Introduction to ...
COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health),
CHIP (Chemicals Hazard Information and Packaging)
RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations)


uncletony wishes to stress that this guide is a 'getting acquainted' guide and NOT in any way an in-depth look at the COSHH and CHIP regulations.

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It is the responsibility of the end user to complete a COSHH assessment on any
potentially hazardous product they may use.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) require employers to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health.

To comply with COSHH the steps below must be addressed:

  • Assess the risks to health arising from hazardous substances that are used in or created by work activities.
  • Determine the precautions needed. Work that could expose employees to hazardous substances must not be carried out without first making a COSHH risk assessment and implementing any necessary control measures.
  • Prevent or adequately control any exposure. The first consideration must always be to prevent exposure. If prevention of exposure is not reasonably practicable, then the amount of exposure must be controlled.
  • Ensure that control measures are used and maintained properly and that safety procedures are followed.
  • Monitor the exposure of employees to hazardous substances when necessary.
  • Carry out appropriate health surveillance, where the risk assessment has shown it is necessary or where COSHH sets out specific requirements.
  • Ensure employees are properly informed, trained and supervised.

Hazards that are covered by COSHH Regulations include

    • Very Toxic / Toxic
    • Harmful / Irritant
    • Corrosive
    • Highly Flammable/flammable
    • Oxidising
    • Explosives

The COSHH Regulations do not cover asbestos and lead (these are covered by other more specific regulations), nor do they cover the flammable and explosive hazards of some substances (which are covered by the DSEA Regulations).

Under the COSHH Regulations you will encounter many of these warning signs



May cause serious health risk or even death if inhaled, ingested or if it penetrates the skin.

COSHH Very Toxic symbol

COSHH Toxic symbol


May cause limited health risk if inhaled or ingested, or if it penetrates the skin.

May cause inflammation and irritation on immediate or repeated prolonged contact with the skin, or if it is inhaled.

COSHH Harmful symbol

COSHH Irritant symbol




On contact may cause burns or destruction of living tissue.

COSHH Corrosive symbol




COSHH Extremely Flammable symbol

COSHH Highly Flammable symbol



COSHH Oxidizing symbol



COSHH Explosive symbol


Danger to Environment


COSHH Harmful to Environment symbol



If you supply chemicals you must know about CHIP and follow its requirements.

CHIP is the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002.

CHIP is the foundation of Great Britain's chemical control regime and other legislation.

The aim of CHIP is to ensure that people who are supplied with chemicals receive the information they need to protect themselves, others and the environment. To achieve this CHIP requires suppliers of chemicals to pass to the purchaser/user an identification of the hazards (eg flammability, toxicity, etc) and advice on the safe use of the chemicals. This is usually done by means of package labels and safety data sheets.

What is RIDDOR '95?
RIDDOR '95 means the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, which came into force on 1 April 1996.

RIDDOR '95 requires the reporting of work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences. It applies to all work activities, but not to all incidents.

To find out more please visit the RIDDOR Website. Click Here

The Regulations can be read by visiting these websites.

Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 2677
      The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 1689
      The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002


Useful Links

Health and Safety Executive (UK) Website

Health and Safety Executive CHIP Website

The only on-line store for workplace safety products


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