Dust Monitoring in The Workplace

Control of Dust in The Workplace

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Your Legal requirements

Control of dust in the workplace is covered under several pieces of regulation. As an employer, you have a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe and without risk to the health of employees, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs)

Employers also have duties under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) to control risks to employees’ health arising from work activities. This means they need to ensure exposures to dust of any kind is kept as far below the Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) as reasonably practicable. There are specific WELs for different hazardous materials. 

WELs are the concentrations of hazardous material in the air averaged over a specified time period – called the Time Weighted Average (TWA). Two periods are used, long-term (8 hours) and short-term (15 mins) – the long-term representing a working day and the short-term to help prevent effects such as eye irritation which may occur after only a few minutes exposure.

What industries need to be concerned with COSHH?

The industries that need to be specifically concerned about the COSHH regulations are as follows:

Agriculture: eg dusts, chemicals, diseases, toxic gases.

Baking: eg dusts, enzymes, flavour concentrates, cleaning products.

Beauty: eg products that cause skin irritation, allergies and asthma, acrylic fumes.

Catering: eg products that cause dermatitis, skin allergies, asthma, fumes.

Cleaning: eg products that cause dermatitis, allergies and asthma, corrosive products.

Engineering: eg dusts, fumes, chemicals, germs in metalworking fluids.

Hairdressing: eg products that cause dermatitis, allergies, asthma.

Printing: eg products that can cause dermatitis, skin allergies and asthma, corrosive products, solvent vapours, ingredients that can cause damage to internal organs over a long period of time.

Motor vehicle repair: eg paints, fuels, brake fluid, lubricants, degreasing fluids, cleaning products, welding and cutting fumes, dusts, battery acid.

Welding: eg fumes, dust, chemicals, work in confined spaces, inert gases.

Woodworking: eg dusts, adhesives, paints, stripping fluids, lubricants, disinfectants to treat water systems.

Dust Monitoring Services

Our Dust Monitoring services are aimed at providing you with the best available monitoring solutions to meet your individual industry requirements.

Our dust monitoring services include:

  • Specification, supply, installation and maintenance of permanent and/or temporary monitoring systems
  • Analysis of particulate for specific substances
  • Air Monitoring in the Urban Environment
  • Air Monitoring in the Workplace

Air Monitoring in the Urban Environment 

There is increasing concern over dust as a hazard or a nuisance among local authorities. This has led to requirements for monitoring the air quality of building, demolition sites, and other longer-term activities. These activities can include quarrying, manufacturing and other urban processes.

Air Monitoring in the Workplace

Airborne particulate in the workplace can be a serious hazard depending on particular industrial processes. It is important to understand the temporal and spatial distribution of particulate in the workplace. EMS can carry out surveys of dust levels or particular substances using personal or strategically placed monitors. This data is a precursor to the design of remedial systems, adjustment of workplace practices in order to protect the workforce and adhere to occupational health legislation

What You Can Expect

Workplace air monitoring covering all relevant areas of the location will be carried out in as required under Regulation 6 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 to determine the exposure risk to airborne hazardous substances.

To include: -

Completion and interpretation of information and subsequently the supply of a confidential report containing the following elements suitably prepared and presented for discussion:

  • Client brief and overview of requirements under the COSHH Regulations
  • Hazardous substance and its implication information
  • WEL (Workplace Exposure Limits)
  • PPE
  • Process/production details
  • Air monitoring results and their interpretation
  • Airflow measurement results
  • Recommendations to assist with dust level reduction where necessary
  • Interpretation of future requirements

Reports prepared are to be provided for inclusion in the Site Environmental Record keeping File which can be updated for statutory requirements.


Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Essentials guidance publications

COSHH Essentials publications series:

Looking For Dust Monitoring Services in The UK? 


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