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Hazardous to Health Guidelines


Chemicals and dangerous substances can cause a variety of different diseases and health complications if the correct precautions are not taken when exposed to them. COSHH, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health was set up in 2002 in order to create specific fixed guidelines for employers to follow in order for these risks to be kept to a minimum.


As well as setting out specific healthy and safety guidelines, COSHH makes sure that information and fact sheets on all hazardous substances are available to all business, for both the employers and the workforce. These regulations were updated in 2005 to include a list of eight principles which are laid out to protect both employers and employees from any danger or exposure in the future. These principles plot out the actions that need to be taken by a business so that they fulfil the requirements of COSHH guidelines, these include assessing the risks, deciding what preventative measures need to be implemented and putting them into action, as well as maintaining and updating these measures whenever they are needed.


These measures will also include providing sufficient protective equipment for the workers as well as supplying training in first aid that may be required for any medical emergencies. These regulations are set out to protect the employer as well as the employee, productivity will improve and employee focus and morale will be lifted with these conditions, sickness and ill health create a weaker workforce and to invest in these safety measures will ensure a higher work rate and efficiency for the business as a whole. Controls of Substances Hazardous to Health guidelines are monitored through risk assessments, these are performed for companies regularly so that the guidelines are kept up to date and all members of the work forces are receiving ongoing health and safety training.


The risk of exposure and the need for the use of the substances are calculated so that the employees are aware of what tasks they are not required to perform according to the law. An evaluation takes place which allows employers to see what other measures can be taken to lower the exposure and risk to their workforce. Sometimes using another chemical is an option, other times there is a need for certain safety equipment in order to safely work with the chemical.


With control and monitoring of exposure, there are many ways in which both employer and employee of all businesses can be kept safe and happy when adhering to the COSHH, control of substances hazardous to health, restrictions and guidelines.