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COSHH in agriculture

What you need to do...

The law requires that employers assess and control the risks from hazardous substances. The regulations are called COSHH, short for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. The key issues (in this order) are:

What you need to know...

COSHH covers all substances hazardous to health including:

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Eliminating exposure

You should first aim to eliminate exposure to hazardous substances. You might:

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Controlling exposure

If you have to use the hazardous substance or you can’t avoid exposure to a natural product such as dust from grain or poultry, then you must put in place appropriate control measures. These include, in order of priority, one or more of the following:

Remember that engineering controls protect both the operator and other people in the workplace, while personal protective equipment only protects the wearer.

COSHH essentials for farmers gives advice on control measures for a number of common agricultural activities.

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Monitoring health

Despite all your efforts to control their exposure to hazardous substances, some workers may still experience symptoms of ill health, often later in life. You may need health surveillance to monitor and detect early signs of ill health especially when workers are exposed to:

Health surveillance might include:

Everyone should know about the possible health risks and the need to report symptoms promptly.