COSHH - Control Of Substance Hazardous to Health
Why COSHH matters?
Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work
put peoples health at risk, so law requires employers to control
exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. They have
to protect both employees and others who may be exposed by
complying with the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health
Regulations 2002 (COSHH).
COSHH is a useful tool of good management which sets out eight
basic measures that employers and sometime employees must take.
- Assess the risk.
- Decide what precautions to take.
- Prevent or adequately control exposure.
- Ensure that control measures are used and maintained.
- Monitor the exposure.
- Carry out appropriate health surveillance.
- Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accident, incidents
- Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and
Too often we find that the first control measure that the
Employer adopts is the use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
There is a hierarchy of control measures under Regulation 7, which
is as follows:
Prevent Exposure By:
- Eliminating the substance.
- Substitution with a substance less hazardous to health.
Control Exposure By:
- Total enclosure of the process, therefore removing
- Limiting the area of contamination.
- The use of LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation).
- Dilution Ventilation.
- Reducing the period of exposure.
- Providing suitable PPE.
Personal Protective Equipment DOES NOT
REMOVE THE HAZARD.
It should be remembered that the
C.O.S.H.H Regulations relate to any substance irrespective of its
form: including gas, solid, dust, liquid, vapour, aerosol or
micro-organisms. Furthermore, substances not deemed to be
detrimental to health can cause problems if not used correctly.
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 -
Where are hazardous substances found?
In nearly all work environments, for example:
If in doubt, contact your local HSE office. The staff there can
refer you to the appropriate inspector or the environmental health
officer at your local authority.
Bad Hand Day / Dermatitis / Latex Gloves / Hairdressers Advice
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Last Updated: 14.05.2008 at 16:34