The Law Around Hazardous Substance Control
Working in an industry that deals with hazardous substances can pose a significant risk to an employee’s health and wellbeing. In order to mitigate these risks, in 1988 the UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) introduced COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations. This blog is an introduction to the 8 Principles of COSHH.
Minimum Industry Standards
Updated most recently in 2002, the regulations show the minimum required standards within these industries and the measures that must be taken to minimise employee exposure to hazardous substances.
If a hazardous substance cannot be eliminated or substituted from a process, then we need to look at how to control exposure to it.
Such measures include regular COSHH testing, an example of which is LEV (Local Exhaust Ventilation) testing). COSHH testing ensures that hazardous substances are either being completely removed from the environment at source, or are being reduced to safe levels. Regular testing must take place to ensure the control measures implemented by an employer are working effectively and efficiently.
What are The 8 Principles of COSHH?
The COSHH regulations (2002) include ‘The 8 Principles of Good Practice’; businesses must follow these principles in order to minimise workplace risk, and to be in line with regulation.
The 8 Principles of Good Practice are as follows (in no particular order of priority):
- Minimise the release and spread of hazardous substances through carefully designed processes and activities.
- When developing COSHH control measures, consider all the possible routes of exposure – inhalation, skin absorption and ingestion.
- Control levels of exposure through measures that are proportionate to the health risk(s).
- Choose the best possible control measures – those that effectively and reliably minimise the escape and spread of hazardous substances.
- If adequate control of exposure cannot be achieved by other means, suitable personal protective equipment must be provided, and used in conjunction with other control measures.
- The effectiveness of control measures must be monitored and regularly reviewed through COSHH testing in order to ensure ongoing effectiveness
- All employees must be aware of the hazards and risks associated with the substances with which they work; they must be fully trained with the use of control measures developed to minimise the risks.
- Ensure that introducing control measures does not increase the overall risk to health and safety.
Get in touch with Workplace Exposure, either give us a call on 0800 689 4386, or fill in our enquiry form to discuss your monitoring or consultancy requirements.
We’ll then provide you with a no obligation proposal, we can often give an initial idea of fees whilst we discuss your needs.
Once you’ve accepted our proposal we can then schedule the work.
Following our site visit we’ll provide you with a comprehensive report giving you advice, recommendations and control measures where appropriate.
Implement the outcomes for compliance and a happier healthier workplace.