COSHH health and safety templates

All the following COSHH health and safety templates are included in our Health and Safety Folder. Click on the links to discover more about each template.
        
 
COSHH policy 

COSHH records and forms
 
COSHH risk assessment

COSHH training
 

COSHH signage

 


     

C.O.S.H.H. templates C.O.S.H.H. 


COSHH, or the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, is the law that ensures employers remain in control of substances that can be hazardous to the health of employees and guests. There are many businesses which utilises potentially harmful substances, utilise a mixture of substances that can become harmful or actually create substances that can cause harm to employees, guests, contractors and other people.
 
Some of the substances covered by COSHH include:
 
  • Chemicals
  • Products that include chemicals
  • Dusts
  • Fumes
  • Mists
  • Vapours
  • Nanotechnology
  • Gases
  • Germs
  • Biological agents
     
COSHH doesn’t include lead, radioactive substances or asbestos as these substances are covered by their own regulations.
 
In trying to minimise the risk of certain substances, there are some questions you should ask yourself in the line of work. Is there a need to use a hazardous substance or would it be possible to achieve a positive outcome using a much safer substance or process. Is it possible to swap a substance or style of working for a safer style of work? Is there an opportunity to use a safer form of the substance, such as using a solid rather than a liquid solution, or using a wax solution as opposed to a powder. It may be that taking small steps brings about a big change to COSHH health and safety in the workplace.
 
In some cases there will be safer solutions but of course, in some cases there will not be. However, it is best to work with employees and industry experts to explore all of the working methods available, as there may be safer options available to you.
 
Some of the steps you can take to ensure that you are abiding by COSHH regulations include:
 
  • Using control equipment
  • Introducing procedures that increase the level of control
  • Introduce training and try to improve working behaviour of employees
     
Like most working regulations, one of the most difficult ways to make changes is to approach the working behaviours of employees. There may be a long-standing way to undertake certain tasks, but it may be that these methods or activities are no longer the most effective way of working. This is why there is a need for training to be provided to employees when working with substances that are hazardous to people’s health.
 
It may also be that undertaking simple steps like introducing PPE and ensuring that all affected people wear the protective equipment in the appropriate manner will help to improve the safety levels in the workplace. There is also a need for employees to buy into the merits of COSHH which means that they should follow all hygiene procedures and to inform their supervisor or manager if they come across any issues which may impact on people’s health. With respect to hazardous substance health and safety, every employee has a role to play.
 

Employees need to be able to report issues

While supervisory staff should be proactive in examining the workplace and determining if there are any working practices or areas which may see a person exposed to harmful substances, there is a need to ensure that employees can feel as though they can report any potential issues. A well-maintained accident and injury book is an essential item for recording working practices and this should be reviewed as part of the on-going efforts in maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
 
Staying in touch with the latest industry news and features with respect to working with substances will also have a major impact on staying safe in the workplace. It may be that traditional working practices are now outdated or that there are more relevant working practices that can be introduced to the workplace. Staying in touch with industry leaders and experts will provide firm’s with the opportunity to remain at the cutting edge of safety without having to research safety themselves.
 
Given the nature of many of the substances considered to be hazardous in the workplace, it is easy to see why the COSHH regulations are so important in the workplace. However, it is important to treat these risks in the same manner that any other risks would be identified and then minimised, ensuring that the workplace continues in an effective yet safe manner. 

COSHH law and regulations

Employers are required to control substances that are hazardous to health under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) this requires them to  prevent or reduce exposure to hazardous substances.
 

Hazardous substances further reading
    

COSHH-hazardous-substances.JPG  Working with hazardous substances  
A brief guid to COSHH 
 
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