HSE guidance on chromate primer paints

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "HSE guidance on chromate primer paints", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 47 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/acmm.2000.12847bab.020



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

HSE guidance on chromate primer paints

HSE guidance on chromate primer paints

Keywords: HSE, Primers, Hazardous materials, Health and safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a new free information sheet explaining the health hazards arising from use of chromate primer paints and detailing the steps employers should take to comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH).

Because of their special properties, various chromate pigments are often used in anticorrosive primer paints. Chromates are compounds of hexavalent chromium (chromiumVI), with which serious health effects (in particular an increased risk of cancer) are associated.

The information sheet is designed to help employers carry out an assessment of the risk to their employees from use of chromate primer paints as required under COSHH. It also details the practical control measures which should be taken to minimise the risk of exposure.

John Powell, Head of HSE's Engineering National Interest Group (NIG), commented: "Several of these chromate pigments are classified as carcinogens, so every effort should be made to substitute with a less harmful alternative. Where this is not reasonably practicable, employers should have regard to the specific legal requirements relevant to carcinogens that are explained in this information sheet."

The information sheet contains guidance on the steps that employers are required to take to protect the health of their employees and comply with COSHH.

These include:

  • control measures, such as extract ventilation systems and respiratory protective equipment which must be maintained to ensure they are effective;

  • health surveillance, to check for any signs of exposure to chromium among employees; and

  • provision of adequate information, instruction and training which is vital to ensure that employees are aware of the dangers and of the precautions they must take.

Copies of Engineering Sheet 32 "Chromate primer paints", are available free from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS. Tel: +44 (0) 1787 881165 or Fax: +44 (0) 1787 313995.

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