Following the HSE’s 2018 update to EH40, we have seen the introduction and revision of Workplace Exposure Limits for 31 substances.
As an employer, do you understand the importance of exposure monitoring?
EH40 is a guidance document published by the Health and Safety Executive which outlines the highest acceptable concentration of an airborne hazardous substance in the workplace. It is free to download from the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk.
Those of you responsible for the production of COSHH Assessments will find Workplace Exposure Limits stated on Material Safety Data Sheets and COSHH Assessments. However, to the general user there is little appreciation of what they are or what they mean.
Exposure of a substance is the uptake into the body through exposure routes, e.g. By breathing fume, dust, gas or mist, by skin contact, by injection into the skin or swallowing.
By monitoring against the published Workplace Exposure Limits (in EH40) you can confirm whether the control measures you have in place are adequate and, more importantly, that you are not harming your workers’ health.
Monitoring activities could be via measuring the spread of contamination, screening via dragger tubes, meters, etc., personal air monitoring to see how much of a substance a worker inhales, or through biological monitoring to see how much of a substance has entered the body.
As the HSE begin their latest inspection initiative on workers’ health, particularly in relation to workplace dusts, the latest issue of EH40 is an important reminder for employers to review their COSHH Assessments, the control measures in place and the results from monitoring to confirm exposure action levels are not exceeded.
Give us a call on 03456 122144 if you need any advice on this.