How softwashing contractors can work legally within government regulations - part 1
Some softwashing contractors have been using sodium hypochlorite (SH) that's been approved only for use in swimming pools, milking parlours, or other uses other than for softwashing.
And we've noticed erroneous assumptions being made about the legal use of sodium hypochlorite for softwashing. A lot of misunderstanding, confusion and myths have arisen from these assumptions.
So we decided to get to the truth and reality of the current situation regarding the use of sodium hypochlorite for softwashing.
We asked the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) these questions
1) "Is it illegal to use an HSE approved product for a use other than the specified use in the conditions of approval?"
HSE: “Yes, if the product is not used in the correct way as specified in the conditions of approval then it is illegal.”
2) "Is it illegal to alter an HSE approved product by adding dish washing soap, or other additives, to change the characteristics of the product?"
HSE: “The Approval Holder can alter the formulation of their approved product. However, the approval holder must apply to the HSE for an amendment to the product formulation. The amendment must be approved by the HSE before they can advertise, sell, supply, market, or use the product.
“If the approved formulation is altered in any way, the conditions of approval have been broken and this is an illegal act.”
We received the above responses direct from the UKCA (UK Competent Authority) for Biocides.
Not content with that, we asked the Irish Pesticides Registration & Controls Division (PRCD) these questions
1. "Is it illegal to use a PRCD notified product for a use other than the specified use in the conditions of approval?"
PRCD: "Yes, product should only be used as indicated on the label."
2. "Is it illegal to alter a PRCD notified product by adding dish soap or other additives to change the characteristics of the product?
PRCD: "Yes, product should only be used as indicated on the label unless the use of the dish soap is indicated as an adjuvant to be used at the same time."
3 "If a specific adjuvent has not been included in the original PRCD notification, and printed as being legal and safe to use on the product label, would it be illegal to add that adjuvent?"
PRCD: "If the product is not used as per label then it would be an illegal use. Adding something to the product in use that may/not increase the efficacy of the product, if not on the label that is notified to PRCD is an illegal use."
We received the above response direct from the PRCD Biocides Team.
The dangers of using non-approved softwashing chemicals
- A contractor's insurance policy, both public and employer liability, could be made invalid.
- If there was an accident, and the contractor's insurance policy was deemed invalid, they could be held personally responsible and liable for all court costs and compensation payments.
- The contractor could be fined for breaking the law.
- The contractor could have their business shut down by the Health and Safety inspectors, who have the power to do this.
Btw: This article is Part One of a 2-Part series in which we elaborate on the legal facts around using sodium hypochlorite (SH) for soft washing. Click here to read Part 2
Ben, Leo & Fiona
Legal disclaimer: All information and documentation available on this website and in Trade Tips articles is offered as a free service to our customers without warranty as to the information and documentation's legal standing or effectiveness. Downloading and use of the information and supportive documentation supplied on this website does not imply that we are acting as your authoritative and competent legal or technical advisers. Always do your own research and consult a qualified solicitor, accountant, or other relevant professional about any regulatory, legal or technical matter concerning your independent softwashing business.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up. Please revisit this Trade Tips post to read our response.
Also in Benz Trade Tips
How can you learn the practical how-to of soft washing quickly, easily and simply – without wasting several years "re-inventing the wheel" – learning through arduous trial and error – when you could have been up and running in a few weeks?
And earning well-deserved profits from a highly efficient soft washing business.
Then there is the thousands of pounds/euros that the unwary, knowing no better, can waste on expensive, and often unnecessary or inappropriate, softwash equipment. We're sure you don't want to be like them.
Click the link on this page to learn more ...
In this ongoing soft washing video series Ben explains why and how he uses various types of softwash equipment.
What soft washing equipment you choose to build or purchase depends on several factors: for example the number of employees you have and the type of properties you soft wash.
Want to know more?
Click the link on this page to watch the video ...
(Due to logistic problems associated with the government restrictions around Covid-19 this is a written, not video, Trade Tips post this week)
That's a reasonable question.
You could jet wash a roof and then treat with Bio Cleanze.
But why would you?
Want to know the rest of the story? Click the link on this page ...