Stages of a COSHH risk assessment

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COSHH Risk Assessment Stages

1. Assessing the Risk

Key considerations during the risk assessment process:

  • Identifying Substances: Determine all substances present in the workplace.
  • Assessment Factors: Evaluate substance properties, exposure risks, and potential harm.
  • Precautions: Include relevant information on safety datasheets and precautions.
  • Action Plan: Decide on necessary actions to eliminate or reduce risks, with documentation.

2. Record and Review

Recording and reviewing findings for ongoing compliance:

  • Documenting: Record all assessments and reviews for future reference.
  • Review Schedule: Establish timelines for reviews and designate responsible personnel.
  • Validity: Reviews are conducted when risks are no longer applicable or significant changes occur.

3. Prevent and Control

Implementing preventive measures and control strategies:

  • Prevention: Aim to eliminate or substitute hazardous substances where reasonably practicable.
  • Control Measures: Implement engineering controls, ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Exposure Limits: Adhere to Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) to ensure safe exposure levels.

4. Ensure Control Measures are Used and Maintained

Enforcing proper usage and maintenance of control measures:

  • Staff Compliance: Ensure all employees understand and adhere to control measures.
  • Training: Provide comprehensive training to identify, report, and maintain control measures.
  • Regular Checks: Conduct routine inspections and promptly address any issues or defects.

5. Monitor Exposure

Continuous monitoring of hazardous substance exposure:

  • Exposure Measurement: Measure exposure levels where risks are present or control measures may fail.
  • Data Recording: Document exposure monitoring results for compliance and future reference.

6. Monitor Health Checks

Regular health assessments for employees exposed to health risks:

  • Health Review: Conduct periodic health checks to detect and prevent health issues early.
  • Employer Responsibility: Fulfill legal obligations to safeguard workers' health and well-being.

7. Staff Training and Supervision

Providing comprehensive training and supervision on substance handling:

  • Training Requirements: Deliver suitable training on substances, precautions, PPE, and emergency procedures.
  • Supervision: Ensure proper supervision to enforce adherence to control measures and safety protocols.