New and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) in force from January 2020

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The Health and Safety Executive has approved new and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) i.e. EH40. The exposure limits are much more stringent and so health and safety professionals should make sure that their company is compliant.

Occupational exposure can have serious impacts on employee health and well being and ensuring that exposure is controlled and assessed properly is of paramount importance. Failure to do so could lead to hefty fines or even prosecution. Assessment of your occupational exposure within your workplace can ensure that you are fully compliant with these new HSE laws.

The new limits came into force on 17 January 2020 as detailed in the EH40 document and can be summarised as follows.

There were new or revised entries for the following substances:

■ Hardwood dusts (including mixed dusts)
■ Chromium (VI) compounds
■ Refractory ceramic fibres
■ Respirable crystalline silica
■ Vinyl chloride monomer
■ Ethylene oxide
■ 1,2-Epoxypropane
■ Acrylamide
■ 2-Nitropropane
■ O-Toluidine
■ 1,3-Butadiene
■ Hydrazine
■ Bromoethylene

New skin notations have been added for the following substances:

■ Ethylene oxide

The following substances required reductions to the existing WELs:

■ Hardwood dusts
■ Chromium (VI) compounds
■ Refractory ceramic fibres
■ Vinyl chloride monomer
■ Ethylene oxide
■ 1,2-Epoxypropane
■ Acrylamide
■ 2-Nitropropane
■ O-Toluidine
■ 1,3-Butadiene
■ Hydrazine

What this means to employers is that current assessments in place, applicable to the substances specified here, will need to reflect the changes set out in the updated EH40 document. Whether this requires a fresh new assessment or minimal review of the current one in place, Safety First Group can help you with this change in the regulation.

The full details can be found in the official HSE document, which you can view here.

If you would like to learn more about how Safety First Group can help you with compliance, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

To learn more about Occupational Exposure Assessments, please visit https://www.safetyfirstgroup.co.uk/services/occupational-exposure-monitoring/. Alternatively, please call 0845 004 2133 or email enquiries@safetyfirstgroup.co.uk