SCHOOL OF CRYSTALLOGRAPHY

CONTROL OF SUBSTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH (COSHH)

The Control of Substance Hazardous to Health covers virtually all substances which have a potential for causing harm to people's health. Whether or not they do so in practice is dependent on:-

1. the form that they are in

2. the way that they are used

3. precautions taken to protect people

It is the objective of COSHH to require the necessary precautions to prevent that harm from occurring.

This will be achieved by the following measures:-

1. Assessment of Risk

2. Provision, use and maintenance of adequate control measures

3. Monitoring exposure of employees

4. Health surveillance of employees where necessary

5. Education and training of employees

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

1. To identify those substances and processes which are hazardous to health in use within the School.

2. To find wherever possible safer alternative substances

3. Where there is no safer alternative substance, to specify such controls as may be necessary to ensure the health and safety of the users of the substance and of any others who may be affected by it.

4. The assessments of the health risks associated with the use of hazardous substances will be mainly concerned with the risks created by work rather than the substance involved.

Process - Control Measures

The principal duty is to prevent exposure. If this is not reasonably practicable, then there must be adequate control of exposure.

IN ALL CASES PREVENTION, OR ADEQUATE CONTROL MUST, SO FAR AS IS REASONABLY PRACTICABLE, BE ACHIEVED BY METHODS OTHER THAN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (P.P.E.)

Control of exposure should be achieved by:-

1. Substitution

2. Control by mechanical method (exhaust ventilation, enclosure of the process etc.) if so safe substitutes can be found.

3. Personal Protective Equipment - but only as a last resort.

What are Substances Hazardous to Health?

1. Substances that have been classified as:-

Very toxic

Toxic

Harmful

Corrosive

Irritant

under the classification, packaging and labelling of Dangerous Substances Regulations 1984.

2. Substances which have maximum exposure limits (MELs) specified in Schedule 1 of the Regulations, or for which the Health and Safety Commission has approved an Occupational Exposure Standard (OES).

3. Dusts of any kind when present at a substantial concentration in air.

4. Substances which are:-

a) Carcinogenic - substances which induce tumours

b) Mutagenic - substances which induce changes in the genes of a cell causing it to exhibit new characteristics

c) Teratogenic - substances which induce gross congenital abnormalities

A substance should be regarded as hazardous to health if it is hazardous in the form in which it occurs in the work activity, whether or not its mode of causing injury to health is known and whether or not the active constituent has been identified.

APPENDIX A

RISK ASSESSMENT FLOW CHART

Is the Substance Hazardous to Health?

If No - Finish Assessment now Review Assessment situation changes.

 If Yes - Find Safer Substitute - If Yes Review Assessment - If OK continue process. Review again if situation changes.

 If None -Use of Controls (Mechanical, LEV)

 If Yes Review Assessment. If OK continue process. Review again if situation changes.

 If No - Use of Personal Protection Equipment If OK continue process.

 If Yes - Review Assessment. If OK continue process. Review again if situation changes.

 If No - Discontinue Process

When to Review

- 1) If situation changes

- 2) In the light of new information/experiments

- 3) Annually

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