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News

It's easy to get clued up on chemicals

HSE InfoLine : 08 October, 2003  (Technical Article)
Why should painters, hairdressers, cleaners and beauticians be interested in this press release? The reason is that they may not know that the products they use contain harmful chemicals which if not controlled, will harm their health. Businesses like these and many others can now find advice on what to do about this through a free, simple, internet site.
Why should painters, hairdressers, cleaners and beauticians be interested in this press release? The reason is that they may not know that the products they use contain harmful chemicals which if not controlled, will harm their health. Businesses like these and many others can now find advice on what to do about this through a free, simple, internet site.

As part of its strategy to develop targeted advice and support for business, HSE is today launching new guidance and advice on its free internet tool e-COSHH, to help people address the hidden dangers of working with chemicals. E-COSHH, available on http://www.coshh-essentials.org.uk tells people what they need to do to protect themselves and their workers.

Today is also the launch of European Safety and Health Week on dangerous substances, October 13-18. Cancer, skin disease and asthma are just some of the risks and they can have a devastating effect on people's lives. The Week aims to get everyone to think about how biological agents, chemicals and dangerous substances might affect them and their family.

One of the attendees at the launch will be Baggeridge Brick plc which has been nominated for a European Agency Good Practice Award. Baggeridge Brick has developed an application for reducing silica dust exposure. The European Agency will be announcing its award winners on 24 November.

Sandra Caldwell, co-director of HSE's Policy Group, said: 'e-COSHH will help people understand that the chemicals in the products they are using, such as hair dyes and cleaning fluids, might be having a lasting adverse effect on their health. It also explains in a very simple way what they can do to protect themselves and their employees.'

In developing this guidance, HSE has worked with local authorities and focused on the businesses that know least about working with chemicals including night clubs, restaurants, tattoo parlours, motor vehicle repairers, embalmers and indoor go-karting arenas.

We believe that this tool is revolutionary and beneficial to UK plc. It contributes towards making health and safety the cornerstone of a civilised society and in financial terms, not only will less money be spent by business on paying out for sick leave, but fewer NHS resources will be needed to cure the illnesses.
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