Controlling the health effects of ozone on workers [UK]

The purpose of the guide is to: “…draw attention to the potential ill health which exposure to ozone can cause and indicates potential sources of ozone at work as well as offering advice on the precautions you may need to take to prevent or control exposure.”  This guidance is to be read in conjunction with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (‘COSHH’) Approved Code of Practice.

Under Regulation 6 of COSHH no employer must carry out any work which is liable to expose any of its’ employees to a substance hazardous to health unles of course suitable risk assessments have been carried out and there are precautions in place.
Ozone is present in the workplace for various reasons and purposes including some of the following:
  • to overcome taste, odour, and peaty colour problems in drinking water
  • as a disinfectant in the production of drinking water
  • for pre-treatment of plastic surfaces immediately before printing
  • as a reaction initiator in the chemical industry
  • it can be produced during electric arc welding (specifically TIG and MIG/MAG techniques) – UV radition from the arc produces significant quantities of ozone
  • x-ray machines
The Guide discusses prevention of exposure of ozone by “its destruction at source” (paragraph 28) and also various control measures at paragraph 29.
Sources : Health hazards and control measures press release published on the HSE website dated 11 March 2014