Keeping on top of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations is an important part of running a school. Whether it is in a science lab or your store cupboard, to comply with the law, certain substances must be stored and handled in a particular way.

EPM customers can access support from Citation, our sister company, and benefit from:

  • Help identifying hazardous substances
  • Guidance on the correct handling and storage of hazardous substances
  • Around the clock access to Health & Safety experts
  • A suite of COSHH risk assessment templates
  • An easy-to-use inventory function to compile all your COSHH information

What is CLEAPSS and who can use it?

CLEAPSS (short for the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services) is a subscription service that is used by public schools, funded by their Local Authority, and provides guidance and templates across all areas of chemical safety. CLEAPSS can also be used by academies, colleges and independent schools if they subscribe to the service either directly or through their Local Authority.

The formalisation of Health & Safety practices through the Health & Safety Work Act 1974 greatly impacted the teaching of practical subjects such as Science, Art & Design and Design Technology. To combat this, CLEAPSS offers lesson plans, guidance and model risk assessments relating to all the substances and activities involved, to help teachers deliver safe and controlled classes.

Under CLEAPSS guidance, teachers should regularly test equipment used within classrooms to ensure its safety and suitability, and frequent personal development sessions should be held for teachers and technicians alike.

Why is COSHH so important?

Schools are complex environments and, as such, there is a lot you need to consider. While some of the more obvious elements, such as your building, catering, and the welfare of employees and pupils, are at the fore of most leaders’ minds, often, the safe use of multiple substances can slip below the radar.

If children and young adults are exposed to the handling (and sometimes combining) of substances for educational purposes, it is critical to bear in mind their awareness and understanding. Failure to consider the decisions that they might make, the potential for misbehaviour and the effects of mishandling or misuse, can have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing.

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