Tell us whether you accept cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We also use cookies to collect information about how you use HSE.gov.uk so we can improve our services.

Beta This is a new way of showing guidance - your feedback will help us improve it.

COSHH assessment: Identifying hazard and assessing risk

You are probably already aware of many risks in your trade or industry. A COSHH assessment concentrates on the hazards and risks from substances in your workplace.

Remember that hazards and risks are not limited to substances labelled as ‘hazardous’.

Steps to making a COSHH assessment:

HSE has provided specific guidance on COSHH assessment called A step by step guide to COSHH assessment. You can apply this to substances hazardous to health. More detailed guidance is in the free booklet on working with substances hazardous to health. Working with substances hazardous to health: What you need to know about COSHH. INDG136

Safety data sheets provide information on substances that are ‘dangerous for supply'. Other substances should have instructions for safe use.

By law, your supplier must give you an up to date safety data sheet for a substance that is ‘dangerous for supply'. Safety Data Sheets are often hard to understand, though this explanation might help.

Keeping a copy of the safety data sheet is not a COSHH assessment.

2019-10-08