COSHH Assessments

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations is a key piece of legislation that aims to protect workers from the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace. COSHH assessments play a crucial role in ensuring the health and safety of employees by identifying and managing potential hazards.

COSHH regulations

COSHH regulations require employers to manage substances which can be harmful to human health. An assessment is carried out for the purpose of identifying hazardous substances present, whether the precautions you have taken are acceptable, and what control measures are in place. The assessment will contain relevant information on the process, substances, risks and control measures.

At RPS, this is carried out by a 3-step process:

  • Gathering information about the substances, associated work and practices
  • Evaluating the risks to health
  • Deciding on the necessary measures (controls) to comply with regulations 7-13 of the COSHH regulations

A completed assessment may conclude that the current controls are adequate, or that further controls are necessary to protect workers. 

What is a COSHH assessment?

COSHH assessments are essential for identifying and controlling the risks posed by hazardous substances in the workplace. These assessments help companies ensure compliance with legal obligations and create a safe working environment for their employees. By assessing the risks associated with hazardous substances, companies can implement control measures to minimize exposure, protect the health of their workforce, and prevent accidents and illnesses.

Not always labelled as ‘hazardous’, sometimes these substances, such as paint, bleach or dust, can occur from natural materials but still be harmful. Substances can take many forms including; chemicals, fumes, dusts, vapours, mists, nanotechnology, gases and asphyxiating gases and biological agents. 

A completed assessment will help to reduce operator exposure to low level risks.

The regulations stipulate that assessments should be reviewed every 2 years from completion. If any of the following are applicable, then they must be reviewed sooner:

  • Modification of existing, or installation of new, process plant or equipment
  • A change of process
  • Change in volume of production
  • New substances or new evidence on hazards of existing substances
  • Alteration of control techniques/equipment
  • Ill health related to work is reported
  • Monitoring or health surveillance indicates loss of control
  • New or improved techniques become reasonably practicable

COSHH assessments are a vital tool for companies in the UK to manage the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace. By conducting thorough assessments, implementing control measures, and providing appropriate training, companies can ensure the health and safety of their employees. Compliance with COSHH regulations not only safeguards the well-being of workers but also promotes a culture of safety and responsibility within the organisation.

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Matt Bates

Business Development Director - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 (0) 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

Tracey Bailey

Business Development Manager - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

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