Metal Working Fluids: A Reminder

Published 26th September 2023

The HSE have announced a Programme of Inspections of factories using metal working fluids.

The health risks from poorly managed metal working fluids comprise:

  • Lung problems; including infection, occupational asthma and direct inflammation of the lungs.
  • Skin problems; including irritant eczema and allergic dermatitis.

These conditions can develop and become severe.

Organisations need to have clear control measures and procedures in place to monitor the condition of metal working fluids. 

These include:

  • Daily documented visual checks
  • Regular pH and concentration measurements and, where appropriate,
  • Tests for bacterial contamination.

Health surveillance of workers to monitor the effectiveness of control measures is required by law.  This necessitates regular lung function tests and skin inspections.

It is strongly recommended that management watch the excellent series of videos produced by the UK Lubricants Association  and read the Good Practice Guide (see links below).

MWF PSG Publications | UKLA

Machinists and metalworking fluid - Work Right to keep Britain safe

UKLA HSE Good Practice Guide for Safe Handling and Disposal of Metalworking Fluids

Please contact Workplace Wellness if you need further advice on how to ensure the safety of your workforce.  


Workplace Wellness is the trading name of Bradford on Avon Occupational Health Services Ltd.
Registered in England: 9749251
VAT no. 27144823278
Registered Office: 29 Bridge Street Bradford on Avon Wiltshire BA15 1BY

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