EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has launched a new online guidance to help companies manage the health risks associated with metalworking fluids.
The guidance, which is free for companies, has been agreed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Metalworking Fluids are used widely across a whole range of manufacturing businesses, particularly in engineering and technology-based companies. They are added to water and sprayed onto the work piece during machining to cool and lubricate the operation.
The fluids have long been known to involve a risk of dermatitis and breathing problems and, more recently, have been linked to major outbreaks of the respiratory diseases asthma and alveolitis. To respond to this risk, EEF, one of the UK’s leading authorities on Health & Safety at work, has produced guidance based on a six point control plan: risk assessment; controlling exposure; controlling bacterial contamination; maintaining fluid quality; providing health surveillance; and providing information, instruction and training.
“HSE is conducting a programme of research to help answer the current uncertainties about exactly how respiratory diseases are caused,” says EEF’s Head of Health and Safety Policy, Steve Pointer.