Risk assessment[ edit ] Regulation 6 requires that an employer should not carry out work liable to expose employees and non-employees, such as members of the public  to a substance hazardous to health without a risk assessment and implementation of the steps necessary to comply with the regulations. The assessment must include consideration of any information provided by the supplier of a substance CHIPS reg. The assessment must also consider any occupational exposure limit , in particular, those mandated by the HSE reg. One of the main points of the COSHH risk assessment is to identify the measures that are to be used to avoid a hazard or reduce the level of risk associated with a hazard. Employers must ensure that exposure to hazardous substances is prevented or, if this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled. Ideally, this will mean preventing exposure by: removing hazardous substance, by changing the process; substituting it with a safe or safer substance, or using it in a safer form.
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Biological agents Nanotechnology However, there are a small number of hazardous substances which are not covered by COSHH, as they have their own set of regulations; for example, asbestos, lead and radioactive substances. Depending on the industry or environment you work in, it may be required for a COSHH assessment to be done in your workplace in order to be legally compliant.
If so, how can these hazardous substances cause harm? How can I prevent or avoid the risk of harm happening in my workplace? Preventing exposure to hazardous substances is always the most effective place to start when evaluating the safety of your workplace. If there is a means of using an alternative, safer substance than a hazardous substance, this is a good place to start. This could include things such as using water as opposed to solvent-based products, or applying products using a brush as opposed to spraying them, which can cause them to spread in the air, increasing the chances of inhalation.
Preventing exposure to the possible inhalation of a hazardous substance by starting at the source should be a priority in all workplaces; as mention previously, always consider if you can substitute a material for something safer.
For example: Is it possible to use a safer form, such as avoiding powers and liquids and instead using solids? Is it possible to reduce the likelihood of colleagues inhaling substances by avoiding brushes when cleaning and using a vacuum instead?
It is vital that a COSHH risk assessment is conducted in your workplace if it is likely for hazardous substances to be present, as under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations , employers have a duty of care to abide by in order to protect themselves and their employees. COSHH regulation details employers should be aware of When COSHH regulations place a duty on an employer in regards to their employees, this also means the employer is responsible for protecting other people from hazardous substances in the workplace, whether they work there or not — such as visitors or the general public.
COSHH regulations only apply to the employer, employees and people on the premises where the work is being carried out. COSHH regulations also apply to self-employed people as they would to other employers.
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Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002