Occupational Hygiene News Archive 2019

First aid for ammonia exposure 

Working with ammonia requires caution. The flammable, colorless gas has the potential to explode if heated, warns the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety. It’s also extremely toxic. Even further, it’s corrosive to the respiratory tract, skin and eyes and can be fatal if inhaled.  Click image to read full article...

Publication of new NI Workplace Exposure Limits

NEW AND revised Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) for thirteen substances listed in the European Commission’s Directive (EU) 2017/2398, which amends the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive 2004/37/EC, have been published.  Click image to read full article...

Many welders are exposed unnecessarily to welding fume and gases that can damage their health.

The HSE estimates that exposure to welding fume causes more than 150 deaths due to cancer every year. Exposure to the fumes and gases can also cause other diseases, including an increased susceptibility to pneumoniametal fume feverchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes bronchitis and emphysemaasthma. 

One measure that can be used to control the fumes and so minimise the risks to health is local exhaust ventilation – LEV. However, to ensure they are effective, the right type of system must be used, matched to the welding process and type of work being carried out the systems need to be used correctly, maintained and tested and managed properly.


This fact sheet provides some advice on the design and management of LEV systems to help you control workers’ exposure to welding fume and gases. Click image to read full article...

Tackling Ill Health Working Group 

Workplace ill health kills and ruins lives in the construction industry. Statistics indicate that a construction worker is at least 100 times more likely to die from a disease caused or made worse by their work as they are from a fatal accident. Click image to read full article...

Rolls-Royce factory plan puts nuclear reactors on mini scale

Rolls-Royce plans on building mini nuclear reactors, which could be in operation by 2029. They are less the size of traditional nuclear reactors and they do not take as many years to build. Click image to read full article...

Uptake and quality of health surveillance for occupational asthma in the woodworking, baking and motor vehicle repair sectors (RR1139 - prepared by HSE). 

Occupational asthma is a respiratory disease that is largely preventable using good practice measures to control worker exposure to asthmagens. Health surveillance is legally required when there is a reasonable likelihood that workers’ health may be affected by their work and there is an appropriate method to detect the work-related health condition....

ECHA - Updated guidance for registering substances in nanoform

By 1 January 2020, companies must provide additional information on nanomaterials under EU REACH. Need help? Have a look at updated guidance for registering substances in nanoform. 

Occupational Cancer - IOSH report

Thousands of people die each year from cancer due to occupational causes. In Great Britain it is estimated that there are 13,500 cancer registrations (newly occurring cases of cancer) per year attributable to occupations. Click image to read full article...

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BOHS Good Practice Guidance & OH Services Buyers Guidance 


BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has recently updated and published its best practice guidance for occupational hygiene consultants as well as its guide for companies wanting to obtain occupational hygiene services. Both guides are available free of charge, and aim to serve as the industry standard for competency in occupational hygiene consultancy services. Click the images to view both documents...

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New antenna tech to equip ceramic coatings with heat radiation control 

The gas turbines powering aircraft engines rely on ceramic coatings that ensure structural stability at high temperatures. But these coatings don't control heat radiation, limiting the performance of the engine.


Researchers at Purdue University have engineered ceramic "nanotubes" that behave as thermal antennas, offering control over the spectrum and direction of high-temperature heat radiation. Click image to read more...


New COSHH Safe Handling of Chemicals Poster

A variety of harmful substances are found in our working environments and knowing how to handle these safely is key to safety and protection from injury. With photographic illustrations, this poster shows the Do’s and Don’ts when handling chemicals. It also clearly presents the hazardous signs found on chemical containers. Text is minimal, but highlights how to safely store chemicals, how to use chemicals safely and how to protect chemicals from vulnerable people. This bright attractive poster is essential guidance in your workplace to highlight how to handle chemicals safely. Click the image to visit HSE's website & 'add to basket'.

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Dangerous Substances e-tool

Does your business use dangerous substances? Are you fully aware of your legal obligations? The European Agency for Safety & Health at Work dangerous substances e-tool can help. It is an interactive web-based guide that provides employers with the support and advice they need to effectively manage dangerous substances in the workplace. Click image to read full article...


Welding Fuel Control Web-Tool

This web-tool is designed to complement the information on the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing webpages. It provides guidance on welding fume control for common welding tasks. A panel of experts from industry, consultancies, academia and the HSE formed a working group to create this web-tool in order to inform managers and supervisors of welders about the best welding fume controls available to protect their health. Click image to access tool.

New guidance on occupational exposure limits

ECHA has published guidance for preparing a scientific report for health based exposure limits and occupational exposure limits (OELs) at the workplace. It aligns the methodologies in REACH and occupational health and safety legislation to establish safe levels of exposure to chemicals at the workplace. The document takes the findings of the ECHA/RAC – SCOEL joint task force into account.

It is a follow-up of the REACH review, improving the interface between REACH and occupational health and safety legislation. As of 2019, ECHA has started providing recommendations for occupational exposure limits (OELs) that protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals.

What is the cost of mental health to Employers?

It is estimated that mental health related issues cost UK employers between £32 & £42 billion each year.  This is made up of absence costs of £7.9 bn, presenteeism costs of between      £16.9 bn & £26.4 bn, turnover cost of £7.9 bn, self-employed absence £0.9 bn.  Click image to read full article by Monitor Deloitte.

Hints and tips to manage workplace health and safety risks

Protect your people from exposure to harmful or hazardous risks in your workplace by following these top tips.  

LOcHER - Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risks

An of-shoot of the 'GO HOME HEALTHY' campaign - The LOcHER project driven by HSE is designed for engaging students and apprentices using the learning by experience & practical risk control curriculum learning methodology.

Protecting workers' health in construction (Breathe Freely)

Occupational disease and illness can be prevented - it is possible for construction work to be carried out without causing ill-health, provided risks are properly eliminated, managed and controlled. Download the full information sheet here.

53% of the work-related deaths in the EU are associated with exposure to carcinogens at work (RIVM - 2016)

Exposure threatens workers‘ overall health and quality of life, as well as participation in work and productivity levels. Not only does cancer result in individual suffering, the societal impact is large as well. The direct costs of carcinogen exposure at work across Europe are estimated at 2.4 billion Euros per year. Taking health care expenditure and productivity losses into account, this number is estimated as 4 to 7 billion Euros annually. Click image to view Roadmap 'The Facts on occupational exposure to carcinogens' fact sheet...

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HSE - A Step-by-Step Guide to COSHH Risk Assessment 

Presented in an easy-flow format to steer the user through both the document itself and the key COSHH stages such as: gathering information about the substances and associated work and practices, then evaluating the risks to health before finally deciding on the necessary measures to comply with regulations 7-13. 


Breathe Freely - Controlling Exposures to Prevent Occupational Lung Disease in Manufacturing 

The process of welding generates fumes, gases and dusts which, if inhaled, can cause serious lung conditions. In fact, welding is one of the top ten causes of work-related cancer, causing an estimated 150 deaths a year in the UK. In addition, welding is associated with numerous other serious health conditions, such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), metal fume fever and effects on the nervous system as well as short-term irritation of the throat and lungs, and reduced lung function. 

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ECHA Proposes 18 Substances for Authorisation

Helsinki, 1 October 2019 – ECHA's ninth recommendation to the European Commission to prioritise substances of very high concern for authorisation includes 18 substances. Thirteen of these substances are toxic for reproduction, of which one has also endocrine disrupting properties. The other substances are an endocrine disruptor, a carcinogen, a very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substance and two respiratory sensitisers.

The substances have been prioritised from the Candidate List because of their intrinsic properties in combination with high volume and widespread uses, which may pose a threat to human health or the environment. Some of these substances are currently not used in the EU but could replace other substances recommended for the Authorisation List (Annex XIV). Their inclusion should avoid regrettable substitution. Click image to view....

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HSE Annual Science Review 2019

Imagine a world where no one dies as a consequence of work, where industry doesn’t suffer catastrophic failure, where companies can say that no one was harmed in the making of their product and where accidents can be predicted and therefore prevented. 


HSE releases annual injury and ill-health stats for Great Britain

Figures show that around 581,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2018/2019, with 1.4 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health. The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, illustrate that in Great Britain in the 2018/2019 period there were;

-147 fatal injuries at work1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness

-364 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction; fines from convictions totalled £54.5 million

-28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury

releases annual injury and ill-health stats for Great Britain  Click image to read full report


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