Welding inspections begin across the UK
HSE inspectors are now visiting businesses across the UK that conduct welding, to ensure that welding risks are being appropriately managed according to the new regulations.
In February 2019, the HSE issued an urgent safety alert to inform the industry of immediate changes to control regulations for welding fume. These changes included a new requirement that respiratory protection be used for all welding – including mild steel welding. In most cases this will be Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) and/or Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
The update in regulations followed scientific research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which showed that exposure to all types of welding fume can cause lung cancer.
Currently there is no known safe minimum exposure level.
This means that respiratory protection – RPE/LEV – must be employed with all welding, even when welding for very short durations or when welding outside.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) provide the legal basis to help ensure exposure to any hazardous substance, including welding fume, is adequately controlled. The HSE have published revised COSHH guidance along with updated web pages on how to effectively manage exposure to welding fume.
If you need help ensuring your welding respiratory hazard management meets the new regulations, speak with one of our RPE Experts today for a free consultation: