HSE continues respiratory focus on welding fume


HSE is reminding employers that they must protect their workers’ health by controlling the risks from welding fume.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s current programme of inspections will be reviewing health and safety standards in welding fume control across the country, and is encouraging businesses to read HSE’s revised guidance to remind themselves of the changes to expectations.

To protect your work force’s health, you must ensure you have adequate controls in place to avoid/ reduce exposure to welding fume. Employers should be using local exhaust ventilation where effective and provide suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to protect workers in the metal fabrication industry from inhaling fumes.

Welding fume is now classified as a carcinogen and ANY exposure can have serious ramifications on your health.

Scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. Following this, the HSE issued a safety alert in February 2019 and updated UK legal guidance to reflect this discovery.

John Rowe, Head of Manufacturing at HSE said: “Employers and workers should know the risk, plan their work and use the right controls when welding activity is carried out. If they are not, HSE will use enforcement to bring about improvements.”

“It is our mission that all workers are protected, and are not made ill or killed by their work. Everyone should be able to leave work and go home healthy and safe.”



When it comes to welding, Full Support recommend:

For all-in-one head-mounted particulate protection

For complex filter welding requirements


For further information about welding fume regulations or RPE, get in touch with our experts: