Occupational exposure limits for hazardous substances at work

Many people are exposed to a variety of substances at work (eg chemicals,
fumes, dusts, fibres) which can, under some circumstances, have a harmful
effect on their health. These are called ‘hazardous substances'. If exposure to
a hazardous substance is not properly controlled it may cause ill health in a
number of ways. The substance may cause harm by:

  • too much being taken into the body through breathing;

  • being absorbed through the skin;

  • being swallowed; or

  • acting directly on the body at the point of contact, eg the skin.

Some illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace
(occupational diseases) may not appear until a long time after the first
exposure. Therefore, it is important to know in advance how to protect the
health of people working with hazardous substances and also of other people who
may be affected by the work being carried out.

A free-to-download, web-friendly version of Indicative Occupational Exposure
Limit Values has been updated to include new and revised workplace exposure
limits (WELS) introduced by the 2nd and 3rd Indicative Occupational Exposure
Limit Values (IOELV) Directives.

It will guide those responsible for controlling exposure to hazardous
substances at work.

More info - Source: Health and Safety Executive