Latest HSE guidance in 5 simple steps…

Posted on March 27, 2018

Latest HSE guidance in 5 simple steps

The guidance objective is to ensure MWFs are effectively managed to minimise risk of occupational health issues in the workplace


Guidance emphasises 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



MWF storage in compliance with the Oil Storage Regulations MWF mixing – Recommends use of mixer units 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



Guidance outlines the main reasons for maintaining MWFs and the specific areas for control

  • 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). New Level for action is now >10⁴ CFUs. Biocide use to be a last resort. Emphasis on good fluid management and regime
    of system cleaning (with system cleaner)
  • Temperature – check WEEKLY



Guidance emphasises control of MWF mists by

  • 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 programmes for LEV systems – at least every 14 months



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