Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)
What is COSHH?
The occupational use of nanomaterials is regulated under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health and includes nanomaterials. You can prevent or reduce workers' exposure to hazardous substances by:
- finding out what the health hazards are;
- deciding how to prevent harm to health (risk assessment);
- providing control measures to reduce harm to health;
- making sure they are used;
- keeping all control measures in good working order;
- providing information, instruction and training for employees and others;
- providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases;
- planning for emergencies.
Most businesses use substances, or products that are mixtures of substances. Some processes create substances. These could cause harm to employees, contractors and other people.
Sometimes substances are easily recognised as harmful. As a new technology, the risks of exposure associated with nanomaterials are not currently fully understood. Whilst knowledge gaps exist, HSE recommends a precautionary approach to risk management with control strategies aiming to reduce exposure as much as possible.
Further information can be found on HSE’s COSHH website