Regulation deadline approaching for employees working with di-isocyanates

June 22, 2023
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Under the regulations¹, from 24th August 2023, anyone whose work involves use of di-isocyanates either on their own or where the chemical is part of another substance or mixture (except for when in very low concentrations), is required to have completed specific training. Di-isocyanates can be found in many applications including, paints, adhesives, spray foams, sealants, inks and is used in the manufacture of certain rigid and flexible foams. 

Where an employee carries out work that may expose them to a hazardous substance, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations require their employer to provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction, and training.

While COSHH and supporting HSE guidance sets out in broad terms what that training should cover, they leave it to the employer to strike a balance between providing sufficient information for an employee to carry out their work safely and providing too much information that may be overburdening and confusing.

What do employers need to be aware of?

This di-isocyanate regulation takes a different approach and sets out a specific syllabus that the training must cover, and also requires that it is renewed every 5 years.

What training is required?

Exactly what level of training is required will depend on the way the substance is used:

  • General training for all industrial and professional use of di-isocyanates and substances / mixtures that contain di-isocyanates.
  • Intermediate training for anyone who sprays substances / mixtures in a ventilated booth, or applies them by dipping, pouring, brush or roller, carries out cleaning and handling of waste materials, handles open containers (e.g. cans, bottles, barrels, troughs etc) at ambient temperatures, cuts or otherwise treats articles that are not fully cured, or similar uses.
  • Advanced training for more hazardous uses of these chemicals including spraying in the open air with only limited or natural ventilation, high energy spraying, carrying out maintenance and repair of equipment which uses these substances, handling open containers at temperatures over 45°C, use in foundries, handling incompletely cured articles and similar tasks.

How can we help?

PIB Risk Management has added training modules to its e-learning courses covering the safe use of di-isocyanates at general, intermediate and advanced levels. These can be found on xCenta, the online risk management software.

To find out whether your employees need this training, you should check whether substances you use contain di-isocyanates. This information can be found in the safety data sheet for each product and may also be on product packaging. The regulations also require suppliers of relevant substances / mixtures to include a statement that “As from 24 August 2023 adequate training is required before industrial or professional use”.

For more information about xCenta speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or visit our website


¹ Although the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, EU legislation as it applied to the UK on 31 December 2020 has been retained in UK law as a form of domestic legislation known as ‘retained EU legislation’. Full details of the legislation can be found on the website at: