Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume

THE FOREST INDUSTRY STANDARD

Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume

HSE Safety Alert

Target Audience: All workers, employers, self-employed, contractors’ and any others who undertake welding activities, including mild steel, in any industry.

Key Issues:         

  • There is new scientific evidence that exposure to all welding fume, including mild steel welding fume, can cause lung cancer.
  • There is also limited evidence linked to kidney cancer.
  • There is a change in HSE enforcement expectations in relation to the control of exposure of welding fume, including that from mild steel welding.
  • All businesses undertaking welding activities should ensure effective engineering controls are provided and correctly used to control fume arising from those welding activities.
  • Where engineering controls are not adequate to control all fume exposure, adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is also required to control risk from the residual fume.

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