News & Views

Flour Dust – New Workplace Limits

LC
BY Lee Craig
Health & Safety

Flour dust has been set a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) comprising a long-term exposure limit of 10mg/m3 (averaged over 8 hours) and a short-term exposure limit of 30mg/m3 (averaged over 15 minutes).

Some bakery additives/bread improvers contain enzymes, such as fungal alpha amylase, which are potent sensitisers. Exposure to them should be minimised through using improvers in liquid, paste or dust suppressed powder form.

Recommendations

  • Work carefully – avoid raising clouds of dust.
  • Either use dust extraction or respiratory protective equipment for dusty tasks.
  • Never sweep up or use compressed air. Clean up using wet methods or an industrial vacuum cleaner.
  • Avoid clouds of flour arise from throwing, disposing of empty bags, and from brushing and dusting, as well as sieving and dough making.
  • Minimising exposure be done through using health surveillance and checking employees health for any adverse effects related to work. It may also involve checking skin for dermatitis or asking questions about breathing and may need to done by a doctor or nurse.

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