Dr Gareth Evans

Head and shoulders of Gareth Evans

Principal Scientist in Science Division at the Health and Safety Executive Laboratory, Buxton

At the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Laboratory in Buxton, I am responsible for research programmes into causes and prevention of occupational disease focussing mostly on lung disease. I was formally a tenure track lecturer at the University of Sheffield Medical School until 2002 where I led a team investigating the cause of viral respiratory diseases in infants. I am an experimental toxicologist and immunologist by training but have worked with many different scientific disciplines in applied science. In this current role, I am responsible for research with Government departments as well as external organisations and companies. The focus of this research is the cause and prevention of occupational lung disease in manufacturing. This includes risks from traditional manufacturing. For example, working with inhaled mists from machining with water miscible metal working fluids can cause debilitating allergic lung disease in machinists. This research is based on collaborative partnership with the UK Lubricant Manufacturing trade body and led to the recent publication of an industry led good practice guidance supported and endorsed by HSE.  

Over the last decade I have worked closely with organisations developing new advanced manufacturing methods and materials. The purpose of this collaboration is to design into new manufacturing technology and materials processes that will support their safe use in the manufacturing environment. For example, HSE undertook research into potentially harmful emissions from three-dimensional (3D) desktop printers that melt plastic polymer filaments to form objects. These affordable 3D printers are increasingly used in educational settings and small businesses. Research undertaken by HSE and others demonstrated that harmful emissions are released by these printers and it also examined how to prevent exposure to these emissions using affordable enclosure hoods. Based on this research a good practice guide for safe use of desktop 3D printers was developed and published by the school's technician support body CLEAPSS with support from experts from industry, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry), the British Standards Institute and endorsement from HSE.