Chemical hazard advice

Hazardous substances include:

  • Substances used directly in work activities such as adhesives, paints and cleaning agents
  • Substances generated during work activities such as fumes from soldering and welding
  • Naturally occurring substances such as grain dust
  • Biological agents such as bacteria and other micro-organisms

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 specifically requires employers to:

  • Assess the risks to health from hazardous substances used in or created by your workplace activities. Decide what precautions are needed. If you have five or more employees you must make and keep a record of the main findings of the assessment, either in writing or on computer
  • Prevent or adequately control exposure
  • Ensure that control systems used are maintained properly and that safety procedures are followed
  • Monitor the exposure of employees to hazardous substances
  • Carry out appropriate health surveillance where your assessment has shown this is necessary or where COSHH sets specific requirements
  • Prepare plans and procedures to deal with accidents, incidents and emergencies involving hazardous substances
  • Ensure employees have suitable and sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision

Effective communication will ensure that employees are informed of the hazards associated with the materials that they come into contact with during their work. This can be achieved through:

  • Training programmes
  • Information on manufacturer’s product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). This must be made readily available to those coming into contact with the chemical.
  • Visual warning systems
  • Record keeping and data dissemination

Which Scafftag systems can help?

Requirement Relevant products
Placing visual warnings systems at the point of use Chemtag
Permit/Document Wallets
Safetrak® - Chemical hazards
Recording details of inspections and testing results Safetrak® - Chemical hazards

For further advice on developing a Chemical Hazards management system, request a free Scafftag on-site visit, click here

Relevant Legislation:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1980
  • Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981(and approved code of practice 1997)
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985
  • Ionising Radiations Regulations 1985
  • Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended)
  • Chemical (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002
  • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006