Manufacturing and engineering companies are being urged to ensure they are COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) compliant by one of the UK’s leading oil mist extraction experts.
Telford-based Filtermist Systems Limited is making its customers and the wider industry aware that The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is continuing to run its Fabricated Metals inspection programme until at least March this year.
Inspectors are paying particular attention to exposure to metalworking fluids and welding fume - both of which can cause several occupational illnesses, including respiratory and skin conditions.
COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2002 require all employers to implement effective control measures to minimise hazards posed by airborne particles, including oil mist, dust and fume.
Failure to adhere to these rules can result in improvement notices being served, which can lead to hefty fines if ignored.
“The HSE looks at a ‘hierarchy of controls’ when assessing if adequate measures are in place to protect workers from exposure to airborne oil mist and fume particles,” explained Craig Woodward, Divisional Sales Director for Filtermist Systems Limited.
“It is widely recognised that the most effective control is to use Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), which captures contaminated air at source - preventing it from escaping into the working environment.
“Despite COSHH regulations being introduced in 1989, we are still seeing many companies who either don’t use LEV at all, or don’t think they need it on every machine tool. HSE’s inspections so far are in line with our experience, and therefore the current inspection programme has been extended into 2022.”
He went on to add: “We realise that effective mist extraction is not the most exciting investment when compared to purchasing new machine tools, but it can lead to many benefits, including increased productivity, lower cleaning bills, consistent component quality and support in the recruitment and retention of employees.
“All of this is on top of the main benefit, which is protecting the most valuable asset of all – your staff!”
Filtermist has manufactured its own range of compact, quiet and efficient LEV oil mist filters in the UK for over 50 years.
All units come with a free five-year warranty and end-users benefit from the first service being included as part of the sale, meaning customers can be confident their oil mist filter is performing as intended.
As well as its own brand of filters, the company also supplies premium oil mist, smoke and fume filters from sister company Absolent AB.
LEV systems can be standalone filter units or central systems designed to pick-up contaminated air from multiple extraction points for all types of airborne particulate.
Filtermist also offers a comprehensive aftermarket service that includes routine and reactive maintenance, spares and COSHH compliant LEV testing.