Comply with the COSHH Regulations when Mixing of drilling muds (sack room)

Information stated in OCE8 helps UK offshore duty holders (owners, operators and contractors) to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to protect workers’ health. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (as amended) place responsibility on the employer for taking effective measures to control exposure and protect health.

Exposure to chemicals in a Sack room environment are known to be hazardous to health, special when it is a daily occurrence, which has affected thousands of workers in the offshore oil and gas industry. Many of these substances have the potential to cause health effects e.g. skin disease such as dermatitis, cancer and lung disease such as asthma. The handling of powdered sacked products, liquid products from drums or cans and the mixing of bulk powders such as barite can cause exposure both by skin contact and by inhalation.

Type of exposure

  • Skin contact with contaminated surfaces
  • Dust and vapour inhalation from handling damaged packaged materials
  • Skin contact of dust

Regulations such as COSHH requires exposure to be prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled. Task Products has designed Mud Mixing equipment which takes into consideration the working environment requirements, please click here for information

  • Design and type of mix equipment;
  • Removal of exhaust ventilation;
  • Correct Packaging type
  • Use of Bulk transfer tanks
  • Improved Mix system configuration
  • Ergonomics
  • Waste collection, storage and disposal methods

This will limit exposure monitoring to assess the level of exposure in the work area or to a particular individual. This is a critical aspect of the risk management process and needs to be carried out regularly to assess the effectiveness of the controls in place and strive for improvements.

  • Air monitoring
  • Skin monitoring
  • Workplace health surveillance
  • Health records
  • Information, instruction and training
  • Safety representatives and the workforce

Reference – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/oce8.pdf

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