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#1 Posted : 22 April 2019 17:13:11(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

I disagree with the interpretation of this reg by the HSE. The reg makes HS mandatory where it is necessary to protect the health of employees. The phrase where necessary must mean than there are circumstances where HS is not necessary.

Surely if for an airborne toxin with a WEL, if you measure the exposure and it is very low, you are protecting employees proactively and it is not necessary to do retroactive HS.

Of course if you cannot measure exposure say for a dermatogen the HS becomes necessary.

 Guidance and the ACoP do not clarify this

Does anyone know of case lay that clarifies this point, please?

I would appreciate comments.

#2 Posted : 22 April 2019 18:35:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Read beyond the regulation and look to the EU directive on protection of workers. This is about ISFAIRP not what is the cheapest I(the employer) can get away with. Since the introduction of REACH a lot more information has been pooled through ECHA, and what used to be ignored is now subject to restriction or authorisation. Even our beloved EH40 does not recognise issues identified throughout the member states - take a look at GESTIS - if you are following a best practice route you will .follow the lowest identified level not what the HSE publishes. Very low is not Zero exposure
#3 Posted : 23 April 2019 14:49:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

I recommend that you take a look at the relevant part of the 6th edition of the Approved Code of Practice for COSHH. This gives the latest guidance from the HSE as to when health surveillance is appropriate. What it states might surprise you.


A Kurdziel  
#4 Posted : 24 April 2019 08:46:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

This is the HSE’s latest guidance ion Health Surveillance- http://www.hse.gov.uk/health-surveillance/

Surveillance is carried out for several reasons and you have to have a reason before you carry it out:

  1. based on your risk assessment  You suspect that workers might be exposed to harmful levels of hazardous substances- you do the surveillance to find out if that is the case so that you can apply additional controls if necessary
  2. If you are not sure about the risk, Health surveillance can form part of the data gathering process to establish the actual risk.
  3. You have controls in place but you need to reassure yourself that they controls are working.
  4. Can provide feedback to employees showing that that the controls do work

The levels and type of surveillance depends on the risk that the hazardous substances pose

#5 Posted : 24 April 2019 14:40:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

The sixth edition of the ACoP for COSHH contains new guidance on health surveillance. Para 237 states:

"Examples where health surveillance is appropriate under the criteria in regulation 11(2)(b) are:

where there have been previous cases of work-related ill health in the workforce/plase;

where there is reliance on PPE, eg gloves or respirators, as an exposure control measure, eg printers wearing gloves to protect against solvents used during press cleaning, or paint sprayers using two-pack paints wearing respirators to prevent asthma. Even with the closest supervision there is no guarantee that PPE will be effective at all times.

where there is evidence of ill health in jobs within the industry, eg frequent or prolonged contact with water (termed we-working) causing dermatitis in hairdressers and healthcare workers, or breathing in mists from chrome plating baths causing chrome ulcers in platers."

This last sub-paragraph sets a new requirement. It suggests that even if as an employer you believe you have everying properly controlled, if others in the same occupational sector are experiencing health problems you should at least consider health surveillance.

Para 238 states:

"This is not a definitive or exhaustive list and there will be many other instances where health surveillance is required. Employers will need to seek information or advice on the specific health risks identified in the risk assessment, or through any topic-specific HSE guidance, trade associations or other professional sources."


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