The Importance of COSHH Compliance in the Workplace


In any workplace, the health and safety of employees should be a top priority for businesses. Exposure to hazardous substances poses a significant risk to workers, making it vitally important for organisations to adhere to Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

Understanding COSHH:

COSHH is a set of regulations designed to protect workers from the potential risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. These substances can include chemicals, fumes, dust, and more. These regulations require businesses to assess and control the risks posed by these substances, ensuring the health and safety of their workforce.

Key COSHH Principles:

Risk Assessment:

Conducting a thorough risk assessment is the first step in COSHH compliance. Identify and evaluate the hazardous substances used in the workplace, assess potential exposure factors, and determine the level of risk. This process enables businesses to implement effective control measures.

Control Measures:

Implementing control measures is crucial to minimising the risks associated with hazardous substances. This may involve substituting hazardous substances with safer alternatives, using engineering controls such as ventilation systems, or providing personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks.

Training and Education:

Ensuring that employees are adequately trained and educated about the risks associated with hazardous substances is essential. Employees should be aware of the control measures in place, know how to use PPE, and understand emergency procedures in the event of exposure.

It’s important to keep a detailed record of any training completed by your employees.

Monitoring and Health Surveillance:

Regular monitoring of the workplace environment helps ensure that control measures are effective. In order to allow for proper monitoring, businesses may need to implement health surveillance programs to monitor the health of employees who are exposed to hazardous substances regularly.

Emergency Preparedness:

Having robust emergency procedures in place is crucial for responding effectively to incidents involving hazardous substances. Employees should be familiar with evacuation routes, emergency contacts, and the proper use of emergency equipment. This is an area where training and communication is essential.

Best Practices for Businesses:

Conduct Regular COSHH Audits:

Regularly review and update COSHH assessments to account for changes in the workplace, such as the introduction of new substances or processes. This ensures that control measures remain effective and relevant. It may be a good option to consult with external assessors when new or unknown substances and processes are introduced within the workplace.

Collaborate with Employees:

Encourage open communication between management and employees regarding health and safety concerns. Employees often have valuable insights into potential risks and can contribute to the development of effective control measures. It is also important for employees to be aware of any risk or near-miss reporting procedures so any issues can be captured and addressed before an accident occurs.

Stay Informed:

Keep abreast of changes in legislation and best practices related to COSHH. This ensures that your business remains compliant and up-to-date with the latest guidelines for protecting employee health and safety.

How can oneSAFE help?

Prioritising the safety of employees through COSHH compliance is not only a legal requirement but also a moral obligation for businesses. oneSAFE provides a platform for storing and managing risk assessments, accident reporting, tracking training renewals and requirements, and sharing key policies and documentation.

To discuss your Health & Safety needs or to learn more about how oneSAFE can support the safety of your people, contact the team today:


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