HSE Guidance

Posted on November 2, 2017

Is your business HSE compliant? If not then Houghton can help….

HSE compliance is critical for ALL users of industrial Metalworking fluids. The latest guidance places additional responsibilities on companies is to ensure MWFs are effectively managed to minimize risk of occupational health issues in the workplace.

Below are the latest HSE guidance in 5 simple steps:-

Step 1

The guidance emphasizes the legal requirements under COSHH legislation for employers to conduct risk assessments including reducing exposure and good fluid management application processes.

  • All records of fluid analysis to be kept for at least 5 years
  • All records of exposure to Hazardous Chemicals and employee health records to be kept for 40 years
  • Prevention of skin contact and dermatitis by use of suitable PPE
  • Prevention of serious health issues by reducing exposure and other control measures eg; LEV, mist monitoring and mist generation

Step 2

MWF storage in compliance with the Oil Storage Regulations. MWF should be mixed using a mixer unit and good quality water supply.

  • Store product in a dry bunded area
  • Use industry recognised mixing equipment
  • Install water treatment equipment to improve quality where required

Step 3

The latest guidance outlines specific controls required to maintain fluids

  • Concentration- check at least weekly
  • pH – check at least weekly
  • Tramp oil- check at least weekly. Recommended max limit of 2%
  • Swarf/ fines- Risk assessed based on machining process and keeping to a minimum
  • Dissolved metals- to be monitored and controlled as per EH40 listing
  • Bacteria- check at least weekly (unless data can justify longer testing regime)
  • Temperature – check weekly   

Step 4 

The guidance emphasizes the importance of controlling mists and fumes

  • Reviewing products, processes, use of LEV, use of suitable PPE
  • No maximum for exposure has been set however levels to be controlled as low as is reasonably practical, including employee health monitoring
  • Initiating effective maintenance programs for LEV systems – at least every 14 months

Step 5

Guidance emphasises correct system cleaning with a suitable system cleaner. Guidance advises on correct segregation, storage and disposal of waste MWF.

If you would like further information on the new HSE guidance please don’t hesitate to contact your local Account Manager.