How to Write a COSHH Form
The COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) form is a health and safety document that is written for individual substances. It is a crucial part of the COSHH regulations, and carrying out a COSHH assessment is a legal requirement. The assessment helps in identifying and managing the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace. Below are the stems involved in completing a COSHH form:
Identify Hazardous Substances
Identify the hazardous substances used or produced in your research or workplace. Begin by looking at the chemicals, liquids, and solutions you purchase.
Substances that are considered hazardous by COSHH include:
- Chemicals and products containing chemicals.
- Biological agents (bacteria, viruses)
Once identified, gather safety information of the hazardous substance(s). Request and obtain safety data sheets (SDS) for purchased products. The SDS provides details on hazards, classifications, safe handling procedures, storage information, and advice. Note that the SDS is generic, and your COSHH assessment must cover specific risks associated with your use of the substance.
Clearly state in the header section which substance you are assessing and specify its use. Record the hazardous substance(s) used or produced, along with its intended purpose.
Assess the Risk
Outline the risks associated with using or coming into contact with the substance. Consider risks to anyone who may be exposed to the substance. Include any classification symbols assigned to the substance. Identify routes of exposure and determine control measures, such as substitution, ventilation, extraction, and required personal protective equipment. Ensure that controls are in place to minimize risks to the lowest reasonably practicable level, in compliance with COSHH regulations.
First Aid Measures
Include information on first aid measures in case of harmful contact. Clearly outline the correct first aid procedures. Consider the types of first aid needed if control measures fail, especially for high-hazard substances. Quick and appropriate first aid action is vital in case of harmful contact.