Filtermist Limited is a long-standing member of the MTA and plays a key role in supporting SHEP (Safety and Health Engineering Partnership). Both of these organisations have recently added their name to an open letter to industry from the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA) regarding the importance of working safely with metalworking fluids.
The release of this letter coincides with an inspection programme currently being undertaken by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) focusing on companies that use metalworking fluids to ensure they are using effective control measures to protect people from the risks associated with exposure to coolants and oils. Findings from previous inspection programmes found that there is still a lack of LEV being used, no regular fluid quality checks and a lack of regular health checks.
The UKLA letter signposts readers to resources in three key areas:
- Fluid health
- Mist extraction (local exhaust ventilation)
- Health surveillance
Filtermist Limited has manufactured, maintained, monitored and marketed oil mist filters for more than 50 years and has noticed a level of misinformation in recent weeks regarding COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations. The quote below was included in the MTA's Friday Brief today alongside the UKLA letter which can be downloaded here:
Open letter final clean 07112023.pdf (766.76 kb)
Filtermist CEO James Stansfield comments, “We are currently in ‘Open House season’ and I have spoken to a number of people at recent events who have mentioned ‘new legislation’ requiring LEV systems. The fact is, there is no new legislation. COSHH Regulations first came into force in 1989 and have always required employers to protect their workforce from harmful airborne contaminants, including oil mist particles.
“The HSE talks about the Hierarchy of Controls with elimination and substitution being at the top of the hierarchy, but if, in the case of oil mist particles, the hazard cannot be eliminated from the process, engineering controls should be used.
“In reality, this means that the HSE expects every CNC machine to be fitted with effective oil mist extraction that is suitable for the specific application and type of coolant being used. Under COSHH Regulations, every LEV system must be kept in good, clean working order and thoroughly examined and tested by a competent person at least once every 14 months – sometimes more frequently depending on the application and the volume and nature of contaminant being produced.
“If any UK manufacturers are unsure if their control measures would stand up to HSE scrutiny, we will happily arrange a site visit from one of our BOHS certified engineers to undertake an LEV audit and make any necessary suggestions. Give our team a call on 01952 290500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can support.”