Why is COSHH important?

Many organisations use or create substances in their processes. These substances can cause harm and ill health to their employees, contractors or visitors to their site.

The control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) is a legal requirement for employers to control these substances and prevent ill health from occurring.

Substances can be in many forms such as;

  • chemicals
  • products containing chemicals
  • fumes
  • dusts
  • vapours
  • mists
  • nanotechnology
  • gases and asphyxiating gases and
  • biological agents
  • germs that cause diseases such as leptospirosis or legionnaires disease
  • germs used in laboratories.

and all of them must be controlled to prevent people becoming ill and/or having long term ill health effects.

Control is considered to be adequate when the risk of harm is ‘as low as is reasonably practicable'. This means:

  • All control measures must be in good working order.
  • Exposures are below the Workplace Exposure Limit, where one exists (see EH40).
  • Exposure to substances that cause cancer, asthma or genetic damage is reduced to as low a level as possible.

The COSHH Regulations set out what employers are required to do to assess and control the risks posed by substances which can cause ill health.

There are some substances that are not covered by COSHH, namely lead, asbestos or radioactive substances, as these each have their own set of specific regulations.


How We Can Help

Viridis provides a range of COSHH compliance solutions including:

  • Policy and procedure development and implementation
  • Chemical sweeps across your site to determine if all relevant substances have been included
  • Obtaining up-to-date safety data sheets from suppliers
  • COSHH risk assessments
  • Occupational hygiene sampling for inhaled substances to determine if exposures are below workplace exposure limits
  • COSHH risk assessment training
  • COSHH compliance auditing