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19. 02. 2020 14:02

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HSE to carry out welding fume inspections after safety alert

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) is reminding employers that they must protect their workers' health by controlling the risks from welding fume.

The inspections follow a safety alert after new evidence showed exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause cancer and HSE updated guidance to reflect this.

Its current programme of inspections will review health and safety standards across the country and businesses are encouraged to visit HSE’s revised guidance to remind themselves of the changes to control expectations.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/welding/index.htm

To protect your workers’ health, you must ensure you have adequate controls in place to avoid or reduce exposure to welding fume.

HSE has a range of guidance to help you protect your workers and COSHH advice sheets to help you control risk from hazardous substances in welding.

Employers should be using local exhaust ventilation where effective and provide suitable respiratory protective equipment where necessary to protect workers in the metal fabrication industry from inhaling fumes.

The inspections follow a safety alert that was issued in February 2019 after new evidence showed exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause cancer and HSE updated guidance to reflect this.

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.

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.”
 

About HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It prevents work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
Find out more: www.hse.gov.uk

More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk

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