Are you running the risk of a health & safety fine for your coolant?

Maintaining an effective coolant management process is vital to the health and safety of your employees. It is also essential if you want to avoid costly fines.

The government is cracking down on the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Companies need to maintain a proper health & safety plan for working with metalworking fluids. Companies need to make sure they conduct a comprehensive risk assessment which includes information on how bacterial contamination of fluids is monitored.

In 2016 an ejector seat manufacturer was fined £800,000 for failing to protect its workers’ health. An investigation found that the company had failed to take adequate preventative measures to protect its employees who worked with cutting fluids.

Employees working with metalworking fluids can develop:

  • Dermatitis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis

Fluid systems that contain water or water mixes can develop harmful bacteria which is caused by:

  • The dosage of cutting fluid to water is not at its optimal range
  • The pH levels are not at the correct level
  • The tramp oil is preventing air getting to the cutting oil, causing bacteria to grow.
  • There is a lack of proper ventilation.

What Are You Doing to Take Adequate Preventative Measures?

The bacterial contamination of fluid needs to be monitored and controlled. A risk assessment needs to be filled out and then detail how this is to be handled. A comprehensive coolant management program is vital to the long-term control of bacteria.

As part of a coolant management program, you should:

  • Take refractometer readings to ensure the right concentration of water and cutting fluid
  • Use Dipslides to monitor bacterial levels
  • Monitor emulsion stability
  • Monitor biocide levels
  • Do visual / smell checks
  • Monitor tramp oil
  • Train employees in the correct coolant management procedures

If you are currently experiencing a problem with your metalworking fluids or would like a no obligation “health check,” please call us on 0845 500 5767 and we can help you solve it.

About Southern Lubricants

Southern Lubricants has been the leading lubricant supplier in the South West of England for more than 30 years.  Our expert and technical knowledge combined with our ability to source all major brands of lubricants, means that we can provide a solution to all your lubricant needs.  While our roots are firmly based in the South West, we have customers all over the UK who use us for our technical expertise, superior service and ability to be a single-source supplier.