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smoore5c  
#1 Posted : 10 January 2022 11:11:53(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
smoore5c

I winced at the graphics, became embarrassed reading the first page and angry reading the second. How has this article been published in what is my professional body’s official journal? How can it get the basics so badly wrong?

  1. The second paragraph.

This paragraph starts ‘Before undertaking a hazardous substance assessment’. You do NOT assess the hazardous substance. You assess what you are doing with the hazardous substance.

  1. Faulty understanding of the Chemical (Labelling and Packaging) Regs and GHS terminology.

The radiation and biohazard symbols are always a yellow / black triangle (as per Signs and Signals Regs). The only time these are not used is when these materials are being transported as Class 7 and Class 6.2 dangerous goods respectively (see for example IATA for details). The graphics used here are incorrect.

The GHS08 symbol (the silhouette) is not just for carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens. It is anything that ‘may cause or is suspected of causing serious health effects’.

The article therefore does not know its own classifications.

The term ‘reproductive toxin’ (stated in the article incorrectly as ‘reprotoxins’) is not equivalent to teratogens. Teratogens (literally meaning monster forming) impact on the foetus. Reproductive toxins is a much broader term that includes chemicals that impact on, for example, male fertility.

The article therefore does not seem to understand that all teratogens are reproductive toxins, but not all reproductive toxins are teratogens.

  1. Failure to address all of COSHH.

The article correctly states that new and expectant mothers are at risk if the chemical is a mutagen or teratogen.What is missing is any discussion of COSHH section 7(5). This part of COSHH imposes additional requirements for carcinogens and mutagens.

The article has therefore contrived to miss out a key part of UK chemical safety law.

Most of the carcinogenic and mutagenic effects on a foetus happen when the cells of the foetus are most rapidly multiplying. This is in the first trimester. This is when expectant mothers need most protection, but this is also when they often do not know they are pregnant. The only sensible way to get around this problem is to control the carcinogens and mutagens so stringently that exposure approaches zero, male or female, pregnant or not. With this approach taken, new and expectant mothers are at the same risk as everybody else (i.e. negligible).

Everybody, including asthmatics, are at risk of harm from sensitisers. The article misses the critical point that it may be a sensitising chemical that is causing the asthma in the first place. It is these sensitised asthmatics exposed to their sensitising chemical who are at significantly increased risk.

 

  1. Exposure routes / control measures.

The article fails to make the critical link between link between exposure routes and control measures. Eliminate the exposure route and you control the risk.

 

  1. Dealing with the risk.

The article presents a list of control measures that can be implemented to control risk. What it fails to do is indicate this is a hierarchy of control. As presented in the article, PPE is just as acceptable a control measure as substituting a hazardous chemical for a less or non-hazardous chemical. This is obviously not correct.

 

  1. ‘Rotate staff to minimise exposure times to hazardous chemicals’.

The implication of this statement is that it is an acceptable control measure for employers to expose staff to hazardous chemicals up to the Workplace Exposure Level threshold and then move them to other activities whilst other members of staff get exposed in turn.

As such, this statement is a disgrace. It is outrageous to see this in a ‘Health and Safety’ article as a control measure.

  1. Emergency procedures. 

The article appears to mix up engineering controls, administrative controls and emergency controls.

  1. Very, very strange examples given. 

Throughout the article there are a number of very strange examples given. The three most egregious are listed below in the order they appear in the article.

  1. Dangerous to the environment: e.g. chlorofluorocarbons.

It is true that they are dangerous to the environment, but CFCs were banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1995.

  1. Toxic: e.g. asbestos.

Asbestos is carcinogenic, not toxic.

  1. Replace asbestos with safer synthetic substitutes.

This would only be a control measure if it was still permissible to use asbestos (finally banned in UK in 1999).

The impression given by these examples as well as the errors in chemical safety (COSHH regs rolled out from 1989) is that the article is based on a very old, pre-1989 article that has been badly updated.

I would cancel my subscription, but my employer insists I am a member of IOSH.

thanks 4 users thanked smoore5c for this useful post.
Kate on 10/01/2022(UTC), peter gotch on 10/01/2022(UTC), A Kurdziel on 10/01/2022(UTC), MikeKelly on 12/01/2022(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 10 January 2022 12:07:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

There has been a lot of criticism of  “IOSH matters” recently  with articles being of poor standard and seeming to be written by people who look like that are not really on top of their subject matter. I have not read this article but remember the pretty graphics from skimming through the it the other day. I’ll give it a proper look.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 10 January 2022 14:34:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sort of sums up the worth of the content when no one is willing to put their name to the article

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 10 January 2022 14:34:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Sort of sums up the worth of the content when no one is willing to put their name to the article

Kate  
#5 Posted : 10 January 2022 14:55:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

It is with trepidation that I consider opening my copy of IOSH Magazine.

People do often get COSHH wrong but it shouldn't be happening in our own magazine.

Edited by user 10 January 2022 14:57:39(UTC)  | Reason: typo

peter gotch  
#6 Posted : 10 January 2022 15:30:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi smoore - I don't remember ever seeing quite such a detailed demolition of content in IOSH's magazine (current or previous).

Why not draft something in response and submit it to the Editor to see whether they will publish?

...and if they don't/won't discuss further here.

P

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
MikeKelly on 12/01/2022(UTC)
smoore5c  
#7 Posted : 11 January 2022 09:55:29(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
smoore5c

Dear all.

Letter to Editor being drafted.

SMoore5C

thanks 2 users thanked smoore5c for this useful post.
peter gotch on 11/01/2022(UTC), MikeKelly on 12/01/2022(UTC)
Kate  
#8 Posted : 11 January 2022 09:58:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I hope you get more response than I did when I complained about errors in the recent article on violence.

Any response being more response ...

thanks 2 users thanked Kate for this useful post.
peter gotch on 11/01/2022(UTC), MikeKelly on 12/01/2022(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#9 Posted : 11 January 2022 11:15:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I've just looked at the article in question and I must admit it is very weak and shallow with no insights into how people get COSHH wrong, which to be honest is what I would expect IOSH matters to be doing.

thanks 2 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
peter gotch on 11/01/2022(UTC), MikeKelly on 12/01/2022(UTC)
MikeKelly  
#10 Posted : 12 January 2022 10:17:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
MikeKelly

Hi,

I also emailed IOSH about the complete absence of COSHH from the article, and the name of the author-unlikely now, of course.

Mind you I have also commented earlier to IOSH/forums? about other aspects of the 'new' wonderful magazine- half the number of mags per year, the dreadful contrasting colours which make it so difficult to read and the generally uninteresting articles all with a slavish devotion to the party line.

I suggested that there should be a reader's letter page [or more than one!]-Guardian style with real names [whistleblowers, etc., excepted]

And to get rid of the reduction of interesting information to cartoon figures.

I see elsewhere that this mag has won competetions for best in class, I believe-not sure which class, maybe remedial?

Rant over.

Regards and bonne annee

Mike

  

A Kurdziel  
#11 Posted : 12 January 2022 10:28:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

“I see elsewhere that this mag has won competitions for best in class, I believe-not sure which class, maybe remedial?”

Most Style over least substance?

peter gotch  
#12 Posted : 12 January 2022 12:52:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

AK - "Most style and least substance" should definitely be a category!

I tend to at best skim the Magazine these days partly for reasons that Mike referred to.

The colour palette is dreadful - I have mild red-green colour blindness and the lack of contrast makes it very difficult to read the content. For most of those with a more significant vision impairment it must be awful in a magazine that spends so much time talking about "inclusion".

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