SHEP Metalworking Conference on preparing for 2020 HSE Inspections a success

12 Dec 2019

The Safety and Health Engineering Partnership (SHEP) ran a one-day welding fume and metalworking fluid seminar on 26 November to help SMEs keep their workforces safe and their companies on the right side of the law.

The main focus of the HSE’s January-March 2020 fabricated metal inspection programme, will be on ensuring companies have effective control measures in place to minimise risks associated with exposure to metalworking fluids and welding fume. All welding fume (including mild steel) is now classed as carcinogenic, whilst metalworking fluids can cause occupational asthma, occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis and dermatitis.

This very well attended one-day event on 26 November 2019 hosted by Filtermist ( ) included a mix of speakers and interactive practical demonstrations to ensure delegates were fully informed on the HSE’s expectations, as well as measures they could put in place to meet these requirements.

In order to protect workers and comply with the law, namely the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), employers need to ensure they have the right control measures and management arrangements in place. Employees also have legal responsibilities under COSHH regulations, including using the control measures they are provided with.

The seminar was designed to help delegates improve their ability to manage health hazards from welding fume and metalworking fluids, and was aimed at health and safety managers, factory managers and engineers in engineering SMEs.

The day included HSE expert speakers, industry case studies and practical demonstrations. It covered health risks, control measures, management of metal working fluids, local exhaust ventilation, respiratory protective equipment and monitoring methods.

To find out more about the proceedings from the event, please contact: Chris Buxton at

Images (l-r): metalworking fluid; man welding

Background to SHEP

The Safety and Health Engineering Partnership (SHEP) was primarily established to provide a focus and communication platform for all issues relating to health and safety in the UK Engineering sector and amongst the participating Trade Associations and their members. It was convened by popular demand from both the industry and by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) staff responsible for supporting the UK Engineering sector. It was conceived in early 2018. SHEP Chairman is Chris Buxton, BFPA CEO, comments, “SHEP is a collaboration between a number of engineering focussed trade associations, supported by the HSE. Its aim is to actively reduce the number of workplace accidents and ill health in the engineering sector. By working together we can spread key messages to a far wider audience, and thanks to the direct link with HSE, we can tailor our support to ensure it offers the most value to all of our members.