View Full Version : COSHH sheets

02-07-2013, 10:24 AM
I was on a first aid course a few weeks ago and the trainer stated that we should have a COSHH for every chemical in our house hold.

I've never heard of this anyone else?

02-07-2013, 10:29 AM
I have one of these. It is in my risk assessment file.

hectors house
02-07-2013, 10:29 AM
Never been told that for a childminding setting before - my daughter is a Health & Safety advisor, will ask her what she thinks. Sometimes First aid tutors get confused about us working in our own homes. Once was told on a food hygiene course that my dogs shouldn't be in the kitchen - I agree if I was running a restaurant then they shouldn't be in kitchen, but this is mine (and their) home.

hectors house
02-07-2013, 11:43 AM
My daughter's answer is:-

Basically COSHH is to do with chemicals that may affect your health if exposed (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). Moral reasoning should mean childminders still apply the principles of COSHH (as every parent also should).

A COSHH assessment is an assessment of the risk posed by the chemical and what controls you have in place. The risk we are assessing in a childminder’s case is how likely is it the children will come into contact with the chemicals and what is the severely of the harm? To reduce the risk we apply the hierarchy of controls;

1. Elimination (are there any chemicals that you no longer need that can be thrown away)

2. Substitution (is there another less hazardous chemical you could use that still would do the same task?)

3. Segregation (where can you store the chemicals that will minimise the likelihood of the child accessing it? In the utility top cupboard e.g. bleach? Locked in the garage e.g. white spirit)

4. Administration controls (making sure that the chemicals are all put away before the child arrive, limiting children’s access to the areas were the chemicals are kept through supervision,

5. Personal protective equipment (children won’t be using them, so not needed)

Emergency arrangements if they do inhale, ingest, absorb or inject the chemical- knowledge of first aid treatment required , take the chemical with you to hospital and if possible know how much they might have been exposed to etc.

You have to do what is reasonably practicable. Most of it is evidencing common sense (risk assessment paperwork) using the risk assessment process (the thought process/ journey in your mind)

My thoughts - sounds like you just need to mention chemicals/cleaning products etc in written risk assessments - no need to repeat yourself by doing separate COSHH sheet.

My daughter works as a Health & Safety Advisor in a Uni HR office and has a IOSH qualification (The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) and is doing a Masters now so hopefully she knows what she is talking about!

02-07-2013, 11:49 AM
We do not have to have COSHH sheet and indeed the average childminder would not be trained and qualified to write them anyway.

It was a one point considered good practice to have them and for most widely used products you contact the manufacturer direct by email or phone usually using the information on the product and they will send you one.

What you should have asked the trainer and should be asking yourself is 'Why do I need them?'

That is the question and it was said that id a child ingested any of the products or got them on their skin then the sheet should go to the hospital with them, a bit like taking the bottle of pills with you so they would know the product that was causing the problem.

Then you ask yourself in your home where do you keep such products if you have them? Are they within reach of your minded children so they could cause harm?

Actually if you do a full COSHH assessment of our setting we have to include all products like hand soaps, washing up liquid, glues that we use, children's paints etc.

Ofsted expect you to thoroughly Risk Assess and now this may be written down but it does not have to be as long as you demonstrate clearly how you are keeping the children safe. This may be explained in a Policy for example.

02-07-2013, 05:26 PM
Wow so sorry feel like I've opened up a can of worms lol.

02-07-2013, 05:37 PM
I'm currently doing the Level 3 Diploma in Children and Young Peoples Workforce. Part of one task related to COSHH. Our trainer said that's childminders we don't need to do one. Does that help at all?

02-07-2013, 05:49 PM
A childminder I know was told on her first aid that we need to download and keep info sheets on all the products we use, baby wipes, creams, hand soap, washing up liquid etc the list is endless. I hate to think of all the creams and potions that help to keep me looking young,lol. it will take me years to do all this. Has the world gone mad.