EXPOSURE PROMOTING A HEALTHY WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL
ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE ❚❚ FOH Registrar’s Report ❚❚ Neil O’Regan ❚❚ BOHS Conference Review ❚❚ Award Winners ❚❚ Highlights of OH2019 The official magazine of
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Welcome to Issue 3 of Exposure Magazine!
3 WELCOME 4 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
OH2019 seems like a distant memory, so this issue it to remind you of all the interesting and exciting activities that took place!
5 CEO’S COLUMN 6 BOHS CONFERENCE 7 EXHIBITOR FOCUS: NEIL O’REGAN 9 AWARD WINNERS
Head to page 6 to begin your journey down memory lane.
10 SESSIONS 12 COVER FEATURE: HIGHLIGHTS OF OH2019
And what’s a conference without a stealthy photographer? Are you on the Highlights of OH2019? Head to page 12 to see.
14 SESSIONS (CONTINUED) 16 THANK YOU!
Don’t forget to read our interview with Neil O’Regan, Managing Director of Shawcity Limited, who gave us their insight of OH2019 and an update on what they have in store for the rest of 2019.
17 BREATHE FREELY AND VOLUNTEERING 19 FOH REGISTRAR’S REPORT 20 HISTORY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH-PART 4
BOHS Awards season has officially opened! Take a look at the different awards we currently have open at http://www.bohs.org/about-us/bohs-awards/. We also spoke to a few of our Award Winners, from the 2019 Awards ceremony that took place in Brighton this year. To read about their experiences head to page 9!
THE EXPOSURE TEAM AMY HARVEY
22 ANNALS PRINT SURCHARGE 22 BOHS NEWS 23 SAVE THE DATE
LATEST BOHS NEWS & INFO @BOHS BOHS Head Office 5/6 Melbourne Business Court, Millennium Way, Pride Park, Derby, DE24 8LZ, UK T: + 44 (0) 1332 298101 | F: + 44 (0) 1332 298099 | email@example.com | www.bohs.org The views expressed in this issue are not necessarily those of BOHS Board
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
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JOHN DOBBIE BOHS PRESIDENT
This year’s conference in Brighton was excellent with a great mix of presentations, and it was wonderful to see a large number of delegates from beyond our shores, many of whom additionally presented papers and posters.
IT HAS CERTAINLY BEEN AN EXCITING TIME SINCE I BECAME PRESIDENT IN APRIL AT THE BOHS AGM IN BRIGHTON. support the authoring of most of the first OHTA courses and additionally made myself and my family very welcome when she and Brian hosted a picnic and barbecue at a local Wollongong beauty spot. Sue is from Wales, and Brian still visits her family and is now considered an Honorary Welshman.
This reflects how successful we are in achieving our aim of being the best global forum in worker health protection. So a big thank-you to all the organising committee and the BOHS staff members who made the event such a huge success.
It was also rewarding to be able to present the David Hickish award to Ayah El Kenaney, a BP industrial hygienist from Egypt. This was, the second time in a row BP has had an IH win the award – last year was Lee Heffernan from BP Shipping. This achievement almost offset the disappointment that I felt when none of my colleagues, attending the conference, witnessed me being presented with the BOHS President’s Chain of Office at the AGM. I have forgiven them (just) after bribery involving drinks!
A particular high point for me was welcoming Professor Brian Davies, from the University of Wollongong, Australia, to present the Sue Davies Prize to Pinky Bhatt of Vadodara, India. I have known Brian for many years in his capacity as the lead author to OHTA and was privileged to jointly present the first OHTA occupational hygiene module with him in 2006 at Wollongong. His wife Sue, for whom the award is dedicated worked extremely hard to
I have just returned from attending the AIHCe in Minneapolis last week. The American conference is much bigger than ours with around 3800 people attending, but, and I may be slightly biased; I think I prefer ours! Still, there was an excellent mix of very interesting papers and a very large Expo, with some great new “toys” on display. It also presents a wonderful networking opportunity to meet not only old friends and colleagues but also new people
who, hopefully, will go on to be new friends and perhaps colleagues. I also got to meet the current President of AIHA Cynthia Ostrowski and the President-Elect (now President) Kathy Murphy along with Larry Sloan their CEO. It was also good to meet up with our Australian counterparts again – Julia Norris, AIOH President, and Andrew Orfanos, President-Elect. I am looking forward to attending their conference in Perth, Australia, in November. It is very striking, while talking with these representatives of our fellow societies, just how much we have in common over the issues and challenges we face. This is typified by the sharing of our Breathe Freely materials with the AIOH, to help them with some exposure issues they face in Australia.
I look forward to continuing sharing and pooling our knowledge and experiences with, not only our friends in AIOH and AIHA but also many other occupational hygiene organisations and societies.
I’M WRITING THIS EDITORIAL IN MINNEAPOLIS... SIMON FESTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The opening plenary lecture was from Carey Lohrenz who was the first female F-14 tomcat fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy, and had plenty to say about working in fast moving, dynamic environments where inconsistent execution can generate catastrophic results. Since leaving the Navy, Lohrenz has worked with thousands of business leaders, from Fortune 500 executives to middle managers, helping them and their teams flourish. She talked us through the three fundamentals that she suggests a leader must possess to exhibit real fearlessness; courage, tenacity, and integrity. This was certainly an inspiring start to the conference. While the AIHA has a turnover of approximately ten times that of the BOHS, I consider our own conference to be every bit as impressive! Putting aside the enjoyable social events, such as drinks on the pier and the impressive view of Brighton from the i360, there was real depth of technical content, breadth of thinking and analysis. I want to thank those who attended and contributed but especially those volunteers from our membership who put in the time and effort to organize such a fantastic event. Christian Dolphin has submitted a post-conference report which has demonstrated highly positive feedback from delegates. Occupational hygiene remains a niche profession across the world, and the opportunity to meet and spend time with individuals working in a range of roles across the profession still holds
...while attending the annual conference of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). While the weather has been cold, wet and windy, that has not detracted from the scale and excitement of the event. value. While several professional bodies have had to cancel, review, or downgrade their annual conference, ours continues to go from strength to strength. Already our thoughts have turned to OH2020 which will be held in Bristol, and we very much hope you’ll be able to join us once again.
I would also like to thank members who turned up for our AGM and took part in the voting. The special resolution which we put forward represented relatively minor tweaks to our governing documents, but were symbolically important for the modernisation of the Society. As a reminder of a couple of key points from that AGM special resolution; what was previously known as the Council of the Society has now been renamed to the Board. This represents the reality that it is legally the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors of the Society. Additionally, the terms of appointment of the Treasurer and Honorary Sec have been amended from one year to a minimum of two years (subject to the willingness of the individual to serve the second year, of course). These
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
roles benefit from developing some knowledge and providing continuity, and it made no sense that each could previously be subject to the uncertainty of reappointment every year. On a different note, I reiterated, in my brief welcome speech at OH2019, that the Society continues to undergo modernisation across all of its activities. Like everyone else, we are rapidly going digital, and that affects the finances in many ways. As volumes of paper decline, it becomes proportionately more expensive. We have to recognise that members who are currently receiving a paper version of our journal, the Annals of Work Exposures and Health, are being subsidised by the (majority) of digitalonly subscriptions. While many journals are simply ceasing the print versions; we are inclined to do things gradually.
After careful consideration and discussion with our publishers, we have decided that it is fair for those members who still want the print version to pay a surcharge to cover the true cost of that printing, namely an extra £40. This is explained in more depth in an article later in these pages.
BOHS CONFERENCE REVIEW On 01 April 2019, BOHS hosted its annual conference at the seaside town of Brighton. The conference brought together over 320 delegates, from over 20 different countries, demonstrating the continued success of the annual event. The conference brought together a diverse line up of speakers both plenary and keynote. Opening the conference was Dr. John Moore Gillon, who works as a consultant physician at St Barts in London. Dr. Gillon provided a fascinating overview of the methods used to treat patients suffering from respiratory illness (cancers) and the advances in medicine to try and beat these life-threatening conditions. The advances that are being made are remarkable and offers hope that one day, we may be on the cusp of new treatments to fight back against these illnesses impacting so many lives globally. As practicing hygienists, we must continue to raise the flag through promoting awareness and bringing worker health protection to the front of our health and safety plans - prevention before cure.
BY CHRISTIAN DOLPHIN
The IOM had a strong presence with Ioannis Basinas the Bedford Prize Winner discussing his work on reducing farm workers’ exposures. Dr. Rob Aitken provided an overview of the 50-year story of the IOM. I wasn’t aware that they had ten former presidents of the BOHS (I hope I have got that right). They have been a leading body, and I think we are all aware of their history and presence in this field, we only have to look at the tools we use in the workplace to note this - IOM head and Walton Beckitt Graticule to name but two. There is far too much content to review within this feedback, but as a committee, we made a conscious decision to reach out for abstracts focussed on physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial agents, to try and cover the breadth of our field. We also wanted to share in the passion of people’s career choices, the journeys that individuals and companies have made. John Lyons gave an overview of his 50year career (how many can claim that length of service!) and the works that kept him inspired. There was also a call for future challenges, and the Energy Institute discussed quite intensely
the changes to the occupational exposure limit for benzene. This will be a challenge for the sector of that I have no doubt. Considering we focus on worker health protection, we seem to put our own health to one side during the social elements of the evening (a glass or two!). Joking aside, the conference is a very social event and brings people together who often don’t have an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas or concerns within the workplace. It’s an ideal environment to open up and seek advice with plenty of people who are prepared to offer support. For anyone considering becoming more actively involved in the conference committee, then please do, it’s an opportunity to grow professionally and network. My first attendance at a conference was as a committee volunteer at Harrogate, and I am glad that I did, it’s an experience I won’t forget.
Over to the new conference committee team for 2020, where I shall sit, observe, and enjoy. Good luck!
BOHS ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2019, BRIGHTON BY MARIE TOWNSHEND, CONFERENCES MANAGER This year’s annual conference took place at the Brighton Hilton on the 1-4 April. We weren’t quite so lucky as last year with the weather but many of you battled the hail to spend an evening on the pier for the Casella social event. We are so pleased at the success of this year’s conference and extend our sincere thanks to everyone who helped in the organisation, the committee for putting together a programme containing something for everyone, to all our sponsors and exhibitors and all the delegates. We hope you enjoyed attending the event as much as we did hosting it. The programme included over 60 speakers with topics including petrochemical, noise, dermal, workplace wellbeing and risk management strategies with workshops dealing with photography, the one-day survey and COMED. Feedback from delegates was positive with over 98% of respondents stating that they would recommend the event to a colleague
and over 95% having their expectations of scientific content, presenter quality and networking met or exceeded.
Additional comments included: • The Warner lecture was exceptional. It was good to have a science topic for a change. • The content seemed more relevant this year and a great selection of sessions to choose from. • Great coverage, topical, concise, excellent! • Very pleased to see inclusion of stress, mental health and nutritional health in the workplace. • Very impressive line-up of professional experts. • You all did an outstanding job putting together a high quality conference. • i360 trip was a great start to the Gala Dinner • The BOHS staff did a wonderful job at arranging this conference. It all flowed very well and their programme was excellent.
The gala dinner included pre-dinner drinks aboard the i360 vertical cable car sponsored by GfG, music from local band The Trailers and the ever-popular casino tables. A big thank you to all those who bought casino money, you raised over £1,000 for the Brighton RNLI!
Thanks again to everyone involved, for making OH2019 such a success and I look forward to seeing all of you in Bristol next year. Presentations and a selection of photographs are available on the OH2019 website. Look out for the announcement in the summer when abstract submissions and bookings will open for OH2020.
EXHIBITOR FOCUS WITH NEIL O’REGAN,
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF
HI NEIL, SO TELL US, WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
After gaining a degree in physics, I worked in various science-based industries before joining Ion Science in Cambridge in 2003, where my adventure into occupational hygiene and health & safety started. A PID gas detection manufacturer, Ion Science, acquired the long-established instrument distributor Shawcity in 2008, and I transferred across to manage this side of the business. This was when my knowledge of instrumentation used within the industry grew exponentially, and it quickly became a subject very close to my heart. In my time at Shawcity, I have been fortunate to work alongside many occupational hygienists and other experts, as well as world-leading manufacturers whose technology is used in the detection of hazards within the workplace.
HOW MANY EVENTS DO SHAWCITY EXHIBIT AT IN A TYPICAL YEAR?
The team at Shawcity will typically exhibit at six or seven major events during the year, as well as several smaller, more specialist one-day events and conferences.
IS THE BOHS ANNUAL CONFERENCE A ‘MUST DO’ EVENT FOR SHAWCITY?
Absolutely. Shawcity has supported the BOHS annual conference for many years, and more recently, we have become key sponsor partners. The event is the main conference of the year for occupational hygienists, and the
learning opportunities and supportive networking are unique. Speakers and presentation topics are of the highest calibre, and it is a great opportunity for the industry to come together, share best practice and knowledge and keep the industry evolving. It is also a chance to meet exhibitors who are showcasing the very latest technology to achieve the best possible monitoring and reporting results in the field.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE EVENT SO ENJOYABLE?
The annual conference is always held in a great venue, and the location changes each year. Moving it around the country keeps it fresh and interesting, as well as accessible to all. Our team enjoys meeting up with familiar faces and meeting new ones each year, and we have many fascinating conversations during the course of the event. There is also definitely a social aspect to the event, from drink receptions and gala dinners to group fun runs if you’re interested, plus time in the evenings at the hotel to carry on discussions over dinner or at the bar. Delegates, exhibitors and the organisers alike all have a common interest, and there is always a lot to talk about! I would say the vast majority of attendees we have met over the years have become friends and trusted, knowledgeable colleagues as well as potential customers.
of the good work we’ve achieved over the last forty-plus years. We constantly have new products in the pipeline to add to our portfolio, that we carefully source from tried and trusted manufacturers, and which offer real benefits and improvements as technology develops. Our priority remains to maintain our position as the industry’s most respected independent supplier. We work closely with a range of worldleading manufacturing partners so that we have access to a wide, impartial range of monitoring and measuring technologies to ensure customers use what’s right for them. Of course, we will continue to have a prominent presence at BOHS events too.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO MEMBERS WHO HAVE NEVER ATTENDED A BOHS ANNUAL CONFERENCE TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO GIVE IT A GO? (OTHER THAN TO VISIT YOUR STAND OF COURSE!)
I would definitely recommend attending a BOHS annual conference to any occupational hygienist. The sheer amount of information and updates on offer from some of the most respected names in the industry is reason enough. However, you also get to spend invaluable time with peers in both formal and informal settings and access to the very latest product technology and the expert knowledge of exhibitors.
WHAT ARE SHAWCITY’S PLANS & PRIORITIES FOR 2019 AND BEYOND?
Here at Shawcity we are planning to continue expanding and growing all
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ASBESTOS2019 2 DAY CONFERENCE
The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection
19 & 20 NOVEMBER 2019 CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL NOTTINGHAM 2019 will see the second asbestos conference organised by Faculty of Asbestos Assessment and Management (FAAM). The event will bring together researchers, academics, practitioners and regulators, through various plenary talks and technical sessions. The organising committee want to build a programme that will include UK and international speakers, dealing with scientific topics covering key areas regarding the assessment, control and management of asbestos. Abstracts are invited covering any aspect of asbestos. Rates for the 2 day conference BOHS/FAAM Member £350 + VAT Non-Member Conference Dinner
£400 + VAT £35 + VAT
Feedback from the 2018 Conference: ‘The content was spot on with food for thought, technical updates and passionate presenters. Looking forward to next year’ ‘Very impressed with the Conference, it was great to see this in our field of work’ ‘I expected a lot from this conference and it delivered a lot, thank you’
Exhibition stand for the 2 day conference £1,000 +VAT including 1 delegate place.
Bookings are now open visit bohs.org/conferences-events to book your place. For more information about any aspect of the conference or to submit an abstract contact
RAISING STANDARDS REDUCING RISKS
TREVOR OGDEN AWARD WINNER IAN KELLIE,
TELLS US ABOUT HIS OH2019 EXPERIENCE! I was delighted to receive the Trevor Ogden Award at the Gala Dinner for the 2019 Brighton conference. Being a naturally modest type, I was also somewhat surprised, since the citation was for ‘outstanding voluntary contribution to BOHS and the profession of occupational hygiene.’ Occupational hygiene has dominated my working life since 1972 when I joined the
Teesside Research Centre of the British Steel Corporation. In these pre-HSW Act days, the profession in the UK was a fraction of its current size and relied very much on voluntary effort to back up the small BOHS administrative team. I’d been a member since 1973, and decided to get involved as a volunteer some 12 years later when I took over from Robin Howie as Regional Organiser for Scotland. In 1990, I was instrumental in setting up the Offshore Special Interest Group, together with hygienists working for major oil companies in Aberdeen. I’m glad to note that this group is still going strong under the capable hands of Dougie Collin. I entered the world of BOHS examinations in the early 1990s, initially as an oral examiner spending many a happy day in the Great Northern Road offices, surrounded by clanging metal and smoking chimneys. At that time Jeff Elphick was Chief Examiner, and I remember being in awe at the amount of time and detail he put into the task of realigning BOHS qualifications when the M-series modules were being introduced. After a dozen or so years as an oral examiner, I joined the Faculty Examinations Committee as Assistant Chief Examiner, working closely with Terry McDonald and other committee members to smooth the
transition from M-series to W-series modules, among a host of other tasks. I took over as Chief Examiner in 2014, and one of my main tasks was to push through long-overdue changes to the diploma qualification system, replacing an arduous six-hour written examination with a process more relevant to the 21st Century. I found the role of Chief Examiner to be challenging but rewarding, and after four years in the job, was happy to hand over the reins to Len Morris. One of the great benefits of volunteering is the breadth of experience it offers. I joined the board of the Occupational Health and Safety Consultants Register (OSHCR) as a BOHS representative, shortly after it was set up in 2011. It was interesting (and sometimes alarming) to see occupational hygiene through the eyes of other OHS professionals and to compare our professional standards with those of sister organisations. I’ll say no more than that. Recipients of the Trevor Ogden award receive a not-insubstantial cash sum. I am determined to convert this into something tangible – a work of art, perhaps – to remind me of my time in occupational hygiene, and of the many good people I’ve met over the years.
DAVID HICKISH AWARD WINNER 2018 AYAH EL KENANEY I am Ayah M. Nabil El Kenaney; I studied chemical engineering at Cairo University, where I graduated in 2006. I started working as an industrial hygienist for BP (straight out of university). I finished my NEBOSH certification in 2008, MSc in Occupational Hygiene from the University of Manchester in 2013 and sat for the BOHS Diploma of Professional Competence in Occupational Hygiene (DipOH) exam in April 2018. I am married, and when I am not working, I enjoy being with my family, reading, watching movies and travelling.
TED KING AWARD WINNER 2018 OBIAJULU MENKITI Brief description of my current job I am an occupational hygienist for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) – a crude oil and gas company in Nigeria with more than 4,500 employees, several flow stations and gas plants across the Niger Delta region of the country. I manage
occupational hygiene issues through the identification, risk assessment and design of control programmes for the management of health hazards in the company. This includes establishing priorities for health risk management, implementing, monitoring and control strategies for unacceptable exposures, communicating health risks to workers, verifying the effectiveness of control measures, facilitating regulatory compliance and performance optimisation of workers to improve the workplace. As the work environment is changing at an increasing pace, workplace evaluation and control of potential health hazards is critical for the effectiveness of any business. Therefore, as an occupational hygienist for SPDC, I assist in ensuring that employees are healthy, productive and safe even in the most challenging operating environments.
Why I became interested in occupational hygiene Many years ago, I was an industrial trainee at a pharmaceutical production factory in Nigeria,
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where I witnessed first-hand, various health hazards inherent in the workplace and the potential for several health effects. Since then, I developed the interest and nurtured the desire to keep people healthy and safe, especially in the work environment. This industrial experience, together with a nudge from my father, who is a medical doctor, fostered my decision to become an occupational hygienist. After my first degree, I went back to the university for a master’s degree in occupational health and safety before joining Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) as a research intern in the occupational hygiene team. After my internship, the company employed me where I have been fortunate enough to grow my professional career in occupational hygiene via garnered experience, hands-on training and competency development with tremendous support from my supervisor, colleagues and management. Finally, knowledge acquisition via the BOHS modules has solidified my decision to become an occupational hygienist; a discipline with limited knowledge and potential for growth in Nigeria.
SESSION 3A HSE ADRIAN PARRIS, SELLAFIELD LTD
Following on from a thought-provoking opening Warner lecture and Bedford Prize, we had the first of the parallel sessions. The HSE session was opened by Mike Clayton, 3M UK, with a reminder of the current ill health statistics, which are not on the decline even when employees invest in controls. Following a review of the core principles and regulatory requirements, the current challenges faced in selecting PPE were highlighted. The workforce has become more diverse with, for example, employees working past retirement; therefore, PPE needs to take this into account accommodating changing facial features, respiratory function, and hearing capability. This is in a commercial environment where suppliers are trying to make it simple, meaning less choice is available. The selection process is ever so important as is involving the user in trials to get their buy-in, and then the provision of training to ensure users know how to get the best performance. Much can also be achieved through the application of PPE testing standards by taking into consideration the changing workforce. The second presentation was from Andrew Simpson, HSE, on wood dust exposure. This is a current focal topic with a proposed reduction in the EU exposure limit in 2020 for hardwood or a composite material containing hardwood to 3 mg/m3 and then a further reduction to 2 mg/m3 three years
later. It was stated that if controls are good, then compliance with these new standards would be straight forward. A campaign, to assess exposure levels, identify good control practice and sector improvements, was undertaken, including sawmills, joinery workshops, furniture manufacture, and boat building and repair. Out of the samples taken, 27% were likely to exceed the 2mg/ m3 limit, with sanding being by far the highest contributor to WEL exceedance with 40% exceeding the limit. Of the cleaning and maintenance tasks undertaken, changing LEV bags and sweeping resulted in regular STEL exceedance. It was good to see 21 / 22 sites having a TExT for the main LEV, but disappointing that portable systems were not recognised as requiring the same testing regime. Gaps were identified in regular checks of LEV, maintenance standards, and the specification of portable LEV systems. Where RPE was used, the standard was often low with face fit testing not being undertaken and incorrect use common. A revisit did identify improvements had been made to several sites, but this only contributed to a reduction in exposure for only six sites.
best case looking at particulates and marker gases. Several issues were identified, including inadequate COSHH assessments, contaminated “clean” air, and LEV not being utilised in test areas. Poor correlation was seen between the two NO2 methods used; in addition, CO2 levels were found not to be a good indicator of EC levels. Better success was achieved when comparing respirable dust with EC, although the correlation needs to be identified for each mine. The EC levels found were in excess of the proposed limits and levels were detected in all areas of the mine which were linked to the mine ventilation cascade system which uses recirculated air. Real-time instruments identified peak levels as diesel equipment passed the sampling point with levels dropping during break periods. Levels of NO exceeded the future NO WEL, and the level of CO2 exceeded 1000ppm, the level identified within HSG guidance. Finally, Olanrewaju Okunribido, HSE, gave us an overview of a study to look at the ergonomics associated with the use of birdcage scaffold to remove asbestos ceiling tiles. The technique is often used to enable businesses to remain open leading to constrained workspace for the asbestos workers. The study objectives were to provide details of the suitable and optimum vertical workspace dimensions along with effects on the individuals. The study included nine workspaces and a range of workers with differing statures in a simulated adjustable working environment. All participants wore PPE and utilised the same equipment used in the tasks. It found that the minimum acceptable vertical height was between 114 and 134cm, with 124cm being the most suited. Above 134 cm standing was possible but with poor posture, while below 114cm sitting, kneeling or laydown posture was adopted with awkward neck, arm, and trunk postures. It was identified that platforms should be set such that tall workers can work from reclined kneeling and short workers from an upright kneeling position.
Next up was Peter Baldwin on DEEE’s in coal mines; an appropriate exposure limit for DEEE’s has been debated for a while, and the EU currently propose introducing 50 g/ m3 elemental carbon (EC). Other surrogate measures are commonly CO, CO2 and NO¬2. A survey was commissioned looking at two mines which represent worst and
SESSION 5A PETROCHEMICAL CHAIR D MARSH CMFOH The session was focussed around the oil and gas industry with four presentations on a diverse range of topics relating to the oil and gas and petrochemical businesses. The topics were of interest to all occupational hygienists, and in the room, there was an approximate 50:50 split in those working in oil and gas and those not.
Jenny Davies, from Concept Life Sciences (CLS), described work that the laboratory has undertaken related to detection levels of benzene. A proposal by ECHA to reduce the occupational exposure limit to 0.05ppm from 1.0ppm has prompted questions related to limits of detection and if exposure could be quantitatively assessed. CLS conducted some in house testing to test recovery and detection on passive devices using Carbon Disulphide (CS2) and active sampling using a pump and tube, again using CS2. Passive sampling over an hour shift was of no concern related to limits of detection. If passive samplers were used for short term exposure assessments, limited by the uptake rate of the media, there was potential contamination from benzene within the CS2 even though CLS use deuterated benzene as an internal standard and mass spectrometry detection. Concerning active sampling, it was described that taking a 500ml air sample of atmosphere contaminated with benzene at a concentration of 0.005ppm would still be achievable using thermal desorption or by using solvent extraction and injecting 1μl compared to the normal 0.1μl. Margareth Ovidt, working with Equinor in Norway, presented on how her organisation had moved to a different type of respiratory protection system to enable easy selection of the correct type of respirator and filter. The assessment and subsequent RPE selection is dependent on the composition of the gas or oil stream. The use of powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) has increased with the added advantage there is no requirement to fit test RPE. There is still a need for face filtering facepieces and the need to fit test each worker. Equinor has put in place one selection programme related to potential hazards for hydrocarbons and H2S and another related to other chemical hazards such as
mercury. To help to determine at what risk level the hazard is present in, Equinor makes use of direct reading instrumentation, specifically PIDs for total hydrocarbons. The selection tool identifies expected exposure from no exposure and stable conditions to extreme exposure. For each expected exposure, including duration of exposure and the range of concentrations, the specification of a particular type of RPE and conditions of use is defined. The same process is included when other hazardous substances are present, such as mercury, ammonia, sulphur oxides and NORM. Also, Margareth described other PPE used to protect workers from exposure to benzene, such as gloves and chemical suits. The author (Dave Marsh) presented an overview of how ExxonMobil approach petrochemical turnarounds with a focus on occupational hygiene involvement. Oil and gas turnaround projects are planned many years in advance and involve a significant increase in workers for the execution phase. The execution phase needs to be project managed to ensure effective and timely completion. Cost of not producing from a particular plant is not only related to product not being produced and placed on the market but also relates to the cost of maintaining the supply chain. The system ExxonMobil use during the planning and execution phases was related to the occupational hygiene principles of recognition, evaluation and control. The use of an electronic system to develop, approve and share ventilation plans for all vessels were described, as well as the use of continuous monitoring of oxygen, LEL, H2S and CO in vessels. The data, being relayed to a central control room where any increase or low or high alarm sounded, was relayed directly to the sensing unit and the nearby “standby” man. Recognition, evaluation and most importantly control measures were described for just some
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of the many hazards found during such a turnaround, reminding the audience that not only inherent hazards but those generated by either the process or the maintenance activity need to be considered too. The final presentation in the group was by Emma Thomson from BP. Emma reported back the results from her MSc dissertation related to use and understanding of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) personal alarms. The observation leading to questions for the dissertation was “management of H2S gas detection in the oil and gas industry is not consistent, in particular frequency of bump testing”. She wanted to understand if the frequency of bump testing was affected by any of the following: • Knowledge of H2S hazards or bump testing (vs calibration) • Experience, length of time in the oil and gas industry in a HSE profession • Perceived risk of H2S on site Questions asked in the survey related to knowledge of the health hazards of H2S, knowledge of bump testing, differentiation between bump testing and calibration, frequency of bump testing. It was indicated by the survey (20 individuals) that frequency of bump testing did not correlate with any of the following factors; knowledge of the H2S hazard, knowledge of bump testing, number of years experience or number of years HSE experience or perceived H2S risk. A further follow-up question related to the maintenance free (two years) devices was unclear with over 50% not being aware of them and approximately 20% believing bump testing was not required for such devices. The petrochemical session was informative for both those working in the oil and gas sector and those looking to gain an insight into the industry.
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SESSION 8A (I) RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
arranged for the audience to partake in Dutch chocolates as he spoke of the investigation which first got him involved in occupational hygiene – the measurement of dust and odour levels in a Dutch chocolate factory.
The session opened with Adrian Parris, who gave a very informative report/review on the design and implementation of emergency response systems at the Sellafield nuclear facility. Adrian discussed the current ‘value stream’ system of the facility and the regulatory requirements which had driven the upgrade of the plant’s systems including a recent requirement under COMAH to upgrade the site from ‘Lower Tier’ to ‘Higher Tier’ due to the reclassification of nitric acid to ‘toxic by inhalation.’
As John’s career progressed into full-time occupational hygiene on the back of another request to undertake an investigation involving enzyme exposure identification, quantification, and reduction in detergent powder production, he undertook, and passed, BERBOH (the forerunner to the BOHS Faculty of Occupational Hygiene) modules to attain the certificate and then the diploma in occupational hygiene. With this knowledge, John was able to apply the principles of the hierarchy of control and, by implementation of process enclosure, exhaust ventilation (e.g. laminar downflow booths) and improved cleaning regimes using vacuum cleaning in place of the previously used dry sweeping, and thus demonstrate a significant reduction in potential enzyme exposures using a high volume galley sampler. Later these same principals were applied, with John’s guidance/advice, to produce similar enzyme exposure reduction during liquid detergent production.
BY DARREN STOREY
Adrian then gave an outline of the Sellafield emergency response framework and the specific role of occupational hygienists within this framework plus an indication of the type of information held by the facility’s occupational hygienists for dissemination under emergency conditions to first responders etc. To close, Adrian discussed the detection, identification, and monitoring (DIM) procedures utilised at the site along with specific information regarding the instrumentation and methodologies used to measure potential exposure levels of a range of hazardous substances. Following on from Adrian Parris, John Lyons presented a very extensive summary of his 50-year career in gas chromatography research and occupational hygiene. In a slight deviation from the norm in this type of presentation, John
SESSION 8A (II)
To close, John briefly discussed his ‘postretirement career’ which, having been retired for all of 20 minutes according to his wife, has continued to take John to many locations. He has been able to use his extensive experience and knowledge both in practical exposure reduction and, through his work with BOHS, to pass on much of this knowledge to the next generations of occupational hygienists.
Martin outlined the increase in member numbers from ~100 in February 2018 to ~300 at the time of the presentation (actual figures from 26th March 2019). Martin then went on to outline the methods by which applicants can achieve the different grades of membership since the recent (January 2019) closure of the ‘grandfather’ route to designated graded membership. It is now planned to instigate ‘professional discussions’ as a significant part of member grading procedures (in the form of interview style assessment).
FAAM conference, held in Manchester during November 2018, it had been decided to plan a two-day conference on an annual basis. The next conference is booked to take place on 19th & 20th November 2019 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nottingham (in line with BOHS annual conference designation principals, the FAAM conference is to be renamed ‘Asbestos2019’). Finally, Martin suggested that going forward, FAAM is well placed to assist its members in improving their individual competency and has an established CPD system and Code of Ethics, etc. Before closing his presentation by giving the audience food for thought with a discussion regarding “what is safe” and whether thought should be given to measuring exposure in dose terms rather than purely concentration. In closing the session, Martin showed a short, comedic, video clip of an ‘operator’ undertaking ‘sampling’ for asbestos in the air by running around a room holding an open plastic bag to catch the fibres.
By way of giving an outline of the next steps for FAAM, Martin stated that on the back of exceptionally positive feedback to the first
The audience was, overall, both informed and entertained by the three interesting and diverse presentations.
BY DARREN STOREY Martin Stear, the registrar of the BOHS Faculty of Asbestos Assessment and Management (FAAM), gave the audience an update on the activities of FAAM during the last year since its launch in October 2017.
SESSION 8C BIOLOGICAL
BY JOHN DOBBIE BIOLOGICAL MONITORING GUIDANCE VALUES: GUIDANCE OR CONFUSION? A FORMULATOR CASE STUDY Henri Heussen - Cosanta BV
This was an interesting presentation looking at a situation where biological monitoring consistently showed two workers receive higher doses of isocyanates (HDI) than the rest of the workforce and despite much investigation, the causes could not be determined. The UK’s biological monitoring guidance value for this substance was significantly lower than for other examples of guidance values and it was decided, in this instance, that the biological monitoring for this particular task should be discontinued because of the confusion it created in communicating to the workforce. However, because of the HDI risk, a completely new laboratory with new bench spray booths was built and RPE (TH3 powered respirator) for spraying & other high SEGs aligned at all departments within the company. Scrutinising COSHH, ASHRAE and other guidance: Is ‘claimed occupational legionella disease’ supportable if there is no legionella pneumophila in the workplace? Fred Boelter – RHP Risk Management Inc. Another good session based around a case study in the USA involved a train carriage washing unit, where a case of legionella occurred but could not be linked back to any source of legionella bacteria in any of the water systems. Fred wondered if the lack of occupationally related cases in the US was down to under-reporting or that the risks were being overstated. He concluded by drawing the comparison with chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the chytrid fungus that has killed more than a third of the world’s frog species and proposed that in comparison legionellosis was a significantly lower risk.
EXPOSE ESTABLISHING PROTOCOLS TO ASSESS OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO BIOBURDEN IN CLINICAL ENVIRONMENTS Carla Viegas – Lisbon University
This was a very scientific study looking at the incidence of a wide range of biological agents in hospitals, suggesting that more needs to be done to establish protocols on how to measure and characterise safe
levels of these biological agents. It was alarming to see the huge scale of the agents detected, especially those relating to mycotoxins. The takehome messages were, a multi-staged approach on sampling methods should be implemented to obtain not only the fungal load but also the contamination; the use of more than one different media for mycobiota assessment can also enrich data for the exposure assessment; more refined risk characterisation will lead to identifying suitable risk control measures to reduce workers health outcomes.
RISK OF DISEASE FROM EXPOSURE TO MOULD, LEGIONELLA AND ENDOTOXIN IN THE INDUSTRIAL WORKPLACE: REVIEW OF LITERATURE Stephen Larson – Tufts University
Stephen presented comprehensive case studies drawn from across the United States of exposures to various biological agents and gave examples of these, but concluded that, despite the evidence in the literature, he was of the opinion that much more was needed to raise awareness of the risks from these agents and that the availability of current guidance was insufficient.
The findings were-
• Industrial biosafety is the least recognised area of biological safety. • Industrial biosafety studies occupational infectious diseases and non-infectious disease caused by organic dusts including both the substrate dust (wood fibre) and the biological agents that travel on the dust and with the dust. • Mould, legionella and endotoxin are found in any workplace where tasks and operations involve soil or water is processed. The issue is not agent presence but concentration, aerosolisation, aerosol size and composition and employee exposure. • AIHA, ACGIH, ABSA,NIOSH and OSHA provide extremely limited guidance to occupational hygienists in the areas of medical surveillance of employees for evidence of disease caused by a biological agent:- Development of dose-response evidence leading to OEL - Development of bioaerosol sampling methods
- Development of bioaerosol analysis methods - Lack of OEL prevents rational control method recommendations • Future IBS studies must be team based: physician, epidemiologist, hygienist (too many environmental studies, too few health studies!)
OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT TO MYCOTOXINS IN SWINE FARMS COMPLEMENTARITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND BIOLOGICAL MONITORING Susana Viegas – Lisbon University
Dust containing mycotoxins is released during tasks involving a high exposure to organic dust, such as storage work, loading, handling, or milling contaminated materials (grain, waste, and feed), and others such as caring for animals in animal husbandry settings. Animal feed processing plants are particularly risky since the authorised level of concentration in this type of food is ten times higher than it is for human food The study incorporated the development of both biomonitoring and environmental monitoring campaigns.
The findings showed:
• Results indicate that occupational exposure is adding to the total exposure. • Besides air samples, all the other environmental samples collected presented high and diverse levels of contamination. • DON was the most prominent mycotoxin in the environmental and biomonitoring results. • The results obtained in feed samples demonstrate that feed has a relevant role in workplace contamination, and the handling of feed is probably one of the tasks that implicates exposure. • Exposure to mycotoxins mixtures demonstrated in the biomonitoring results of workers and controls. This is understandable since multiple contaminations is also a common feature of food commodities. • Workplace environment adds significantly to the mycotoxins exposure resulting from the ingestion of contaminated food. • Inhalation is probably the most important exposure route in this occupational setting.
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
SESSION 11A PHYSICAL BY JOHN DOBBIE
EMF’S – IF ONLY IT WAS EASY LIKE MEASURING NOISE! A CURIOUS CASE REQUIRING FOUR EMF METERS. A BIG NOTEPAD & EVEN BIGGER POCKETS... Richard Melling – Scholes EMF Ltd.
This presentation was about the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016. ... These regulations, often abbreviated to CEMFAW Regulations, place duties on employers to assess an employees’ potential exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with reference to action levels (ALs) and exposure limit values (ELVs). Richard showed how complex the interpretation of the various ALs and ELVs is for both electric and magnetic fields – and in each case, static & dynamic scenarios. He highlighted this by a survey he conducted to assess several of these different EMFs and how the measurements, in each case, was conducted and compared with the respective ALs and ELVs. In addition, one scenario was not covered by the CEMFAW regulations and reference had to be made to earlier guidance from the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The take-home message from this talk was; if you have EMF issues at your workplace, which are likely to need a risk assessment, as outlined in HSE guidance note - HSG281, then get in an expert!
HAV MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT MYTHS V BEST PRACTICE Peter Wilson – INVC
Peter gave a very informative talk on common errors and misconceptions around Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) measurement and control. Increasing numbers of people are attempting to measure HAV, and there is a wide variety of equipment from several manufacturers that are capable of making the measurements – however, one of the main mistakes made is not fixing the accelerometer to the vibration source securely enough. There are purported solutions to this by using wrist-mounted accelerometers – however, Peter warned that these DO NOT WORK! And after writing a white paper on the subject, Peter was asked to work with the HSE on HAV, culminating in their statement – “There is currently no wrist or glove-mounted device, which measures vibration, suitable for use in a vibration risk assessment. Peter graphically illustrated exactly why these devices do not work. Peter also cautioned the use of tool manufacturers data, as this is often only reflecting the tool in a no-load situation, i.e. not in proper use. When it comes to control, another myth Peter exploded was that there are anti-vibration gloves that work! Suitable control and management techniques can be summarised as: • Buy low vibration tools • Ensure they are well maintained at regular intervals • Do not use consumables beyond their stated lifetime • Limit trigger times to ensure action levels are not exceeded • Take regular breaks • Keep your hands warm to ensure good blood circulation • Be especially aware of any medications which may affect your blood circulation There is a lot of guidance available on HAV on the INVC website, but again the message is similar to the previous EMF talk – if you have a HAV issue then get in an expert!
THANK YOU! A big thank you to our Exhibitors:
A huge thank you to our Sponsors:
A massive thank you to our amazing speakers who were fantastic at capturing everyone’s attention!
“Once again all of those involved have put together a fantastic event. I’d like to thank the staff team, and Marie Townshend in particular, for all of their efforts.” Simon Festing, CEO
NOISE REPORT Clare Forshaw and Alex Wilson kicked the session off with an introduction to the UK Hearing Conservation Association (UKHCA) which was launched in 2016. This was a scheme originally seen in the US and Clare made no apology for replicating this in the UK.
and support to industry and has set up a Safe & Sound award given to those that have progressed standards in this field.
Their mission is to prevent damage to our nation’s hearing health and to reduce other noise-related health conditions by promoting practical, evidence-based, and cost-effective solutions. The UKHCA has been established to provide an impetus for action against wholly preventable hearing health harm, both at work and across our society. Their experience has shown that the approach to managing work-related noise is often based on outmoded ideas, and there is a general lack of knowledge about or respect for our hearing and how it can be harmed. Clare and Alex went on to say that there was a new phenomenon of 50,000 children suffering from noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the UK and so people are coming into work already with hearing damage. The UKHCA strives to be a place of best practice
Chris Steel from the HSE explained that the number of claims for noise-induced hearing loss was going down but highlighted that, to receive the compensation, you need at least 50% hearing loss. He highlighted that many people had hearing damage caused by work, but they were not damaged enough to qualify for compensation. So the statistics are not reliable as hearing damage is still occurring. There is still a problem that needs addressing, and from experience, he still found employers trying to solve the problem with hearing protection rather than dealing with the noise at source. He said greater emphasis was needed on reduction and control of noise. Peter Wilson, from INVC, highlighted that noise assessments are often just a placebo, a tick box exercise asked for by employers. The majority of noise reports are very heavy on providing noise readings and often lack sound advice to control and reduce the noise. Peter then went on to say that employers are heavily
BY DAMIEN EAVES
invested in hearing protection but stated that the actual attenuation afforded by hearing protection is significantly lower than that stated by the hearing protection manufacturer. INVC will be a partner in the UK Hearing Conservation Association, providing simple and cost-effective solutions in noise control that employers can use. David Greenberg gave the final presentation of the session speaking about the day to day impact of noise-induced hearing loss, detailing social impacts, and that even age-related hearing loss is down to exposure to noise. He explained that hearing loss is permanent and that the hair cells inside the cochlea that are responsible for turning vibrations into nervous impulses in the auditory nerve once they are damaged, do not grow back. The session concluded with an entertaining auditory test which involved Peter Wilson playing noise at different frequencies to see if people could hear them, it was interesting to see the wide range of ages in the audience and the different hearing abilities.
Face Level Headset for Welding Fume The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety alert on welding fume. “New evidence shows exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause cancer. Employers should use suitable controls for all welding work. The current guidance on mild steel welding is out of date and will be updated as soon as possible to take account of this new evidence.” The SKC Face Level Sampling Headset is a personal air sampling media holder with dual flexible arms for simultaneous sampling, that allows measurements inside personal protective equipment (PPE) such as welders’ masks. • • •
Lightweight and comfortable Samples the inhalable fraction Is used with the Mini Sampler for measuring the metals in welding fume
In the BS EN ISO 10882-1:2011 Health Safety in Welding and Allied Processes: Sampling of Airborne Particles standard, the Face Level Headset and Mini Sampler was found to be the best mounting arrangement.
For further information visit www.skcltd.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 01258 480188 The Face Level Sampling Headset was developed in a research project partly funded by the Swedish Work Environment Authority and carried out at Stockholm University, Sweden.
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
SAVE THE DATE Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel April 20-23 2020
The Premier Conference for Occupational Hygiene in the UK
The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection
FOH REGISTRAR’S REPORT BY SARAH LEESON FOH REGISTRAR
Having taken over the reins of the FOH Committee (formally FOH Board) in April, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a summary of current activities being carried out by the committee and outline some of my goals. I will start by thanking Neil Pickering for all his work and enthusiasm devoted to the committee over the past few years and in particular his leadership as Registrar over the past three years. During his tenure, Neil will be remembered for establishing working groups within the FOH Committee, whose focus was to complete those objectives within the BOHS strategy for which the Faculty was assigned to provide the initial leadership. The actions assigned to the original working groups in 2016 were all completed, and four new working groups were established last year. There is more news on the current working groups later in this article.
• There is much support within the membership to establish a new mentoring scheme, and the WG will be looking at how best this could be implemented. Many of you will have benefited from previous BOHS mentoring schemes, and I enjoyed being a mentor for a few years. • There will be proposals for more webinars on either technical subjects or to provide guidance on BOHS related activities such as CPD submission. WG6 Consultants: Driving Up Standards • The new Consultants Good Practice Guide has now been issued, this was advertised at the recent BOHS annual conference and included in the successful Faculty session. The guide is to be emailed directly to all entrants in the BOHS consultants directory.
Current Activities The current focus of the FOH committee remains to complete the activities associated with the working groups. A brief status summary for each is provided below. WG5 Membership Offering • The Faculty’s Code of Ethics has been updated and rewritten in a plain English format, more in line with the Code of Ethics from other societies. The updated version will be added to the website in the near future. All Faculty members are reminded they need to comply with the Code of Ethics, and the WG would welcome your feedback.
My Goal It was interesting during the recent election process how many more members put themselves forward for positions on the BOHS Board than on the FOH Committee. There is obviously a difference in criteria between those who can sit on the Board vs the FOH Committee, so only a sub-group of the overall BOHS membership is eligible to join the FOH committee, but I would like to raise the profile of the FOH Committee and make it a group which more FOH members aspire to join. I volunteered to join the BOHS Faculty in 2013 to have the opportunity to input into the strategic direction of current and future professional accreditation processes. It is now a great honour to be the Registrar of the committee, which acts as the guardian of our occupational hygiene professional standards and ethics. I would hope that all Faculty members have an inherent interest in ensuring only the highest standards of competence in occupational hygiene are practised and therefore why not consider joining the FOH Committee the next time new members are sought.
Welcome New members were introduced in the previous issue of Exposure, so the current members of the FOH Committee are listed below: • Sarah Leeson - Registrar • Duncan Smith – Deputy Registrar and lead for FOH Communications • Carol Bladon – CPD Manager • Len Morris – Chief Examiner (BOHS staff member) • Jason Hodgkiss • David Rogers • Alex Hills (co-opted member) • Justina Sebag-Montefiore (coopted member) Except for the Chief Examiners, all other committee members are volunteers, and I wish to thank them for agreeing to give up their time to serve on the committee. I look forward to working with you all.
a research project to identify barriers members encounter, which prevent or inhibit them from progressing through the professional development routes. If you are one of the members contacted by the intern, please provide them with your input.
• Draft Buyers Guide: Aimed at providing advice to companies looking for occupational hygiene consultants. The working group is looking to complete the draft document for approval by the committee at the August meeting. WG7 Chartered Status Promotion • The new chartered certificates and pin badges have been sent to all chartered members and fellows. A presentation session to award chartered certificates to members, achieving chartered status during the previous year, will now be incorporated into the conference dinner • A new community group for chartered members has been created – more to come on this in the next FOH e-bulletin. WG8 Accessible Pathways to Progression • An intern is being sought to carry out
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
From a very practical perspective, I would like to see the number of chartered fellows increase. For those of you who have been chartered members for some years, I would ask you to read the information for chartered fellow and challenge yourself to apply. FOH e-Bulletin I hope all Faculty members reading this article have enjoyed receiving the FOH e-Bulletin established last year. If you have topics you would like to see included in the e-Bulletin, please contact membership@ bohs.org Finally, if you have suggestions or questions for the FOH committee, I would be delighted to hear from you, I can be contacted at Registrar@bohs.org
HISTORY OF OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE PART 5
LEAD, THE OLD WAYS
AND THE “METICULOUS APPLICATION OF SCIENCE” TREVOR OGDEN CONTINUES HIS SURVEY OF TOPICS IN THE HISTORY OF BRITISH OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE.
This stuff came in wooden barrels containing two hundredweight, and he used to have to dig it out of these barrels with a trowel and put it into a metal tank, where it was kept covered with water, and the empty barrels were returned to the makers. When he was doing this work, he usually managed to get himself smeared all over with the white lead.
at last – we reached the possibility of obtaining effectual measures of control. The number of cases of poisoning began to fall…” To show how this worked, we will leave the roughly chronological sequence of previous parts, and look at a couple of case studies; first, the terrible tale of lead poisoning.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT LEAD?
Fig 1. Until near the end of the 19th century, workers usually only had traditional ways of protecting themselves from risk. Kelvin Williams spotted a blacksmith at the National Museum of Wales at St Fagan’s applying a traditional protection against noise, discussed in the text. (When not posing for a photo, the St Fagans smith wears goggles!) Photo by kind permission, Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales https://museum. wales/stfagans/
Up until the end of the 19th century, workers had usually been dependent on traditional methods of control which they could easily apply. Fig 1 shows such a method for noise, which Kelvin Williams spotted. Kelvin wrote: “The blacksmith wrapped chains of different gauges tightly around the stem of the anvil and allowed the iron scale to fall and accumulate between links. A brief experiment suggested the resultant dampening of the anvil ‘ring’ on being struck provided a 50% drop (approx 3dBA) in noise exposure compared to no chain present. The blacksmith told me ‘it was the way it had always been done’.” For people working with hazardous substances, traditional methods meant crude cloth respirators and ventilation, and, where possible, working with wet methods rather than dry, keeping a distance from the sources, and keeping as clean as possible. As we saw in Part 4, much of the work of the factory inspectorate in controlling exposure in the 1800s involved more effective use of these methods. But in the 1890s there was what Adelaide Anderson, principal lady inspector of factories, called a “new movement for applying scientific knowledge”, with even the possibility of exposure measurement. “And so – 20
In 1897, Adelaide Anderson reported two cases from a survey of married women with lead poisoning in the pottery industry, which illustrated part of the problem. A.B. in her seven years of marriage had had three miscarriages, five stillbirths, and one child born alive who had died in convulsions when a few weeks old; C.D., married seven years, had had four miscarriages, three stillbirths, and one living child, born when she was absent from work. A later report mentioned a third case, married fifteen years, nine miscarriages and one child living but sick. These were far from isolated cases, and, as we shall see, their exposures were not necessarily the worst. The terrible effects of lead had been known from ancient times, and industrialisation multiplied the number of cases. Ramazzini in 1700 mentioned white and red lead as hazards for painters; and described how potters who use lead paint and glaze suffer pallor, colic, fatigue, tooth loss, and neurological symptoms including palsy and paralysis. Charles Thackrah, the town surgeon of Leeds, whom we met in earlier parts of this series, graphically described in his 1832 book the same symptoms, culminating in paralysis and death.
WHITE LEAD AND WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT
White lead, which both Ramazzini and Thackrah mentioned, had been very widely used as a pigment for centuries. It is basic lead carbonate, PbCO3. Pb(OH)2, and was manufactured by filling a tall room with successive layers of small pots of dilute acetic acid and strips of lead, and then closing the room for some weeks. A deep layer of spent tanning bark in the base of the stack fermented and produced heat, moisture and carbon dioxide. The acetic acid vapour produced covered the lead strips with lead acetate, and moisture and carbon then produced layers of white lead (see Fig 2, from RH Sherard, The White Slaves of England). The room was opened, and the strips of lead removed and scraped and rolled to detach the white lead, which was then ground, dried, and packed in barrels. Every step could give high exposure, but many of the women who knew the risk could not get other jobs. The white lead could be made into paint in the factory, or the painters themselves might do the mixing. Robert Tressell, who had himself been a housepainter, described this as one of the worst jobs for an apprentice, in The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists.
Fig 2. Harold Piffard’s picture of “A corner of a white lead factory”. Public domain
Public and press concern led to the Factories (Prevention of Lead Poisoning) Act (1883), which laid down specific precautions, including watering of the lead strips before they were scraped and rolled. There were many more poisonings amongst women than men, but was this because more women were employed in the dirtiest processes? The numerous miscarriages and still-births clearly showed that unborn children were at risk. Moves to exclude women from the work were resisted by several groups: (1) some legislators who believed that adults should be able to take care of themselves; (2) women’s advocates who insisted that women should be treated in the same way as men; (3) women needing work who could find no other employment; and (4) manufacturers who claimed that removal of the cheap female labour would raise costs and drive the industry overseas, where standards were allegedly lower (familiar arguments). An account of the struggles is given by Anne Spurgeon in her biography of Adelaide Anderson. One problem was that medical practitioners were only required to report poisoning from lead or other specified substances from 1895. There had been earlier indications of the scale of the lead problem, from those responsible for workhouses, about the number of people disabled by lead poisoning who had to seek relief and admission. Then from 1895, there were formal annual statistics. Despite inevitable under-reporting, in 1900 there were 1058 cases and 38 deaths reported, of which 377 (6 deaths) were in white and red lead works and 210 (8 deaths) in potteries. The majority of painters were not covered by the Factories Acts, so their poisonings did not have to be notified, although 100 such cases were reported in 1899.
THE FIRST AIR MEASUREMENTS, AND THE FIRST OEL
It was clear that the general requirements of the Factory Acts would not rely on their own deal with many of the poisonous substances in use and other dangerous conditions, so the 1891 Factory Act permitted the chief inspector to propose special rules to deal with the problems, which BOHS.ORG
then had to be negotiated with the employers. Specialist engineering inspectors were appointed at about the same time. The 1901 Factory Act removed the right of employers to object to the special rules. Adelaide Anderson was in the front line, and you can sense her relief at the growing “knowledge and vigour of regulation”. In 1898 Thomas Legge was appointed a medical inspector, and G Elmhirst Duckering, an inspector who was a “skilled chemist”, was released to work on risks from substances. We know that an engineering inspector, CR Pendock, and one of the lady inspectors, Florence Lovibond, worked on local exhaust ventilation. Elmhirst Duckering devised new weaponry, two methods of measuring the concentration of a contaminant in the air. Fig 3 shows the one which he used to measure the lead evolved while tinning, i.e. coating of metal articles with lead or tin or a mixture of the two. With this, he measured in the laboratory the relative amounts of lead made airborne by different parts of the process, and then in the workroom the concentration in the air close to the worker during different processes. From the time spent by the worker at different processes, he calculated what we would call the time-weighted exposure. Duckering carefully explained this unfamiliar approach for his readers. The second piece of apparatus (Fig 4) was intended for dust, for example sandpapering of lead paint, which was found to give lead exposures up to 100 mg/m3, and work in potteries using lead glaze (although it is not always clear which sampler he used for which processes).
Fig 3. G Elmhirst Duckering’s sampling apparatus used to investigate lead exposure in tinning. In workshop measurements, it was held in a retort stand so that the inlet (a metal funnel) was close to the worker’s breathing zone. Glass wool could be packed between the two gauze diaphragms to collect particulate. The air then passed through two glass bubblers which Duckering said were very efficient at collecting other material. Aspiration was provided by a filter pump on a water tap, connected to the apparatus by a long rubber tube. Adapted from his paper in J. Hygiene, 8:474-503 (1908).
Although Duckering’s measurement methods were ground-breaking, in 1908 he proposed an idea which was if anything more revolutionary. The special rules for various trades spelt out detailed control methods, and this would continue for many years, but Duckering proposed that “the most scientific way of regulating a dusty trade would be to impose a limit on the amount of dust which may be allowed to contaminate the air breathed by the workpeople and to leave the manufacturer a completely free choice of methods by which this result may be obtained.” This is a very modern approach, although we now realise
that limits are not generally hard lines between safety and danger, and good control should be applied anyway.
Fig 4. Duckering’s sampling equipment for dusts. The sampling head was about 6 cm high and contained a mass of wool used as a filter. This could be dried and weighed (or, if used for lead, analysed). The stand could be extended to about 2.7 m tall. The pump was worked by hand and the total volume collected was two or three hundred litres, which took about 20 min. Adapted from the 1910 Report of the Chief Factories Inspector. Public Domain.
Duckering’s idea was applied in 1912 by Thomas Legge, who collaborated with a senior pathologist, Sir Kenneth Goadby, in a book on lead poisoning and lead absorption. In one of the chapters for which he was responsible, Legge pointed out that inspectors had powers to require ventilation and other actions if the contamination was “injurious to health” (and in fact had had them for over 40 years), but how much contamination was injurious? Legge knew the frequency of lead poisoning at different processes and the amount of time it took poisoning to appear, and he used these and Duckering’s measurements to estimate that if the lead in air was less than 0.5 mg/m3, “cases of encephalopathy and paralysis would never, and cases of colic very rarely, occur”. He says that the lowest daily dose that would give chronic lead poisoning was about 2 mg, and in his PhD thesis Mark Piney has pointed out that if a worker inhales 10 m3 in an 8-hr shift (a moderate exercise rate), this will correspond to a limit of 0.2 mg/m3. The exposure limit in Britain in 2019 is 0.15 mg/m3, the maximum allowed by an EU Directive, and in other Western European countries, the limit ranges down to 0.03 mg/m3. Considering the crudity of Duckering’s measurement methods, Legge was remarkably close. Legge’s proposal was probably the first occupational exposure limit in the Englishspeaking world. In 1898 regulations for cotton factories had imposed a limit of 900 ppm for carbon dioxide, but this was as a measure of ventilation and not based on the toxicity of carbon dioxide. Legge believed that 90% of lead exposure was by inhalation. Modern estimates of this percentage are much lower, perhaps because of better control of airborne releases, and modern control standards put more emphasis on blood lead levels as a measure of dose than airborne levels on their own. This will be discussed in the next part of this series.
EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
100 PAGES ON CONTROL TECHNIQUES – IN 1912!
Legge’s pioneering exposure limit attracts modern attention, but it is tucked away at the end of a section, and Legge devotes much more space to details of control methods, giving credit to colleagues in the inspectorate. Legge strongly prefers local exhaust ventilation (LEV) as more effective than respirators, but if a respirator is used it must ensure “first, that the air breathed is freed from dust, and secondly, that it should not incommode the wearer”. Cotton protective clothing can accumulate dust and then act as a source, but light and ventilated protective clothing should be used where there is a splash risk. On LEV, Legge discusses air hood and duct design, problems of balancing different inlets to the duct, and the advantages of centrifugal over propeller fans. Maintenance of LEV systems requires “meticulous attention to detail”. He criticises cyclones as ineffective for fine dusts, and prefers bag filters. He mentions a system suggested by CR Pendock of separating the dusty process from a human operator and operating it under negative pressure. If electric power is available, vacuum cleaners should be used for cleaning, instead of the “barbarous methods” of sweeping or blowing. Floors and walls should be impervious. Processes should be designed to minimise contact and contamination. Workers should be trained in good practice. After 40 pages on general principles of control, Legge spends 60 pages applying them to particular processes. Despite the changes in technology since, this all has a very modern feel, and it is hard to remember that Legge and Goadby’s 1912 book is closer in time to Thackrah than to us today. Legge also takes for granted that the employer should provide a safe environment, without relying on personal protective equipment, whereas in the 1890s even some inspectors took the attitude that although women and children might need protection, it was the responsibility of adult male employees to look after themselves. Adelaide Anderson, who was a witness and participant in all these changes, summarised them: “The work that was waiting, almost untouched, in the last decade of the nineteenth century, to be overtaken by persistent, meticulous application of this science to protection of the health of the industrial worker”.
But there was one more step available. Could we completely get rid of lead in many of its uses that were difficult to control? For the controversy this question raised, we must wait for part 6. Acknowledgements. Special thanks are due to Mark Piney for his expert help in disentangling the contributions of Thomas Legge and his contemporaries, to Kelvin Williams for spotting the blacksmith (Fig. 1), and to Tim Carter, Mark Piney, Anne Spurgeon, and Kelvin Williams for comments on this part. As usual, responsibility is the author’s. References. A version of this paper with references is available online at https://www. academia.edu/38635150/Topics_in_the_ History_of_British_Occupational_Hygiene_ Part_5._Lead_the_old_ways_and_the_ meticulous_application_of_science_
ANNALS OF WORK
EXPOSURES AND HEALTH
A move towards paper-free: How and why we are changing the way the journal will be offered to members For more than 50 years, the Annals of Work Exposures and Health (formerly the Annals of Occupational Hygiene) has been leading the way in international scientific research and providing a valuable resource for BOHS members. The journal is currently published in print and online, and both options are offered to members as part of the BOHS membership benefits package. Over the past month, BOHS and publisher Oxford University Press have been discussing the merits of online publication and considering whether the Annals should go paper-free.
This question was first raised at an editorial board meeting some five years ago but has become more pertinent in recent times for various reasons. Environmental concerns play an important part; as a responsible society, we wish to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, and every printed copy of the Annals must also be packaged and distributed. Furthermore, the development of the new Oxford Journals web platform has greatly improved the digital resources available, with numerous onlineonly features that add value to the journal and allow readers to access content quickly and easily. Cost is a factor; what we save on printing can be used within BOHS in other ways. And finally, there is a move throughout journal publishing towards an entirely open access business model which will be onlineonly by default. While this will not happen overnight, we have a responsibility to be ready to embrace change when it comes. The vast majority of Annals readers access the journal online. The digital version is now regarded by many as the default medium for such scholarly publications, with library-based print subscriptions falling across the industry. To give you an idea of numbers, in 2018 only 20 traditional institutions subscribed to the print edition, either by itself or as part of a print/online package, meaning the print edition is largely being produced for BOHS members, although even here we are seeing an increase in UK members opting for onlineonly. For all the reasons above, we have concluded that it is right to encourage a move towards paper-free publication. However, we
BY ROZ PHILLIPS
believe it is also right that members should be offered the option of print as long as there is demand. Therefore, as of 1 January 2020, we will be introducing a surcharge of £40 to cover costs for members who wish to receive the print edition. The surcharge will be payable through the online members’ portal, and the distribution of the journal will continue in the normal way. This will be clearly outlined in communications for new and renewing members during the latter part of 2019. We think this is the fairest and simplest way to facilitate online access while giving those who value the print edition the opportunity to retain it. For those of you who don’t already access the Annals online, I would encourage you to check it out. You will see that each issue is easily accessible as a curated collection of papers, and the search function is simple. The web platform also gives you access to thousands of papers in the back catalogue, not to mention the various digital features such as Advance articles (published online before they appear in an issue) and themed article collections. If you can’t find your online registration details, the membership team (email@example.com) will be happy to help. The Annals of Work Exposures and Health always has and will continue to be, a tremendous membership benefit. We hope that you will join us in supporting this initiative and look forward to keeping you updated on Annals progress in the months and years to come.
A member survey will be coming soon to ask for your feedback.
BOHS are now a CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO)!
We are half way through the year – don’t forget to do your CPD points.
BOHS recently undertook a quality audit by the Construction
Industry Training Board and passed!
This means that our constructionrelated qualifications have met the industry-agreed training standards. For more information on the CITB Approved Training Organisation route please scan the QR.
WHAT VOLUNTEERING DID FOR ME; OR BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TALK TO AT CONFERENCE. I think the Breathe Freely campaign had been running for about a year when I attended an update session at the BOHS annual conference. It immediately struck me as an excellent way for BOHS to get stuck in and make a difference. I was particularly impressed by the underlying philosophy; what sector has more than its fair share of poor health outcomes, and what form do these take? The answer is construction and inhalation of harmful substances. No longer overshadowed by the potteries industry, construction is now topping the table of deaths and ill health, associated with respirable crystalline silica. And then there is asbestos, and painting, and wood dust…. Silicosis symptoms have been described since the time of ancient Egypt yet during 1968–2002, silicosis was recorded as the underlying or contributing cause of death on approximately 74 million U.S. death certificates1 and today still accounts for 100’s of deaths in the UK. I don’t work in the construction industry, but in my role as occupational hygiene specialist for a large petrochemical site I have frequent contact with civils contractors, and I am conscious that the awareness of health hazards is often poor and
access to specialist advice limited.
A campaign aimed at inhalation hazards in the construction industry seems obvious in retrospect.
Presenting to a large audience fills me with equal parts fear and excitement, but Breathe Freely has given me plenty of opportunities to practice.
So, I had a chat with Mike Slater in that notorious conference slot, when the most nefarious deals strike; coffee time. Somehow that resulted in my agreeing to write checklists for silica, asbestos, and COSHH. Then I was on the team!
To date, I have spoken to senior management of a UK wide painting company at their annual away day, to a large group of Glasgow apprentices and to health and safety professionals in conjunction with the IOSH No Time to Lose silica campaign.
What struck me about Breathe freely was that the campaign was not just about producing excellent information to be freely available on the website, but that through a series of roadshows, that information would be taken directly to the construction industry. Held at strategic sites, with high-quality speakers, this element of the campaign was critical for taking the messages right to the heart of the Construction industry. And the bacon sandwiches helped. I have worked for most of my career in health and safety management, occupational hygiene and product stewardship on a large site often as the only specialist in the discipline. Being part of the Breath Freely team allowed me to meet with other health-based professionals and make some very valuable contacts. One thing really does lead to another, and I became involved in the Association for Project Safety (APS), helping to design the health elements of an app for CDM. Then I spoke at the APS annual conference giving a Breathe Freely presentation with a particular emphasis on tackling workplace health risks at the design
It was a sunny day in Glasgow while looking at university accommodation with my son when an out of the blue phone call from an unnamed source suggested I might consider being on the BOHS board. I could hardly imagine anyone knowing who I was, least while voting for me, but here I am. Volunteering with BOHS can involve a little or a lot, can be done at home or away, but for me, it has been one of the most exciting and worthwhile aspects of my recent career. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather a striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. Viktor E. Frankl Amanda Parker, BOHS Honorary Treasurer A brief review of silicosis in the United States.,Thomas CR, Kelley TR.Environ Health Insights. 2010 May 18;4:21-6. 1
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EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #3 - the official magazine of BOHS
o.e.e.s.c. DUBLIN 2019
Occupational and Environmental Exposure of the Skin to Chemicals 16 to 18 September 2019 | The Pillo Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
The Occupational and Environmental Exposure of Skin to Chemicals (OEESC) conference is the leading international conference on skin exposure bringing together experts from wide ranging fields including occupational hygiene, health and safety, dermatology, skin research and consumer fields.
For further information visit www.oeesc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org