COSHH Summary

The purpose of the control of substances hazardous to health is to minimise the risks associated with substances that are hazardous to the health of you and your fellow employees, therefore reducing the number of people made ill or injured through exposure to harmful substances.


The COSHH Regulations aims are to:

•  To protect people against risk to their health, whether immediate or delayed, from substances hazardous to health arising from work activities;

•  To enforce and raise standards at work;

•  To reduce the frequency and severity of accidents involving chemicals and other hazardous substances.

Everyone at work is responsible for complying the COSHH Regulations, which falls under the scope of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Risk assessments follow the following five step approach:

1. Look for the hazards around the workplace.
2. Decided who might be harmed and how.
3. Evaluate the risks.
4. Record the findings.
5. Review the assessment regularly.

Health effects depend on the type of hazardous substance and the level of exposure (concentration and duration). A hazardous substance can be inhaled, splashed onto the skin or eyes, or swallowed.

Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks. These health checks may be required by law for employees who are exposed to noise or vibration, ionising radiation, solvents, fumes, dusts, biological agents and other substances hazardous to health, or work in compressed air.