Is A CoSHH Risk Assessment Just for Nasty Chemicals?

Is A CoSHH Risk Assessment Just for Nasty Chemicals?


A CoSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) risk assessment is carried out on any substance that can cause damage to the handler’s health or the health of those around. A common misconception is that such substances are exclusively corrosive or flammable chemicals, however, there are many more substances that fall into this category.

Any substance that can cause any form of injury or harm falls under the CoSHH regulation, which includes common office equipment like correction fluid all the way up to high-profile hazardous substances such as asbestos. However, whether or not a risk assessment is carried out is highly dependant on context. Correction fluid would not require a risk assessment in an office environment as it can be assumed that everyone knows how to safely use it, whereas an environment with young children would require more consideration. Businesses that do not come into contact with asbestos would not need a risk assessment, whereas the reverse is true for businesses that do on a regular basis, or have potential to.

CoSHH applies to conventionally hazardous substances, such as fibres and vapours that can be inhaled, corrosive substances and substances that are toxic when ingested. However, certain processes that produce hazardous substances can apply too, such as sawdust produced in a sawmill, small particles in the air at flour processing facilities or even the production of pesticides, where the constituent parts are hazardous as well as the final product. Finally, CoSHH can apply to substances that are not immediately hazardous, but can cause problems over time, such as toner from printer ink cartridges causing skin complaints.

In short, any substance or process in your business that has the potential to harm the handler/operator or anyone around them will require a CoSHH risk assessment.

If you are still uncertain, call us on 0844 8797286 to discuss the CoSHH regulations or to book a free review of your Health & Safety arrangements.

Back to News


Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

10 Associates

Why would anybody NOT have Sarah working 'alongside' their business?

I've known Sarah for many years and she's always been there for me and the business when her wealth of knowledge has been called upon.

We have used Sarah and her team to handle our contracts, handbook and Health & Safety and they are readily available on the telephone when needed or on site at our premises.

Highly recommended.

10 Associates

Facebook Posts

Latest Tweets

Latest News

The Chancellor announced on 20th March the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is a grant available to employers to help reduce redundancies...

Read more >