HSE to visit businesses to check on welding fume safety

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A worker engaged in weldingInspectors from the HSE are to visit business premises throughout Yorkshire and beyond from January to March to check on welding fume safety.

It follows a safety alert issued by the HSE in February 2019 to all those involved in welding activities.

New scientific evidence from the  International Agency for Research on Cancer indicated exposure to mild steel welding fume could cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer.

This notification applies to all workers, employers, the self-employed, contractors and any others who undertake welding activities, including mild steel, in any industry.

How do we prepare?

  • Make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls such as LEV.
  • Ensure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration – this includes welding outdoors.
  • Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.
  • Check all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and testing where required.
  • Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme – this captures all the elements of RPE use to ensure that it is effective in protecting the wearer.

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.