The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)


The COSHH Regulations have been in existence for many years now and it is likely that employers, employees and employees’ representatives are aware of their basic requirements under the Regulations. It is unlikely, however, that all are aware that the COSHH regulations have evolved several times since first being introduced in 1989.


The last revision in April 2005 introduced new Workplace Exposure Limits (WEL’s) and the concept of ‘best practice’. The regulations evolved further in October 2007 when new WEL’s came into force.


With each new revision, duties and requirements change, it is important that COSHH records and assessments are reviewed regularly so that they are kept up to date. With this in mind, a number of questions should be asked by an employer to check if there is compliance, i.e.:


  • What substances do I have on site?
  • Are the substances hazardous?
  • How are these substances used, produced?
  • Are my employees exposed to them?
  • What are the level, frequency and duration of the exposures?
  • Are there control measures in place?
  • Do they work?
  • Do I check the control measures are working properly?
  • Do I monitor exposures regularly?
  • Do I need health surveillance?
  • Does everyone know what they need to know?
  • Will the HSE be satisfied with what has been done?


If you or your company is not confident with a positive answer to any of these questions, you may need some external assistance!

Newcastle Occupational Health & Hygiene Ltd can assist with most aspects of the COSHH regulations, including:


  • Initial COSHH factory audits
  • Compilation of assessments
  • Exposure monitoring of airborne substances
  • Examination & testing of LEV systems
  • Instruction of managers, supervisors and employees


In all areas recommendations are given where appropriate to assist the company in compliance. For further advice on all aspects COSHH, please do not hesitate to contact Newcastle Occupational Health and Hygiene Ltd.