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COSHH and bakers - key messages

Substances hazardous to health in baking include:

Dermatitis may result from some bakery tasks, and if hands are wet many times a day or for a lot of the time.

Control measures include:

Example: Flour dust

Flour dust can cause asthma when breathed in.

Flour dust has been set a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) comprising a long-term exposure limit of 10mg/m3 (averaged over 8 hours) and a short-term exposure limit of 30mg/m3 (averaged over 15 minutes). However flour dust is an asthmagen and exposure should therefore be reduced as far below the WEL as is reasonably practicable. By adopting good control practice, HSE considers that less than 2mg/m3 (averaged over 8 hours) is usually achievable. You normally need to use health surveillance (Check employees health for any adverse effects related to work. May involve checking skin for dermatitis or asking questions about breathing and may need to done by a doctor or nurse.)

Help in finding the right controls is on the Bakers and asthma website. Control information for flour dust appears in the following information sheets available from the COSHH essentials webpage:


Your employer provides equipment to protect your health, such as:

You have a duty to use these properly and co-operate with any monitoring and health surveillance.