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A Simplified Guide To COSHH

At work you’ve probably heard of or come across the phrase COSHH, but what does it stand for and more importantly what does it mean?


So, to begin, COSHH stands for the ‘control of substances hazardous to health’ quite a mouthful, hence the shorthand. Sounds scary right, and it’s something which every employee/employer needs to consider. You see COSHH isn’t just something that applies in your high tech labs working with dangerous chemicals and biological agents. COSHH is something which also appears in your everyday workplaces, hotels, schools and even in your own home, all those cleaning products you have? Check the back of them and see if they have one of the symbols listed below


All substances that can harm your health are marked with a symbol indicating what damage they can cause, see below:


This leaves employees & employers with certain responsibility’s, as an employer you need to ‘control these substances’ by law. This basically means preventing or reducing your workers exposure to these substances, by knowing the risks and putting measures in place to ensure they don’t cause accidents; for example issuing protective gear.

As an employee, if you have been given the proper training you should be aware of which hazardous substances, if any you are going to be working with during your shift and how to safely use them without putting your health at risk. If you find yourself unaware about anything to do with COSHH consult a senior member of staff – it is their responsibility to prevent you from having an accident


We offer an online COSHH course which can be completed in conjunction with the CIEH Level 2 Health and Safety in the Workplace e-Learning program.

Level 2 COSHH – online