Dedicated COSHH Training or is the NEBOSH General Certificate Enough?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is a health and safety course which covers a great variety of the numerous risks and dangers to the health and safety of those in a typical place of work, not to mention the potential risks to people and the environment outside of the premises. The depth and large amount of information taught on the course has made it one of the most popular of qualifications for those seeking to improve their health and safety knowledge; either as a stand-alone qualification or as a starting point for other courses and qualifications such as the NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.

One important component of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus is that of COSHH or hazardous substances. With practically every place of work presenting dangers from hazardous substances to some extent, COSHH training is one of the most critical areas of health and safety training for workers and managers alike so that everybody is aware not only of the dangers posed by hazardous substances, but also their particular responsibilities for safeguarding the safety and wellbeing of themselves and others within the organisation.

COSHH risks come in a multitude of different forms and level of severity in terms of the damage that can be done to the body, also taking into account the length of time and exposure levels for such damage to occur. For instance low levels of exposure may not cause much injury or ill-health, whilst higher concentrations and/or over a longer period of time may cause severe health problems. Other substances may cause serious injury, illness or death in a very short time and in small quantities. This extreme variation in danger levels combined with the sheer number of different hazardous substances which exist in such varied places of work is what makes COSHH training (ATC Risk) such an important topic and necessary constituent of any health and safety training programme.

So with COSHH and dangerous substances being covered on the syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate course, is specific COSHH training necessary or will the information taught on the General Certificate suffice? The answer depends primarily on just how much information is required, but will nearly always be that specific COSHH training is far more beneficial and often essential to provide workers with the information and knowledge they require to stay safe at work where COSHH risks exist. This is because whilst the NEBOSH General Certificate will cover the basic, generic dangers from COSHH risks and teach delegates about the various types and forms of hazards which may exist, only specific and bespoke COSHH courses which focus specifically upon the exact substances and potential risks associated with the types of substances which are actually present in the person's place of work. Although general COSHH information will be useful, not all of it may be entirely relevant to the person, and it will not focus on the specific variables associated with the exact substances which the person regularly encounters and as such the unique characteristics of the substances and relevant information like safe exposure limits for example.

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