What your employer should be doing

Lesson Progress:

Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations employers should undertake the following.

  • Read and understand the manufacturer’s information on the substance.
  • Carry out a risk assessment on how and where it is to be used.
  • Use a less hazardous substance, if available.
  • Put in place measures to prevent or control any exposure.
  • Make sure you know the controls.
  • Monitor to make sure the controls are effective.
Some hazardous substances, such as those created by work processes (for example, fumes from welding or dust from cutting and sanding) do not have warning labels, as these are created by the work. Your employer has a legal duty to assess these hazards and complete a COSHH assessment in respect of the work, as part of the safe system of work.

If you are exposed to a workplace hazard your employer may ask you to attend regular health surveillance sessions, which you have a legal duty to attend.

Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks to detect possible ill health effects at an early stage.

Employers can then introduce better controls to prevent any ill health effects from getting worse.