The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002

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The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health or COSHH Regulations 2002 is a UK regulation that requires employers to assess the risks associated with hazardous substances in the workplace, including biological agents such as Legionella bacteria. The regulation provides a framework for controlling and managing hazardous substances to protect the health and safety of employees and others who may be affected by the work activities. The COSHH regulations are relevant to Legionella regulations because Legionella bacteria are considered to be a hazardous biological agent under COSHH. Employers are required to carry out a risk assessment to identify the potential for Legionella contamination in their water systems and implement appropriate control measures to manage these risks. These control measures include regular water testing and monitoring, cleaning and disinfection of water systems and the implementation of appropriate water treatment measures.

Employers are also required to ensure that employees are trained in Legionella management and are provided with appropriate personal protective equipment, PPE, where necessary. This includes the use of respiratory protective equipment, RPE for those employees who may be at increased risk, the exposure of Legionella, such as those working in cooling towers or in areas with high levels of Legionella contamination. The COSHH regulations require employers to keep records of the risk assessments, control measures and training to demonstrate that they will be complying with the regulations. This information must be readily available for inspection by enforcing authorities such as the Health and Safety Executive or the HSE.