Bakeries handle and process tonnes of flour throughout the day and night. In workplaces where airborne dust particles such as flour pose a risk to staff, an assessment of the concentration of the particles in the air is a legal requirement under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 2002 Regulations.
Flour dust has been set a “Workplace Exposure Limit” comprising a long-term exposure limit of 10mg/m3 (averaged over 8 hours) and a short-term exposure limit of 30mg/m3 (averaged over 15 minutes).
However, due to the chronic health effects the employee’s exposure to flour dust MUST be reduced to “as low as reasonably practical”.
Although the HSE provide guidance, there are many factors that need to be considered in each particular situation – individual assessment is strongly advisable to make sure you are compliant.