Sound Management of Chemicals (SMC) in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Tool: COSHH Essentials e-tool

An e-tool to determine the recommended OH&S control approach for hazardous substances used in processing operations in the workplace:
- Assessment summary including one of four recommended control approaches (general ventilation, engineering control, containment, special)
- ‘Control guidance sheets’ containing advice for controlling exposure (e.g. selection of personal protective equipment);
- Stepwise suggestion to put guidance for risk control into practice
It is based on the control banding approach and does not address physical hazards (e.g.  fire) or environmental hazards.

SMC Category Hazard identification and risk assessment, Risk prevention and reduction
Subcategories Hazard identification and chemicals risk assessment, Workplace safety assessment, Preventive measures, Protective measures
SME Activity Product development and process design, Handling, Unloading and loading, Input material selection, Production, Storage
Resource Type Online programme
Author Health and Safety Executive Untied Kingdom
Company type Synthesis of substances, Formulation of chemicals, Industrial users of chemicals
Year 2015

How to use it


1) Chemical information :

  • R-phase or H-statement (only health hazards)
  • Boiling point or vapour pressure at reference temperature

2) Process information:

  • Number of chemicals used
  • Operating temperature
  • Quantity used (3 levels)
  • Frequency and duration of operation


1) Hazard group (5 levels from least hazardous to special cases)
2) Recommendation for generic preventative steps (substitution of chemical, change of process, other form)
3) Skin hazard: Y/N ?
4) Recommended control approach: general ventilation; engineering control; containment; special
5) Control guidance sheets for different control measures including PPE
6) Summary assessment

Learning time Medium (~4h)
User expertise Basic (no scientific/engineering background required/no business management experience required)
User-friendliness Very user friendly
Advanced tool No
Languages English