COSHH Assessment of Health Risks and Precautions
Before the employer commences any work that could expose anyone to a substance hazardous to health (for example when planning the work) the employer must assess the health risks to those who could be exposed to the substance and the steps needed to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. The assessment must be suitable and sufficient.
Health Risks to Employees
This means the employer must make and record a COSHH assessment of the risks created by the work to the health of his employees, and the steps needed to meet the requirements of COSHH.
Health Risks To Non-Employees
It also means the employer must, so far as is reasonably practicable, make and record a COSHH assessment of:
- the risks created by the work to the health of anyone not in his employment (workers or non-workers) at the workplace;
- the steps needed to meet the requirements of COSHH except health surveillance;
- the risks created by the work to the health of anyone not in his employment (workers or non-workers) outside the workplace but nevertheless likely to be affected by the work;
- the steps needed to meet the requirements of COSHH except health surveillance, exposure monitoring and provision of information, instruction and training.
To ensure that COSHH assessments are suitable and sufficient the employer must use a competent employee or other competent person. An employee or other person is competent if they have sufficient knowledge, skill and experience to ensure that COSHH assessments are suitable and sufficient. (See section E 7.2, Information, Instruction and Training for Those Assisting in the Employer's COSHH Duties; and see A 3.4, Appointing Health and Safety Experts).