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UK HSE releases update on setting workplace exposure limits (WELs) following Brexit

26 March 2021

The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has released a bulletin updating companies on the organisation's work on setting workplace exposure limits in Great Britain following the end of the EU transition period.

The HSE said that the legal framework in Great Britain continues to ensure that standards of protection for those working with hazardous substances are maintained. The health and safety watchdog says it has a robust and well-established regulatory framework in place to protect workers from health risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace through the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.

WELs form part of COSHH and are set for specific hazardous substances and must not be exceeded and exposure to asthmagens, carcinogens and mutagens must be reduced to as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP).

The HSE said it will continue to review and introduce new WELs and is currently developing a long-term delivery model for Great Britain. This will continue to focus on those substances where it can have most impact in terms of reducing cases of occupational ill-health and will consider, where relevant, limits set outside Great Britain.

The Great Britain model will continue to include a review of scientific data and evidence and an economic analysis, the HSE's statement says. Independent expert advice will also be sought on any proposals and we will continue to consult with stakeholders on any new or revised limits to be introduced in Great Britain.

Whilst the HSE embeds its Great Britain approach, it will continue to consider, then apply as appropriate, those limits set under the EU regime that are of significance to Great Britain.

Click here for further information on WELs

Click here for further information on COSHH

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