HSE will continue to investigate inadequate air quality in the food industry

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has written an open letter to the food production industry that was published last week (21 April 2020) to clarify guidance and regulation on clean air within bakeries (also relevant for other food production businesses).

An excerpt from the letter reads:

“In bakeries, breathing in flour dust can be a significant risk as it can cause occupational asthma. We are aware that currently there is a restricted supply of dust masks (PPE) across many parts of the food industry and that many employers still rely on them to control exposure to hazardous substances. However, suitable control can often be achieved using good working practices and local exhaust ventilation (engineering controls) which then means that employees do not need to wear dust masks; reducing overall pressure on the supply chain.”

The letter goes on to explain that the HSE expects the food industry to effectively control exposure to flour dust using good working practices which, along with PPE, means having LEV equipment installed and in good working order. Employers that can demonstrate effective control of risks with the appropriate combination of good working practices, engineering control and PPE are ‘not likely to face enforcement action’.



With the supply of PPE such as face masks currently running short, using Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) to reduce flour dust is an approved way of minimising the risk to employees as well as guaranteeing companies are operating within the legal emissions limits. It can also help to minimise pressure on the PPE supply chain at this challenging time.

Regardless of the wider situation, all operational LEV systems must remain compliant with COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations at all times. Specific requirements include regular visual checks to ensure the system is performing as intended, and TExT (thorough examination and testing) by a competent person at least once every 14 months under HSE guidelines.

Filtermist employs experienced P601, P602, P603 and P604 qualified engineers that provide CoSHH compliant LEV testing and servicing throughout the UK for all makes and models of LEV systems.

The flexible service offered by our engineers means they can be available at a time to suit you – whether that’s after lights out, or at weekends.

Find out more - download our LEV Testing, Air Monitoring & Air Sampling information booklet here.


Filtermist Systems  

Filtermist Systems Limited includes a team of experienced design and contracts engineers who have delivered a wide range of customised air movement and pollution control systems for many leading food producers including Cadbury, Halo Foods, Taylors of Harrogate, Weetabix and Ryvita. Our team also works with a number of customers in the packaging and converting industry whose products are destined for use by food and beverage producers.

Our turnkey service includes initial consultation and project planning, system design, specification, equipment manufacture and supply, installation, commissioning and aftersales services.

During the current climate new installations maybe difficult with social distancing measures expected to be in place for the foreseeable future, but planning can begin right away. Our team is still working, albeit remotely and are available to look at any projects you may have.



Filtermist brand Dustcheck designs and builds a range of filters that have been developed to meet the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group (EHEDG) hygiene requirements of the food industry and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in the food industry.

Dustcheck products are used in a number of bulk handling applications in the food industry. Standards of construction vary from mild steel with standard or special paint finishes to stainless steel (grade to suit ie. 304 or 316) with finishes from standard sheet with welds as laid, to special crack and crevice free polished finishes.

All Dustcheck filters come with ATEX rated options meaning potentially explosive and volatile products, such as flour, can be handled safely. They can also be built to comply with Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) where applicable.




Filtermist is also responsible for the Kerstar brand of industrial vacuum cleaners, including its ATEX approved models. The KEVA range is certified for use in Dust Zone 22, whilst the KAV range is suitable for picking up hazardous dust and debris in Dust Zone 21.


Contact our sales team by calling 01952 290500 or emailing sales@filtermist.com if you would like any more details on any of the products or services above.

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