Changes in the Enforcement Expectations for Welding Fumes

Are you aware that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued an important safety alert about the change in enforcement expectations? Let Defuma explain what this means and how it affects your business.

Welded fumes pose serious health problems for workers, including nausea, dizziness and skin irritation. Scientific studies have shown that long-term exposure to even mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer, and in some instances, kidney cancer.

MaxiFil Clean Welding Smoke Filter System

This evidence led to the Workplace Health Expert Committee reclassifying mild steel weld fumes as ‘carcinogens’. As a result, HSE no longer accept welding without appropriate exposure control measures – general ventilation doesn’t achieve the required control.

What does this mean for your business?

To meet the latest expectations, the following action is required:

  1. Control exposure to welding fumes using a welding fume extractor or suitable LEV. (Defuma can help you to select the right one.)
  2. Make sure indoor and outdoor welding activities are controlled – no matter how long equipment is required.
  3. If engineering controls cannot combat welding fume problems alone, provide staff with adequate Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) to eliminate risks from residual fumes.
  4. Always use extractors and controls correctly. Maintain them and ensure they are thoroughly examined and tested in accordance with the changes in enforcement expectations.

By adopting these changes in the enforcement expectations for welding fumes you will reduce the health risks posed to workers. You will also ensure compliance with the Safety at Work Act of 1974, which states that equipment must be well-maintained in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of your workforce.

Using engineering controls – such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) – for welding activities will control the risk of cancer and prevent neurological effects such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Rest assured, here at Defuma, we provide a wide range of solutions which allow you to comply with HSE Welding Fume Regulations fully. A welding fume extractor will  allow you to meet Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations, 2002.

Need to know more about welding fume extraction? Make sure you stay safe and meet the new requirements by getting in touch with the team at Defuma. We are always on hand to help, so be sure to call us on 01480 455 466 or email us at enquiries@defuma.co.uk today.

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