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Introduction to this document

Safe system of work - COSHH

If you’re completing a task that involves a hazardous substance, you must identify the safe systems to be followed.

Double documents

In many instances you will need to produce a safe system of work (SSOW) that identifies how to complete a job. Plus, if the job involves the use of chemical products, e.g. plaster, you also have to produce a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment. This could lead to the paperwork trail getting out of hand and important messages being lost

To make the process simpler, we have created a Safe System of Work - COSHH. This takes the most important sections from both documents and makes a more effective single form. The risks associated with a product and how to complete the job are covered on just a few pages.

When to use it?

This form has been created so that you can provide clear and simple messages to those who are actually completing the job. In most instances the SSOW is used to confirm that trained and competent staff know exactly what your expectations are of them, rather than teaching them how to do the job from scratch.


The first section of the document provides space to describe the product and insert a photo. We suggest that you add a link to the online safety data sheet (SDS) created by the manufacturer.

Identify the significant hazards associated with the substance on the SDS.

In the “Key instructions” section insert how you want the job to be completed safely. In the “PPE assessment” section identify what, if any, protective equipment must be worn.