Vol. 1, Issue 27 (Mar 05) COSHH Amended

The regulation “COSHH 2002” has been amended to “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004” and came into force 17th January 2005.

The amendments have come about due to the change of approach with exposures to substances. The definitions for ‘maximum exposure limit’ and ‘occupational exposure standard’ will be deleted and will alter to ‘workplace exposure limit’.

The definition for ‘workplace exposure limit’ is to be “for a substance hazardous to health means the exposure limit approved by the ‘Health and Safety Commission’ for that substance in relation to the specified reference period when calculated by a method approved by the ‘Health and Safety Commission’, as contained in ‘HSE’ publication “EH/40 Workplace Exposure Limits 2005″ as updated from time to time”.

It is understood that the “Health and Safety Executive” is to publish the “EH/40” series on their web page, the 2004 edition has as yet not been published, therefore it will be difficult to comply with the amendments.

In short the answer is that you should ensure that you do meet the requirements of the 2002 edition of the “COSHH” regulations as a minimum and check with the person who provides competent advice for any further actions that may be required.

Part of the regulations is now in place, some elements will come into force April 2005.

The regulations amend other relevant statutory provisions this includes:-

  • “Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002” (CHIP).
  • “Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002”.

The regulations also implement provisions concerning chromium VI in cement contained in Directive 2003/53/EC of a European Directive. To reduce the effects of dermatitis.

To prohibit the supply and use of cement and cement containing preparations containing when hydrated more than 0.0002% soluble chromium VI of the dry weight of the cement except in certain fully automated and enclosed processes.

To amend the CHIP regulations by adding a requirement to mark the packaging of cement whose chromium VI content would exceed that limit but for the use of reducing agents with information on how long and which conditions those agents will remain effective.

Further amendments include the new requirements to observe principles of good practice for the control of exposure to substances hazardous to health introduced by schedules under the regulations. To ensure that in respect of carcinogens and asthmagens that exposure is reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

Definition of “reasonably practicable”. “Reasonably practicable”, as traditionally interpreted, is a narrower term than ‘physically possible’ and implies that a computation must be made in which the quantum of risk is placed in one scale and the sacrifice, whether in money, time or trouble, involved in the measures necessary to avert the risk are placed in the other; and that, if it be shown that there is gross disproportion between them, the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice, the person upon whom the duty is laid discharges the burden of proving that compliance was not reasonably practicable.

There will be the introduction of a duty to review control measures other than the provision of plant and equipment, including systems of work and supervision at suitable intervals.


After on going and protracted consultation process the “Health and Safety Executive” has – according to information received – decided against a two metre rule for the construction industry.

Therefore the way forward will be based on judgement and the risk assessment process. It is likely that there will be a need for specific fall protection to be made available for falls from heights that are suitable and sufficient.

Priority should be given for collective measures rather than individual measures, such as hand rails edge protection rather than single user harnesses.

A few Do’s and Don’ts for ladders.

  • DO keep your body facing the ladder at all times, centred between the stiles.
  • DON’T reach too far forwards or sideways, or stand with one foot on the ladder and the other one on something else.
  • DO move the ladder to avoid overstretching, and re-secure it whenever necessary, however frustrating that might be!
  • DO keep both hands free to hold the ladder while you’re climbing or descending – if you need to carry any tools, use a shoulder bag, belt holster or belt hooks.
  • DON’T carry heavy items or long lengths of material up a ladder.
  • DO hold onto the ladder with one hand while you work. You can get special trays which fit between the stiles to take paint pots, tools etc.
  • DO wear strong, flat shoes or boots, with dry soles and a good grip.
  • DON’T wear sandals, slip-ons or have bare feet on a ladder.
  • DO make sure a door locked, blocked or guarded by someone if you’re up a ladder in front of it.
  • DON’T use a ladder in a strong wind.
  • DON’T use a ladder near any power lines.


Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 news