As most of you know COSHH is the implementation of a key bit of health and safety legislation and ordinarily as soon as we hear those words “health and safety” our hearts start to sink. Don’t despair, as well as complying with important legislation designed to improve safety in the workplace, implementing and adhering to COSHH can have some surprising benefits for your cleaning operations.
- COSHH improves efficiency: Implementing regulations can sometimes bring a sense of order to processes where before these may have been lacking. Investing the time to evaluate how to comply with the regulations, naturally leads to an evaluation of practices that can present opportunities for overall improvements. Although there may be additional actions required to comply with the law, these can often be outweighed by a broader evaluation of best practice and the discovery of new, more efficient ways of doing things that haven’t been looked at before. A safer workforce is often a healthier workforce, and raising awareness of health and safety can often lead to lower levels of ill health and consequently more productivity.
- COSHH saves you money: Strange as it might seem, as there are always extra things to do to comply with regulations, complying with COSHH in cleaning operations can often save money. This is a result of the re-evaluation of current working practices and a heightened understanding of the correct amount of cleaning products to use, especially those that are hazardous. Regular reminders of compliance practice to cleaning teams can also contain messages about the correct dosages to use for effective cleaning and the responsibility to focus and monitor this.
- COSHH builds happier teams: If communicated the right way, focusing on COSHH can give teams a real uplift. It demonstrates that their employer takes their health and safety seriously and instils a greater sense of responsibility within them to look after their work environment, their colleagues and the users of the facilities they look after. Overall this can improve morale and enhance their sense of purpose beyond just doing a great cleaning job.
- COSHH reduces risks: Demonstrable adherence to good practice and regulations reduces risks overall. The workplace can often be tidier and more efficient through the correct handling of hazardous materials. This in turn can lead to measurable reduced risks in the workplace. This can be used to save costs by reducing insurance premiums and other risk management costs.
- COSHH can give you a better reputation for corporate responsibility among customers and communities: Focusing on managing hazards including hazardous substances and reducing their overall usage levels can lead to reduced waste and less impact on the environment. It offers the opportunity to switch to greener products. This responsible approach can contribute significantly to overall sustainability targets.
So perhaps the phrase is “every cloud has a silver lining”. If something must be done, like complying with COSHH, there are welcome opportunities to turn this obligation into a really positive experience with measurable constructive outcomes for all.