Welding Fume: The HSE Release Revised Guidance

Earlier in November 2019, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) released revised task-specific COSHH guidance for welding, cutting and allied jobs to help managers make sure that exposure to all kinds of welding fume is controlled in the workplace. You can find the full range of revised COSHH guidance here

Specifically, in the ‘WL3 – Welding Fume Control’ guidance, it describes good control practices for a specific type of welding task, the frequency and duration of which it’s undertaken. The guidance advises that extracted air should be discharged outside the building to a safe place away from doors, windows and air inlets. It also states that it’s the exposure to the hazardous gases generated from welding processes that cause long and short-term health issues.

As part of their release of welding fume revised guidance, the HSE has also announced that in the new year, their inspectors will be visiting businesses across the country to check compliance with the law. 

The Reclassification

After the HSE’s welding fume reclassification in February 2019, the HSE issued a change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume, which stated that there was new scientific evidence that exposure to all welding fume (including mild steel) can cause lung cancer and there was also limited evidence linked to kidney cancer. 

It was announced that in February’s alert that there was no known level of safe exposure, regardless of duration and that they’ll now no longer accept any welding activities undertaken without the use of suitable control measures. Subsequently, they advise that businesses need to make sure that exposure to welding fume is adequately controlled with the use of suitable engineering controls, which typically involve the use of a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system. Read the full update here.

The Solution

At Auto Extract Systems Ltd, we offer FREE site assessments to assist your business in becoming HSE compliant when dealing with the safe removal of welding fumes. We’ll then design a custom local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system that’s tailored to your business’s needs and ensure that your business is HSE compliant. Find out more about our welding fume LEV solutions here.

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. You can also keep in touch with us on our social media channels, FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn for updates.