Shropshire Council

Hazardous substances

Every year exposure to hazardous substances at work effects the health of many thousands of people. Common examples include lung disease (for example from working in dusty conditions), skin irritation, dermatitis or skin cancer (for example from frequent contact with oils, contact with corrosive liquids etc), occupational asthma (for example sensitisation to isocyanates in paints or adhesives), toxic fumes, occupational cancer etc.

The high costs of ill-health arise from loss of earnings, loss of productivity, prosecution and civil action among others.

The COSHH Regulations 2002 provide a framework to help protect people in the workplace against health risks from hazardous substances.

The Health and Safety Executive's brief guide to the regulations offers an easy-to-read way of familiarising yourself with what the law requires, and the 'COSHH Essentials' step-by-step guide shows you how to safely use chemicals in a range of common tasks.