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Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
Working with Substances Hazardous to Health


Every year thousands of workers are made ill by hazardous substances used in the workplace or generated by work activity.  The illnesses include lung disease such as asthma, cancer and skin disease such as dermatitis. 


All employers are responsible for taking effective measures to control exposure and ill health.  The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (as amended) describes how employers can control hazardous substances at work so that they do not cause ill health.


Regulation 6 states that an employer shall not carry out any work which is liable to expose any employees to any substance hazardous to health unless he has made a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk created by that work to the health of those employees and of the steps that need to be taken to meet the requirements of the Regulations.


Regulation 7 states that every employer shall ensure that the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.

Learning Outcomes



To give employers and employees an understanding of what they need to do to comply with the Regulations.


To give information and practical guidance to employers and employees on how to control hazardous substances at work so that they do not cause ill health.


To give information to employers and employees to enable them to conduct a COSHH risk assessment.


Who should attend?

Directors, managers, line managers, supervisors, health and safety officers, occupational health officers, trade union representatives, employee representatives.  In fact anyone who has responsibility for managing the welfare of the workforce, are responsible for implementing risk assessments and putting into place policies and procedures to enable the workforce to work efficiently and effectively.

Agenda ( Half-day Workshop )


The legal position concerning the control of substances hazardous to health in the workplace.

  • Team quiz for delegates to find out their current knowledge about COSHH.

  • Team exercise: 

    • Why must employers and employees take COSHH seriously?

    • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

    • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended).

    • Duties of employers and employees.

  • What is a hazardous substance?

    • Routes of exposure.

    • Workplace exposure limits.

    • The CHIP and CLP Regulations.

  • How to identify hazardous substances in the workplace.

    • International hazard symbols.

    • Safety Data Sheets ( SDS ).

    • Hazard and Precautionary Statements.


  • Team exercise:

    • Delegates are asked to list the hazardous substances that can be present in a certain type of company.

  • Health effects.

    • Within the body.

    • Effects on skin e.g. dermatitis.

    • Respiratory system.

  • Regulation 6: Risk Assessment.

    • How to assess the risk.

    • Decide what control measures are required – hierarchy of control.

    • Chemical handling and storage requirements.

    • Personal Protective Equipment.

  • Maintenance, examination and testing of control equipment and measures.

  • Personal hygiene.

  • Monitoring exposure.

  • Health Surveillance.


  • Information, instruction and training given to workers.


  • Accidents, incidents and emergencies.


  • Team exercise: Plan for emergencies.


  • Principles of good practice (Schedule 2A).


  • Good practice in the control of substances hazardous to health can be encapsulated in eight generic principles.


  • COSHH Risk Assessment Exercise.

  • Do your COSHH risk assessments cover all the essential detail?


  • Team exercise:

    • Delegates are asked to make a detailed checklist of all the main points to be covered in a COSHH risk assessment of the substances used and/or generated in their workplace.



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