COSHH- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people’s health at risk, so the law requires employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health. Employers have to protect both employees and others who may be exposed by complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) (as amended).
Failure to control exposure could result in skin irritation/dermatitis, occupational asthma, poisoning, asphyxiation or infection transmitted from contact with biological agents e.g. hepatitis, HIV etc.
Hazardous substances include: substances used directly in work activities (e.g. adhesives, paints, cleaning agents); substances generated during work activities (e.g. fumes from soldering and welding); naturally occurring substances (e.g. grain dust) and biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Corporate Health and Safety Procedure OHS-C-21 and associated guidance documents, OHS-C.21.G1 and OHS-C-G2 describe the arrangements to be applied within Fife Council to ensure compliance with COSHH. The Regulations require Fife Council to make an assessment of the risk from exposure to hazardous substances, and to introduce adequate control measures before any work is carried out.
A form is available to record the results of COSHH assessments, OHS-C-21. F1.
The Procedure and supporting Guidance here represent the minimum standards to be applied to all relevant tasks and activities undertaken directly by Fife Council involving the procurement, use, storage and ultimate safe disposal of any substances hazardous to health.
What is a COSHH assessment?
A COSHH assessment is simply a review of how substances are used, encountered, or created in the workplace and making a decision on whether or not we need to do more to protect employees and others. By employing a simple step-by-step approach an assessment of risk will be obtained which will inform our decisions on any measures needed to control exposure and establish good working practices.