What Is A COSHH Assessment?

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The term COSHH stands for ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health’, and it is the law that requires employers to control these hazardous substances in the workplace. Under these regulations employers are required to either prevent, reduce or at the very least, control exposure to hazardous substances in order to prevent ill health to their workers. But how exactly do you go about making a COSHH assessment, and what are the steps required?

The Purpose behind a COSHH Assessment

As has already been indicated, the purpose behind a COSHH Assessment is to try and limit the risks from different hazardous substances in the workplace for your workers and employees. In order to do this effectively, you will need to assess your working environment to highlight and determine what some of the risks are in the workplace; what these materials are and why they might pose a health risk to your employees.

How to write a COSHH Assessment

To successfully carry out a COSHH Assessment at your workplace, it is a simple matter of carrying out the following steps laid out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), and answering the following questions;

  1. Walk around your workplace; can you spot any potential risks for your employees to be exposed to any hazardous substances? Some examples of common, hazardous substances include fumes, vapours, gases, dust and hazardous liquids.
  2. In what way are these substances a health hazard? You can read safety data sheets and relevant trade magazines for information on what these hazards might be.
  3. What tasks lead to exposure to these materials? Be careful to note these down and how likely they are to adversely affect employee health, as well as what control measures you currently have in place to prevent exposure from happening.
  4. Are there any specific areas of concern; for example, burns from splashes, nausea from solvents etc.?

If you would like further information on how to plan out and carry out a COSHH risk assessment, you should visit the HSE website, where they have a detailed guide to COSHH assessments called A Step by Step Guide to COSHH Assessment.

Once you have successfully carried out your COSHH assessments, you might find yourself in need of some extra equipment to safely manage these different, hazardous substances; such as a COSHH Cabinet. These cabinets are especially designed for the safe storage of these hazardous substances, without them posing a risk to your employees; for more information, you can view our range of COSHH Cabinets here today.

Kirsty Rogers