Who will be affected by COSHH regulations?
COSHH regulations will apply to any organisation whose workers do, or have the potential to come into contact with, substances which are hazardous to health. COSHH stands for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health and covers a broad range of different substances which can cause harm to humans such as chemicals, dust, fumes etc. COSHH regulations were put in place in order to force managers into putting effective controls in place in order to sufficiently limit, or avoid completely, their worker's exposure to hazardous substances.
The major piece of legislation relating to COSHH is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002. This sets out the duties and responsibilities employers have for the welfare of their employees with regards to hazardous substances, including monitoring and dealing with accidents. To read the regulations on the Government's website, please click here.
What can I do to comply with the COSHH regulations?
The steps needed to comply with the COSHH regulations will differ between organisations in different industries. Each will face different COSHH risks depending on their industry, processes, level of toxicity etc.
When people think of COSHH, the immediate thought is of dirty factories with workers handling lethal chemicals. However, substances do not need to be potential killers to be covered by COSHH regulations. Minor irritants and everyday products are also covered such as cleaning products, which is why COSHH regulations affect just about every organisation in every industry.
Most COSHH controls will come in the form of either preventing workers coming into contact with harmful substances at all (e.g. keeping them away from waste), or if this is not possible, ensuring that they are adequately protected by issuing suitable gloves, face masks etc. For less harmful substances, controls may come in the form of limiting the time or amount of exposure. A COSHH risk assessment will identify the hazards where controls and monitoring are needed.
As well as performing sufficient and regular COSHH risk assessments, suitable health and safety training for both workers and management is vital in order to prevent occupational illness and injury from hazardous substances.
Because of the wide-ranging nature of COSHH risks according to the activities of each business, a COSHH open course would not be that practical, as it is unlikely to be totally relevant for people coming on the course with differing workplace activities and hazards. A COSHH training course is much more effective if done in-house to a group of employees from the same company.
We have two COSHH courses that are sometimes scheduled as open courses, but are more often used as a basis upon which to build a bespoke COSHH course which is tailored to your requirements and particular working environment. It can also focus more accurately on the specific COSHH regulations affecting your organisation.
Please click on the course titles below to read more about our COSHH courses.
COSHH Awareness Training
Our COSHH Awareness training course is aimed at employees who deal with hazardous substances on a daily basis, and will give them a sound understanding of their COSHH responsibilities for controlling these hazardous substances.
COSHH for Managers and Supervisors
Our COSHH for Managers and Supervisors course covers issues such as COSHH regulations, practical control measures, conducting a COSHH risk assessment and maintaining appropriate records.
Bespoke COSHH Training
COSHH training is most effective when run as a bespoke health and safety training course for an organisation, which is tailored to the particular substances and risks that their workers face. Attending an open course which tells your workers to store substances correctly and not to spill them is fine, but a COSHH training course which focuses on the correct storage and handling of the actual substances they use, and incorporates the firm's specific health and safety policy and operating procedures will be much more beneficial.
If you would like to discuss your COSHH training requirements with one of our expert health and safety consultants, please call us on 0844 800 3295 or contact us online by clicking the "Contact" tab at the top of the page.