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Exposure Assessment & Control                  August 2018


Aerospace co put workers at risk of developing HAVS for 22 years

A company that carries out repairs of aircraft components has been fined £400,000 after exposing around 100 workers to the risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) for 22 years.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workers at the company’s site in Gwent, South Wales, used various hand-held vibrating tools, including orbital sanders, rivet guns, grinders and drills. The HSE also found the company had failed to implement a safe system of work to control exposure to vibration and there was no suitable health surveillance to identify symptoms at an early stage of the disease.

The full article can be found here. Further information on the Tier 5 HAVS testing carried out at the Health and Safety Laboratory, including how to make a referral, can be found here.


Effect of hood size on a qualitative fit test

Alison Bowry from HSL’s occupational hygiene team gave a presentation on hood size effects on 25 April 2018 at the ISRP European Section Spring Seminar and AGM.

The full presentation is available on the HSL website. HSE’s RPE user guide video is available to watch on Youtube and further information on the RPE and PPE services offered by HSE can be found here

Face Mask

Evaluation of a Shortened Qualitative Fit Test Method for Filtering Facepiece Respirators

HSE’s Rhiannon Mogridge, Alison Bowry and Mike Clayton have co-authored a paper in the Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection. The most commonly used type of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the healthcare sector in Great Britain (GB) is the disposable filtering facepiece. As a type of tight-fitting respirator, the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance requires that fit testing be carried out as part of the selection process. The GB healthcare industry typically employs the qualitative fit testing method.

The full paper is available for download through this direct link. 


X2018: Ninth International Conference on the Science of Exposure Assessment

This conference will be taking place in Manchester in September (24-26th) and several HSE staff will be actively participating.  Kate Jones will be talking about glyphosate monitoring, Laura Kenny will present some research work on new biomarkers for isocyanates, Kevin McNally is speaking about the Dermal version of the Advanced Reach Tool (daRT) and Delphine Bard and Kirsty Dewberry are presenting on dustiness testing, both nanomaterials and inter-laboratory comparisons.

Training courses

RPE Essentials – 25th-26th September 2018

RPE Fit Test – Introduction – 27th September 2018

Management of Hand-Arm Vibration in the Workplace – An Introduction – 3rd October 2018

Biosafety - concepts and working practices at Containment Level 3 – 8th-12th October 2018

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) Refresher – 17th October 2018

Analytical Services and Health Risks Customer Day – 19th October 2018

LEV - Practical Management of Local Exhaust Ventilation Controls – 23rd October 2018

Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) - Health Surveillance and Exposure Control – 24th October 2018

Asbestos – Managing asbestos in domestic* and non-domestic premises – 25th October 2018


A full list of available training is available on HSL’s website here.