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There has been no recent assessment of the effectiveness of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002—known as COSHH. However COSHH implements, among others, Directive 98/24/EC, the chemical agents directive, and the UK was obliged to assess the impact of the first five years of practical implementation of chemical agents directive in 2007.
The assessment concluded that while it was too early to assess the effect of the implementing regulations on occupational health and safety, as even if enough time had elapsed for potentially significant improvements to occur, it would be challenging to differentiate between the effects of the regulations, effects of other initiatives, e.g. targeted inspector activity, and background trends in improving health and safety.
The UK will be required to undertake the next assessment of the implementation of the chemical agents directive later this year and HSE is currently considering the most appropriate way to do this.