COSHH Air Monitoring and Workplace Exposure Monitoring

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ECL can carry out COSHH Air Monitoring and Workplace Exposure Monitoring of your hazardous substances to ensure that any potential risks are adequately controlled and your company maintains compliance with current COSHH Regulations.

We will essentially measure the exposure of harmful substances in your workplace and then compare levels against current Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) as stated in HSE guidance EH40.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations places a duty of care upon employers to protect both employees and others who may be exposed to specific substances.


What Is Workplace Exposure Monitoring

There are strict legal limits on the concentration of airborne contaminants. The exposure to fumes, vapours, dust, gases, and mists in the workplace can lead to respiratory problems and other potentially serious illnesses for your employees.

Employers in the UK are legally required to assess the exposure of their employees as a requirement of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). 

We go into more detail in our What Is COSHH? The Complete Guide To COSHH Compliance series of articles, but essentially, COSHH Air monitoring is a way to measure the extent that an employee is exposed to levels of dust etc. in the workplace during a typical working day.

Measuring these concentrations over a representative pattern of work and time to determine whether the relevant workplace exposure limits relating to your manufacturing process or industry are met.

ECL provides Workplace Exposure Monitoring to determine whether the controls currently in place within your process to protect your employees are adequate or if indeed more attention is required. Our air sampling experts will work with you to ensure that your business meets its legal obligations under COSHH.


Why Is Workplace Exposure Monitoring Important?

Under Regulation 10 of the COSHH Regulations, 2002 employers must ensure that a Workplace COSHH Assessment is undertaken to ensure adequate control.

Contaminants of any kind can be harmful if persons are exposed to them at high concentrations over prolonged periods, but certain contaminants can cause more serious reactions. Even materials such as Flour Dust and Wood Dust are respiratory sensitisers and can cause illnesses such as occupational asthma.

Some contaminants such as Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS), are recognised carcinogens and can cause more serious ailments such as silicosis or lung cancer.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) treat COSHH non-compliance very seriously.

COSHH Air Monitoring essentially measures exposure to various potentially harmful gases, dust, etc. Exposure to these airborne substances in the workplace is happening to millions of people every day. Health effects may not appear until many years after the exposure has taken place and can open employers up to various legal claims.

Elevated concentrations of contaminants in the workplace can also increase the wear of mechanical components, various electronic equipment, and become a fire or explosion risk leading to many other safety concerns for employees.


Who Requires A COSHH Survey?

Potential hazardous substances can include: 

Research suggests that almost a quarter of workers in the UK are exposed to harmful substances whilst at work. Exposure to these hazardous substances can occur in a wide range of work environments.

Industries included (But not limited to):

  • Educational Establishments
  • Fabrication
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Manufacturing
  • Offices
  • Quarries
  • Vehicle Repair Shops
  • Waste Processing Sites
  • Workshops


What Does COSHH Air Monitoring Entail?

A walkthrough survey is usually carried out to determine the level of monitoring that is required on-site. The COSHH survey can also provide initial indicators that can affect better workplace control. 

A BOHS registered ECL consultant will then carry out your Workplace Exposure Monitoring, and make observations on working practices. Observations will also be made on the use of the control measures currently available. Monitoring results will be evaluated against WELs to assess the effectiveness of control measures that are already in place.

Your ECL consultant will then suggest practical means to prevent or reduce exposure by improving control strategies with the emphasis on the hierarchy of control.

From the results and observations made, our consultants will maintain employee exposures within WELs and provide guidance on ways to improve current controls. 

When the COSHH Air Monitoring work is complete, we will send you a detailed workplace COSHH report. This will give you the necessary advice and actions needed to either reduce or maintain exposure to a safe level. Acting on this advice will ensure the safety of your staff, which in turn will improve production and most likely help to increase the morale of staff.

A  Workplace COSHH Assessment includes:

  • A direct comparison of personal exposure concentrations against current workplace exposure levels
  • Accurate identification and calculation of airborne concentrations of hazardous substances in the workplace
  • Background concentration measurements to assess the effectiveness of engineering controls (such as LEV)
  • Realistic recommendations for improvement to ensure a reduction of exposure to your employees

COSHH Air Monitoring is typically completed with the use of calibrated air pumps drawing workplace air through a filter, impinger, or sorbent tube in accordance with internationally recognised standard methodologies. The media is then analysed in an accredited laboratory (where applicable) for the substance being monitored. 


Experts In COSHH Air Monitoring

ECL offers Workplace Exposure Monitoring and assessment services to monitor air quality at work.

Reducing exposure can aid you by:

  • Improving productivity due to lower sickness rates
  • Improving employee morale
  • Less civil claims
  • Reducing PPE and associated costs

ECL consultants are experienced in undertaking air quality surveys including Indoor Air Quality and Ambient Air Monitoring.

Our consultants are members of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS).and can offer you a thorough examination and testing of your control measures including:

  • Full COSHH Assessments
  • Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Testing in accordance with the requirements of HSE Guidance Note HSG258
  • Personal / workplace monitoring in order to assess that control measures are adequate in protecting employees from exposure to hazardous substances

We will also provide a detailed report on work practices and findings together with recommendations for remedial action.

Contact us via our Enquiry Form or call us on 01443 841 760 for any queries regarding our wide range of occupational hygiene services including COSHH Air Monitoring, LEV Testing, Workplace Noise Monitoring, and Vibration Assessments.