What is EH40?
EH40 is part of the Environmental Hygiene series, and is issued by the Heath & Safety Executive (HSE). It has been around for many years, and was first published soon after the first COSHH Regulations in 1988.
EH40 is the document that is used by those carrying out workplace air monitoring surveys to compare the results with the Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs).
The conclusions are then used to find out if there is compliance with the COSHH Regulations.
Within EH40, Table 1 and the Notices of Approval are the parts that are legally binding.
HSE inspectors expect a workplace to comply with requirements relating to exposure levels. If they find that an organisation is not complying, then appropriate enforcement action can be taken.
The rest of EH40/2005 is guidance, and as is always the case with health and safety guidance, it does not have to be followed. Following it however, means you are more likely to be doing enough to comply with the law.
Why is Air Monitoring required?
The reason that air monitoring is required, is that hazardous substances, (particles, chemicals, biological agents) in a workplace can be a source of adverse health effects. The measurement of such substances in the air, will reveal if workers are exposed to significant quantities.
Air monitoring should be part of a full occupational hygiene assessment, as this also looks at the working practices and control measures. It brings it all together, to assess risk and provide useful recommendations for the workplace.
From this information, and the observations made during the survey, an assessment of the risk level can be made.
Although there have been many revisions, and each one supersedes the last, the document is not published annually, but only when significant changes to the law or exposure limits demand it. In fact, the last time there was a revision was 2013.
Assessors need to keep up with any changes , not only to ensure we are up to date with this important COSHH document, but to implement them into reports and recommendation.
In August EH40/2005 was updated in line with the 4th Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) EU Directive (2017/164/EU).
A close read reveals that in there, there are some new WEL values for substances not previously listed. Others have also been revised. For example, a WEL for acetic acid has been brought back, and a new WEL for Diacetyl which is used in flavourings is newly issued.
We’re experts in occupational Hygiene and here to help. If you need any assistance with a COSHH Risk Assessment or need Workplace Air monitoring, please get in touch.
Get in touch with Workplace Exposure, either give us a call on 0800 689 4386, or fill in our enquiry form to discuss your monitoring or consultancy requirements.
We’ll then provide you with a no obligation proposal, we can often give an initial idea of fees whilst we discuss your needs.
Once you’ve accepted our proposal we can then schedule the work.
Following our site visit we’ll provide you with a comprehensive report giving you advice, recommendations and control measures where appropriate.
Implement the outcomes for compliance and a happier healthier workplace.