HSE Raise Safety Concerns Amid Mild Steel Welding Fumes Causing Cancer

Earlier this month, the HSE issued a safety alert about the change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume, which begs the question to be asked… Does your business comply with the HSE’s welding fume reclassification?

New scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer has come to light that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer, possibly kidney cancer and neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans. Subsequently, the Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

The reclassification will see the HSE’s enforcement expectation for mild steel welding fumes come into force with immediate effect, this is primarily because general ventilation does not provide the necessary control required to safely protect workers. Read the HSE’s full bulletin here.

The change in the HSE’s stance is aimed at improving air quality for all workers, employers, the self-employed, contractors’ and any others who undertake welding activities (including mild-steel) in any industry. The HSE will no longer tolerate welding activities without any suitable exposure control measures, regardless of the duration of the activities. The HSE know of no safe level of exposure and advise that risk assessments should be immediately adjusted to reflect this change in control measures.

The HSE advises that to minimise and reduce the risk of causing cancer in the workplace you should use of a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system to control the manganese fumes given off during the welding process.

Auto Extract Systems Ltd can assist your business in becoming HSE compliant when dealing with mild steel welding fumes. We are fully accustomed to dealing with LEV extraction systems for all kinds of working environments; from small welding working areas to fully-fledged manufacturing plants, where welding is a core business activity.

We offer free site surveys and quotations throughout the UK and Ireland in order to enable us to fully understand your businesses welding fume extraction requirements. After a thorough assessment, we can accurately design tailored local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems that are HSE compliant.

Our tailored extraction solutions can help achieve pollution-free working environments for all kinds of mild steel welding fumes. To find out more information about welding fume LEV extraction, please contact us via email, or call us for a no-obligation discussion on 01942 267444. In addition, keep in touch with us on our social media channels, FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for updates.

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