Gillies Associates Ltd

Environment, Health & Safety Consultants

Providing services since 1995

Chemical hazzards Chemicals & COSHH

COSHH – the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 – is the cornerstone legislation in the UK aimed at preventing occupational illness and disease.  COSHH places duties on Employers to control exposure to any substance which may be hazardous to human health in the workplace.  The key parts of COSHH are the requirement to carry out a risk assessment, prevent or reduce exposure to hazardous substances by applying the eight Principles of Good Practice given in Schedule 2A, and manage the control measures to ensure they continue to work effectively.

Compliance with COSHH can be a bureaucratic nightmare if done badly, but if done properly it provides an efficient and reliable framework to prevent people suffering ill health due to their work.  The starting point is an assessment of the risk – recognising the health hazards that exist from substances you use or generate in the workplace (e.g. dusts, welding fumes, solvent vapours) and deciding on practical measures that will reduce the risk and achieve adequate control of exposure.  If this isn’t done properly then everything that follows will be compromised. 

Assessing health risks can be tricky, especially for chronic (long-term) health problems that may not show up quickly, or may be masked by other conditions.  There is no real substitute for training and experience in health risk assessment.  The purpose of assessment of course is to define the types of control measures needed.  Control is at the heart of COSHH, and controls should be proportionate to the risk and be practical and appropriate for each situation.

Gillies Associates Limited has extensive experience of all aspects of COSHH.  We can help you implement COSHH in the most efficient way for your business.  We offer the following services: 

  • Audit of COSHH systems to evaluate compliance with legal requirements
  • Development of tailored procedures for in-house COSHH risk assessments
  • Carrying out and documenting COSHH risk assessments
  • Developing practical, cost-effective control measures proportionate to the risks
  • Measuring exposure to demonstrate compliance with WEL’s and other types of exposure limits
  • Monitoring performance of controls (e.g. LEV systems) to prove effectiveness (see separate Service sheet for LEV testing)

Staff training to raise awareness and understanding of health risks and controls