News Desk

EU Publishes revised Carcinogens Directive 

 9 January 2018

The European Union have now officially published the revised Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive in their official Journal.  The revised directive takes effect as of 16th January 2018 and member states must have it transposed into their relevant legislative base by  17th January 2020.

Of key interest to foundries will be the binding limit value of 0.1mg/m3 for respirable crystalline silica dust generated by a work process.  The revision also allows for a clause to review the limit in the future, which could imply a further reduction in levels, as was pushed for now by some member states.

It is important to remember that this does not just apply to foundry activities such as moulding, knockout and fettling but also to building or demolition works on site etc. 


HSE Publishes Long Latency Report

29 November 2017

After a long delay the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have finally published the results of the long awaiting Foundry Long Latency Health Risks Project.  The full report can be downloaded by going to the following link: 

This is a very important piece of work for the entire UK foundry industry, not just sand foundries and will help drive activities on improving the working environment for foundry employees as part of the ongoing work of SHIFT.

Given the renewed focus on occupational health in the UK and with the HSE directly tackling occupational lung disease as part of their focus for the next 3 - 5 years as part of their strategy, the report is one that we simply cannot afford to ignore.

For further information on how SHIFT is working to improve foundry conditions, please contact Richard Heath at the Cast Metals Federation. 





SHIFT Welcomes New Members

10 July 2017

We are delighted to announce that since the start of 2017 SHIFT has welcomed 7 new foundries into membership, each one committed to helping improve the occupational health and the safety of their employees while as work.

The new members are:

AMG Superalloys Ltd
B Mason & Sons Ltd
Bridgnorth Aluminium Ltd
Britannia Refined Metals Ltd
Lectroheat Ltd
Weartech International Ltd
Whitehead Alloys Ltd

We look forward to working with them on all matters relating to health & safety including but not limited to, occupational health such as protection from respirable crystalline silica, metal fumes, Noise, vibration and musculoskeletal disorders , mental health in the workplace, safety - encompassing all hazards within foundries, not only for foundry floor staff, but also office workers and those travelling for work.

If you're interested to know more about SHIFT and the work we do and you operate a foundry type operation in the UK, even if it is only part of your business or produces only castings that go into your own products please contact Richard Heath on 0121 601 6392 or by email  



HSE Publish Health & Work Strategy

 21 December 2016

The HSE have published on their website, their Health and Work strategy including the priority areas.  The effort is being focussed around conditions with widespread prevalence, the largest lost-time and economic-cost consequences and life-limiting or life-altering impacts. 

Specifically being targeted are:
Occupational stress and related mental health issues;
Musculoskeletal disorders;
Occupational lung disease.

The HSE will be drawing upon the full range of networks, interventions and opportunities for influence available to them including participating in cross-government initiatives, engaging and supporting the wider community - professional and industry bodies, trade associations, individual businesses, charities and researchers.

Further information on the strategy can be found at

 To support this the sector plans for health and safety have been published as well as the work strategy plan for each of the three key focussed areas.  Full details of these can be viewed and downloaded from the same above link.

We would encourage ALL foundries in the UK to download these documents, review them and assess what is being actively done on site to ensure actions are in place to address these areas, as legislation has been in existence for some time for each of these areas such as COSHH, Manual Handling Regulations and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations etc. and occupational lung disease is already being tackled within this year's current interventions and we have already been informed these will continue into the next financial year as well.


 Respirable crystalline silica OEL under review

The battle to keep respirable crystalline silica (RCS) out of the carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD) has been lost and it is due to be debated and added to Annex III of the directive imminently. 

There is a second issue with RCS in the CMD, which the Cast Metals Federation and SHIFT only became aware of during a European Foundry Association (CAEF) meeting held in November; that being the exposure level is being reviewed with consideration to creating a binding occupational exposure level (BOEL) of 0.05mg/m3 over an 8 hour period, a figure half the current UK limit. This would apply to all EU countries.

The NePSi signatories have created a position paper aimed aim at keeping the current level, for a number of technical reasons, including the ability to accurately measure to the new level with confidence.  At present, it is anyone’s guess which way the decision will go when it is debated at the next EU Commission meeting.

It is highly likely that should the proposed limit be adopted, it will mean greater costs for monitoring and health surveillance; however, there are also implications for the cost of and use of engineering controls which have to be considered long before RPE is considered, especially in the CMD.


HSE Proactive Workplace Interventions 2016/17 highlight problems

19 September 2016 

As part of the Working Well Together strategy, the HSE as planned is undertaking three proactive interventions in their financial year 2016/17 which by the nature of foundry activities targets them directly.  Planned visits to review controls for those working with silica, asthmagens and metalworking fluids, as well as a revisit of the legionella campaign from 2014/15 have been taking place since April and have already resulted in over 25 foundries being issued with improvement notices.

In particular on-site inspections have identified:

  • Failure to provide health surveillance for noise, dust, RCS, fumes and metalworking fluids.

  • Failure to assess risks from chemicals, vibration, noise and metalworking fluids.

  • Guarding insufficient or missing.

  • LEV not up to standard, maintained or inspected correctly.

  • Failure to provide RPE, undertake face-fit testing or ensure PPE is worn.

  • Failure to provide suitable rest/canteen facilities away from envirnoments with chemical hazards and where PPE can be safely removed.

Other notices are specifically for lack of guarding on machinery, legionella control, safe access and for lack of a competent person.

All foundries should be aware that each of the above problems are legally required to be addressed under COSHH, PUWER, MHSWR & M(HSW)R regulations and should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that controls are in place, are suitable and sufficient and importantly are being observed. 

CMF & SHIFT working with BHSEA

19 September 2016

The SHIFT Initiative via the Cast Metals Federation is please to announce that it is a member of the BHSEA (Birmingham Health, Safety & Environment Association) which itself is a member of Safety Groups UK and affiliated to RoSPA.  The BHSEA are one of the most proactive associations within Safety Groups UK and have been the winner of the Alan Butler Gold award in 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.

Membership of BHSEA increases our ability to network and share good practice with a wide variety of other sectors and offers another source of knowledge on what is happening in the world of health and safety via the technical meetings which include regular updates from the HSE and legal updates from the likes of Pincent Mason etc.

We look forward to maintaining a long and close working relationship. 


HSE Proactive Workplace Inspections 2015/2016

19 March 2015

Starting in April 2015 and running through the financial year 2015/16 the HSE are carrying out a
proactive inspection programme to manufacturing industries, including foundries, where exposure to materials containing respirable crystalline silica(RCS), carcinogens and asthmagens are used, produced or process generated, focussing on controlling serious health risks.

As part of this work, inspectors will be assessing businesses management arrangements for assessment and
control of risks from exposure to RCS, carcinogens and asthmagens;

Areas and issues to be looked at during inspections include:

Have you carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment?
Have you provided appropriate control measures?
Have you provided adequate training for relevant employees in the associated health risks and the correct use of control measures?

Are LEV (local exhaust ventilation) systems provided and if so, suitable for the purpose for which they were provided and are they maintained and inspected by a competent person at least once every 14 months?
Is RPE (respiratory protective equipment) provided, appropriately selected, used, maintained and checked at suitable intervals?
Do you use suitable cleaning methods?
Is health surveillance provided wherever appropriate?

Are significant sand residues are removed prior to fettling by enclosed shot blasting?
Is fettling carried out in extracted booth with turntable for ease of handling/working on the casting without blocking LEV airflow?
Is there availability of exposure monitoring data to confirm exposures are below the WEL?
Is RPE provided (powered the preferred option) where exposures are not below the WEL?

There is much more besides that will be reviewed.

Members of the SHIFT initiative have received a presentation detailing this work plan at the first safety forum of 2015 earlier in March and work will continue to educate, advise and assist them by providing expert speakers and presentations at future events being held in July & November 2015.

For more information on becoming a member of the SHIFT initiative and what can be gained from it, please contact Richard Heath on 0121 601 6392 or by e-mail

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3M Foundry Workshop

26 November 2014

The Cast Metals Federation & SHIFT Initiative are pleased to announce that we are supporting an industry safety day being presented by 3M on Wednesday 26th November at the Magna Centre, Sheffield.

The event is designed to bring members up to date on topics such as RPE, PPE and behavioural safety, encouraging a change in the workplace to help protect workers from harm to their health.

The event is free to attend and will feature speakers from 3M, Cast Metals Federation and Latittude Safety talking about safety performance in the casting industry, hearing protection, respiratory protection and hand-arm vibration; all relevant to our industry.

For more information about the event click here

To register for the event please click here


Safety, Health Awareness Day (SHAD)

14 February 2103

The next Safety and Health Awareness Day (SHAD) is being held at Progress Rail (UK) Services at their South Queensferry site (EH30 9SH) near Edinburgh on Thursday 7th March 2013

The event is open to all foundries in the UK at no cost.

Topics covered on the day are:

Load Safety
Molten Metal Protective Clothing
Slips and Trips
Hand-arm Vibration & Noise
The Management, Use, Control and Maintenance of LEV
The Selection, Use and Fit of RPE

The event is open to shop floor, Production Supervision and Health & Safety personnel

Places are going quickly so if you are interested, for more details and to reserve places please contact the Cast Metals Federation's Health, Safety & Environment Officer at




2013 SHIFT Forums

The dates of the SHIFT forum meetings have been confirmed for 2013

Wednesday 13th March 2013 10.00am - 2.30pm
Wednesday 10th July 2013 10.00am - 2.30pm
Wednesday 6th November 2013 - 10.00am - 2.30pm

All forums will take place in the Brooke's Suite at the National Metalforming Centre, West Bromwich, West Midlands.

For those who may be attending their first forum please use Sat-Nav code B70 6QE & look for Beeches Road

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