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HSE Alert on Welding Fumes - Reclassified as a carcinogenic operation

Discussion in 'Mutual Improvement Classes' started by T'Bogger, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. T'Bogger

    T'Bogger New Member

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    I couldn't find a Health & Safety Section (maybe there should be one if there isn't?), so I'm posting here. If the admin want to move it, that's fine.

    Anyway, we had a Health and Safety bulletin regarding welding come through at work, and I have seen it posted elsewhere. So some of you may already be aware.

    Basically, in light of new information, welding has been reclassified as a carcinogenic operation due to the fumes given off. Namely it can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer.

    As a result, the HSE has changed its enforcement expectations in relation to the control of exposure to welding fumes, including that on mild steel. What it boils down to is ensuring that there is adequate local fume extraction or respiratory protective equipment.

    Below is a link to the HSE bulletin. It is something that we all need to consider when welding, both for those doing it and those nearby, in addition to the current considerations when welding.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/mild-steel-welding-fume.htm

    Whilst we all have a tendency to roll our eyes at Health & Safety (sometime know as ‘Hinder & Stop it’) we still have a responsibility to ourselves and each other to go home as we arrived, namely safe and well. So, this probably needs local discussions to ensure we take appropriate action as required.

    Hope the above is useful.
     
  2. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for this.
     
  3. baldbof

    baldbof Well-Known Member

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    When I worked for an engineering firm a few years ago, only the welders themselves wore RPE. The production hall was open to all and anyone could walk through; even the admin/accounts staff would walk through the hall to see whoever they wanted to speak to. The only rule that was anywhere near to being implemented was "don't look directly at the welding glare". I think the firm's idea of adequate ventilation was to open the roller shutter doors at each end of the hall and let the wind blast through - not fun in winter time. Times change!!
     
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  4. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Interesting. I knew that welding/cutting anything with cadmium plate on it was streng verboten, but now mild steel...?
     
  5. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    The thought that comes to my mind is does the problem arise from the molten metal or from the fumes the flux?
     
  6. MarkinDurham

    MarkinDurham Well-Known Member

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    I think that fumes from the flux are the problem.
     
  7. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    It suggests that manganese is an issue, which I'd have thought was in certain steels.

    Solder flux has certainly been an issue in my field (electronics) for a long time - as a cause of occupational asthma. There's also the issue with certain wire coverings (e.g. self-fluxing enamel-covered wire) which can release small quantities of toluene di-isocyanate under heat. As a result, we've used local fume extraction for some time now.
     

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