You may have come across the term COSHH and depending on your industry, you may know it is an important procedure for health and safety. But what exactly is COSHH? Most importantly, what do you need to do as a company to ensure you are operating safely? Here’s everything you need to know about COSHH.

What does COSHH mean?

person in hazard suit pushing barrel

COSHH stands for “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health”. It is a legislative tool that was implemented in 2002 in the United Kingdom. It is meant to protect employees from hazardous substances used at work. This is done through risk assessments, control of exposure, and various other methods.

What does COSHH include?

COSHH includes hazardous substances to health such as chemicals, fumes, dusts, vapors, mists, nanotechnology, gases, biological agents and germs that cause diseases.

It does not include asbestos, radioactive substances or lead (chemical component).

Hazardous danger signs

As a company, what are your responsibilities?

As a company or a self-employed person, it is your responsibility to take the appropriate measures to stay safe. The first step is to think about what you do that might involve hazardous substances. Identify the answer-s to this question and ask yourself how these substances can potentially cause harm. Lastly, ask yourself what you can do to reduce and prevent risks from happening. Key responsibilities of an employer includes:

  1. Limiting or controlling exposure to hazardous substances,
  2. Enforcing measures around hazardous substances to keep them under control and making sure those measures are up to date.
  3. Providing employees with the proper training and instructions,
  4. Having health and safety procedures in place in case of emergency, accidents, or exposure to hazardous substances,
  5. Appropriate surveillance of employees that are exposed to hazardous substances,
  6. Having risks assessments in place,
  7. Limiting the use and exposure to hazardous substances,
  8. Supervising employees in a safely manner.

Additionally, employees are responsible for:

  1. Contributing to creating a safe work environment by respecting safety regulations,
  2. Following and respecting health and safety procedures,
  3. Where appropriate, using and wearing the correct PPE,
  4. Reporting and recording incidents,
  5. When appropriate, attending medical check-ups,
  6. Keeping up to date with all training provided by their employers,
  7. Using cleaning facilities provided by employers.
bottles filled with toxic chemicals

COSHH assessment

If you are looking for a COSHH assessment, we can provide you with one of our qualified health and safety consultants who will be happy to help you. You can find out more about this and sign up here. Our pricing starts from as little as £30. Additionally, you can find our Template-Control of Substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH ) Assessment here and our COSHH Preparation here.

For further information on COSHH, we invite you to check the website, or to contact us by email: or call us on: 01752 202 040