Common COSHH Hazards in the Workplace
It can be surprising how many hazards we come into contact with during our everyday working lives, and it is a legal requirement that businesses / employers understand and work to control exposure and risks to the workforce from hazardous substances.
COSHH training works to ensure that employers not only control substances that could be harmful to health, including nanomaterials (such as by-products of combustion reactions), but also understand and identify the potential risk in the workplace.
Whilst some hazardous substances are specialised and typically found only in niche industries, others are very common and found in many circumstances and sectors. It is key to remember that not every hazardous substance will be labelled as such.
Common COSHH hazards
Some of the most common COSHH hazards found in many working environments include:
- Gases & vapours
- Solvents like glues or cleaning materials
- Emissions that may impact indoor air quality
- Bacteria and germs in certain circumstances such as in kitchen areas or bathrooms.
- Cleaning products
Common COSHH Hazards in Specific Sectors
- Cement based products which can cause serious skin problems
- Liquids like paint, fine sprays or mists
- Gases from exhausts or carbon monoxide
- Construction dust such as wood or cement
- Fumes and gases from processes like cutting or welding
- Dusts from mechanical cutting, shaping and blasting
- Lubricants, paints, stripping and degreasing fluids
- Mists from metalworking fluids
- Printer inks
- Toner dust
- Emissions from machinery like printers or photocopiers
- Natural substances like grain or flour that could explode in the right circumstances
- Fertilisers, pesticides
- Baking dusts
- Specific bacteria and germs in food areas
- Biological germs found in laboratories
By ensuring that there are members of staff who have successfully completed in-depth COSHH training, employers are not only keeping on the right side of the law, but also reducing the risk of injury in the workplace. Whilst taking a COSHH training course is not a legal requirement, it is a legal requirement that employers “adequately control” exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace. Undertaking COSHH training is therefore highly advisable for anyone who manages or oversees workers, not just business owners.
COSHH training course options
There are a number of COSHH training courses available including:
- COSHH – E-learning
- COSHH – Classroom-based
- COSHH Assessment Workshops
- Principles of COSHH
For further information on the different COSHH courses available, please contact us or visit our dedicated COSHH Training area online.