This blog post will be about my research on health and safety in the darkroom and what is COSHH.
COSHH (Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health) – COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. You can prevent or reduce workers exposure to hazardous substances by:
- You must find out what the health hazards are in the darkroom
- You must decide on how to prevent harm to the employees and yourself (by producing a risk assessment)
- You must provide control measures to reduce harm to health
- You must make sure that all employees are ensuring that the control measure are being used
- You must keep all the control measures in good working order and that new employees are trained and follow the control measure
- You must provide for employees monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases
- You must plan for emergencies and how employees will deal and follow procedures to reduce greater damage
Most businesses use substances and/or products, that are mixtures of substances, while some processes create substances; these could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people.
Sometimes these substances are easily recognised as harmful. Common substances such as paint, bleach or dust from natural materials may also be harmful.
Health and safety in the darkroom is very important. To work safely you need to keep to the following rules:
- Because you are working in a room with very low light, you need to learn the layout of the room and where everything is kept.
- Always make sure to open the airlock doors slowly to prevent accidental light from entering the room and in case someone is in the way.
- Make sure that no light is visible before you start processing film.
- Wear gloves to prevent chemicals from touching your skin.
- If spilt accidentally, make sure to mop up and clean up safely.
- Take your time and do not rush. Make sure you keep to the timings specified in the film manufacturers instructions.
- If chemicals spill onto any electrical equipment turn them off at the plug or call for a technician and make sure to alert everyone of the immediate danger.
- When working with more than one person in the room, make sure you first specify who is doing what and when, so that you don’t accidentally bump into each other.
This is the signage for the room, which gives you clear directions and procedures in case of different emergencies. It also provides the COSHH guidelines for the room and when they were last assessed.