The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 is legislation that requires you to control substances in the workplace that are, or have the potential to be, hazardous to health.

COSHH substances are:

  • Used directly in your work activities e.g. paint, cleaning chemicals
  • Generated through your work activity e.g. fumes
  • Naturally occurring e.g. grain dust
  • Biological agents e.g. bacteria

All employees must be properly informed, trained and potentially supervised when it comes to COSHH.

You must complete a risk assessment and register for all substances; you will need the Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheets for reference.

These will detail:

  • The substance’s name
  • The substance’s use
  • The risk associated with its use
  • The precautions that should be taken
  • PPE required
  • It’s workplace exposure limit; where applicable
  • Any exposure monitoring and health surveillance required
  • Emergency procedures that need to be followed

Once you have completed your risk assessment and identified any control measures that need to be put in place such as exposure limit monitoring or PPE requirements you must inform all those that could or may come into contact with the chemicals as to their risks.

Training records should be kept of what information and instruction has been given to employees.

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