HSE will be inspecting manufacturing businesses that use metalworking fluids or ‘white water’ in their machining processes until March 2024.
Exposure to metalworking fluids can cause harm to lungs and skin. Health surveillance aims to detect any symptoms of ill health caused by work as early as possible.
What does this mean for you? / What the law requires?
- Health surveillance is a scheme of repeated health checks which are used to identify ill health caused by work. Where there is exposure to fluid or mist, it is a legal requirement to carry out health surveillance even when preventative controls, such as fluid quality checks and local exhaust ventilation (LEV), are in place.
- Health surveillance is used to identify ill health caused by work and is different to general health screening activities. For those who work with metalworking fluid, exposure through mist inhalation or direct contact can cause lung diseases and irritated skin (dermatitis).
- You will need to involve an occupational health professional who has the relevant competence, skills and experience for the health risks in your business. They will help you develop your health surveillance scheme and can help train responsible persons to help deliver this where appropriate.
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