Why is it important for softwashing contractors to be familiar with COSHH, REACH and other regulations?
In today's world we all need to stay informed about the latest laws, rules and regulations regarding industrial chemical usage.
Should the worst happen, an accident in which someone gets seriously hurt, the courts will not accept ignorance of the law as a defence. The judiciary tell us it is our responsibility to stay current with the miriad laws they churn out day after day ...
So to help our customers as best we can, we've put together some links to the relevant authorities where you can find the information that will keep you legal and safe:
What is COSHH?
COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. It stands for "Control of Substances Hazardous to Health".
The HSE have produced a clear guide to understanding the basics of COSHH. Click here to visit the HSE COSHH Basics web page
Click here to download our Benz softwashing documentation covering COSHH, RAMS, SDS and Contracts
We recommend becoming familiar with COSHH and if you are not competent on chemical handling then we suggest attending a "Safe use of Pesticides" certificated course.
Click here, then scroll down the page to find information on certification in the safe professional application of pesticides
- This HSE webpage gives a lot of useful information for softwashing contractors and is essential reading: www.hse.gov.uk/coshh
- This HSE webpage gives COSHH information on best practices when diluting concentrated softwash chemicals: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/sr02.pdf
This page carries some advice on spraying softwash chemicals (it's not specifically about softwashing but is the best we could find): www.coshh-tool.hse.gov.uk/assets/live/sr03.pdf
Important: Please be aware that some references to pesticides are to "agricultural pesticides" not "non-agricultural pesticides" – which is the category Benz biocides fall into.
What is REACH?
REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals.
- This HSE webpage gives all the information a softwashing contractor needs to know: www.hse.gov.uk/reach/whatisreach.htm
What is the HSE?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the UK national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness.
- This HSE webpage gives a clear overview of the work the HSE does: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/index.htm
What is the Irish PRCD and PCS?
The PCS is the Pesticide Control Service of Ireland. And the PRCD is the Pesticide Registration and Controls Division of the PCS. They are the Irish equivalent of the UK HSE.
The PRCD and the Pesticide Control Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) are responsible for implementing the regulatory system for plant protection and biocidal products in Ireland.
- This webpage explains in more depth: www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie
What is the law regarding the use of SH (sodium hypochlorite) for softwashing?
We asked the HSE (UK Health & Safety Executive) and PRCD what the actual law was.
In the Trade Tips post below we've printed the exact wording from the emails we received during our correspondence with these organisations. We've also included other valuable information regarding the regulations concerning biocides.
The law is not our opinion. It is FACT.
We know many contractors do not want to acknowledge the truth and reality of the legal situation concerning the use of raw, unapproved sodium hypochlorite (SH) to clean external hard surfaces in the UK and Ireland.
We attempted to communicate this important information to all contractors via online forums but received so much vile abuse and accusations of having invented these emails, that we gave up.
However, although we cannot educate all softwashing contractors, we want our valued customers to know the truth of the current legalities.
Stay legal, stay safe – and keep others safe too.
Ben, Leo & Fiona
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That's a reasonable question.
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