The HSE announced a change in the way they will approach the enforcement of regulations surrounding welding activities including mild steel.
Their research has identified that exposure to welding fume can cause lung cancer and that there is also limited evidence of a link to kidney cancer. Exposure to manganese can also cause neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease.
For this reason, all employers who undertake welding will need to ensure that they have effective engineering controls in place; this will include a need for local exhaust ventilation. The latest bulletin from HSE is clear that general ventilation will not suffice. This is regardless of duration.
Where LEV does not adequately control exposure, employers will need to provide suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and users will need to be face fit tested and clean shaved.
RPE will also need to be worn when welding outdoors.
Your first step will be to undertake a review of your risk assessments, and THSP can help with this.
Should you require assistance with any other health and safety issue, call us on 03456 122144 or go to thsp.co.uk