Substances Hazardous to Health

Substances Hazardous to Health 

Short safety talk on working safely with substances hazardous to health.

Author: Star Refrigeration


                                                                                                            Substances Hazardous to Health


Building operations involve the use of many materials which could harm our health unless
precautions are taken.  Common substances such as cement, plaster, adhesives, solvents,
cleaning materials etc all pose a risk.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH for short), place duties
on employers and employees.  They set out a sensible step-by-step approach for the control
of hazardous substances and for protecting people exposed to them.

COSHH in operation

1    Substances have to be accessed: categories include very toxic, toxic, harmful, irritant, corrosive, flammable, non hazardous.

2    Manufacturers and suppliers must provide information, when asked, to enable assessments to be done.

3    Employers (including self-employed) have to introduce control measures appropriate to the assessment.

4.    The best control measure is always - use something else instead which is less hazardous.

5    The last resort control measure is always - provide PPE, i.e. gloves, goggles, overalls etc.

6    Employers must inform and instruct employees about the risks and provide training on the precautions to be taken.  The assessment must be to hand during use, i.e. on the site, not at Head Office.

7    Employers must monitor the use of the substance and check that controls are adequate and if necessary arrange medical checks for workers.

8    Employees must:
-  Use any control measures provided
    - Use any PPE provided, in the way it was intended.

- Use any washing, changing, eating accommodation provided, in the way in      
  which it was intended.

9    Take reasonable care of your own health and safety and of others.  Read labels of packaging and follow the instructions carefully.

10.    Tell your supervisor immediately if you are unsure about a substance or if you have a health problem.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 27 November 2012, 12:07 PM