COSHH – Regulations on the Control of Hazardous Substances

What is COSHH?

First off we’re not talking about gangland turf wars or the deterrent the local bobby used in the good ‘ol days! In this issue we look at the law that requires employees to “Control substances that are hazardous to health” or as we call it COSHH.

Meeting Legal Requirements.

The law states that it’s necessary to know what substances you have on your premises or your employees may come in to contact with. Once identified it’s a necessity to obtain information regarding those hazards associated with them and the measures required to deal with any hazards. Some hazardous substances are obviously harmful but other such as paints are not so obvious.

COSHHThe suppliers of all substances will have data sheets outlining the hazards, the precautions required in their use and the means of dealing with any potential problems that may arise from spillage or misuse.

It should also be noted that some processes can create hazardous substances and that must also be controlled.

Appropriate Identification and Logging

All substances MUST be identified, the appropriate health hazards investigated and date sheets obtained for all such products.

The information must be logged and all access to this information made available to all.It’s important that this information must be included in all risk assessments and identified to all personnel involved.

Your Responsibilities

Not many employers realise but if any materials are to be taken onto other premises or work areas they must be identified to the client and the information regarding the product documented & put on file. Full records must be kept at all times and any occurrences must be logged just like any other incident.

Certain products may require more detailed information and even health monitoring – more details are available from the HSE website.

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