Yes, the HSE requires employers to minimise exposure to all forms of metalworking fluid – both liquid and mist, in order to comply with COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations. There is currently no Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for oil mist particles – the previous TWA (time weighted average) limit of 5mg/m3 was withdrawn in 2005 following an outbreak of respiratory illness at an automotive plant with airborne oil mist under this limit. Employers are currently required to minimise oil mist levels to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP).
The HSE recommends controlling exposure by using effective LEV (local exhaust ventilation) – all aspects of which should adhere to HSG258 ‘Controlling airborne contaminants at work’:
HSG258: Controlling airborne
contaminants at work:
A guide to local exhaust ventilation (LEV)