Specific Rules for Exposure to Substance

Specific Rules for Exposure to Substances


The employer must manage health and safety matters associated with exposure to substances. Substances can harm health, such as by causing cancer or other diseases by getting into the body through the mouth, nose, eyes or skin. They can also cause harm simply through contact with skin, such as dermatitis or chemical burns. Some harmful effects are caused by a single, sudden exposure, whilst others are caused by long term exposure or repeated exposures.

The main regulations are the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999, (often referred to as COSHH) and the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 (often known as COMAH). These set the minimum legal standards for controlling exposure to substances so as to avoid potentially harmful effects.

Other specific rules also apply to substances, for example in relation to dangerous substances, asbestos, radioactive substances, lead, flammable liquids and liquefied petroleum gases, hazard information, packaging and labelling.

The Need for Good Management

To ensure that legal obligations are met for health and safety risks associated with the workplace it may be necessary to strengthen your systems and procedures for monitoring risks, risk controls and health and safety arrangements. This is because developments in science, technology and management are continually increasing the level of knowledge about hazards and the state of the art for controlling risks.

The employer must manage health and safety matters associated with exposure to substances. Substances can harm health, such as by causing cancer or other diseases by getting into the body through the mouth, nose, eyes or skin. They can also cause harm simply through contact with skin, such as dermatitis or chemical burns. Some harmful effects are caused by a single, sudden exposure, whilst others are caused by long term exposure or repeated exposures.

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