Safety Groups UK

Example 1

Exposure to Isocyanate particles and occupational asthma in the motor vehicle refinishing industry

The first pilot work took place at the South Essex College (SEC) with the co-operation of key staff members, including the CEO and some students on the motor vehicle accident repair course. They were provided with the following draft resources:

  • Basic information on "working with two-pack isocyanate paints", including what to do to prevent exposure to isocyanates
  • An incomplete example of a potential poster to cover hazard, risks and exposure control
  • Examples of experiments to experience simulated risks
  • Reference to supporting HSE web resources

Students were asked to come up with their own ideas and design communication materials for promoting the information to colleges providing motor vehicle maintenance courses in the UK. The group of nine students created eight highly visual posters, which have been evaluated by other SEC students.

They then planned how to demonstrate why the RPE visor on the air supplied respirator should not be lifted soon after spraying has stopped. To ensure their health and safety during the spraying, they decided to use atomised water droplets (instead of isocyanate based paints) to show how long the spray droplets will remain soon after the spraying has stopped. They discussed the findings of the experiment after they have filmed the scenes using mobile phones. During discussion they explained causes of occupational asthma (including exposure to isocyanates), about spray booths 'clearance times' and so on. You can see their experiment in the short films (see links below).

Students work:

  • Won them prizes donated by 3M
  • Facilitated a visit to an international H&S exhibition
  • Received commendation certificates from Safety Groups UK
  • Appeared in H&S magazines
  • Presents from the House of Lords gift shop
  • Resulted in press releases
  • Helped them gain a significant number of employment and life skills
  • Several participating students received personal achievement awards

Most importantly, they learnt in an interesting and engaging ways about how they should look after their health at work, so that they can GO HOME HEALTHY after each day's work.

The lecturer involved, and the CEO were invited to a SGUK presentation ceremony at the House of Lords to thank them for their vital contribution to kick start the project.

They completed the LOcHER project as a part of their course. The enthusiasm was so infectious the students put in extra hours at home.

Short films



Some of the student posters are displayed here.

Lecturer's view:

Prize winning: