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The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) aims to protect people from the harmful health effects of substances used at work. It requires employers to carry out a risk assessments and as a result, take steps to either prevent exposure or control the risks to their employees (and others who may be affected) from such substances.
In a few cases, where risks are high or difficult to control, it imposes restrictions on the supply or use of the substances. Many of these supply and use restrictions stem from the EC's Marketing and Use Directive (76/769/EEC). COSHH is supported by an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) which gives practical advice on compliance.
In a recent consultative document the HSC proposed:
The above changes would be introduced by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (COSHH 2004). These Regulations will also introduce a new occupational exposure limit framework for hazardous substances
From 6 April 2005, the focus on good practice
changed under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations
These apply regardless of whether a substance has an Occupational Exposure Limit or not:
A single type of limit has
also been introduced, Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) now
replace Maximum Exposure Limits (MELs) and Occupational
Exposure Standards (OESs). The OESs for around 100
substances have been deleted as these substances are now
either, banned, scarcely used or there is evidence to
suggest adverse health effects close to the old limit value.
For more information on the implications to you company, call 0845 6039053