Healthcare Health and Safety Level 2 (VTQ)

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What is a hazardous substance under COSHH

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Hazardous Substances in the Workplace: Risks and Control

Understanding Hazards and Hazardous Substances

A hazard is any factor that can potentially cause harm, while a hazardous substance is one that poses a risk of harm upon contact.

Impact of Hazardous Substances: Hazardous substances can lead to various health issues, including lung diseases such as asthma, cancer, and dermatitis.

Costs: These illnesses result in significant costs to industries, societies, and individuals due to medical treatments, disability allowances, and job losses.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers bear the responsibility of implementing effective measures to control exposure and safeguard the health of workers.

Benefits of Control Measures: Implementing control measures not only protects health but can also enhance production efficiency and reduce waste.

Types and Forms of Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances can manifest in various forms and are not limited to chemicals.

Forms: These substances can exist as liquids, vapours, dust, or smoke.

Effects: They can cause illness, environmental damage, fire, explosion, or biological hazards.

Assessing Risk and Mitigation

Not all hazardous substances are obvious, and risk assessment is crucial in identifying and mitigating potential dangers.

Unforeseen Risks: Even seemingly innocuous substances like flour, when in dust form, can pose significant health risks such as respiratory disorders.

Chemical Interactions: Some chemicals may not be hazardous on their own but can become risky when combined with other substances or environmental factors.

Comprehensive Evaluation: Every substance used in the workplace should undergo risk assessment to determine its hazardous nature and implement appropriate control measures.