BOHS Exposure Magazine - Issue 2 2019

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BREATHE FREELY SPECIAL ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE ❚❚ Meet Paul Smith ❚❚ Route to Chartered Status ❚❚ World Asthma Day ❚❚ BOHS Elections ❚❚ Who is behind the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool The official magazine of

APRIL 2019

24/7 Outdoor Noise Monitoring Shawcity are delighted to introduce the Svantek SV 307, a new, all-in-one station designed for portable, mobile and permanent noise monitoring installations. The SV 307 integrates a Class 1 sound level meter with a GSM modem and a 16 Gb microSD card for data storage. It is also equipped with a new MEMS microphone, which comes with a lifetime warranty. Other features include a patented self-system check with an inbuilt reference sound source producing 100 dBA at 1 kHz as well as a user interface with colour display and keypad. Further options include real-time 1/1 or 1/3 octave analysis, audio events recording and automatic time and synchronization with GPS. With a removable, IP65-rated housing to protect against harsh weather conditions, the SV 307 also has a large screen to protect against high winds additionally there is also an intelligent heater to protect the microphone from humidity. The SV 307 has an internal Li-ion battery and interface for connecting solar panels. A waterproof mains adapter for charging the battery and powering the station is also included. SvanNET is an advanced server solution supporting remote connection with the SV 307. The SvanNET connection gives access to a web browser to view real-time measurements and download files manually as well as reconfigure the station itself.

NEW SV 307 Noise Monitoring Station


For further information contact: 01367 899419 BOHS.ORG




Welcome to Issue #2 of Exposure Magazine!


We’ve got another action packed issue for you. We hope you’ve all recovered from OH2019 festivities – we’ll be bringing you more on our annual conference in our next issue.


Inside, you’ll find our cover feature “4 years of Breathe


Freely”, we speak to Mike Slater about where it all started.


Head to page 10 for more. Also, we introduce you to your board representatives for the year ahead. You’ll see some familiar faces, and some brand new. Head to page 10 to meet them. Next, learn more about the road to chartered membership with BOHS member Paul Ramsden. Congratulations on achieving our top membership grade Paul! Turn to page 7 to read about his journey. Lastly, why not meet a member? This month we meet Paul Smith; you can read all about his favourite film and his career so far on page 6.


There’s so much more to discover in this issue, so have a flip through and let us know what you think at


We’ll see you next issue to talk all about OH2019!







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 | | The views expressed in this issue are not necessarily those of BOHS Board

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS

@BOHSworld @BOHS Video @BOHSworld




This is something I’ve been really looking forward to. I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as President-Elect and enjoyed meeting with many of you at the regional meetings I have attended First, though, a bit about me; my current role is as a Regional Industrial Hygiene Director, for Europe, Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Southern Africa, in BP’s Group Safety & Operational Risk.

I am a chartered occupational hygienist (BOHS CMFOH) and have thirty-nine years’ experience in occupational hygiene; eighteen years in the chemical industry (Monsanto/BASF) and twenty-one years in oil & gas (BP). I have been a BOHS member since 1980 and have seen many changes over the years, but I believe that the Society is only now entering its stride. The strategic plan for 2016 – 2020 is progressing well. The launch of Breathe Freely II for the manufacturing sector, including its emphasis on welding, was perfectly timed given the new HSE Safety Alert: Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume.


MY NAME IS JOHN DOBBIE, AND I AM YOUR NEW BOHS PRESIDENT! The transfer of knowledge and practical skills is an integral part of the development of any occupational hygienist So we are living in exciting and possibly challenging times given BREXIT, and what that may mean! BOHS is definitely more well-known and recognised these days. We now have the opportunities for more effective collaboration with the Health & Safety Executive, IOSH and other societies working in a similar space to us. I am especially looking forward to helping our Society with these opportunities, as well as working with partner occupational hygiene societies around the world. One of the things I am passionate about, both in my day job and within BOHS, is capability development; I was involved in the formation of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA) and worked closely with the authors of the original OHTA international modules. Indeed, I was fortunate enough to work with Professor Brian Davies, to deliver the first international module, which has now become W501 at Wollongong University, Australia in 2006.

However, to truly deliver competence, we need to consider active coaching, mentoring and the development of softer skills, e.g. Effective communication, empathy, and ethics. For any of you who have attended regional meetings over the past 12 months, where I talked about this, you will know of the serious debates we have had on this subject. I will be bringing a paper, on developing a more effective coaching and mentoring strategy, to the BOHS Board in June 2019 and would welcome your views and contributions to what should be included. There is a lot of interest in competency; the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene committee is exceptionally active in ensuring we adopt good practice in this area, and is backed by unanimous support from the main BOHS Board.

I must give a big thank you to Neil Grace, who has been an inspirational President and has helped me in many ways. No surprises as we Scousers (Liverpudlians) tend to stick together!




From what I have heard, there have initially been concerns that running such campaigns could appear overly “political.” However, it is common for charitable organisations to run such campaigns, and it’s not difficult to pitch them appropriately. The Breathe Freely campaigns have steered well clear of any controversial political angle (which is just as well given the broader constitutional issues which are preoccupying so many). The main focus of the campaigns has been around raising awareness of good practice in the workplace, as well as encouraging its uptake, mainly through direct interaction with the target audiences, employers in particular. It is notoriously difficult to measure the effectiveness of such behaviourchange campaigns. Those which are well-studied tend to have more resources directed at them and have a statistical base of measurement. Anti-drink-drive campaigns are a wellknown example, where the government spend on awareness raising (principally advertising) can be tracked against the impact on arrests and road traffic accidents relating to alcohol. The budgets involved here are in their tens of millions, and the statistics are at least reasonably reliable since they derive from official sources. In our case, we are more dependent on measuring the activities of the campaign, such as attendees at the roadshows that we have held

The Board of Trustees of the Society (previously referred to as the Council) initiated a process in early 2019, to review the Strategic Plan of the Society for 2021-2025. This will present an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of (amongst other things) the Breathe Freely campaigns. That is significant because it is the first time the Society has run high-profile, behaviour-changing campaigns, which seek to improve workplace health in specific areas. around the country. We can also track downloads of specific webpages etc. It’s harder to determine the actual impact of the campaigns, and to some extent, this is an article of faith. It’s certain that from an anecdotal perspective, we believe we’ve had reasonable penetration of our messages into some of the larger employers in the UK. It is inevitable that public awareness campaigns, like this, suffer from diminishing returns as audiences beyond the larger employers are more fragmented and become progressively more challenging to reach. Therefore, campaigns invariably run out of steam from the early days and have to be reinvigorated and head in new directions.

We are, as ever, grateful for the time and effort put in by the members of the Society for all of our activities, not just the Breathe Freely campaigns. A professional body like the BOHS is dependent on the expertise, enthusiasm, and availability of the individuals who are willing to get involved. Staff can help to run things,

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS

but the members ultimately provide the content.

The review of our strategy will take place over the rest of this year and early next year. During that time, we will be consulting with members, and are keen to hear your views. A key question, which I have been asking at the handful of regional events I’ve attended this year, is what you want of your professional body. As I’ve mentioned in these editorials before, the Society “belongs to” its members, and yet, as a charity, we must operate for the public interest. Finding the right mix of activities, whether it’s better CPD or continuing to raise the profile of occupational hygiene, can only happen with your input.

We are continuing to modernise the Society, and have already made a few tweaks to our governing documents. I’ll update you on all this in our next edition.







I have been a Regulatory Inspector for HSE since 1995, which included time working for the manufacturing sector, where my interest was sparked in occupational hygiene issues. With the help of my (then) manager, I enrolled onto the post graduate diploma course at the University of Manchester, and eventually, I was transferred across once I became a chartered member of the Faculty.

Effectively, I joined when I was looking to take my diploma oral exam at the back end of 2015.



I’m a sporty and active person normally. I love walking, usually in fair weather but if you get caught out then so be it. There’s no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing! I love my annual ski trip too, and in between times I play badminton and run or cycle occasionally. As a Midlander, I obviously love Indian food (and the beer that usually precedes it)!

Diploma in Environmental Health aimed specifically at trainee environmental health officers.


WHAT WAS THE FIRST JOB YOU GOT WHEN YOU FINISHED YOUR FULLTIME EDUCATION? Environmental health officer working for South Shropshire District Council in Ludlow


TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR WORK. Probably like everyone else, there is no standard day for me, partly as I have a foot in two camps within HSE. My time is split 60/40 between one of the occupational hygiene field teams (I’m based in Birmingham with ‘Team South’) and our Technical Policy Unit (respectively). On one day I could be visiting a small engineering factory, examining first hand, their exposures to metalworking fluid mist and how they manage their fluids. The next day, I could be working on research into nickel exposures in electroplating, to revise HSE guidance subsequently. I’m very lucky to have such a variety in my work.




WHERE DID YOU LAST GO ON HOLIDAY? Down to Cornwall in the summer, staying in West Looe. I’ve been there on and off for 20+ years as a friend’s family rents out an apartment down there. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked the coastal path to Polperro, but it’s a fantastic walk come rain or sun! The Cornish pasties and a pint at the Blue Peter PH are always a welcoming feature in Polperro.

8 FAVOURITE PET? I have to say dogs as they are so loyal, but at the moment I don’t have the time!

9 FAVOURITE FILM? That’s a hard one, but I’ll mention two…. Richard Burton & Clint Eastwood in the classic WW2 film ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and David Lynch’s classic Sci-Fi (and flop at the box office) ‘Dune.’



I had my car stolen. Amongst them is Dua Lipa and Adele but I’ve also just purchased a Led Zeppelin album. My very eclectic taste is partly resulting from my mum being a music teacher on one side but growing up on the other!

11 FAVOURITE BOOK? I’ve never been much of a ‘reading for pleasure’ person, especially as I read so much in the course of my work, but I usually manage to read when I’m relaxing on the beach or by the pool. I enjoyed the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy.

I’m replacing a few CD’s which were lost last year when

WANT TO BE OUR NEXT EXPOSURE STAR? Contact us at to find out how!





MY JOURNEY INTO OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE AND EVENTUALLY TO CHARTERED STATUS IS PERHAPS UNUSUAL AND PROTRACTED BUT SO ARE MANY THINGS IN LIFE. My hobby is climbing, which led me to go on a rock-climbing holiday to Wadi Rum, Jordan, the famous location of the Lawrence of Arabia movie and a fantastic rock-climbing destination. In a restaurant one evening, I met another British climbing team, one of whom, Geoff Hornby, mentioned that he ran a health & safety and occupational hygiene consultancy near where I lived and was looking for an assistant on a casual basis. I had just finished working for the British Antarctic Survey where I had passed the NEBOSH certificate and had ended up working in the HSE department. Geoff’s offer seemed like an opportunity to learn something new while having spare time to go climbing. Geoff trained me in-house as a hygienist, and over time I found myself doing more hygiene work than safety work. So I decided that I needed to get myself a qualification. Having received some training and lacking the finances to take the usual BOHS modules, I decided to take the core certificate examination, which I passed in 2001. I started my own company ‘Integral HSE’ in 2005 offering health, safety, and occupational hygiene services. My

clients, mainly small businesses, had little idea of qualifications, so I felt little impetus to move up from certificate to diploma level. When the recession came, my business was hit hard but rather than worry about it, I decided to use the spare time constructively and go back to University to complete a part-time MSc in occupational health. Usefully the course was recognised by BOHS and exempted me from the diploma examinations required at that time. On completion of the MSc, I took the diploma oral exam, which I failed, mainly due to a lack of preparation. As my business was bustling, it took me many years to get around to retaking the oral. Unfortunately, by then the assessment criteria had changed drastically, and my exemption from examination was no longer valid, I now had to submit a personal experience portfolio, just like everyone else. Initially, I was daunted by the PEP and the work required to submit a suitable number of documents, which caused me to foolishly delay again for quite a few years. It was actually a New Year’s resolution to get it sorted. In the event, it proved to be very straight forward, and for anyone actually working

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS

in occupational hygiene, especially consultancy, it should be relatively easy to amend work you have done for clients into an anonymised format. My advice is to just get on and do it. Unfortunately, I submitted my PEP just as BOHS was suffering from a shortage of assessors and it took an impressive twelve months to mark my work, something I am assured is no longer the case. Fortunately, all my submissions passed the first time, and all I needed to do was sit the diploma oral, again. This time my preparation was much more thorough, mainly due to having run the core BOHS modules over the previous year while working in Saudi Arabia. The oral this time seemed relatively straight forward, just remember to know your stuff and stand firm when pushed. It’s just like a meeting with a difficult client!

Now that I have the diploma and chartered membership it has really opened up my options to more varied and exciting work with larger international organisations, who recognise the status it brings. And I can still get the time off to go climbing!




According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) 2018 annual statistics (http://www.hse. pdf), isocyanates and flour/ grain are the most commonly citedcauses of occupational asthma by chest physicians

Through our approved training providers, BOHS offers several courses to bolster your understanding of LEV from foundation levels to professional qualifications including:

The highest new cases of workrelated asthma have been in the following occupations; vehicle spray painters, bakers, and flour confectioners.

• P601 - Thorough Examination and Testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems

One method to prevent workers from contracting asthma and other occupational lung diseases is to install a well-designed and adequately maintained Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system that can eliminate contaminants from the air to protect the health of workers, potentially saving dozens of lives.


• P600 - Methods for Testing the Performance of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems

• P602 - Basic Design Principles of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems • P603 - Control of Hazardous Substances - Personal Protective Equipment • P604 - Performance Evaluation, Commissioning and Management of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems • IP601 - Thorough Examination and Testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems • Certificate of Competence in Control

Learn more about how LEV systems can reduce health risks in the workplace through our qualifications, by heading to http://www.bohs. org/qualifications-training/bohs-qualifications/levqualifications/. For more resources, go to HSE’s LEV information hub at If you are interested in preventing occupational lung diseases, why not get involved with our Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign? In the manufacturing industry, many welders are exposed unnecessarily to welding fume and gases that can damage their health. As a result, workers could contract diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Our dedicated campaign website contains helpful guidance on LEV with full-colour downloadable PDFs to support companies on how best to control airborne contaminants. Head to breathefreelymanufacturing.html.



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 £400 + 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.

Further details to follow in the coming weeks and bookings will open in April 2019 For more information about any aspect of the conference or to submit an abstract contact


EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS



Four years ago, on 28 April, Worker’s Memorial Day, 2015, over 100 people, the majority from the construction industry, gathered in the Merchant Tailors Hall in London for the launch of the Breathe Freely initiative.


The campaign had been developed in conjunction with partners, including HSE and construction industry stakeholders, sending out the message that not only is respiratory disease a significant problem, but that there are solutions which can reduce the incidence of ill health, by the application of sound occupational hygiene principles and that occupational hygienists can help to achieve this. 2017 saw another milestone, with the launch of the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign, in conjunction with our Partners, EEF, HSE, the TUC, TWI, JCB, BAE Systems and Toyota, with a primary emphasis on welding.

industry stakeholders. A small team was established to work on this. We felt that to maximise our impact we needed to identify a specific issue and, initially, one vital industry. We decided to concentrate on respiratory disease and that, for the first phase of the campaign, to target the construction industry, to take it into other industry sectors at a later date.

We realised early on that it’s not enough to produce materials and make them available on a website. To be effective, you need to get out and spread the message. We did that by getting out and talking to stakeholders via roadshows (public meetings) aimed at managers, supervisors and health and safety advisers from the construction industry.

A steering group was established to plan, organise and deliver the campaign, drawing in representatives from HSE and construction industry stakeholders. This group worked hard behind the scenes to identify the key issues, develop materials and resources and work out how we were going to promote our messages.

After a lot of hard work by the steering group, BOHS members, industry partners, supporters, and sponsors, we were finally ready to launch Breathe Freely. We chose 28 April as our launch date, as it coincided with the International Occupational Hygiene Association Conference that we held in London and also because it was Workers’ Memorial Day: An international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

Two of the objectives of the BOHS strategy for 2011 to 2015 were to:

If Breathe Freely was going to make an impact in reducing respiratory disease, we decided that we needed to target employers, as they are the only people who can initiate change. So, with the help of BOHS members and representatives from the construction industry, we developed a range of materials aimed at both increasing awareness of the problem of respiratory disease and how it can be prevented, together with resources that employers could use to help them prevent, control and manage the risks. These included

• Raise awareness of occupational hygiene

• Infographics and fact sheets about the hazards and risks

• Increase the influence and visibility of BOHS.

• The “good business case” for occupational health management

It was when the Board (formerly known as the Council) were discussing how to work towards these objectives that it was suggested, the best way to do this was to develop a campaign which would take the case for giving more priority, to preventing ill health at work to a broader audience of

• The “Health in Industry” Management Standard

“Breathe Freely” was a new venture for BOHS. For the first time the Society was launching a campaign, which meant that we would be engaging with employers to persuade them that, with an estimated 12,000 workers dying every year from preventable respiratory disease, there was a need to pay more attention to identifying, controlling and managing the health risks.


• Case studies illustration good practice • A “toolkit” of resources including guidance, toolbox talks, and visual standards.

Breathe Freely was a step into the unknown for BOHS and the steering group was a little nervous! However, any fears were unfounded, as the launch was followed by a series of well-attended open events around the country, webinars, and construction industry forums, a large number of invitations to speak at various meetings and events, as well as dissemination of the campaign materials via the Breathe Freely website. Two years later we were approached by Terry Woolmer of the EEF, an important employers’ organisation. They had seen what we had done in construction and were interested in working with us to develop a similar initiative in the manufacturing sector. The Board decided that BOHS was ready to broaden out the campaign, so we agreed to move to the next phase of the campaign:


If Breathe Freely was going to make an impact in reducing respiratory disease, we decided that we needed to target employers, as they are the only people who can initiate change. Breathe Freely in Manufacturing. We followed the same model, establishing a steering group involving industry stakeholders, developing materials and organising roadshows, some of which have been supported by the European Union information agency for Occupational Safety and Health (EU – OSHA). We’ve also developed materials, case studies and guidance, including the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool that was launched at the end of 2018. It’s challenging to measure success in terms of the reduction in ill health. The timescale is too long, and we don’t have the resources to gather this type of statistic. So, the campaign has used “leading indicators” to monitor our impact. In particular the attendance at roadshows and the numbers accessing our materials. See the table below for the latest figures. Also, our campaign newsletters regularly reach over 1000 subscribers, and during the last year (to the end of February 2019) 15,000 people have used the Breathe Freely websites. There is also some evidence of an increase in employment of occupational hygienists in the construction industry.

A significant contributor to the success of the campaign has been working with partners from industry organisations, HSE, and the Trade Union movement who have been involved in the organisation and delivery of the campaign. And we wouldn’t have been able to disseminate our materials and organise successful roadshows without the support of our sponsors: Speedy Hire, RVT and Arco for Breathe Freely in construction and Plymovent for the manufacturing campaign. However, the main reason for the success of the campaign has been the tremendous contributions from the BOHS membership. It wouldn’t have been possible to develop materials and send out our messages without them. On a personal note, I’m no longer involved with the campaign. I stepped down after the BOHS conference in 2018. It was a privilege to be able to help develop and deliver the campaign, but other people have stepped up to lead and organise the steering groups and take Breathe Freely forward.

Breathe Freely was launched to help employers gain a better understanding of occupational lung disease, the leading causes, and measures they can put in place to control the associated risks. We also wanted to raise awareness of occupational hygiene and emphasise the role that occupational hygienists can play in controlling and managing the risks. We have had some success with these objectives over the past four years, but there is much more that we can do. Breathe Freely needs the ongoing support of BOHS members and partners, for the next phase of the campaign, if the Society is to continue to make an impact and contribute to the reduction of occupational ill health.

Breathe Freely Latest Figures Breathe Freely in Construction

Breathe Freely in Manufacturing














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It seems a long time ago now, but it is only four years since BOHS launched the Breathe Freely in Construction campaign on 28th April 2015. At around the same time, HSE was publishing some sobering statistics on the burden of occupational respiratory disease. Most people that work in and around the world of occupational health and hygiene will now be familiar with some of the headline messages arising from these statistics. Twelve thousand deaths a year in Great Britain attributed to respiratory disease caused by historical exposures. This is around one hundred times more than the number of workers tragically killed in workplace accidents and provided compelling evidence that we must do more to raise the focus on health.

With our partners on board, we began to develop our campaign materials, all of which were made freely available through our website ( A steering group was formed to coordinate activities. Initially, this mostly consisted of BOHS members, with the only construction industry representation coming from Jennie Armstrong, then working for Mace. Although steering group members have come and gone over the years, Jennie has been a constant presence, and the campaign would not have achieved anything like the success it has enjoyed without her tireless efforts.

The preventive approach to harm would play a key role in tackling this enormous problem through good exposure control, which has always been the underlying principle of occupational hygiene. From digging deeper into the statistics, it was apparent that a very significant proportion of this disease was attributed to work in construction, historically an industry sector where occupational hygiene has not had a particularly high profile. From this, it seemed that the best place to start was a campaign focused clearly on respiratory disease in construction, and so Breathe Freely was born.

The steering group was clear from the start that the campaign materials needed to be ‘simple, but not simplistic.’ For our guidance to be of value to the construction industry, we have steered clear of providing detailed, complex technical materials as we recognise that this can be a barrier to engaging with stakeholders that do not have a professional health and safety background.

Anyone who knows construction will recognise some of the challenges the campaign faced on successfully engaging with the industry. Again, it was decided to take one step at a time, and approach the parts of the industry which were most likely to be receptive to our messages. Hence, the first activities of Breathe Freely were targeted towards communicating with large clients and principal contractors within the industry. We also recognised that we couldn’t do this alone, and so enlisted the support of some high profile partners to work with us. These included: • The Health and Safety Executive (industry regulator) • Land Securities (GB’s largest construction client organisation) • Mace (a large industry contractor involved in the delivery of top end construction projects) • Constructing Better Health (a not-forprofit scheme dedicated to improving the standard of occupational health management in the construction industry)


Our initial suite of materials included fact sheets, case studies, and simple hazardous substance checklists. These were aimed at raising awareness within the industry on the burden of occupational respiratory disease, and, importantly, on providing clear solutions as to what could, and should, be done to achieve adequate exposure control in the real world. We made speakers freely available at industry events to spread our messages, and several BOHS members made significant contributions in delivering many of these presentations. We also embarked on organising and delivering a series of roadshows, which continued right through to the end of 2018. These events would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Speedy Hire (201516) and RVT (2017-18), and we are grateful for the support that these organisations have provided. A total of twelve public roadshows have been held so far, with well over a thousand construction industry stakeholders attending in total, each one hopefully taking away and spreading positive messages as to what our profession can do to protect worker health. As the campaign progressed, the suite of online materials continued to grow, to include a construction manager’s toolkit, site checklists, trade specific fact sheets and good practice case studies. The composition of the steering group evolved to include more construction

industry representation. Each new member brought new expertise and contacts, allowing the campaign to grow in terms of both technical guidance material and outreach. Tideway, a significant tunnelling project, joined as another campaign partner. And we continued to add to an ever growing list of high profile organisations signing up as campaign supporters. Amongst the very impressive suite of resources that have been developed by the campaign so far, particular high points include the development of: • The Health in Industry Management Standard (HI Standard); this provides a clear framework for what is needed to build and maintain an effective health risk management system. It is split into six clear sections and provides a straightforward self-assessment tool to allow organisations to identify strengths and weaknesses in their systems, and so target their resources more effectively to improve their management of occupational hygiene. • The Certificate in Controlling Health Risks in Construction (CCHRC); this unique training course is the first of its kind. The one-day course, aimed at the site supervisor level, provides delegates with the relevant knowledge to accurately assess health risks on their site and to design and implement effective exposure control strategies.

What have we achieved? • Existing suite of web-based resources • Direct contact with around 1,300 industry stakeholders through roadshows • Over 800 individuals well trained in health risk management through the CCHRC • Occupational hygienists directly employed in several major construction companies • A much better understanding of what occupational hygiene can do to support their businesses in the construction industry • International interest in our activities, with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), shortly launching its own Breathe Freely campaign, based mostly on our own. BOHS.ORG

What does the future hold? On the 22nd March, a reconstituted steering group meeting was held at the Tideway offices, next to the river Thames in Central London. The meeting had excellent representation from top-level construction industry stakeholders, and plans for the future of the campaign were discussed. It was decided that the main focus over the coming year would be to try to extend the penetration of the Breathe Freely campaign into smaller businesses within the construction industry, achieved through speaking at events aimed directly at this audience, and in particular the specific trades at the highest risk of exposure to harmful dust. In addition to this, we hope to support a series of supply chain events, organised by significant construction clients and principal contractors, again to communicate with smaller construction businesses. We will be looking more to our supporters, and to other construction industry

stakeholders, to use their networks to help us deliver our vital messages about the value of a preventive approach to health risk management. But it’s not just our supporters in the industry who are vital; we need our members too. We’re keen to take forward our Breathe Freely Champions programme aimed at supporting and developing our volunteers. Watch this space for more details on the Champions programme!

Thankyou…and a plea for help The success of Breathe Freely in Construction so far has primarily been down to the tireless efforts of many BOHS members, who have contributed their time and expertise to the campaign. Special thanks must go to our past president, Mike Slater, who was instrumental in the design and delivery of Breathe Freely in its first three years. It is probable that the campaign would not have existed in the first place were it not for Mike’s exceptional vision


Mike Slater was the natural choice of lead for the new campaign, given his role in the Breathe Freely in Construction (BF1) campaign. The launch group came together for the first time in late 2016 and included representatives from BOHS, EEF (now Make UK), HSE, TUC, TWI, BAE Systems, Toyota and JCB. At the first meeting, we agreed to take a similar approach as BF1 with roadshows, a website and to target duty holders, so they could better understand and act upon the potential health impacts for their employees. The choice of exposure to target was initially tricky, but we settled on welding as being relevant to the HSE strategy and also common to many manufacturing companies. As it turned out, subsequent developments on the manganese workplace exposure limit, particularly the respirable fraction, the IARC change of welding fume to a Category 1 carcinogen and the HSE change of enforcement advice, has made this a good choice and raised the profile of BOHS.

After some frantic preparations, BF2 was successfully launched at the Make UK head office in London by the HSE Chair, Make UK Chair and the BOHS President in May 2017. This was followed by limited roadshows in 2017 and some in-house sponsored events, notably at BAE Systems. We had hoped to use the same cascade approach as BF1, but manufacturing is organised differently to construction, so we adjusted our approach for 2018. In 2018 we ran several successful roadshow events, sponsored by the EUOSHA, and further in-house events with over 500 attendees. We also developed more information, particularly a briefing on manganese and the change in the exposure limit to share. Our primary focus was our Control Selector Tool, developed after much hard work and lively discussions by various people, which launched at the London roadshow in November 2018. The tool delivered on its brief; to be “simple but not simplistic” as Mike Slater put it while

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS

and enthusiasm. Thanks are also due to the excellent communications team employed at BOHS HQ, and to the BOHS Board for the continued support that they have provided. And finally, a plea for help. We are now looking to recruit BOHS members onto the construction steering group, and also enlist your help to speak at events on behalf of the campaign. I have greatly enjoyed being involved in the campaign so far, and I do not doubt that it has helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I’m sure that there are many of you out there who would find it equally rewarding

So, if you would like to be part of something that is making a real difference to worker health, and also supporting the development and outreach of your profession, please get in touch with Kat Dearden or Evi Karmou at BOHS HQ.

Or Breathe Freely II, was first proposed as part of the last BOHS five-year strategy review, as a means of building on what we already had in the Breathe Freely in Construction campaign. providing useful and sufficiently detailed advice. Unfortunately, Mike Slater stepped down from leading BF2 in April 2018, so Neil Pickering is now taking the lead. As we enter our third year of the campaign we are: • Planning more roadshows and will have at least four, spread across the UK in 2019 • Developing and looking for more case studies, including those that are relevant to small companies and simple welding activities. If you can help, please get in touch with a simple description, a few photos and a ‘before’ and ‘after’ perspective; we will do the rest. • Updating the Control Selector Tool to be even more informative and provide further advice for duty holders. While we have various ideas of our own, we welcome any feedback you may have too, mainly if you have used it to help define controls, just let us know.






22 Roadshows

Miles Travelled

1550 Attendees

90 Speakers 14

13 Fantastic



120 Company

Supporters BOHS.ORG




The Path Forward

Over at least the last decade it won’t have escaped the attention of many occupational hygienists who’ve been working towards gaining academic qualifications, that there is a problem. The problem is that if you wish to study for a first degree (i.e., an undergraduate degree) or an MSc (i.e., a post-graduate degree) in occupational hygiene within the UK, your options are limited.

So towards the latter part of the summer of 2018, it was decided to form a separate working group, known as the Higher Education Research group (HER). HER has been tasked with looking into the status quo and trying to develop a better understanding, not only of the causes and effects of change in higher education but also whether BOHS may have more of a future role to play in influencing strategy and directions, however broadly defined.

For some time now there’s been a general background hum of apprehension and concern regarding both the perception and the reality concerning the steady diminishment of availability of degree courses within occupational hygiene (OccHyg). Moreover, this relates to OccHyg, both as a topic in its own right or as a major course component, alongside other relevant topics such as environmental health science, safety, toxicology or relevant partner themes. This in itself has raised new questions about whether occupational hygiene is still a sufficiently distinct discipline in its own right to warrant such degrees or whether the critical numbers of potential students to justify such courses aren’t there anymore. Alternatively, perhaps to question whether alternative pathways to qualification and accreditation have somehow displaced them, changing how we both see and value degrees. These were the kinds of questions being raised by the BOHS Board in the summer of 2018. Moreover, the answers to these questions just weren’t that clear. Yes, there’s plenty of subjective opinion, but no systematic information, reports or data documenting the changes in higher education over recent years, or their impacts. From this emerged a recognition that for all of us within BOHS, a better and more objective understanding of what is happening (and has happened in the past) within higher education has to be important. Not only for the sake of professional curiosity but also as a basis for us knowing how these changes might create risks and opportunities for the profession, and even more so in these very uncertain times for the UK plc.

At the request of the BOHS Board, I was asked to lead the HER group, working in tandem with our CEO (Simon Festing), the 2019-2020 BOHS President (John Dobbie) and a small team of highly experienced occupational hygienists with prior, relevant expertise (Roger Alesbury and Alison Margary), with the HER group reporting to the BOHS Board. One of my first deliverables was to develop a summary (or ‘White Paper’) to address and outline what the scope and intention of such a study may include, as well as layout in the broadest terms what questions and challenges may arise. So at the end of it all, perhaps one of the most basic questions relates to what BOHS’s role could be, especially as many of the potential influencing factors and variables will lie outside our direct control or authority. Nevertheless, the HER group will proceed its work throughout 2019 and into 2020 as part of a year-long “Phase 1” project, and outcome dependent, will proceed further to a “Phase 2”; redefining its roadmap or sunset its role. The BOHS Board will consider this when the time comes.

Next Steps In the interests of context, we will be talking to other key organisations such as IOHA, AIHA, AIOH and many other national professional occupational hygiene bodies near and far. Already, there is evidence that many of the challenges, we believe are impacting the UK, are also affecting OccHyg higher education in other major countries and economies. We’re probably not alone in our observations, but we do believe we may be the first to start systematically asking the questions.

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS

Importantly, we also intend to hold a dialogue with academic institutions in the UK who are currently providing occupational hygiene education at degree level and understand what kind of courses are available. Also to talk with those that used to do so, but no longer. This is primarily to understand what influences were in place in years past, leading to the current decline of academic courses. Unfortunately, most of us can probably name a few excellent universities who have long since terminated all their occupational hygiene degree programmes. However, even more importantly, we need to open up a conversation with the membership and secure your input, for example, who has already completed degree studies and where, how the availability of the academic course affected your careers, how many future potential students are out there, what real course choices there are and how are those affecting your current decisions. We’ll also want to ask questions such as whether you will study in the UK or choose to go elsewhere (e.g., an american university, distance learning, master’s degree), and whether the cost is a significant determining factor. There are many questions yet to ask and much information we need from you but don’t have.

In summary Yes, there’s a fair bit to do, but we will be asking for your support, both from yourselves and from other committees and groups within BOHS. Already we’ve spoken with the BOHS Learning & Training Committee and will commit to engaging with anyone who can help advance our understanding and play a part in positioning BOHS, to serve its membership, in its future training and development.

As they say… watch this space.


YOUR REPRESENTATIVES FOR 2019 HERE’S WHO YOU VOTED FOR… Drumroll please, your representatives for 2019 have been announced! Read on to find out who’ll be representing you on the BOHS Board, FAAM and FOH committees.


Alex Wilson

Susan Lett

I have worked at HSE’s laboratory for thirty-three years. Occupational hygiene has given me a fulfilling, challenging, and at times, a fascinating career in my life journey so far. It has allowed me to work with a diverse range of industries, on projects which I know have made a positive contribution to worker health.

Many of you will know Alex Wilson, who calls himself “old news” at BOHS. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention his re-election into the position of Honorary Secretary.

I made the decision to nominate myself for appointment on the BOHS Board, due to my belief that everyone deserves a healthy working environment. I am hopeful that alongside my chosen career path, this will provide the ideal platform to send out the critical message about managing and controlling workplace health risks.

More recently, I have tried to make a greater contribution to my profession by becoming actively involved in leading the Breathe Freely in Construction campaign. I’m a firm believer that the key to maximising the impact of our profession lies in communication,and in my role on the Board, I will strongly advocate further efforts to reach out to external stakeholders. As our current five-year strategy reaches an end, I relish the chance to take a leading role in crafting its successor.

Kelvin Williams Kelvin has been a member of the BOHS Board since 2017 and represents the Society on the “Design for Health Task Group.” Kelvin has contributed extensively to BOHS Regional events over the years, recently covering topics such as statistics for occupational hygienists, vibration risk assessment and management and noise assessment and management. Since joining the BOHS Board Kelvin has vigorously promoted an agenda of “raising the bar” or, put another way, “raising the benchmark of professional practice.” The objective is energising folk to realise a higher vision of the occupational hygienist role and contribution to protecting worker’s health. Sights have been set primarily on the consultancy sector, but Kelvin believes there will also be gains elsewhere from re-emphasising ethics and the link between professional practice and academic discipline.


Alex said, “I am passionate about occupational hygiene and BOHS. I want to give something back and feel like my role as Honorary Secretary allows me to do that. There is still much to do, and I stood again to make sure I am part of this exciting time for BOHS and the profession as a whole. I am looking forward to working with the new members of the Board, and I hope they will bring something new to BOHS in their roles”.

Amanda Parker

My career as a certified occupational hygienist has led me into the capable position of managing a large consultancy team of passionate occupational hygienists for Exova (part of the Element Group). The role of the occupational hygienist is crucial in the fight to prevent workplace illnesses. I understand the importance of the message the BOHS wants to convey, and I feel passionate about supporting this mission. However, I believe this goal can only be achieved with the strategic direction of increasing the visibility of the Society, and I would like to help achieve this.

This is Amanda’s second re-election as Honorary Treasurer, and we are thrilled to have her remain on the Board. Over the past year, she has been invaluable in overseeing and contributing to improvements of the BOHS financial procedures.

Alison Margary

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, here is a little bit about Amanda:

At the start of 2018, I was pleased to accept an invitation to represent BOHS on the governmentsponsored Council for Work and Health, which brings together a representative group of occupational health professional bodies, to provide leadership and develop a common purpose for those professionals working to improve the health of the working population.

“Hello, I am a diploma qualified, chartered occupational hygienist, currently working at the Grangemouth Petrochemical site. As a chartered member of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, I have presented regularly at BOHS conferences, on a variety of practical, workplace-based topics. I have been involved with the BOHS Breathe Freely campaign, and I am currently serving on the BOHS board as Honorary Treasurer.

I am delighted to have been elected to join the BOHS Board. I have enjoyed a varied career over thirty-five years, working for a multi-national Energy/Petrochemical company as part of multidisciplinary teams.

This offers an excellent opportunity to seek greater visibility for BOHS and continue our mission to bring a focus to ‘prevention’ rather than ‘cure.’ I am well aware of the challenges that still face our profession in achieving recognition as the go-to experts in worker health protection. I am looking forward to drawing on my experience, in further supporting BOHS in seeking to safeguard the long-term future of our excellent profession. BOHS.ORG




Sarah Leeson

Jean Prentice

Jonathan Ford

Members will know Sarah Leeson, who has been elected as Registrar for the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene for the year ahead, taking over from Neil Pickering.

I am delighted to be one of the first two members who has been elected onto the FAAM committee and to express sincere thanks to those of you who voted for me. It was a privilege to be part of the group that brought FAAM into existence and then serve on both the committee plus the subcommittee that organised the first FAAM conference.

I started as a graduate trainee consultant with Casella Hazmat in 2002 (Casella Hazmat later being bought up by Bureau Veritas), getting qualified as an analyst and surveyor and then moving into project management, training and auditing.

We look forward to seeing her continuing success as she also joins the BOHS Board.

David Rogers Hello. My name is Dave Rogers, and I am proud to say that I am a chartered occupational hygienist. I value my chartered status highly and as a FOH committee member I will ensure the following four items: • Work towards making chartered status the pre-eminent professional occupational hygiene qualification globally; • Ensure emerging professionals have access to the professional standards and Code of Ethics for chartered status and that these are well-communicated • Ensure that professional mentoring is available to all that require it • Ensure that professional standards continue to strengthen and evolve with new technologies and as occupational hygiene science expands.

FAAM belongs to its members, and hence it must be your choice as to who represents you on the Committee. My working life was dominated by asbestos, initially academic and, after joining McCrone’s at the beginning of 1977, every possible aspect; research, teaching, microscopy, site work (from routine to forensic type investigations) plus many and varied expert witness appointments (criminal and civil, defence and prosecution). Although now retired, my interest in the asbestos world continues, and I also serve on the NORAC management committee. I look forward to continuing the work of the FAAM committee and the conference subcommittee, offering time and experience, both of which I am lucky to have more than most.

I feel that education is the most important tool we have for reducing people’s exposure to asbestos: whether that is through educating consultants to improve their skills, or clients and laypersons to better understand the risks posed by asbestos and the measures available to manage those risks. I include myself in that first category, as your development as a professional consultant can never really be “complete”.

FAAM belongs to its members, and hence it must be your choice as to who represents you on the Committee. JEAN PRENTICE

We aim to provide a home for asbestos professionals; something that I never had in over fifty years of work with asbestos.


Sarah Leeson

David Rogers

Susan Lett




EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS



Jean Pre ntice 17



GLOBAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK 2019 Each year, Global Asbestos Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of asbestos and prevent exposure by bringing together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn and take action. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) joined forces this year with the US-based Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) on day four of Global Asbestos Awareness Week (1-7 April), themed ‘Global Partners. Global Action’. The week is organised by ADAO, the largest independent non-profit in the US dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, eliminating asbestos-related diseases, and protecting asbestos victims’ civil rights through education, advocacy, and community initiatives.

Delegates learnt about Global Asbestos Awareness Week and ways to limit asbestos exposure; what the ‘Duty’ to manage asbestos is and how this is enforced in the UK; assessing and preventing asbestos exposure risks, and principles that apply worldwide; and how organisations can get involved in the NTTL asbestos campaign to help make a difference. Two hundred and fifty people joined the live webinar, which is now available to be viewed back here, providing very positive feedback. In addition to this webinar, IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger (pictured) presented at ADAO’s global conference in Washington DC highlighting how NTTL is raising awareness of asbestos and how to manage it.

On social media, 40 posts from IOSH received 1,207 clicks, 517 likes, 348 shares or retweets and reach or impressions of 860,499. The NTTL asbestos resources were downloaded more than 1,500 times, and the website had over 5,000 visits.

“Thousands of people die every year from cancers like mesothelioma, while many more are diagnosed with it. We must also consider the families of these people, who have to watch their loved ones suffer.

To tackle asbestos-related cancer risks, IOSH organised an international webinar entitled ‘Preventing asbestos exposure risks’ in partnership with ADAO and BOHS

“All this is preventable through good occupational safety and health. It is time for organisations to wake up and realise how dangerous asbestos is. There are no excuses.” This 15th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference, organised by ADAO, was held from 5-7 April to bring together experts, survivors, unions and lawmakers to connect and share the latest education, advocacy, and community support efforts.


This coverage prompted a House of Lords written question from Lord Alton of Liverpool and led an answer from Baroness Buscombe, on behalf of the UK Government, which welcomed “the efforts by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) to raise awareness of the health risks arising from Workplace exposure to asbestos”.

IOSH CE Bev Messinger said: “It is unacceptable that organisations are still potentially putting at risk the lives of employees, their families and other members of the public.

ADAO and BOHS both support IOSH’s No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign, which aims to raise awareness of occupational cancer and help businesses take action by providing free practical resources. For the past year, the fourth phase of NTTL has focused on asbestos.

During the webinar, IOSH Immediate Past President Craig Foyle, the Founder of ADAO Linda Reinstein, and BOHS’s Faculty for Asbestos Assessment and Management (FAAM) committee member Jonathan Ford presented information to help organisations manage asbestos exposure risks.

fact that 5,000 people die every year as a result of work-related asbestos exposure. Coverage included ITV’s Lunchtime News, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Daily Mirror and The Daily Express.

In her presentation, Bev gave an overview of NTTL before focusing on the asbestos phase, informing delegates about IOSH’s free practical materials, providing information about managing asbestos and encouraging people to get involved in the campaign. IOSH also featured prominently in UK national news, with media covering the

Linda Reinstein, from ADAO, said: “As a mesothelioma widow, asbestos-caused deaths are beyond painful for the patient and leave a shattered family behind. It’s inexcusable for anyone to be exposed to this known carcinogen in the 21st Century. Prevention remains the only cure. “By working together, we can raise awareness and save lives from asbestos-related diseases.”

To find out more about the No Time to Lose campaign and how you can get involved, visit





Pretty hard actually, as I am sure anyone who has ever tried to get the qualification has found! The fact is that it should be difficult to attain: it is a qualification revered amongst all occupational hygienists, being recognised both nationally and internationally. It demonstrates a very high degree of competence and ability within a much more specialised field of expertise. My name is Andrew Crowther and I have worked (it’s true) as an occupational hygienist for most of my career. I have been based in West Cumbria for eight years now, happily working within the Nuclear sector. At the start of 2018, I decided to take the plunge and apply for the Diploma of Professional Competence. Having passed the oral exam for the certificate a long time ago. Having fully recovered from that ordeal, I decided to put myself through the experience once again. I had thought about attempting this for a few years, but work or life seemed to get in the way. Apart from the obvious qualification, the main driver was that of personal gain; being able to tell colleagues and peers


alike that I had achieved the diploma, and therefore chartered membership of the BOHS, which would provide me with a sense of pride in my career. I also felt that having worked in the field of occupational hygiene for almost twenty years, it was about time I at least tried to get the qualification! For me, there were three stages to pass. Firstly, everyone has to submit a portfolio of work. I trawled through a few previous indepth workplace air monitoring studies, I had completed over the last few years, along with the project I submitted as part of my Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control. Adding a few examples of workplace audits/management investigations undertaken, and some corporate documents I had written relating to occupational hygiene monitoring strategies, my portfolio was complete - job done! The background literature search, for the research essay, took a while to complete but, once done, the paper wrote itself. Writing the essay was reasonably straightforward, it’s keeping to the 2000 word limit that is tricky.

Whatever route taken towards the diploma, I’m afraid there is the oral exam. Another popular description of this is trial by jury! However, it isn’t so much a test of knowledge, as of the application of understanding. There is a difference. Obviously revision is necessary and a knowledge of the fundamental aspects of occupational hygiene, but shouldn’t this be known already? It is the application of such knowledge in the field that is important and questioned. Once the oral exam is over and the obligatory stiff drink consumed (I needed two!), memories begin to surface of questions asked, and answered competently; and there is a dawning realisation that maybe, just maybe, the outcome will be favourable. I found the whole experience worthwhile (although I wouldn’t necessarily want to undergo the oral exam a second time!) and I would strongly recommend anyone to have a go.

When that congratulatory letter arrives, the sense of achievement is truly rewarding.




BOHS is to host a technical topic update on ‘Working in Extreme Thermal Environments’ on 12 June 2019 in Manchester. The day will cover technical aspects (such as an update on international thermal environmental standards), practical case studies (covering real world examples in petrochemicals and elsewhere) and new research (including the European HEAT-SHIELD project, looking at health and work productivity in the context of global warming). There will also be discussion sessions for you to raise issues that you are currently dealing with in your own work environments and what further activity and support you’d like to see from BOHS in this area.

Visit for more information or contact

Rates to attend:

BOHS Member £130 + VAT

Non-member £170 +VAT

EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - the official magazine of BOHS



BOHS ELECTIONS We’re excited to announce the final results of the appointments process for 2019. Join us in congratulating the following individuals who have been successfully appointed to each position. President-Elect: Kelvin Williams Honorary Treasurer: Amanda Parker (re-elected into the positon) Honorary Secretary: Alex Wilson (re-elected into the positon) Ordinary Council Members: Chris Keen, Susan Lett, Alison Margary FOH Registrar: Sarah Leeson FOH Board Member: David Rogers FAAM Board Members: Jean Prentice, Jonathan Ford To find out more, head to page 16 for a special feature on your new representatives. Thank you to everyone who took part in the nominations stage, and to those who cast their vote in the ballot. This year saw a much higher turn-out than previous years.

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Mr. John Dobbie, CMFOH: President Mr. Neil Grace, AFAAM CFFOH: Immediate Past-President Mr. Kelvin Williams, CMFOH: President-Elect Mrs. Amanda Parker, CMFOH: Honorary Treasurer Mr. Alex Wilson, LFOH TFAAM: Honorary Secretary Mrs. Sarah Leeson, CFFOH: Registrar Ms. Helen M Pearson, LFOH: Ordinary Board Member Mr. Jonathan Grant, MFAAM: Ordinary Board Member Mrs. Susan Lett, LFOH: Ordinary Board Member Ms. Alison Margary, CMFOH: Ordinary Board Member Ms. Chris Keen, CMFOH: Ordinary Board Member Mr. Douglas Collin, CMFOH: Co-opted Board Member


HYGIENE SERVICES is now available online Members who are Licentiate, Chartered Member and Chartered Fellow are welcome to apply. QUALIFICATIONS

Time passes by so quickly, and we’re now in the second quarter of 2019! We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you all! As you may be aware, we have recently joined forces with the Asbestos Control and Abatement Division (ACAD) and the National Organisation of Asbestos Consultants (NORAC) to launch our Construction Skills Card Scheme for Asbestos Analyst and Surveyors. This exciting development will allow individuals with specific BOHS asbestos qualifications to gain access to sites, by showing either a physical card or virtual card on smartphones – don’t delay and grab your card now at

FOH COMMITEE MEMBERS: Mrs. Sarah Leeson, CFFOH: Registrar Mrs. Carol Bladon, CMFOH: FOH Committee Member Mr. Jason Hodgkiss, MFOH(S) MFAAM: FOH Committee Member Mr. Len Morris, CMFOH: FOH Committee Member Dr. David Rogers, CFFOH: FOH Committee Member Mr. Duncan Smith, CFFOH: FOH Committee Member Dr. Alex Hills, CMFOH: Co-opted Committee Member Mrs. Justina Sebag-Montefiore, LFOH: Co-opted Committee Member

FAAM COMMITEE MEMBERS: Mr. Martin Stear, CFFOH MFAAM: Registrar Dr. Garry J Burdett, MFAAM FAAM: Committee Member Mr. Jonathan Ford, MFAAM FAAM: Committee Member Dr. Martin J Gibson, MFOH(S) MFAAM: FAAM Committee Member Mr. Jonathan Grant, MFAAM: FAAM Committee Member Jean Prentice, MFAAM: FAAM Committee Member Mrs. Colette Willoughby, AFOH MFAAM: FAAM Committee Member


In other news, we warmly welcome Samantha Capsey who joins us as our new Project Coordinator. Samantha’s previous career was in occupational health, and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and plenty of charisma to support and boost the Qualifications team!

From warm welcomes to fond goodbyes, we bid farewell to Grace Parkin who has assisted the team with projects including marketing research for our Certificate in Controlling Health Risks in Construction and publicity for our brand new Construction Skills Card Scheme. A big thanks to Grace and we wish her all the best in her new role.


EXPOSURE MAGAZINE #2 - 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



WHO IS BEHIND THE WELDING FUME CONTROL SELECTOR TOOL? Spending time out on the road with the Breathe Freely workshops is not just about raising awareness of occupational lung disease and occupational hygiene. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to listen to the industry and find out what you need. Our new Welding Fume Control Selector Tool is the result of such a conversation.

The Problem Welding is a ubiquitous task carried out in industry, but there are many different welding techniques and many different variables. So, there was a perception that controlling welding fumes was difficult. This problem was raised by welders who were in attendance at the events during the first stage of the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign. Concern was also raised by employers and workers, who were unsure if their current fume controls were adequate or good enough. They also wanted to ensure that exposures to metal fume were as low as possible and would be lower than the new, greatly reduced Workplace Exposure Limit for manganese. After listening to industry feedback, from our partners and supporters, as well as examining the current status of available information, BOHS and the Breathe Freely campaign concluded that employers and workers required a simple tool, which would allow them to select the most appropriate controls for welding fume based on their circumstances. This was the beginning of the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool.

Solutions The Chair, of the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign steering group, appointed a working group, of eight volunteers, with expert knowledge in the control of welding fume to develop the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool. The work undertaken by the working group involved determining what the actual best fume control solution would be for many different welding tasks. They studied the length of exposure time, the welding technique, the type of metal fume produced and the size of the metal work-piece or fabrication. In addition to the task factors, the expert working group studied the different fume control solutions available at the time and helped to rank these according to their effectiveness, and their ability to prevent the welder from breathing in the fume generated by the process. There are two critical factors with any control solution; the effectiveness of the system to prevent the welder from breathing in the fume; 22

and the consistency of the control system to provide an adequate level of control every time the welder requires it. Fume controls that heavily rely on welders themselves, to take the time to position the fume control to its optimum position, will have a low consistency ranking. Using the above criteria for the fume control systems available to welders; control effectiveness and reliability, a ranking system was developed. For welders, their supervisors and managers to understand this ranking system, the universal five-star rating system was used for each of the welding fume control options. This star rating system will allow the reader to see, at a glance, how good, or not so good, their fume control system is at preventing exposure to the fume generated. The work undertaken by the working group led to the development of a web-based tool, which is programmed to identify the most appropriate control method based on the user’s answers to a series of four questions that cover: • Type of welding • Type of metal • Length of time of welding • Size of the work-piece. At the end of the questionnaire, the selector tool provides the optimum welding fume control solution based on the answers provided. The output is a document with information about the control method, including its effectiveness, costs, top tips, limitations, and other control considerations. Each control document is complemented by a series of management documents which cover: • Design of the control method • Commissioning, installation, maintenance, and testing of the control method • Training and supervision of welders • Respiratory health surveillance of welders At the end of the process, users have the opportunity to download the information and restart the process for as many options as they require.

Development Useful as this all is, the team involved in the Selector Tool wanted to do more than provide information about control solutions. The Breathe Freely campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangerous substances in the workplace and provide information and tangible solutions to both employers and workers, on how to prevent the health risks associated with them. The campaign has a particular focus on workers with specific needs and target groups that are particularly at risk of developing occupational lung disease. More specifically, the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign focuses on educating and preventing lung disease amongst welders in the manufacturing industry. A website was developed with a host of informational materials about welding and welding fume, including guidance documents, toolbox talks, and fact sheets. The Welding Fume Control Selector Tool was developed to complement these materials and offer a simple, but not simplistic, solution by: • Raising awareness of the importance of controlling the risks from exposure to welding fume • Promoting different designs of welding fume extraction, which are appropriate for specific welding tasks • Promoting risk assessment by providing essential information for the user in the practical tool • Increasing awareness of the health risks linked to exposures to welding fume at work • Targeting welders with higher risks of exposure to hazardous welding fume • Reducing the barriers to action by duty holders by providing a simple, easy to use tool to identify and explain appropriate controls. For 18 months, a team of volunteers, with vast experience in preventing ill health in manufacturing, worked together to develop this web-based tool and its supplementary guidance.


The tool was tested by the developing team and the campaign partners before launch, including TUC, UNITE, EEF, HSE, JCB, TWI, BAE Systems. After final updates based on the feedback received, the tool was launched through a series of roadshows delivered jointly by BOHS, EEF, TUC (UNITE) and industry representatives. These roadshows were funded and supported by EUOSHA.

Results The Welding Fume Control Selector Tool is a free web-based tool, which can be used by anyone within an industry where welding is taking place. Since its launch in late November 2018: • The web-tool has been used 1,735 times. The tool has been welcomed by the manufacturing industry and has received positive feedback. “One of my colleagues here at Nederman attended the Manufacturing Roadshow in London, which he found very informative. He brought my attention to your new Welding Fume Control Selector Tool… I think you should be applauded for the initiative, and the simple, straightforward way that the tool operates and the quality of the information provided for each selection.” Tony Hopkins, Nederman

“Unite, and the TUC strongly supports the BOHS campaign on welding fume and the use of the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool. An essential element of reducing the health risks to workers is involving them in selecting the best controls available. The use of the Tool is a major step forward in controlling hazardous welding fume.” Bud Hudspith, TUC The Welding Fume Control Selector Tool has received support from the TUC, UNITE, the manufacturing industry, the regulator and other vital health and safety organisations. Key industry magazines are also covering the launch and use of the tool. The regulator; the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has endorsed the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool and publicly announced that it would encourage companies to use it. IOSH, the largest Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Great Britain, is also promoting the use of the tool to its members. The tool has been publicly supported by industry organisations and magazines and has gained national publicity. The tool will also show the effectiveness and limitations of the control solution, to assist the user in understanding which fume extraction design will be most effective for their task. Not all the fume will be removed all of the time during its use.

Therefore, the welder might require additional respiratory protection to prevent them from breathing in hazardous welding fume. It can be costly for a company to purchase and install a fume extraction system; and, therefore it is crucial for them to buy the most appropriate design for the welding tasks which they undertake. The overall aim of the campaign and the use of the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool is to protect welders from breathing in harmful welding fume and therefore reduce the future incidence of occupational lung disease occurring in welders. Occupational lung disease can be disabling to the worker affected and also has a severe impact on their ability to continue to work and earn money. Therefore the broader effects of living with their illness can have a spiraling effect on their family.

The tool was launched in November 2018, and it is too early to calculate detailed cost/benefit data, but early indications show that users of the tool are choosing the most appropriate control measures and are reducing exposure risks to workers. As the tool is further used, it is intended to monitor the benefits of improved controls and reduced ill-health exposure.

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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.

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