Home > Work with Substances > Working With Biocides

Working With Biocides

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 7 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Working With Biocides Biocides Workplace

Biocides are used to control or kill the unwanted presence of things such as insects, bacteria, fungi, animals and viruses by either biological or chemical means. If you work with biocides, there are strict control measures in place when it comes to health and safety legislation which you must adhere to which is laid out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Using and Storing Biocides

Before you use any type of biocide, you must ensure that it has been approved for use by the relevant registration authority. Depending on the type of product being used, you might need to check one of two different regulations:

  • The Plant Protection Products Regulations
  • – which controls predominantly pesticides used for plant protection which encompasses both agricultural and garden use
  • The Biocidal Products Regulations
  • - which controls other mainly non-agricultural products such as rodenticides, wood preservatives and disinfectants.

Once you are sure that you are using a licensed product which has been fully regulated, it’s important that you read the label and/or follow any other instructions to the letter. When storing biocides, ensure that the containers which are used are of an appropriate design and size and that you store them in a location which is secure so that any spillage or leakage cannot escape to pollute any waters nearby.

Where a workplace produces a vast amount of biocides, it’s important that there are provisions for a secondary storage device which can contain the total supply of biocides should a leakage occur. For more information about storing biocides, the HSE can offer useful advice. Where leakages or spillages should occur, however, it’s crucial that you inform the Environmental Health Department as soon as possible.

Disposing of Unused Biocides

Once again, your local Environment Health Department will advise you of ways you can dispose of biocides safely and how to wash out any containers afterwards. Further details are also available in the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products.

Biocides and Your Health

Many biocides products contain chemicals, formaldehyde being just one example and there are other ingredients which can cause skin disorders, respiratory problems and various types of cancer. That's why it’s necessary to follow strict regulations with regards to working with biocides and to things like ensuring that there is adequate ventilation, that workers are given the right protective clothing and that they are trained and fully competent to work in this field.

The two main pieces of legislation which cover this are the Biocidal Products Regulations in the UK (BPR) and Europe also has its own directive of which we are also subject to which is called the European Biocidal Products Directive (BPD).

Many people who work with biocides only begin to suffer symptoms of potential illnesses which may have been caused by the incorrect management of exposure to biocides many years later in life. In order to reduce the risks companies must ensure that they take full responsibility in minimising possible health problems by offering regular medical checks, maintaining equipment, providing protective clothing and suitable ventilation.

If you feel your health is at risk, is being compromised or you feel that you are suffering health problems as a direct consequence of working with biocides, you should contact the HSE for more advice.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Lanny
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    Hi i worked a 13 and half hour shift lastnight my first one driving with out any breaks when i asked do we have a tea break…
    21 November 2017
  • Davehug7900
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    The above statement is a lie, the law states that during a 6 hour work period you are entitled to 1 20 minute uninterrupted…
    19 November 2017
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    Jay - Your Question:Hi I work in a freezer at temp -21 packing goods and putting stock away been provided with…
    17 November 2017
  • Steph
    Re: Forklift Truck Safety
    Hi I am am a in house truck instructor my manager has told all divers to drive to test standerds now due to proclivity drop he has ask me…
    16 November 2017
  • Jay
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    Hi I work in a freezer at temp -21 packing goods and putting stock away been provided with freezer jacket but…
    16 November 2017
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    DDTelford - Your Question:Please help! I’ve been offered a job Monday to Friday doing a 6am to 6pm shift driving a shunt…
    13 November 2017
  • DDTelford
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    Please help! I’ve been offered a job Monday to Friday doing a 6am to 6pm shift driving a shunt wagon around a factory unit.…
    12 November 2017
  • Fishersway
    Re: Forklift Truck Safety
    If a the racking system is not level due to the floor not being uneven am i within my rights to refuse to use it
    11 November 2017
  • pigsfeet
    Re: Working At Height
    I work for a builders merchants and on some occasions it is required to tip a load across the gates, therefore the counter balance truck will…
    7 November 2017
  • Keeley2
    Re: Dealing with Employee Theft
    Hi I run a small cleaning company and one of my ladies has been caught stealing money from money jars.my client noticed old pound…
    4 November 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the WorkplaceSafetyAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.