Solvents & Chemicals

COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) covers substances that are hazardous to health.

Substances can take many forms and include:

  • Chemicals 
  • Products Containing Chemicals
  • Fumes
  • Dusts
  • Vapours
  • Mists
  • Gases and Asphyxiating Gases

If you need to use any solvents or chemicals for your work you must always ask advice from a member of staff before using one for the first time and then make sure you always:

  • Check the labels on containers and heed any warnings;
  • Wear the correct clothing and safety equipment, e.g. a mask, goggles, gloves as advised. If unsure ask one of the technicians;
  • Only use them in well ventilated spaces. Speak to one of the technicians about which rooms have extractor fans fitted;
  • If you wish to bring in your own items to use you must consult with one of the technical staff first. No solvents or chemicals can be used unless the University holds a MSDS record for it and one of the technical team have completed a specific COSHH assessment with you;
  • Data sheets for all our standard solvents and chemicals are available from the technicians. These contain full specifications so just ask to see them;
  • Do not eat or drink whilst using a solvent and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before you do;
  • Use correct and safe storage equipment (this will mostly be the original container). If for any reason you need to decant it to a new container make sure it is well marked with the contents and get the appropriate hazard sticker from one of the technicians;
  • Clean up spillages immediately. Use cloths and/or paper towels to soak up any liquids, being careful not to get any on your skin or clothing, and then thoroughly clean the area with water. Dispose of the cloths/paper correctly and ensure any mops etc. you may have used are thoroughly clean before returning them;
  • Return any unused liquids to the technicians or place them in the fire cabinets where provided;
  • Dispose of any used liquids correctly. Not all chemicals can be poured down the sink so a disposable container will be available. If in doubt, ask one of the technicians.

Example of a COSHH Assessment Sheet (DOC, 32.8kB).

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