Is your business compliant with the recent EU directive regarding exposure limits to certain chemicals within the workplace? Over exposure to certain chemicals can be particularly damaging to health and so it is therefore vital that you are taking action.
This EU Directive introduces new workplace exposure limits for 31 chemicals and gases and has now been adopted into UK law, with the inclusion of the new UK limits in an update to the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) EH40, which came into effect in August of this year.
EH40 is the official reference document on Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) to be used alongside the COSHH Regulations 2002.
The HSE publication, which sets out WELs for around 500 hazardous substances, was last updated in 2011, when the HSE transposed a previous EU Directive into UK law. New substances – or revised limits for previously listed substances – were also added in 2007.
The HSE defines a WEL as the concentration of a hazardous substance in the air that people breathe, averaged over a specified reference period. Two types of WEL are used: a long-term exposure limit, calculated using a Time Weighted Average (TWA) over eight hours; and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) over 15 minutes.
Some substances also have “skin notations”, or labels that warn users of the potential for certain chemical agents to be absorbed by the skin.
The HSE has opted to match the EU’s original WELs for all but one of the 31 chemical agents listed in the Directive. The outstanding case is nitroglycerin.
This new directive requires your business to take action. Occupational exposure monitoring is essential for checking the effectiveness of your control measures, ensuring workplace exposure limits are not exceeded, and identifying health surveillance needs. Deterioration of controls could lead to serious health risks, which in turn could be very costly to your business either via absence or civil claims.
Safety First is experienced in delivering a complete range of occupational exposure monitoring services to provide you with confirmation that your control measures are adequate and workplace exposure limits are not exceeded. It will ensure that your business is compliant with the update to EH40.
Our specialist team is highly qualified in the different methods of monitoring exposure. No matter how complex the issue, Safety First can find the right sampling strategy for you.
To learn more about this, please visit http://www.safetyfirstgroup.co.uk/services/occupational-exposure-monitoring or for more information, please call 0845 004 2133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.