By law, businesses need to prevent and minimise exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, including exposure to metalworking fluids. These fluids (which can be referred to as ‘white water’) may cause harm to lungs and skin.
Businesses using these fluids need to have health surveillance in place to detect and manage any symptoms of ill health caused by workplace exposure to metalworking fluids as early as possible.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has noted during inspections that many smaller manufacturing companies aren’t able to show they’re providing suitable and sufficient health surveillance, so they’re starting a targeted inspection drive between now and March 2024.
What you need to do:
What is health surveillance?
Put simply, health surveillance is a scheme of repeated health checks to identify ill health caused by work. With metalworking fluids, the focus should be on lung and skin conditions – which is different from the general health screening when employees first join your business.
Why are the HSE looking at this?
The HSE have compiled statistics relating to this and are focusing on health as part of their 10-year strategy. Their 2022/23 statistics show:
Find out more about:
And, as always, if you have any questions or need any more support, just give your 24/7 Health & Safety advice line a call on 0345 844 4848* and one of our team will be happy to help.
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