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#1 Posted : 27 July 2022 10:28:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hi, i searched the forum but couldn't really find anything so apologies if discussed before.

Im looking for a cost effective solution for managing COSHH across a multi site organisation with around 10 sites, its all education so mainly things like paints, glue, hair products, cleaning products.

I was hoping to have something with links to manufacturers so we have the most up to date data sheets and allows multi users to update their risk assessments and keeps them all centrally located.

Any ideas or experience with these?  needs to be cost effective

#2 Posted : 27 July 2022 13:42:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

I've come across this kind of service being provided by Sevron.

Personally I hated it and didn't renew the subscription (still had to pay it for the year ahead as unknown to me this was in the contract that someone else had previously accepted), but it might meet your needs.

What I didn't like about it was the multi-page, colourful, impressive-looking but low-content COSHH assessment documents it spat out.  Also, there were quite a few gaps in its database of safety data sheets, in which case you had to get them for yourself.  However if the substances you are using are very ordinary this is less likely to be an issue.  Not sure it would cover hair products ...

I imagine they would give you a demo.

thanks 2 users thanked Kate for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 27/07/2022(UTC), marcw330@googlemail.com on 27/07/2022(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#3 Posted : 27 July 2022 14:37:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Experienced H&S professionals read the words COSHH  and go all giddy and start asking for fancy systems for managing processes, which if they didn’t have the words COSHH attached to them, they  would take in their stride without hesitation.

First COSHH like all risk assessment is about processes not substances. From your post it looks like you are looking after an FE College type set-up. If you have a metalwork shop, do you have a centralised database with all the PUWER type risk assessments on it or do you expect the course leaders who should know about what they are teaching to manage the risk assessment process?

COSHH should be managed in the same way, by the people delivering the teaching, after all they should know what a shampoo contains and what the risks associated with its use are.


thanks 3 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
marcw330@googlemail.com on 27/07/2022(UTC), andrewjb1 on 28/07/2022(UTC), peter gotch on 28/07/2022(UTC)
#4 Posted : 28 July 2022 12:36:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Thank you,  yes its an FE college and we do ask the curriculum areas to do their own COSHH risk assessments but we are trying to move to a central register for purchasing purposes and we have no idea what products we have across the sites, it makes it more of a challenge if we get a claim because then we are reliant on the areas providing us with the documentation.  We still would like them to do their own assessments but upload them to a central database in the same way we do our general risk assessments.  We had attended a webinar that mentioned software products that are linked to the manufactures sites for the most up to date data sheets and it looked an easier option but looking for the right software to use, ideally a recommendation, something cost effective but not over complicated and simple to use.

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 28 July 2022 15:10:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

 If all you want is a central store of risk assessments etc rather than the sort of software that “writes your COSHH assessments for you”, what you need a good document control system. We use i-passport (that’s not a recommendation is what we inherited) , it stores a copy of the documents and sends out reminders when they need to be   reviewed and allows users to  review them collectively and once the new version  have been authorised  it retains the originals. This gives a paper trail that demonstrates that you   have a risk assessment  and that you have updated it. Any decent document control system should enable you to do that.

When people acquire the reagents that they using it is the legal duty of the supply to proved them with a copy of the relevant SDS. Not that many  SDS’s are poor and with some the most useful  thing to with them is to scrunch them up and use them fill gaps in window frames. The idea of paying good money to “have access to the latest most current SDS’s online”, slightly appals me!

peter gotch  
#6 Posted : 28 July 2022 15:30:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi Andrew

Seems to me that you could easily be asking exactly the same question but using the acronym PUWER (or LOLER) instead of COSHH.

As an organisation you need to know what you buy and how it is used.

So, supposing the claim comes in when the passenger lift collapses, unless you have the paperwork to show that it has been bought from a reputable supplier, and has been subject to the right maintenance, inspection and thorough examination you would be on a hiding to nothing.

Whether bringing in somebody outside to give you some proprietary software to assist you compile the relevant risk asessment documentation is perhaps doubtful.

...and I am even more doubtful that isolating COSHH from all the other risks is a good idea, not least since whoever is going to plug the information from SDSs to produce generic risk assessments doesn't know how you ACTUALLY use the various nasties that are bought (or the one that comes from the mains).

Now, if those in individual departments don't play ball, you do have a problem, but it's not the sort of problem that will miraculously go away by getting a software package.

As AK says what you need is effective document control.

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 01/08/2022(UTC)
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