Filtermist plays host to successful welding fume and metalworking fluid seminar from SHEP and HSE

“Helping to keep your workforce safe and your company on the right side of the law!” was the theme of the day as Filtermist hosted a one day seminar by the Safety & Health Engineering Partnership (SHEP) in conjunction with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE has released new guidance over the last few months about welding fumes (including mild steel) as they are now classed as carcinogens. This, along with the fact metalworking fluids can cause occupational asthma, occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis and dermatitis means HSE will be inspecting engineering premises in January to March 2020.

The focus of the inspections will be on welding fume and metalworking fluids and the seminar aimed at safety managers, factory managers and engineers in engineering SME’s introduced ways in which businesses can manage these health hazards.

SHEP Chairman Chris Buxton kicked off the day with an introductory presentation followed by HSE’s Principal Medical Advisor, Chris Barber then presenting the health risks from welding and metalworking fluids and Fiona McGarry, HM Inspector of Health and Safety looking at benchmark standards.

The rest of the morning saw presentations by Ian Harris from United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA) on management of metal working fluids and an LEV design, specification, installation and commissioning presentation from John Saunders, Principal Scientist and Dominic Pocock, Exposure Control Scientist at HSE.

“Today’s event enabled delegates to hear from the horses’ mouth so to speak. The talks were mainly from HSE experts and focussed on the aspects HSE is most concerned about in engineering and why. This was balanced with an invaluable industry perspective in a presentation from Nicholas Groom, BTMA President and Managing Director at Qualiturn,” commented Lydia Barber, Director of Group Marketing at Filtermist.

“Precision engineering company Qualiturn has 24 CNC machines, all fitted with LEV and the company works hard to ensure it is continually improving and ensuring it stays up to date with regulatory requirements.”

The afternoon format saw breakaway session and practical demonstrations from John Saunders and Dominic Pocock on monitoring methods including use of dust lamps; and LEV effectiveness and Paul Chamberlain, Director, We Fit RPE ran a session on RPE - including selection, face fit testing, storage, maintenance and thorough examination.

Feedback from the delegates included praise for the joined up presentations from all of the speakers, the simple approach to providing information and good mix of classroom talks and practical demonstrations.

The day concluded with a presentation of an industry case study on mist extraction for metalworking fluids and LEV maintenance and thorough examination, presented again by John Saunders and Dominic Pocock.

“We were delighted to be able to host this event as the subject matter is so important,” continued Lydia. “Protecting people from exposure to all types of airborne contaminant is a must – office workers wouldn’t accept it if their PCs emitted noxious fumes, so neither should machine operators.”

All delegates were given an 'aid memoir' during the event to remind them on what actions can be taken to ensure compliance with COSHH regs - download a copy here:

SHEP Welding Fume and MWF seminar aid memoir.pdf (5.56 mb)