COSHH

Topics:

Using chemicals or other hazardous substances at work can put people’s health at risk, causing diseases including asthma, dermatitis or cancer.
The COSHH regulations require employers to control substances that can harm workers' health.

What is COSHH

COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. You can prevent or reduce workers' exposure to hazardous substances by:

  • finding out what the health hazards are
  • deciding how to prevent harm to health
  • providing control measures to reduce harm to health
  • making sure they are used
  • keeping all control measures in good working order
  • providing information, instruction and training for employees and others
  • providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases
  • planning for emergencies

What does it cover?

COSHH covers chemicals, products containing chemicals, fumes, dusts, vapours, mists and gases, and biological agents (germs). If the packaging has any of the hazard symbols then it is classed as a hazardous substance.

COSHH also covers asphyxiating gases.

COSHH covers germs that cause diseases such as leptospirosis or legionnaires' disease: and germs used in laboratories.

COSHH doesn’t cover lead, asbestos or radioactive substances because these have their own specific regulations.

Resources

Key legislation

Please note that this link is to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed by subsequent legislation.