COSHH Training - The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

What is COSHH?

The term COSHH is an abbreviation of "the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health", and is concerned with preventing damage to a person's health through exposure to harmful substances. This exposure can be through various means including inhalation, ingestion and absorption through the skin.

It is such an important topic and includes such a wide variety of substances which are used in virtually every workplace that as well as dedicated COSHH training courses, issues regarding hazardous substances and their safe storage, use and disposal are covered in many courses and accredited health and safety qualifications such as the NEBOSH General Certificate. As hazardous substances can have a serious detrimental effect upon the environment, training courses like the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate and construction safety courses like the Site Managers SMSTS and Site Supervisors SSSTS courses also touch upon hazardous substances in the syllabus.

COSHH Hazards

Hazardous substances come in many different forms and types. Common forms of COSHH dangers include liquids, gases, mists and dust. This therefore means that the types of individual substances range from cleaning products to hydraulic fluid to brick dust... the list is endless. It is also important to remember that many COSHH risks not only come from substances used, but are also created as by-products of a process, for example dust from demolition work.

Many substances which would not pose a danger in small doses can be a danger to health in larger quantities, so the quantity as well as the type of substance also needs to be taken into consideration.

The extent to which the substances have an effect on health and wellbeing will vary too, ranging from mild irritants to highly toxic and deadly.

COSHH Regulations

The introduction of COSHH regulations aims to prevent workers being exposed to levels of hazardous substances which causes damage to their health, either in the short term or later on in life. In the first instance this should be done by removing the hazard altogether, for example by substituting a hazardous or toxic chemical with one that is not, or eliminating a process to prevent the creation of fumes. Often though this will not be possible, and if it is not reasonably practical to eliminate the hazard completely, then steps should be introduced such as using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other means to prevent levels of exposure going above safe levels.

Are any Hazardous Substances Not Covered By COSHH Regulations?

COSHH regulations and legislation do not cover asbestos or lead. Whilst these are hazardous substances and do conform to the same criteria in terms of form such as dust and methods of getting into a person's body, these substances are so high risk in low quantities that they have their own individual regulations.

The Importance of COSHH Training

Because pretty much every place of work has COSHH risks to some extent, coshh training is suitable for most if not all employees, and why it is included in the syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate and other accredited health and safety training courses.

The diverse variety of COSHH hazards and risks mean that a general COSHH training course is not practical to be scheduled as an open course, as the content of the training needs to be tailored to the exact substances that employees in a particular place of work are likely to be exposed to. It is for this reason that all of our COSHH training is provided on an in-house basis so that all of the information taught applies to your employees and they get the most out of the session.

To discuss your COSHH training requirements with one of our advisors, please call 0115 984 9940 or send an online contact form by clicking on the "Contact" tab at the top of the page and we will be in touch with regards to how we can assist you. Alternatively, see below for our range of in-house COSHH courses which can be used as a basis upon which to design a bespoke COSHH training programme for you and your employees.

What COSHH Courses are Available?

The following COSHH training courses are available on an in-house basis, either as they are or tailored to include or take out parts so that the training is relevant for your industry and risks faced:

  • COSHH Course

  • COSHH for Managers and Supervisors

  • COSHH Awareness Training

  • COSHH Articles

    For more information regarding the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, please click here to browse our selection of COSHH and COSHH-related articles by clicking on a title below:

  • Protecting the Public from Environmental Hazards

  • Health and Safety Risks from a Paper Shredder

  • Health and Safety Risks to Garden Centre Workers

  • Why Water Can Be Dangerous When Hazardous Substances are Involved

  • Spillages of Hazardous Substances

  • COSHH Health and Safety: Over-Filling Containers

  • Fixed Storage Tanks with Enclosed Pipes for Health and Safety

  • COSHH and Construction Safety

  • Construction Site Safety - Dust

  • Construction Site Safety - Drills

  • Using Sanding Equipment Safely

  • Demolition Health and Safety

  • Health and Safety with Cement Mixers

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