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CoSHH Hazard Symbols and their meanings

The CoSHH Hazard Symbols and their meanings

If you work with hazardous substances, which you more than likely do, you’re probably familiar with all the hazard symbols that you find on the containers of these hazardous materials. 

But as of 2015, new European regulations have phased out these old symbols to replace them with the COSHH labels that are that we see today, which are more accurate & more easily identifiable.

What is GHS?

These new symbols are part of the internationally agreed system called the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals”. So, GHS is the international system which has been designed so that there’s consistency in the way hazardous substances are classified and in the way information is provided about them on COSHH labels and Safety Data Sheets in all countries. Fortunately for those people who work with hazardous substances, you don’t need to memorise all this information; just the standard, recognised set of hazardous symbols and their meanings.

CoSHH signs

As part of our CoSHH Online Training course, we have designed a poster to help familiarise workplaces with these CoSHH hazard symbols. Here it is:

CoSHH Symbols Poster
The CoSHH symbols and their meanings


These COSHH signs can be defined as chemicals, substances, or any occurrence that could cause an explosion.


Refers to any chemicals or substances that ignite with air contact, a source like a flame, or can create flammable gases when coming into contact with water.


Indicates chemicals that can have a dangerous reaction with other chemicals, or that act as an oxidiser and can potentially increase the intensity of a fire.


Highlights the damage this chemical can cause when it comes into contact with any surface. This can include certain acids and more.


Can cause lots of damage when inhaled, swallowed, or comes into contact with skin.

Health Hazard

These generic COSHH labels show that there are dangerous substances that can cause health issues, such as dizziness, allergic reactions, irritation and more.

Environmental Hazard

Highlights that there are substances that can cause serious harm to the environment.

Gas Under Pressure

Warns when gas is under pressure and could explode if heated, or cause injuries when refrigerated.

Serious Health Hazard

Serious long-term health hazards and even death, if swallowed.

Teach your staff about CoSHH signs with iHasco

Want to develop your team’s understanding of COSHH symbols and meanings? Take a look at our CoSHH Training Course and claim your free trial today

We have an extensive library of accredited, high-quality courses for you to choose from, covering topics such as Fire Safety, Mental Health & Wellbeing, First Aid and more! We make online training for the workplace simple.

Get started today by requesting a quote and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your training needs. Contact us, today.

COSHH Training Course