Contractors Unlimited

COSHH - Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

What are considered Hazardous Substances under COSHH?

Hazardous substances include:
- Substances used directly in a work activity e.g. paint, cleaning agents
- Substances genersted during a work activity e.g. fumes from welding,
  dust from grinding
- Biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms

COSHH applies to virtually all substances hazardous to health except:
- Asbestos and lead which have their own regulations
- Substances which are hazardous only because they are: radioactive;
  at high pressure; at extreme temperatures; or have explosive or
  flammable properties (other regulations apply to these risks)
- Biological agents that are outside the employer's control e.g. catching
  an infection from a work colleague

What COSHH requires?

The following 8 steps summarise COSHH compliance:
- Assess the risks to health arising from hazardous substances used
  in or created by the work in hand
- Decide what precautions are needed
- Prevent or adequately control exposure. Prevention is preferable to
  control
- Ensure that control measures are used and maintained properly and
  that safety procedures are followed
- Monitor the exposure to the hazardous substances, if necessary
- Carry out appropriate health surveillance where the assessment has
  shown that it is necessary or where COSHH sets specific requirements
- Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and
  emergencies involving the hazardous substances identified in step 1
- Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and supervised

Labeling

For the vast majority of commercial chemicals, the presence (or not) of a warning label will indicate whether COSHH is relevant. For example, there is no warning label on ordinary household washing-up liquid, so if it is used at work there is no need to worry about COSHH; but there is a warning label on bleach, and so COSHH does apply to its use in the workplace.
Step by Step Guide to COSHH Assessment
Step by Step Guide to COSHH Assessment
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
COSHH Laminated Poster
COSHH Laminated
Poster


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