In situations where adequate control of exposure to airborne substances cannot be achieved in line with Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) supporting the COSHH Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations (CLAW), Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR) and Ionising Radiation Regulations, employers must provide suitable respiratory protection equipment (RPE).
The RPE provided must reduce the exposure to a concentration that is as low as reasonably practicable and in any case below any applicable exposure or control limits.
The ACoPs supporting the Regulations recommend that the initial selection of tight-fitting face pieces should include a fit test. This is to ensure that the selected RPE has the potential to provide adequate protection for the wearer.
A RPE Face Fit Test involves:
- 7 exercises in accordance with HSE guidelines which aim to take typical body movements and tasks into consideration and takes around 30 minutes to complete
- Each employee is given a pass or fail result
- In the event of a failed fit test, a second test using a different model and/or size of RPE will be discussed
- COSHH Risk Assessment The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) state that every employer shall ensure the exposure of employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.
- Local Exhaust Ventilation (Lev) Testing Thousands of British workers contract occupational asthma and other lung diseases each year due to breathing in dust, fumes or other airborne contaminants at work, often because control measures are not fit for purpose or utilised properly by employees.
- Workplace Air Monitoring COSHH Regulations employers must ensure that workplace air monitoring is undertaken to ensure adequate control. Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) for airborne contaminants are listed in the HSE Guidance Document (EH40).
- Legionella Risk Assessment & Ongoing Management The COSHH Regulations and HSE Approved Code of Practice and Guidance Document: Legionnaires’ Disease states that employers have a duty to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.
- Noise Monitoring It is an employer’s responsibility to comply with both The Control of Noise at Work Regulations and environmental guidelines for external noise pollution.
- Vibration The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations aim to prevent damage caused by vibration at work. Vibration induced medical conditions can include vascular disorders and long-term neurological and muscular damage.