3 it quite clearly states that science and technology do not need to have seperate COSHH sheets as if you follow CLEAPSS guidance the Hazcards are sufficient.
 
Hazcards are not enough because coshh requires a risk assessment that requires you to have a plan on how you will deal with that chemical.
Include the MSDS (they will be online from the main suppliers, or you can hunt one out - they have drawbacks because they are for chemicals on an industrial scale) and a simple COSHH assessment saying who deals with that chemical, spill and emergency responses etc. A lot of that is 'refer to MSDS' or 'staff only /staff and students" and 'first aider, eye wash tubes, spill kits " etc.
I went through this with a safety officer working for quality endorsements in that field, so I believe it was a good interpretation of the legal requirements. And 'chemicals' means everything, not just what you order from the suppliers. Risk does not end because you bought something from tesco instead of timstar!

edit - I seem to be in line with what Shez is saying here. Missed that.
 
Hazcards are not enough because coshh requires a risk assessment that requires you to have a plan on how you will deal with that chemical.
Include the MSDS (they will be online from the main suppliers, or you can hunt one out - they have drawbacks because they are for chemicals on an industrial scale) and a simple COSHH assessment saying who deals with that chemical, spill and emergency responses etc. A lot of that is 'refer to MSDS' or 'staff only /staff and students" and 'first aider, eye wash tubes, spill kits " etc.
I went through this with a safety officer working for quality endorsements in that field, so I believe it was a good interpretation of the legal requirements. And 'chemicals' means everything, not just what you order from the suppliers. Risk does not end because you bought something from tesco instead of timstar!
CLEAPSS provide the risk assessment and how to deal with that chemical. It's all on the Hazcard.
 
Thanks for that, I hadn't seen that, we are members of CLEAPSS. No harm done as it kept me busy WFH since I was getting paid. I've a feeling our H&S department still won't accept CLEAPSS though.
I did however pick up on some hazards which I didn't expect so reading the MSDS was good revision. I have some old liquid paraffin and on the data sheet it is toxic (Timstar) if industrial, I'm uncertain as to the grade I have so possibly a no from now on unless a substitute can't be found. I also use cyclohexene for testing organics instead of hexene as it's cheaper but realised it is much more hazardous.
 

CovTech

Lvl 37 Alchemist
COMMITTEE
Stuff like this "COSHH risk assessment" always confuses me cos you can't risk assess in abstract
To use an analogy:
You can't risk assess a pencil
You can risk assess writing with a pencil, putting it in its' pencil case, throwing and catching a pencil, setting fire to a pencil then putting it behind your ear and cartwheeling down the corridor but as a stand alone hypothetical pencil it can't be done as a risk assessment requires context

The same applies to any chemical:
You can risk asses it's storage (CLEAPSS groups by category them so you can have a much easier time of this), you can risk assess it's use in specific activities but you need individual risk assessments per activity not a general one per chemical, you can risk assess it's transport but that's specific to when//where/who and how and so on and so forth

So what this mythical risk assessment of a chemical without applying any criteria, specific use or context is I have no idea :rolleyes:

Sounds suspiciously like an MSDS sheet to me though......
 
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