Control of Substances
Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Controlling exposure to hazardous substances through detailed assessment and implementing
preventative measures is vital in preventing work related ill health and disease

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) – as amended have been in existence for many years now and it is likely that employers, employees and employees’ representatives are aware of their basic requirements under the Regulations. It is unlikely, however, that all are aware that the COSHH regulations have evolved several times since first being introduced in 1989.

In April 2005 the fifth revision of COSHH introduced new Workplace Exposure Limits (WEL’s) and the concept of ‘best practice’. The regulations evolved further in October 2007 and December 2011 when new WEL’s came into force. The most recent (sixth) revision of COSHH was published in 2013.

With each new revision, duties and requirements change, it is important that COSHH records and assessments are reviewed regularly so that they are kept up to date.

With this in mind, a number of questions should be asked by an employer to check if there is compliance, i.e.:

  • What substances do I have on site?
  • Are the substances hazardous?
  • How are these substances used, produced?
  • Are my employees exposed to them?
  • What are the level, frequency and duration of the exposures?
  • Are there control measures in place?
  • Do they work?
  • Do I check the control measures are working properly?
  • Do I monitor exposures regularly?
  • Do I need health surveillance?
  • Does everyone know what they need to know?
  • Are you confident any risks are low?
  • Will the HSE be satisfied with what has been done?

If you or your company is not confident with a positive answer to any of these questions, you may need some external assistance!

We can assist with all aspects of the COSHH regulations, including:

  • Initial COSHH factory audits
  • Compilation of assessments
  • Exposure monitoring of airborne substances
  • Examination & testing of LEV systems
  • Instruction of managers, supervisors and employees
  • Assistance in implementing health surveillance strategies

In all areas of COSHH we can guide you through your compliance requirements and give details of additional control strategies which might be appropriate.