Are your employees exposed to other substances hazardous to health?

What is the problem?

Many substances in the workplace can potentially affect the health of workers.  Effects can include skin problems, respiratory (lung) problems, and cancers.


What legislation applies to substances hazardous to health in the workplace?

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002


What can be done to reduce exposure? 

Employers must assess the risk to workers’ health if they are working in an environment that exposes them to substances hazardous to health in accordance with the management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.   

There have been legal limits set on the amounts of many substances that can be present in workplace air – workplace exposure limits.  These are listed in the HSE booklet EH40 Workplace exposure limits. Where-ever possible exposure should be reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable particularly if the substance is known to cause cancer or asthma. Appropriate personal protective equipment may be appropriate where the exposure cannot be controlled. If a worker is exposed to substances potentially hazardous to health, an employer should ensure that they are provided with suitable health surveillance. 


More about Health Surveillance

If a worker is potentially exposed to substances hazardous to health, employers are required to ensure that appropriate health surveillance is in place. Health surveillance will depend on the risks to health of the substance and may include questionnaires, skin checks, lung functiontesting, blood or urine tests.


Next Steps

If you are an employer and need advice on health surveillance for workers exposed substances hazardous to health, we would be happy to provide this service. 

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