What is COSHH in Health and Safety?

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COSHH stands for “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health” which is a set of regulations used in the reference to workplace health and safety whether if any organization or employee failed to follow this regulation will lead to legal issues.

The objective of the COSHH assessment is to protect individuals as well as the business from occupational hazards and health risks when working with specific substances and materials. It provides adequate solutions to control the hazardous exposure and demand queries like,

  • Where is there potential for exposure to substances that might be hazardous to health?
  • In what way are the substances harmful to health?
  • What jobs or tasks lead to exposure?
  • Are there any areas of concern?

What does COSHH Cover?

The ‘substances’ part of COSHH includes any form of hazardous material such as liquids, solids, fumes, dust, vapours, fibres, nano-particles, mists, gases, and biological agents such as bacteria and viruses.

The ‘hazardous’ defines the harmful parts like lungs, skin, nose, mouth, genes, internal organs, eyes, or central nervous system as well as the combustion or explosion

COSHH imparts several responsibilities for the employer as well as employees that are,

For Employers:

  • Preventing and controlling the exposures of hazardous substances and provide appropriate provisions whenever it is needed (e.g.) PPE’s
  • Ensures that the hazardous substances do not exceed the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) and sufficient control measures are maintained in the workplace
  • Instructing the employees with up-to-date information and training to handle hazardous particles
  • Checking the employees whether they carry out COSHH risk assessment properly

For Employees:

  • Wear the correct PPE’s related to the nature of work and also assist fellow employees to ensure safety
  • Ensure that the COSHH regulations are followed with appropriate procedures and get trained with up-to-date information
  • Report and document all mishaps such as accidents & breakages and use medical assistance when it is required
  • Make sure all the provisions given by employers are cleaned and ready to use for the assigned tasks

COSHH has nine major hazard signs

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