The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced some important news on raised control standards for welding fumes. In January, they shared with the Industry and Regulatory Forum on Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) that they had raised enforced control measures for welding operations in the UK.
This followed an announcement from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who classified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as Group 1 carcinogens.
All forms of welding fume can cause cancer. The raised enforced control standards are highlighted below:
Control is required for:
- Indoor welding tasks require the use of LEV. If LEV is unable to control fume capture then Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is also required
- Outdoor welding requires use of RPE
- Enforcement of the raised control standards is with immediate effect under COSHH Regulation 7
The HSE will issue a Safety Alert in the near future and control requirements will be communicated through the HSE website. They are also currently developing an intervention plan.
Duty holders are advised to follow guidance in the BOHS Welding Fume Control Selector Tool. Excellent Guidance can be produced specific to your type of welding activity. Click here to use the Welding Selector Tool