Do your employees use compressed air as part of their work?
What is the problem?
Compressed air can result in various types of health problems including decompression sickness, barotrauma and dysbaric osteonecrosis which is a chronic, long term condition of the bones causing arthritis of the hip, shoulder or around the knee joint.
What legislation applies to compressed air in the workplace?
What can be done to reduce exposure to compressed air?
Under the Work in Compressed Air Regulations 1996, employers must ensure that no person is exposed to a pressure exceeding 3.5 bar except in an unforeseen circumstances. Where workers may be potentially exposed to compressed air, the employer is required to ensure they are provided with health surveillance by an HSE approved doctor.
More about health surveillance
If a worker is potentially exposed to compressed air, they will require a medical to establish a baseline and suitability for working with compressed air. They will then be required to undertake examination at suitable intervals, usually annually by an HSE appointed doctor.
If you are an employer and need advice on health surveillance for workers exposed to compressed air, we would be happy to provide this service.