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Concerns using weed killer in a hospital

Discuss all things health and safety.

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:22 pm

Concerns using weed killer in a hospital

Post by beatfromthesun2 »

I work as an outdoor cleaner in a major hospital and I have been asked to use weed killer with a knapsack. I have the licence to do so. I recommended the company invest in weed killer that doesn't contain glyphosate in the current climate and I'm also super sensitive to chemicals and have concerns about it causing me or others cancer. The company refused to use a more natural based killer and said they would be using the contract gardeners weed killer instead which contains glyphosate.

Not happy about it but my question here is what's peoples opinions on glyphosate currently in covid times? Will it ever get banned in the uk? And is it OK to use in a hospital that is consitantly full of weeds?

I'll make every effort to use full ppe to protect myself and others, but I have concerns about doing this, thanks.

Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 5:53 pm

Re: Concerns using weed killer in a hospital

Post by safetylady »

I am assuming when you say "in" a hospital you mean within the open air grounds. But what has it got to do with covid?

Glyphosate has become contentious in recent years, but the evidence for human or environmental harm is weak. There are worse (more harmful) herbicides out there. Unless the hospital has a clear environmental or other policy pointing to non-use, I can't see you winning that battle, but you could flag it up via a rep for debate at their H&S or environmental meetings.

As you are trained (licenced) I would have thought the health hazards (low and precautionary) would have been outlined on your course.
Sensitive to chemicals - do you mean allergic responses from skin or inhalation? How do you get on as a cleaner? You should discuss concerns with your line manager who has a duty to assess risk (via COSHH) and make sure you have all the information and equipment necessary. If you do have any reaction directly related to the product, you must report it.
Personally I use glyphosate on my own paths and I can suffer from severe dermatitis - but triggered by dandelions not the weedkiller.
Specialist farmers use it for their 'no-til' strategy, and they are super environmentally aware. Without it they would have to plough the land to replant, and that is worsening soil nutrition.

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