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HSE Proactive Workplace Interventions 2016/17 highlight problems

As part of the Working Well Together strategy, the HSE as planned is undertaking three proactive interventions in their financial year 2016/17 which by the nature of foundry activities targets them directly.  Planned visits to review controls for those working with silica, asthmagens and metalworking fluids, as well as a revisit of the legionella campaign from 2014/15 have been taking place since April and have already resulted in over 25 foundries being issued with improvement notices.

In particular on-site inspections have identified:

  • Failure to provide health surveillance for noise, dust, RCS, fumes and metalworking fluids.
  • Failure to assess risks from chemicals, vibration, noise and metalworking fluids.
  • Guarding insufficient or missing.
  • LEV not up to standard, maintained or inspected correctly.
  • Failure to provide RPE, undertake face-fit testing or ensure PPE is worn.
  • Failure to provide suitable rest/canteen facilities away from envirnoments with chemical hazards and where PPE can be safely removed.

Other notices are specifically for lack of guarding on machinery, legionella control, safe access and for lack of a competent person.

All foundries should be aware that each of the above problems are legally required to be addressed under COSHH, PUWER, MHSWR & M(HSW)R regulations and should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that controls are in place, are suitable and sufficient and importantly are being observed.