Revised COSHH Risk ASSEssment Requirements for Metalworking Fluids

After years of research, the HSE has concluded that bacteria found within water mix coolants are responsible for diseases such as ‘Occupational Asthma’ and ‘Allergic alveolitis’ and that workers elsewhere in this sector should get better protection against contracting these diseases.

As a part of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) ‘Disease Reduction Programme’, respiratory diseases caused by inhalation of ‘Metalworking Fluid’ mist are to be targeted as an area in need of great improvement within the metalworking industry.

What Are The COSHH Risk Assessment Requirements for Metalworking Fluids?

  • This important new requirement significantly changes the previous perceptions and conventions governing the risk of respiratory disease arising from the use of water-mix MWF’s and more importantly, it distinctly alters the way COSHH criteria should be applied.
  • Fundamentally for users, it means that risk assessments for MWFs must be reviewed.
  • Previous guidance values for acceptable mist limits are no longer relevant.
  • There is now no agreed health based limit for exposure to water-mix MWF mists.
  • Direct testing of bacteria is now essential with a firm onus being placed on the user to reduce the risk of workers’ exposure.  Risk assessments should no longer be dependent upon guidance values since a safe level of exposure is not known.
  • This means that exposure of workers to mist has to be better controlled. Respiratory health surveillance amongst workers should be carried out where there is mist from MWFs and wash fluids.
  • Users are expected to adopt a four point approach to dealing with the risk which includes risk assessment, regular bacteria testing, efficient mist control and employee health surveillance programmes.
    • Risk assessment
    • Regular bacteria testing
    • Efficient control of mist
    • Health surveillance for workers

Our Services

Implement required 'Risk Assessment' protocols onsite

In conjunction with the individual needs of each of our customers, MWF Consultant Engineers coordinate and implement the required onsite protocols as part of a compliant ‘Risk Assessment’ governing the control of bacteria activity in metalworking fluids.

Budgetary savings and 'Wet Waste Disposal' reductions

MWF Consultant Engineers specialise in implementing ‘Fixed Annual Budgeting’, providing budgetary certainty while focusing on ‘Wet Waste Disposal Reductions’ and ‘Metalworking Fluid Consumption Reductions’. These programs work in unison with our clients own ‘Waste Reduction’ policies, particularly those with an onus placed under ISO: 14001 ‘environmental management systems’.

Compliant 'Risk Assessment' writing

MWF Consultant Engineers assist manufacturers in writing up a compliant risk assessment acknowledging the risk the risk of respiratory disease to workers from the use of metalworking fluids.

Implement the 'Direct' testing of 'Metalworking Fluid' systems

As a key part of the ‘Risk Assessment’ requirements for ‘Direct’ monitoring of bacterial activity within metalworking fluids, MWF Consultant Engineers co-ordinate and provide the ‘dipslide’ test work onsite.


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