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Exposure Assessment & Control                 October 2018

Peter giving breath



In the latest edition of EH40 (Workplace exposure limits), the airborne exposure limit for tetrachloroethene (also known as perc, perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene) has been reduced from 50 ppm to 20 ppm (8h TWA). 


Some workplaces (such as dry cleaners) may therefore need to reassess whether they are still compliant.  Biological monitoring using breath sampling is a straightforward way of assessing an individual’s uptake of tetrachloroethene (which otherwise involves a blood sample due to the poor metabolism of tetrachloroethene). 


We have recently updated our guidance on breath sampling to reflect the reduction in the workplace exposure limit.

HSL’s Paul Pitts presents at the 53rd UK HRV Conference

In September, Andreas Stihl Ltd. and the Health and Safety Executive were joint hosts of the 2018 UK Conference on Human Responses to Vibration (UK HRV). The conference covers all aspects of hand-transmitted vibration, whole-body vibration and motion sickness. Paul Pitts led the organisation on behalf of HSE, with Graeme Hunwin and Zoe Gould also attending. 


53rd UK HRV Conference


The conference provided an excellent platform for presenting HSE work to the wider human vibration community; eight HSE papers were presented, including Science Division contributions:

"Suitability of using combined hand-arm vibration, weight and noise health risk factors in the rail industry" (Paul Pitts)

"The development of a tool for the initial assessment of back injury risks in driving: an introduction to the 'BIRD' tool" (Paul Pitts)

"Evaluation of the effectiveness of tool timers for estimation of daily exposure time to hand-arm vibration" (Susan Hewitt & Antonia Hawker)

"Defining the characteristics of databases on human vibration" (Manu Donati (INRS, France) & Paul Pitts)

Further information on the services provided by HSL in relation to noise and vibration can be found here.

Training courses


Occupational Medicine Seminar for HSE Appointed Doctors, Occupational Health Professionals and GPs27 November 2018

Biological Monitoring for Chemical Exposures at Work27 November 2018

LEV - Practical Management of Local Exhaust Ventilation Controls16 January 2019

Management of Hand Arm Vibration in the Workplace - An Introduction23 January 2019

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) Refresher29 January 2019

Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) - Health Surveillance and Exposure Control29 January 2019


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