COSHH! Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
Introduction to COSHH
Risk Assessment Solutions can help you with your control of hazardous substances in the workplace, assist with the development of a register and requirements to identify the hazards and minimise the risk and your exposure to it.
Why is COSHH important?
Using chemicals or other hazard substances at work can put people’s health at risk. The law requires employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health by complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
What is a substance hazardous to health under COSHH?
Under COSHH there are a range of substances regarded as hazardous to health:
Substances or mixtures of substances classified as dangerous to health under the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 (CHIP). These can be identified by their warning label and the supplier must provide a safety data sheet for them. Many commonly used dangerous substances are listed in the HSE publication Approved Supply List. Information approved for the classification and labeling of substances and preparations dangerous for supply, as part of the CHIP package.
Substances with occupational exposure limits, these are listed in the HSE publication Occupational exposure limits.
Hazardous substances include:
- Substances used directly in work activities (e.g., adhesives, paints, cleaning agents);
- Substances generated during work activities (e.g., fumes from soldering and welding);
- Naturally occurring substances (e.g., grain dust);
- Biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Examples of the effects of hazardous substances include:
- Skin irritation or dermatitis as a result of skin contact;
- Asthma as a result of developing allergy to substances used at work;
- Losing consciousness as a result of being overcome by toxic fumes;
- Cancer, which may appear long after the exposure to the chemical that caused it;
- Infection from bacteria and other micro-organisms (biological agents).