The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) state that every employer shall ensure the exposure of employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.
COSHH Regulations state that a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk must be undertaken when working with chemicals. All routes of exposure must be identified, including inhalation, ingestion, absorption and injection.
A COSHH Risk Assessment will:
- Identify potentially hazardous substances
- Identify who is at risk of harm and how
- Evaluate risks and identify appropriate precautions
Access to the following is required:
- All Safety Data Sheets relevant to the substances used for each process (these should be a maximum of 5 years old)
- Operating procedures/an understanding of each relevant task carried out during the process
- Information regarding the current control measures adopted. This relates to engineering controls and the types of personal protection equipment(PPE) used
- Information on employee concerns and/or instances of adverse health issues
- Results of any previous monitoring
- Local Exhaust Ventilation (Lev) Testing Thousands of British workers contract occupational asthma and other lung diseases each year due to breathing in dust, fumes or other airborne contaminants at work, often because control measures are not fit for purpose or utilised properly by employees.
- Workplace Air Monitoring COSHH Regulations employers must ensure that workplace air monitoring is undertaken to ensure adequate control. Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) for airborne contaminants are listed in the HSE Guidance Document (EH40).
- Legionella Risk Assessment & Ongoing Management The COSHH Regulations and HSE Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Document: Legionnaires’ Disease states that employers have a duty to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.
- Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) - Face Fit Testing In situations where adequate control of exposure to airborne substances cannot be achieved in line with Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) supporting the COSHH Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations (CLAW), Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) and Ionising Radiation Regulations, employers must provide suitable respiratory protection equipment (RPE).
- Noise Monitoring It is an employer’s responsibility to comply with both The Control of Noise at Work Regulations and environmental guidelines for external noise pollution.
- Vibration The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations aim to prevent damage caused by vibration at work. Vibration induced medical conditions can include vascular disorders and long-term neurological and muscular damage.