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Programme of work

Reducing ill health from exposure to metalworking fluids (MWFs) is part of HSE’s contribution to Securing Health Together strategy.

Work-related asthma is one of the respiratory illnesses, which can follow from exposure to MWFs and dealing with occupational asthma is one of HSE’s priorities.

The Health and Safety Laboratory is carrying out research into aspects of the bacterial contamination of metalworking and water–mix wash fluids.

HSE is continuing to update its guidance on metalworking fluids as a result of recent developments and lessons being learnt. Any new information will appear on these Topic Pages.

HSE’s investigation into the outbreak of industrial asthma at the Powertrain plant in Birmingham and Koyo Bearings (Europe) Limited in Barnsley indicates that the potential for other such outbreaks exists. HSE is following up reports of lung disease linked to metalworking as they are notified.

Smaller users are being reached by new guidance, work with partners such as the United Kingdom Lubricants Association, and HSE contacts.

Use the self-assessment questionnaire to check how you are doing on current guidance.

Updated 2016-02-25