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What does Coshh stand for?

What does Coshh stand for?

In the workplace, there can be many dangers that could become a risk to employee’s health or safety, but what can be done to make a company a safer place?

It is a business owner’s responsibility to reduce any risks, this could be supplying first aid kits or ensuring you have a fire extinguisher and fire escape route in place. If you work with or around dangerous substances, then you will also have a required set of rules and regulations to follow.

When a substance is hazardous it is described as a solid, liquid or gas that can cause harm to people, other living organisms or the environment. Some popular substances that are classed as hazardous included a number of chemicals, fumes, some micro-organisms including bacteria and certain dusts.

In the world of health and safety, terminology and jargon are a common factor. If you work with or around hazardous substances then you may have come across the work COSHH, but do you know what it means?

COSHH is an abbreviation that stands for 'control of substances hazardous for health', which is a British body of regulations that govern the storage and use of such substances. If hazardous substances are present in a business, then the law requires employers to control usage and prevent or reduce workers exposure to them.

To comply with Regulations the employer must determine any health hazards within their business, decide what precautions are needed to prevent any harm to health and ensure any controlled measures are strictly followed.

Employers must also be provided with information, instruction and training on how to handle and store these substances and a procedure to follow in the event of an emergency.

In order to identify a substance that may cause harm a labelling system is used, which is required by law. These 5 levels help users classify how dangerous a substance is and immediately allocate appropriate safety measures. The classifications are as followed:

  • Very toxic = Substances which in very low quantities cause death or chronic damage to health when inhaled, swallowed or absorbed.
  • Toxic = Substances which in low quantities cause death or chronic damage to health when inhaled, swallowed or absorbed.
  • Harmful = Substances which may cause death or acute or chronic damage to health when inhaled, swallowed or absorbed via the skin.
  • Corrosive = Substances which may on contact with living tissues destroy them.
  • Irritant = Non-corrosive substances which, through immediate, prolonged or repeated contact with the skin may cause inflammation.
  • Here at Risk Assessment Products, we have a number of products that can help educate employees on the rules and regulation regarding COSHH and supply a range of specialist equipment that will help prevent or reduce workers exposure to harmful substances. These include our COSHH information and help posters, Coshh DVD's that look into how to handle and store substances and COSHH cabinets that safely store any hazardous materials.

    6th Jul 2018 Christopher Maltby JS

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