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HSE inspections for the engineering Industry

 The HSE plans to inspect engineering premises from May to September 2021 focussing on metalworking fluids and welding.
Are you confident your workplace is compliant, and you are doing everything possible to protect the health and well-being of your workers?

Follow our compliance checklist:

1. Prevent or reduce exposure

For welding fumes, examples include:

  • automate or mechanise the process, by using distance welding, turntables or enclosing the work
  • reduce the amount of welding
  • use materials or a process that generates less fume, for example using MIG welding
  • use clean metals, for example pre-fabrication shaping or better machining

For metalwork fluids, examples include:

  • Use splash guards, where provided
  • Minimise the production of mist and vapour
  • Use any enclosures or ventilation provided
  • Report any damaged equipment
  • Improve natural ventilation
  • Don’t use compressed air to remove excess fluids

2. COSHH Risk Assessment

Ensure your risk assessments are up to date, and consider all potentially exposed, which will require exposure to be regularly monitored. It needs to identify:

  • The hazards
  • What the risks to health are
  • What precautions are required
  • How to prevent or control the exposure
  • What control measures are used and how they are tested and maintained
  • How you will monitor the exposure
  • Health surveillance
  • Staff training

3. LEV Systems

A local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system must be installed to carry the fumes safely away from the operative and the general workplace. 
To ensure the LEV is providing adequate control, it should be examined and tested by a competent person every 14 months.

Workplace exposure monitoring can help you to understand if your control measures are effective.

4. Health Surveillance

Health surveillance is a system of ongoing health checks that is used to:

  • Collect data to detect or evaluate health hazards
  • Protect employees’ health by early detection of changes or disease
  • Evaluate control measures
  • If your risk assessment shows you need health surveillance for any reason, you should provide it

5. Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

If you cannot achieve adequate control from equipment alone, or if it is not reasonably practicable to, then you must provide your workers with suitable adequate and suitable RPE. 

It’s also important to issue with information, instruction and training, and a testing regime should be in place. 


6. Staff Training

It is important that employers give information, instruction, and training to their employees on the health risks from exposure to welding fume and metalwork fluids and particularly when and how to use the control measures.

Training may include:

  • How to look after RPE
  • Advice on exposure health affects
  • How to do the job safely
  • What pre checks can be used
  • What to do if something goes wrong
  • How to use controls and check they are working

For advice contact our Occupational Hygiene Team

  • COSHH assessments and reviews
  • Occupational exposure monitoring
  • Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) examination and testing |Manchester 0161 872 7111 | London 0203 384 6175 











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