COSHH stands for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

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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.

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.

What is a COSHH assessment?

Performing COSHH risk assessments falls under your legal duties and an employer to keep your employees safe. COSHH assessments should be reviewed annually and each time a new substance is introduced and whenever any changes are made to a substances safety data sheet.

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You will find specific symbols on the labels of all chemicals that can be hazardous to someone’s health. All COSHH symbols are contained within the shape of a diamond with a bold red border. There are 9 symbols to look out for:

  1. Dangerous to the environment
  2. Toxic
  3. Gas under pressure
  4. Corrosive
  5. Explosive
  6. Flammable
  7. Caution – used for less serious health hazards like skin irritation
  8. Oxidising
  9. Longer term health hazards such as carcinogenicity
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How Focus Safety can help you with COSHH?

Focus can help you complete your COSHH risk assessment for you or we can help with the process. We can even offer you COSHH assessment training.

If you are interested in any help with your COSHH please contact Focus Safety today.

COSHH Safety Data Sheets

In some cases hazardous 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.

Please note that safety data sheets are not a replacement for your COSHH assessment, they can be used to form part of your risk analysis.


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