Introduction to this document

Flow chart - when to carry out a COSHH assessment

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) state that assessments must be carried out to prevent harm, but how do you know which substances are affected? Follow our flow chart to find out.


The COSHH Regulations are fairly complex; therefore it’s relatively common for managers to misunderstand what’s actually required. This can result in one extreme or the other - either ignoring significant hazards or assessing every substance down to the hand soap in the washrooms.

Our Flow Chart - When to Carry Out a COSHH Assessment summarises the legal requirements.

How does it work?

The flow chart is set out on a single sheet for ease of use. There are rectangular boxes to indicate actions to be taken - sentences which begin with words such as “Identify...” and “Check...”. There are diamond shaped question boxes with “Yes” and “No” answer options.

Arrows lead you from one box to the next so that by the end of the process you have a list of substances requiring an assessment and a list of those which don’t.