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HSE campaign highlights dangers from metalworking fluids

Nov 13, 2023 | COSHH, Face Fit Testing, Health & Safety, Health Surveillance, News, Occupational Health

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HSE campaign highlights dangers from metalworking fluids


Businesses are being warned to make sure their staff are safe when working with metalworking fluids or coolants.

It’s a highly technical, specialist field applying precision engineering – but can also cause harm to the lungs and skin.

Past inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have uncovered poor performance around control of metalworking fluids in businesses that use computer numerical control (CNC) machines.


Exposure to metalworking fluids – also referred to as ‘white water’ – can cause harm to lungs and skin through inhalation or direct contact with unprotected skin; particularly the hands, forearms and face.

Breathing in the mist generated by machining can lead to lung diseases such as occupational asthma and occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Manufacturing businesses should implement control measures and carry out health surveillance checks with occupational health professionals.

To support the campaign, HSE will carry out inspections to look at how employers are ensuring workers are protected from exposure to fluid or mist generated by CNC machines across Great Britain

For the full article from the HSE please click here.


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Ray Hurst
October 16, 2018

President of IOSH 2008, Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

I am pleased that you are helping dispel some of the dafter myths that surround OH&S (a passion you and I clearly have in common) and the item clearly indicates that as with so many of our professional colleagues you are not about stopping fun on the pretext of H&S. It is only with the help of people such as yourself that we will eventually get the message across that OH&S is about bringing (as you so aptly put it) purpose and value to peoples lives

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