Hazardous substances in your business

We are responsible for the enforcement of the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated legislation in over 5,000 service and leisure premises throughout Brent. These premises include offices, shops, warehouses, consumer services and entertainment venues where hazardous substances may be used or stored.

By law, employers have to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health.

Employers have to protect employees and others who may be exposed under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.

If employers fail to adequately control such substances, and people become ill as a result, it may mean:

  • Lost productivity to your business
  • Possible enforcement action and prosecution
  • Civil claims from your employees

Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances include:

  • Substances used directly in work activities (eg adhesives, paints, cleaning products)
  • Substances generated during work activities (eg fumes from soldering and welding)
  • Naturally occurring substances (eg grain dust)
  • Bacteria and other micro-organisms
  • Biological agents either by direct contact (eg farming) or indirectly by accidental exposure (eg an air conditioning system which is poorly maintained)

Any kind of dust and any other substance including:

  • Asphyxiants
  • Pesticides
  • Medicines
  • Cosmetics
  • Substances produced in the chemical processes

What you need to do

You will need to make an assessment of the risks associated with your business. This is called a COSHH assessment. You will also need to look into necessary training for your employees.

Removing hazardous waste