Innovate Blog
COSHH – an industry insight

Tuesday June 16, 2015

Bunzl Catering Supplies has conducted extensive market research with *operators across the hospitality, leisure, travel, healthcare, education and contract catering sectors. The survey aimed to obtain valuable insight from operators into how they currently conduct Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) awareness training for employees, whilst also assessing their awareness of the new Classification, Labelling & Packaging (CLP) legislation which came into force in June.
The new CLP legislation has meant a change to the way pictograms are labelled that portray hazard. Operators are now required to ensure employees are both aware and trained to recognise the new pictograms.

Currently, nearly 40 percent of respondents within the contract catering sector conduct COSHH awareness training for new starters as part of the induction process in the first week of employment, whilst 10 percent of those in the restaurant sector see the value of conducting the training prior to the employee even starting.

When asked how frequently COSHH refresher courses take place within the business, nearly 50 percent of respondents operating quick service restaurants answered ‘every 12 months,’ with 24 percent of respondents within the restaurant sector answering ‘every six months.’ 12 percent of respondents within contract catering stated that they run refresher training only ‘if legislation changes,’ whilst nearly 2% of respondents within the pub sector answered ‘only after an incident.’

When it comes to who is responsible for delivery of the training, less than 50 percent of respondents said they put it into the hands of their chemical supplier, with 29 per cent of restaurateurs leaving the responsibility with Unit Managers, whilst 12 per cent of contract caterers use internal training departments. Quick service restaurants put the responsibility in the hands of Regional managers, whilst 6% of operators didn’t know whose remit it fell under.

On completion of training, operators were asked how they record an employee has completed the training. Surprisingly, over 75 percent of operators within the restaurant sector still rely upon keeping a filed paper record on site. Quick service restaurants and contract caterers were the most technically advanced with 17 percent of respondents keeping an electronic record either on site or at head office.

Operators were asked if they were aware of the new ‘Classification, Labelling & Packaging (CLP) legislation which came into effect in June and the new pictograms that portray hazards. Nearly 60 per cent of respondents within the restaurant sector answered that they were aware, whilst 40 per cent of quick service restaurants answered ‘no.’

When asked if they have a plan to ensure employees are aware of the new hazard pictograms, an impressive 58 percent of restaurateurs responded that they had. 100 per cent of respondents answered that they would like to receive a copy of the final report to see how their COSHH awareness training programme compares with others in the industry.

Bunzl Catering Supplies offers operators a dedicated e-learning website for COSHH awareness training at The Cleanline COSHH training and product resource website is a free e-learning tool provided customers of the Cleanline chemicals required for daily cleaning tasks. The website can be viewed on laptops, tablets and phones. Managed by the operators designated administrator, access is available to all team members across multiple sites via a unique access code on the login page.

Up-to-date COSHH awareness training is given to individual employees in less than 15 minutes, via five engaging video modules. Each module cleverly tests employees by way of a multiple choice question, which must be answered correctly in order to move onto the next module. Successful completion of the five modules is rewarded by way of a certificate and automatically flagged to the administrator who can access and download user reports via the Admin tab. The report allows operators to see which employees have completed the training, together with the date they last completed it.

Paul Willcocks, Director, Exclusive Brands commented: “The results from our market insight have revealed some really interesting results and we’re looking forward to sharing the final report with the industry. As a business, we are committed to sharing best practice and insight within our target sectors as a way to provide solutions to issues faced by operators.”

Operators requiring further information or a live demonstration of the Cleanline Professional e-learning website can email

  • *336 operators responded to the survey
  • Bunzl Catering Supplies donated £1.00 to Hospitality Action for every survey completed by 30 April 2015
  • Cleanline COSHH training does not replace RISK Assessments in the workplace, nor does it ensure that operators and their employees are COSHH compliant, both of which are the responsibility of the employer