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Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

What is a hazardous substance under COSHH?


classified as dangerous to health under CHIP Substances with OELs Biological agents Any kind of dust in a concentration specified in COSHH Any other substance which has comparable hazards, but which for technical reasons may not be covered by CHIP

What is not a hazardous substance under COSHH?

Asbestos & lead (own regulations) Substances hazardous only because they are:

Radioactive;Simple asphyxiants;At high pressure;At extreme temperatures; or Explosive or flammable (own regulations)

Biological agents not connected with work e.g. catching cold Normally, the presence of a label (or not) will indicate whether COSHH is relevant

Risk Assessment

the hazardous substances in the workplace Decide who is at risk and how Evaluate the risk are further controls necessary? Record the findings Review & revise when necessary

Prevention/Control of Exposure

Eliminate Substitute Engineering Controls

Isolation Enclosure Ventilation (including LEV)

Change work methods Reduce time exposure PPE Housekeeping Instruction, Information, Training

Use of Control Measures


should make proper use of controls and report defects They must be trained in how to do so

Maintenance of Controls

in efficient working order and good repair Engineering controls & RPE examined and tested at regular intervals LEV 14 months Retain records for 5 years

Monitoring Exposure

concentrations where assessment concludes that:


risks if controls fail; Exposure limits may be exceeded; Control measures may not be working properly Employees are exposed to certain substances/process in Schedule 5

should be kept for 5 years

Health Surveillance

Health surveillance in the following circumstances:

Employees significantly exposed to process in Schedule 6 Employees exposed to substance linked to particular disease or adverse health effect and reasonable likelihood of disease/effect occurring and possible to detect disease/effect

May be by professional, trained supervisor or self-check Records kept for 40 years

Information, Instruction & Training


Nature of substances and associated risks Precautions staff should take Control measures purpose and how to use them How to use PPE & clothing Results of monitoring and health surveillance (without giving names) Emergency procedures

Controls will not be effective if staff do not know how to use them properly, or the importance of reporting faults

In any proceedings for an offence consisting of a contravention of these Regulations it shall be a defence for any person to prove that he took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid the commission of that offence