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COSHH Risk Assessment

For those of you who are not aware, COSHH stands for the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health. Recently when I have spoken with some Clients with regards to their COSHH Risk Assessment provision, I have been provided with a Material Safety Datasheet (MSDS) from the manufacturer and this is a very common response. It is easy to see why some people can confuse a COSHH Risk Assessment with an MSDS. The MSDS does indeed highlight all the information with regards to the product – what is contains, what the health and environmental implications are of using the product, however, it does not assess the risk of using that product within your own individual workplace. A substance may be natural or artificial and in a solid, liquid, gaseous or vapour form and are capable of causing adverse health effects of disease arising from work activities. Micro-organisms are also included. A COSHH Risk Assessment allows the employer to assess the risks of using the product within their workplace which may be different to the risk of the product being used elsewhere. As an employer, please ensure that your COSHH Risk Assessment identifies – The product/substance Who may be affected by its use Who long it is going to be used for What health effects it presents both short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) What control measures are required – elimination, engineering or mechanical What personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn The emergency provision including – first aid measures, fire and accidental spillage Any health surveillance requires When it needs to be reviewedOnce a COSHH Risk Assessment has been completed – ensure that all those affected by the exposure or use of the product are given a copy of the assessment and sign onto it to confirm that they have read and understood the contents. For more information on Health & Safety at Work contact: Joanne Moore Sirocco Safety 07471 896114 www.siroccosafety.co.uk info@siroccosafety.co.uk