Hello I’m Helen Turner from Innovative Safety Solutions. I’m here on behalf of Safe Workers.co.uk to talk to you about Control of Hazardous Substances or COSHH as its otherwise known.
Within our work places there are many hazardous substances, not all that are neatly contained in containers and bottles that are nicely labelled.
We also have to remember gases and health hazards such as dust and asbestos etc, but we are just going to look at the standard hazard markings. If you see any of these markings on a product then its a note to you to ensure that the correct control is needed and that they are stored and used as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and further to your own risk assessments.
This hazard label depicts an environmental hazard, its pretty easy to understand, a dead fish and a dead tree,
This one is explosive.
Skull and crossbones is a very familiar one, and it means toxic.
This one depicts corrosion, so it shows that the product that the label is on is actually a corrosive product.
Then again this is a very familiar one, and it means harmful or irritant.
The next one again, very familiar to us all and it means either flammable or highly flammable, and this last one means oxidising, it’s an oxidising product.
If we just look a little bit more in depth at the health related effects of certain products. So if we think about something that is very toxic, so it depicts the skull and crossbones warning marker. It means that even extremely low quantities that get into the system will cause death. Toxic means that just low quantities rather than extremely low, but still low quantities will cause death.
Harmful, again substances that may cause death.
Corrosive is substances that can destroy the living tissue.
Irritant, substances that may cause inflammation of the skin, so it may just be a rash. Sensitizing, substances that are capable of causing hypersensitisation.
Mutagenic may induce genetic effects or increase their incidence.
Carcinogenic may induce cancer, or again increase its incidence.
Highly flammable, substances with a very low flashpoint before ignition.
Flammable, substances with a low flashpoint rather than very low.
Explosive, substances that under the correct conditions will explode.
Oxidising, substances which give rise to an exothermic reaction
Last Updated on 25 May 2021