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Hazardous and toxic substances and materials

Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 requires employers to monitor the safe use of chemicals and hazardous substances at work.

It requires them to:

  • Control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent ill health both now and any future cumulative effects they may have
  • Protect both employees and others who might be exposed
  • Compile records of employees using these materials
  • Supply employees with suitable personal protective equipment

For more detailed information, please see the Health and Safety Executive website.

Staff in the Environmental Health Team are always willing to give advice and guidance on how the law relates to your business.


Petrol storage at domestic premises

Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 limit the amount of petrol that can be kept in a domestic garage or within six metres of a building (e.g. most domestic driveways). The limit is two suitable portable containers each of a maximum capacity of 20 litres or two plastic containers each of a maximum capacity of 10 litres or a combination of the above as long as no more than 30 litres is kept.

These limits also apply to any containers kept in a vehicle parked in the garage or on the driveway (but not in the internal fuel tank of the vehicle). The containers must be fitted with a screw cap or enclosure to prevent the leakage of liquid or vapour. Any storage place must be well away from living areas and be well ventilated.

Under no circumstances should the petrol containers be stored in the house itself.


There are no specific legal requirements on how to store diesel or the quantity allowed in domestic premises. However, it is recommended to follow the limits for petrol.

While diesel is not a particularly dangerous substance from a health and safety point of view, it is an environmental hazard, with considerable clean-up costs if it should leak into a drain, watercourse or the soil. You may, therefore, wish to contact the Environment Agency for further information.


Petrol filling stations have their own internal policy on the types and numbers of containers they are prepared to fill - frequently one or two 10 litre plastic and/or one 20 litre metal cans. This is also restricted by how much petrol can be stored on a vehicle

  • Containers are marked or labelled in a legible and indelible form with:
  • The words ‘PETROL’ and ‘HIGHLY FLAMMABLE;
  • An appropriate hazard warning sign;
  • The nominal capacity in litres;
  • The manufacturer’s name and the date and month of manufacture.

You can store up to 30 litres of petrol in a maximum of two suitable portable petrol containers in a vehicle (including boats and aircraft). This type of storage counts towards the total storage at non-workplace premises.


Questions relating to workplace storage should be referred to the Petroleum Officer at publicprotectionwest@wiltshire.gov.uk


Asbestos disposal

Due to the hazardous nature of cement bonded asbestos it can only be accepted at a facility with a special licence issued by the Environment Agency. Three of Wiltshire's household recycling centres can accept cement bonded asbestos - by appointment only.

Plasterboard recycling and disposal

Plasterboard and other gypsum based products are perfectly safe to handle but have been found to produce toxic gases when they are buried with biodegradable waste such as food. As a result this material now needs to be collected and disposed of separately.

Plasterboard can be taken to any household recycling centres for recycling. You do not need to make an appointment.

Once collected in dedicated skips the plasterboard is sent to Mid UK Recycling Ltd based in West Lincolnshire for reprocessing.



For information and advice on disposal or storage of posions, please contact Commercial Services on 0300 456 0100

For the storage of poisons please contact Trading Standards on 0300 456 0100

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Last updated: 23 February 2017 | Last reviewed: 23 February 2017