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Managing COSHH and Working with Chemicals

Our Senior HSE Manager, Rich Grinham, shares his to tips for managing COSHH and working with chemicals.


The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations is a UK legislation that aims to protect workers and others from the harmful effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. These regulations require employers to assess the risks associated with the use of hazardous substances, and to put measures in place to control those risks.

The COSHH regulations apply to a wide range of substances, including chemicals, dusts, fumes and biological agents. Employers are required to carry out a risk assessment for each hazardous substance used or produced in the workplace, and to take steps to control those risks.

Some of the measures that employers may need to take include using less hazardous substances where possible, providing appropriate personal protective equipment, implementing safe systems of work, and providing adequate training and information to workers.

The COSHH regulations also require employers to ensure that workers are provided with access to relevant information and training on the hazards associated with the substances they work with, as well as the measures in place to control those hazards.

We spoke to our Senior HSE Manager, Rich Grinham, who has over 30 years  (is this correct) of experience in the Health and Safety industry and asked him for his top tips for managing COSHH and working safely with chemicals. 


Knowledge is crucial when it comes to managing COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) in the workplace. Without adequate knowledge, businesses may not be able to identify hazardous substances, assess the risks associated with them, or implement appropriate control measures to protect their employees.

It is also important to keep up to date with the latest regulations and guidelines to ensure that the workplace is compliant and safe for everyone. By having a good understanding of COSHH, businesses can create a safe and healthy work environment, reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, and promote the well-being of their employees.


Without proper planning, it may become difficult to identify and control hazardous substances effectively. Planning involves assessing the risks associated with the use of these substances, determining appropriate control measures, and ensuring that employees are adequately trained and aware of the hazards.

By implementing a well-thought-out plan, businesses can ensure that they are complying with regulations and guidelines, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries, and promoting a safe and healthy work environment for their employees.

Conducting regular risk assessments and creating emergency plans can help businesses prepare for any unforeseen incidents and minimize the impact of a hazardous substance-related accident.

Ultimately, planning helps to minimize the potential harm from hazardous substances and ensures that workplace safety is a top priority.


Proper implementation of control measures is crucial for managing COSHH. It involves taking action to put planned measures into effect, ensuring they are consistently followed. Effective implementation minimizes risks, promotes a safe work environment, and ensures compliance with regulations. Prioritizing implementation is key to upholding workplace safety and not wasting planning efforts.


Reviewing is an essential yet often overlooked part of COSHH management. It allows for an assessment of the effectiveness of control measures and identifies any areas for improvement. Regular reviews help ensure that the workplace remains safe and compliant with regulations, and that any necessary adjustments are made to control measures in a timely manner.

It is also an opportunity to gather feedback from employees and make any necessary changes to policies or procedures. Effective and routine reviews are an important aspect of COSHH management that should not be overlooked.


Simply identifying potential hazards and implementing control measures is not enough. Regular monitoring and reviewing must take place to ensure that those control measures are effective and that any necessary adjustments are made in a timely manner. Failure to take action in response to identified risks can result in health and safety hazards for employees, legal and regulatory non-compliance, and reputational damage to the business. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize actions and follow through with any necessary changes to maintain a safe and compliant workplace.

If your business needs guidance, support and expertise in managing COSHH in the workplace then follow the link below to speak to a member of our Health and Safety team. 

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