COSHH stands for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health COSHH Regulations cover everything from risk assessing the exposure to hazardous substances and implementing control measures around substances in your workplace to providing sufficient information around hazards and health risks and running health surveillance surveys.
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to COSHH and understanding your legal responsibilities can be time-consuming and confusing. When you partner with Citation to help manage your Health & Safety obligations, we take that confusion away. Our experts are on-hand 24/7 to help you figure out the regulations and formulate a COSHH policy that keeps you, your people and your business safe and compliant.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 is a legal requirement that employers must identify the hazards associated with working with substances and implement control measures to protect everyone who enters your premises from potential health hazards.
The amount may vary, but virtually every business will use substances in one way or another.
Some substances might be harmless alone but become hazardous when combined with others. Equally, certain processes can create substances that are hazardous – like the fumes emitted from welding or soldering, for example.
You’re required to follow several steps to prevent or reduce any potential risks. These are:
Substances that can be hazardous to an individual’s health include, but aren't limited to:
Performing COSHH risk assessments fall under your legal duties as an employer. They should be reviewed annually, each time a new substance is introduced and whenever any changes are made to a substance’s safety data sheet. We’ll touch on safety data sheets a little further on.
You’ll find specific symbols on the labels of any chemicals that can be hazardous to someone’s health. All symbols are contained within the shape of a diamond, with a bold red border. There are nine symbols to look out for:
In cases where a substance’s packaging doesn’t go into enough detail with regards to its hazardous nature, you may need to refer to its safety data sheet.
Safety data sheets should be supplied by the manufacturer of the substance. If you haven’t got one, you should get in touch with them and ask for their most up-to-date version.
It’s important to note that safety data sheets are by no means a replacement for your COSHH risk assessment, but they can be called upon to form part of your risk analysis.
Safety data sheets contain information like:
We can’t complete your COSHH risk assessments for you. But what we can do is make sure you have all the knowledge and information you need to make sure that completing them is hassle-free for you.
Our qualified Health & Safety experts offer 24/7 guidance with COSHH risk assessments via our advice line. You’ll also receive access to our online platform, Atlas. You’ll find thousands of risk assessment templates – including COSHH specific risk assessments – as well as digital storage, distribution and email reminders when something is coming up for review.
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