Does CoSHH apply to my business?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (CoSHH) cover almost every workplace, from offices with photocopy toner to food establishments that use cleaning products. Some substances can be easy to spot, while others may be harder to identify as being hazardous or a harmful substance.
A hazardous substance is any substance that has one or more inherent hazardous properties, which is why it is vital to implement control measures to prevent or reduce the hazards and risks caused by such substances.
Hazardous properties includes:
- Ability to oxidise
The CoSHH Regulations require employers to conduct a risk assessment and monitor employees’ health, monitor the use of hazardous substances and ensure training of employees.
Where do Hazardous Substances Exist?
Regardless of the profession, size or environment, hazardous substances can exist in every workplace across the UK.
Substances that are directly used in some work activities (e.g. solvents, paints and glues), can produce additional hazardous substances (such as fumes and dust) as a result of work processes.
In some cases, hazardous substances may already be present within the fabric and materials of the work building.
Common Hazardous Substances include:
- Products containing chemicals
- Gases and asphyxiating gases
- Biological agents
- Germs that cause diseases
According to the HSE, every year there are 20,000 estimated new cases of ill-health involving breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work. Vehicle spray painters and bakers were recorded as occupations resulting in the highest rates of asthma.
Responsibilities to the Employer
The main piece of legislation that applies to working with hazardous substances is the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
It is the employer’s legal duty to prevent employees from being exposed to substances hazardous to their health. The use of substances must be controlled where it is not reasonably practicable to avoid exposure.
Work should not be carried out where there is a risk of exposure to hazardous substances unless the employer has made the following arrangements:
- Carried out a suitable risk assessment
- Put in place control measures to reduce or protect employees from the risks
- Given clear communication of the results of the risk assessment
Employers, under the COSHH Regulations, are required to:
- Make sure all control measures are maintained and reviewed, kept in good working order, in good repair, and in a clean condition
- Provide employees with suitable information, training and instructions
- Provide suitable health surveillance and care to employees who are exposed to hazardous substances
What is a Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment is an examination of what in the workplace could cause harm to people.
The five steps in a risk assessment are:
- Identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
- Record your findings and implement them
- Review your assessment and update in necessary
It is a legal requirement for all employers to assess the health risks in the workplace and put health and safety control measures in place.
Our CoSHH Online Training Course
Our CPD accredited CoSHH online training course covers all the basic ‘must know’ facts, raising awareness of the dangers associated with hazardous substances and the practical steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk they pose.
The course is aimed at anyone who is exposed to substances of hazardous nature in the workplace, including employers, employees and line managers, who have the legal responsibility to protect employee’s health at work.
The Benefits of online CoSHH Training
If the correct safety and control measures are enforced when dealing with hazardous substances, both businesses and people will benefit from the work outcomes and results.
- Reduced costs and risks
- A better reputation
- Increased productivity
Online training is a cost effective way of training your team and keeping your workplace CoSHH compliant. Our online training courses can be accessed on any device that can connect to the internet and comes with a free downloadable certificate on completion of the final assessment. For managers looking to train their team, we provide a team management dashboard to distribute courses easy and efficiently and monitor their progress where required.
We hope you found the above information useful. Should you have any doubts or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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