Control of Substances Hazardous to Health [COSHH]


Work with substances which are hazardous to health must only be undertaken once suitable workplace controls have been put in place. In order to determine the nature of these controls such work must be the subject of a risk assessment (sometimes called a COSHH assessment).

This page contains links to the relevant section of the University's Manual of Safety which tells you how to carry out a COSHH assessment and how to establish a 'Safe System of Work' around people working with hazardous substances.

Links Forms for Carrying out an Assessment
The University's Manual of Safety: COSHH The COSHH Assessment Process
The COSHH Regulations

Worksheet for Chemicals

Worksheet for Biological Agents (micro-organisms, cell cultures or human endoparasites)

HSE guidance on use of respirators COSHH Summary sheet
FAQs RPE approval form



Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do I need to replace all my old style COSHH assessments with the new format?

A. Provided your existing COSHH assessment is accurate and up to date there is no need to re-write it in the new format. Any new assessments must be in the new format and when your old assessments come up for review you must use the new format.

Q. Do I have to receive training to carry out a COSHH assessment?

A. The new COSHH system is designed to be self-explanatory to anyone who is already experienced at producing a COSHH assessment so there is no requirement to attend a training course if you fall into this category (although you are welcome to attend a training session if you wish). If you are new to COSHH assessment you should contact the University Safety Office to arrange training.

Q. Where do I get a Safety Data Sheet from?

A. Your supplier is legally obliged to send you a copy of a valid Safety Data Sheet if you ask for one. Many suppliers have these freely available on their websites.

Q. I have read the University policy and guidance but still need some help?

A. The University Safety Office can provide advice and training on all sections of the Manual of Safety. Please use the email address

Duties and Responsibilities

Head of Department

Members of Staff

Director of Facilities


Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201