COSHH – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health – is a legal requirement that must be taken seriously by all employers. These regulations are put in place to ensure that workers are completely protected from harm when working with or around potentially dangerous substances or materials. If these regulations are ignored, either by an employer or employee, an unlimited fine can be imposed on the individual responsible.
Alongside protecting the health and wellbeing of staff, following COSHH regulations is pivotal for preventing financial loss due to absenteeism and worker replacements. Therefore, by following these principles and running a tight ship, employers can ensure that their money is directed to the right place. Plus, a healthier and happier workforce will produce work of a greater standard – a prospect that benefits all involved.
A hazardous substance is a mixture or substance that is toxic, an irritant, or corrosive. This could include chemicals, gas, vapour, biological agents – such as bacteria and viruses – mists, dust and fumes – all potential risks that will need to be included in the assessment.
These hazardous substances could cause bodily harm by:
To determine whether there is risk of ill health where dangerous substances and materials are concerned, a competent person must perform a COSHH assessment – this health and safety document is a legal requirement. Where possible, employers must provide the means to navigate the workplace safely – such as ensuring that formal training sessions are available which highlight the importance of COSHH, whilst providing the appropriate safety equipment/PPE to reduce the risk of bodily harm.
Virtually every business will come into contact with a hazardous substance at some point, so it’s vital that potential risks are acknowledged early on to prevent a potentially life threatening scenario.
The following are questions that should be asked during a COSHH assessment:
As workplaces are continuously changing, the COSHH risk assessment will need to be reviewed and completed regularly, with adaptations made where necessary if any significant changes have taken place. It’s important to acknowledge that this assessment shouldn’t just be a one off; employers and employees alike should remain vigilant to ensure that everyone can work safely, without risk of ill health.
Following the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations of 2002, employee responsibilities include:
Following COSHH regulations, employer responsibilities include:
Here at Airmatic, our team of fully qualified experts are here to help you and your employees remain protected from hazardous substances at all times. Thanks to our premium and bespoke environmental solutions – from high integrity ductwork to high-quality fabrication – we’ve enabled a variety of sectors to ensure a safe working environment. Get in touch with us today to find out more.