Control of Substances Hazardous to Health - COSHH Level 2 (VTQ)

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COSHH in the office

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3 min 23 sec
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Hazardous Substances in Office Environments: Risks and Precautions

Identifying Risks in Office Settings

While office environments may seem safe, there are potential hazards that workers should be aware of:

Toner Cartridges

Toner cartridges for printers contain chemicals and dust, posing risks when replaced. Precautions include:

  • Use gloves to prevent skin contact during cartridge changes.
  • Clean spillages thoroughly and dispose of empty cartridges in sealed bags.


Photocopiers emit emissions and solvent fumes, requiring:

  • Good ventilation in the area where photocopiers are situated.
  • Use of protective gloves for handling solvents and proper disposal.

Paper Shredders

Paper shredders can produce dust, necessitating:

  • Careful consideration of disposal methods and ventilation.
  • Maintaining tidy work areas to reduce dust accumulation.

Office Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning chemicals in office kitchens require:

  • Assessment of COSHH data sheets for risk evaluation.
  • Establishment of control measures and provision of personal protective equipment if necessary.

Additional Areas for Assessment

Other areas to assess include:

  • Toilets and storerooms for potential hazardous substances.
  • Items stored in desks or drawers, like glue or correction fluid.
  • Personal items brought into the office by employees, such as household cleaning chemicals.


Completing a thorough risk assessment ensures that all potential hazards in office environments are identified and appropriate precautions are taken to safeguard workers' health and safety.