One of the UK’s leading oil mist extraction experts is urging manufacturing and engineering companies to ensure they are COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) compliant.
Telford-based Filtermist Systems is making its customers and the wider industry aware that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is continuing to run its fabricated metals inspection programme until at least March this year.
Inspectors are paying particular attention to exposure to metalworking fluids and welding fume – both of which can cause several occupational illnesses, including respiratory and skin conditions.
COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2002 require all employers to implement effective control measures to minimise hazards posed by airborne particles, including oil mist, dust and fume.
Failure to adhere to these rules can result in improvement notices being served, which can lead to hefty fines if ignored.
“The HSE looks at a ‘hierarchy of controls’ when assessing if adequate measures are in place to protect workers from exposure to airborne oil mist and fume particles,” explained Craig Woodward, divisional sales director for Filtermist Systems.
“It is widely recognised that the most effective control is to use local exhaust ventilation (LEV), which captures contaminated air at source – preventing it from escaping into the working environment.
“Despite COSHH regulations being introduced in 1989, we are still seeing many companies who either don’t use LEV at all, or don’t think they need it on every machine tool. HSE’s inspections so far are in line with our experience, and therefore the current inspection programme has been extended into 2022.
“We realise that effective mist extraction is not the most exciting investment when compared to purchasing new machine tools, but it can lead to many benefits, including increased productivity, lower cleaning bills, consistent component quality and support in the recruitment and retention of employees.
“All of this is on top of the main benefit, which is protecting the most valuable asset of all – your staff.”
Filtermist has manufactured its own range of compact, quiet and efficient LEV oil mist filters in the UK for more than 50 years.