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Keeping your housekeepers and guests safe from cleaning products

COSHH, or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, is a UK regulatory law specific to the control of substances that are hazardous to health. The aim of COSHH is to prevent, or to adequately control, the exposure to hazardous substances, to protect workers’ health.

In housekeeping terms, COSHH relates to the management and handling of cleaning products and other substances that might be dangerous. It provides a framework that helps ensure cleaning staff, and anyone else who might come into contact with these substances, can do their jobs safely.

Housekeeping staff typically handle a variety of potentially hazardous substances, such as cleaning solutions, detergents, solvents, and sometimes even pesticides. COSHH requires employers to:

  1. Identify what hazardous substances are present in the workplace.
  2. Assess how they may harm health.
  3. Implement control measures to prevent harm.
  4. Ensure that they are used and stored properly.
  5. Provide information, instruction and training about the risks and precautions needed.
  6. Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies.
  7. Regularly review and update the measures.

This means that, as part of their training, housekeeping staff should be familiar with the COSHH symbols on product packaging, understand what they mean, and know how to use and store the products safely. They should also know what to do in case of a spill or other accident.

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