Occupational exposure limit
The occupational exposure limit (OEL) is the time-weighted average concentration of a substance in the air at the workplace at which acute or chronic damage to the health of employees is not to be expected. The determination is based on exposure for eight hours on five days a week during the working life.
The occupational exposure limit is given in mg / m³ and ml / m³ ( ppm ).
In Germany, the AGW was introduced on January 1, 2005 with the new version of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV). It replaces the Maximum Workplace Concentration (MAK) and the Technical Guide Concentration (TRK) and is sometimes calculated differently, which must be taken into account when making a comparison. Until the AGW has been incorporated into the technical rules , the previous MAK values and TRK values can still be used to assess the risk at the workplace.
In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs sets the limit values. The Ministry is advised by the Committee on Hazardous Substances . This derives occupational exposure limit values according to published criteria. When setting limit values, the committee is guided by the recommendations of the MAK Commission of the German Research Foundation and the indicative occupational exposure limit values of the EU . The occupational exposure limits are published in the Technical Rule for Hazardous Substances 900 (TRGS 900 - Occupational Exposure Limits). The announcement was initially made via the Federal Labor Gazette (BArbBl), after which it was now published in the Joint Ministerial Gazette (GMBl).
There are often several harmful substances in the air we breathe in the workplace. However, compliance with the AGW only protects employees from each hazardous substance individually. In the case of mixtures of substances, TRGS 402 - Determination and assessment of the risks associated with activities involving hazardous substances: Inhalation exposure (TRGS 403 was repealed in 7/2008) must be applied to assess the health risk.
If is set to an agent in the air no occupational exposure limit according to TRGS 900, 402 to assess the TRGS exposure z. For example, the MAK value of the German Research Foundation, the indicative occupational exposure limit value of the EU , foreign limit values or the DNEL value of the REACH regulation can be used. In the announcement on hazardous substances 409 (BekGS 409) it was stipulated that the occupational exposure limit value of a substance has to be re-examined by the Committee for Hazardous Substances (AGS) if the DNEL value for this substance is stricter than the applicable occupational exposure limit value.
Both the Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) and the Accident Insurance Institutions (EW-UVT) publish their own recommendations for occupational exposure limits.
International limit values
The database "GESTIS-International Limit Values for Chemical Substances" contains a compilation of international occupational exposure limits for hazardous substances. The database in English contains information from over 30 countries , including various EU member states , Australia , China , Israel , Japan , Canada , New Zealand , Switzerland , Singapore , South Korea , Turkey and the USA . Limit values are listed for over 2000 substances .
The database was developed in collaboration with experts from various international occupational safety and health institutions. It is used to give an overview of the limit values in various countries. Since the handling of limit values and the legal situation are not uniform, the original limit value lists should be used as the primary source. The chemical nomenclature is also different; synonyms can be found in the GESTIS substance database , for example .
- Announcement on Hazardous Substances 901 , Criteria for the Derivation of Occupational Exposure Limits, BAuA, accessed June 29, 2015.
- Occupational Exposure Limits (AGW) , Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance, June 29, 2015.
- Technical Rule for Hazardous Substances 402 , Determining and assessing the hazards associated with activities involving hazardous substances: Inhalation exposure, BAuA, accessed June 29, 2015.
- What are DNELs? ( Memento of the original from May 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. GESTIS, Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance, June 29, 2015.
- SCOEL Recommendations , Recommendations of the Scientific Committee for Occupational Exposure Limits.
- Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA): GESTIS - International Limit Values for Chemical Substances. Retrieved June 21, 2018 .