Employees exposed to MWF risks


An engineering company has been fined for health breaches after workers were exposed to metal working fluid (MWF).


MWF is hazardous to health, and exposure can cause health conditions including irritation of the skin/dermatitis, occupational asthma, bronchitis and irritation of the upper respiratory tract.


In February 2016 a visit to Lantern Engineering Ltd was conducted by the HSE and enforcement action taken requiring the company to provide health surveillance and manage MWF. In September 2016 an employee was diagnosed with occupational asthma. Further enforcement was taken in December 2016 with an Improvement Notice issued to develop a system for managing MWF.


An investigation by HSE found that a water mix MWF was in use in the majority of machines including saws, machine centres and milling machines. None of these machines had local exhaust ventilation (LEV) and some door seals were observed to be in poor condition. The MWF sumps to some machines were in visibly poor condition, with fines, swarf and/or tramp

oil being present.


Lantern Engineering Ltd of Globe Court, Denby, Doncaster South Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £7,500 in costs.


After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Hunter commented: “The company’s failure to manage MWF exposed employees to risk.”


HSE September 2021



1 view0 comments