Monthly Archives: August 2014

Why should I outsource my safety to consultants?

The benefits of fully, or partially, outsourcing your health and safety roles to a specialist health & safety consultancy can be substantial. Aside from cost savings, there are other gains your business can make, from outsourcing  your health and safety policy development, COSHH risk assessment and even CD 2015 Principal Designer requirements.

Consider the following:

  • outsourcing safety will free up your business to focus on its strengths. This will benefit your business by allowing your staff to concentrate on their main tasks and on your future strategy and growth – we will work with your internal health and safety staff to support them and help them improve and develop your health & safety systems;
  • outsourcing safety will improve your efficiency and customer service. When you choose our health & safety consultants to support your internal safety professionals you are gaining the support of a highly experienced and well connected organisation able to react quickly and flexibly to your business needs;
  • your business will gain a competitive advantage. Outsourcing your safety will bring flexibility to your business, turning fixed costs into variable costs and freeing up capital. It will also give your business the edge when winning new contracts against your competitors;
  • We have the skills and experience to support internal your safety professionals on more difficult and diverse risk issues.  Areas such as COSHH risk assessments, personal exposure sampling, occupational health assessment and fire require very specific knowledge sets;
  • Areas which might not affect your business day to day still need to be tackled, for example, an extension which comes under the CDM Regulations will require a CDM Coordinator but you will not have the skill set required in house.  We have specialists who will work with you and provide a full CDM Coordination service
    Outource safety consultants competent person safety policy

Your next move

It may be tempting to rush into outsourcing, but take the time to meet with one of our health & safety consultants and talk through what you need, we don’t use sales people so the person you meet will be your dedicated contact and retained health & safety consultant.

Consider the following:

  • Concentrate on your core strengths and not those which are secondary to your success.
  • Consider the true costs of handling it in-house. Include hidden costs such as office space, training,company cars, recruitment, holidays and so on.
  • Check the return on investment (ROI) – we can help you to calculate exactly how much you cold save whilst getting a better service.
  • Consider the effects of a temporary downturn – you could have high employment costs when you could be only paying for what you actually need.
  • What are the costs of not outsourcing? Will your business suffer because it cannot afford to invest in the expertise or the facilities that we can provide? Perhaps your competitors are already outsourcing these roles.
  • What are the costs of developing new skills sets to cover areas like COSHH risk assessment, CDM Principal Designer duties and Occupational Health requirements.

If you’ve got questions or need support on safety in the industrial, contracting or construction sectors please contact us for sensible and proportionate advice on 01453 800100

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Please complete the form below and we promise to respond within 24 hrs. If you need more urgent help just call 01453 800109 and ask for Andrea.

Posted by Roger Hart

COSHH – Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) – a guide

Introduction

You may have noticed these documents floating in on top of a box of items which arrive at your premises or you may be familbu000871iar with them from past risk assessments.  The truth as to why they’re there is that they’re required by law.

They are the information on which any COSHH risk assessment is based and manufacturers and suppliers are bound by law to make the information contained in them available so that we all have the information needed to decide how best to protect ourselves and others from the substances we use.  They’re also useful for comparing a couple of alternative substances and choosing which one is least harmful.

What do I need to know?

One thing which we don’t need to tell you is just how much information is contained in an MSDS – this is where most people say “I must get around to looking at that sometime soon” and nothing much more happens.  The truth is that you only need look for some key phrases and in just a few of the 16 sections which make up an MSDS.

Just the facts please!

Think about what questions you need answering;

  1. What are the dangers with using this substance?
  2. What protection do I need to use?
  3. What if an accident occurs, what would my actions be?
  4. What if someone spills this substance, what would I need to do?

It’s all in there…somewhere

Check through the sections, using 1-4 above, this is where you need to look;

  • Hazards identification – is it corrosive, irritant, harmful?
  • Exposure controls / personal protection – what PPE do I need to specify?
  • First aid measures – eye contact, skin contact and so on, its all there.
  • Handling and storage and disposal considerations – check these two sections for the answers you need.

I think I might give it a go!

Good for you!  Bear in mind that your first one will be the hardest.  Once you’ve found your feet you’ll be reviewing them in no time.

But what do I do with all this information?

You need to create a COSHH risk assessment.  This need not be a lengthy document and it can be simply a part of the risk assessment you complete for a whole task.  For example, if you are being exposed to solvent based paints as part of a job which involves painting there’s nothing wrong with completing an assessment which accounts for the whole process – manual handling, fire, sips and trips and so on – COSHH assessment is just a component part.  In fact, it might be better way to approach it.

Never mind the quality, feel the width!

Avoid the temptation to bulk out assessments, they won’t be read by the people who use the substance.  Keep you risk assessment factual and short.

I could do this but I just don’t have the time and resources

That’s why we’re here!  If you need some help over the telephone just call us, there’s no charge.  If you would like your consultant to visit and guide you through some of the more difficult ones please let us know as this can also be arranged.  Alternatively, if you’d like a specialist from C&G to review everything for you and complete all of your risk assessments for a fixed cost we’d be happy to visit and quote you, just call us on 01453 800100 or click on contact us above.

Right, I’ve finished.  Now what do I do with all these MSDS Sheets?

Keep them on file.  Every year or two its good to update them but their most important use is for when you have questions again – this could be when a work process changes.  Plus, make sure they’re to hand in case of an accident so you can send a copy with the injured party to inform the medical staff of what exactly has been injected, ingested or inhaled.

Any more questions?

If you have unanswered questions please call one of our safety consultants.  We’re here to help on 01453 800100.

Posted by Roger Hart
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