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#1 Posted : 01 February 2001 08:54:00(UTC)
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Posted By Huw Williams
I read about a recent case where a Local Authroity, was prosecuted after a cook had to leave their employment having developed occupational asthma. Flour dust was found to be the cause. The Council had not carry out COSHH assessments for activities involving exposure, for instance using food mixers.

Has anyone assessed the risks from flour, if so what are the best control measures. I would appreciate any help you might offer.

Regards
Huw

Newport County Borough Council
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#2 Posted : 12 February 2001 17:59:00(UTC)
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Posted By Jeff Deacon
There is still a continuing argument in some quarters as to whether the injurious agent is flour, or one of the 'improvers' added specifically to bread flour. It is noted in one big bakery group that while they have had cases of baker's asthma in bread bakeries, they have never had any in cake bakeries, where the flour is treated in a different way.

You could do worse than start with a training package on the topic produced by the Bakers Federation, National Association of Master Bakers and approved by the HSE. The Bakers Federation can be found at 6 Catherine St London WC2

Most flour millers will supply a safety data sheet for flour if pressed.

For years the limit of dust in the atmosphere has been that of a general dust, but a tightening of the screw by issuing a MEL is in process.
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#3 Posted : 20 February 2001 19:41:00(UTC)
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Posted By Scott Wallace
Flour dust is a recognised and serious risk to health and safety. Indeed an MEL is about to be introduced under COSHH regs. (Actually flour improvers are the real culprit, but flour dust is the term being adopted).

I suggest that you have a look at the federation of bakers website.

In general treat it as you would any other airborne contaminant. Measure for levels adopt control measures (PPE being a last resort)and monitor effectiveness of those measures via an ongoing sampling regime. For large scale use it may be sensible to set up some type of health surveillance (spirometry) to ensure no adverse affect on workers.

Further measures are likely to be required when the MEL becomes law.
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