Chemicals in the kitchen

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH – pronounced “cosh”) is the UK law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health.

There are a few basic rules to prevent or reduce exposure to hazardous substances:

  • Find out what the health hazards of a chemical are.
  • Decide how to prevent harm to health, download and complete a risk assessment survey.
  • Provide control measures to reduce harm to health.
  • Make sure they are used.
  • Keep all control measures in good working order.
  • Provide information, instruction and training for employees and others.
  • Provide monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases.
  • Plan for emergencies.

Most kitchens use substances, or products that are mixtures of substances, that could cause harm. Sometimes substances are easily recognised as harmful, but as a rule always check the label for handling, storing and other information.

Download the COSHH fact sheet.

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