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Mr. Andrew Welsh : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimates he has of the costs involved in implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations for (a) industry and (b) small businesses and what steps is he taking in the current year to promote or publicise these regulations for those sectors.
Where substances hazardous to health were adequately and reliably controlled and where there was full compliance with existing legislation, the costs of implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations should be marginal ; they will arise mainly from reviewing and formalising existing arrangements. The Health and Safety Executive estimated in its cost/benefit analysis for the COSHH proposals that for a typical small firm the additional costs arising would amount to no more than about one quarter of a percentage point of the firm's net output. This estimate included the costs of monitoring of exposure and health surveillance which apply to only a minority of firms. For most larger firms, the costs will be substantially smaller in relation to net output.
The Health and Safety Executive has promoted and publicised the regulations by a variety of means, including national and trade advertising and the distribution of some 3.5 million introductory leaflets. Many activities have been particularly geared to the need to reach small firms, including the provision of information to the principal small firms advisory organisations.