The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations are a vital and in some cases a lifesaving necessity for businesses.
COSHH covers hazardous substances that come in a variety of forms, including liquids, dusts, mists and vapours which can enter the body when least expected through , ingestion or absorption through the skin and inhalation.
We’ve put together 9 reasons why you should learn to love and meet your COSHH obligations to make life that little bit easier:
Adequacy and assess
COSHH forces you to make sure the controls you have in place are adequate – this includes things like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), first aid provision and emergency procedures.
Some substances might be harmless alone, but might be hazardous when mixed with something else. COSHH risk assessments will help you to uncover these potentially dangerous combinations, and give you an understanding of what reactions could occur if they are mixed.
Leave no stone unturned
By conducting a thorough COSHH risk assessment, you’ll identify substances that might not have initially been on your radar as hazardous. This will ensure that people aren’t unknowingly exposed to hazardous substances which, improves their workplace safety.
From start to finish
COSHH doesn’t just apply to when hazardous substances are in use, it covers their transportation and storage too. By taking a look at how your substances are handled from start to finish, you’ll be adhering to the highest safety standards at every stage.
The big picture
Being compliant with COSHH means evaluating the long and short-term effects of the chemicals you’re using. This is important because taking a step back and looking at how certain products that are being used could negatively impact employees, will give you a nudge to actually do something about the risks.
COSHH is a hot topic for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and no-one wants to get on the wrong side of them! Keeping on top of COSHH will keep the HSE off your backs.
The right tool for the job
The COSHH risk assessment process will encourage you to take a closer look at the chemicals you’re currently using and assess whether or not they’re the best for the job, they may be able to be replaced with something less hazardous.
Although COSHH encompasses all hazardous substances, some chemicals will have additional, specific guidance that your processes must follow to keep compliant. For example, some waste substances cannot be dumped into public drains, because they could have an adverse effect on the water system.
An extra layer of safety around your business isn’t a bad thing. Keeping up with your COSHH responsibilities will uncover these extra rules and regulations.