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Saturday 21st October 2017 22:13PM GMT

CoSHH

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people’s health at risk, causing diseases including asthma, dermatitis or cancer. The COSHH regulations require employers to control substances that can harm workers' 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:

  • finding out what the health hazards are;
  • deciding how to prevent harm to health (risk assessment);
  • providing control measures to reduce harm to health;
  • making sure they are used ;
  • keeping all control measures in good working order;
  • providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;
  • providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases;
  • planning for emergencies.

Most businesses use substances, or products that are mixtures of substances. Some processes create substances. These could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people.

Sometimes substances are easily recognised as harmful. Common substances such as paint, bleach or dust from natural materials may also be harmful.

Read more about COSHH on the HSE website

A step by step guide to COSHH assessment

Advice and guidance to employers on assessing their activities under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). It replaces older publications with the same title but its essential purpose remains, namely to describe and explain the principles of assessment and to illustrate with extensive examples. Presented in an easy-flow format to steer the user through both the document itself and the key COSHH stages such as: gathering information about the substances and associated work and practices, then evaluating the risks to health before finally deciding on the necessary measures to comply with regulations 7-13. Advice is also given on the recording and review of assessments, matters of competence and a study of what is deemed 'reasonable practicability'.

Download the step by step guide to COSHH assessment from HSE

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