The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors are currently inspecting metal fabrication businesses across UK to ensure that they know the risks associated with welding fumes and metalworking fluids and have adequate controls in place to protect worker’s health.
According to HSE, 12000 people died from lung diseases in the UK last year, which are estimated to be related to past exposure to harmful substances in the workplace. There is a scientific evidence that working with welding fumes can cause lung cancer and exposure to metalworking fluids can lead to a range of lung diseases, such as occupational asthma and occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis (OHP). Therefore, it’s vital that you manage the risks in your workplace and provide health surveillance (HS) appointments to all employees that are exposed to welding fumes and metalworking fluids to ensure that you comply with HSE regulations. Health surveillance will enable to detect ill-health effects at an early stage and help ensure that better controls to prevent them from getting worse. If you haven’t arranged the health surveillance programme yet, please get in touch with us and we will help you organise this.
You may also want to explore HSE guidance and resources on welding fumes and metalworking fluids that will help you understand how to manage the risks so that you are better prepared for potential inspection.
Moreover, HSE guest speakers will be presenting at the Safety and Health in Engineering Partnership (SHEP) welding fume and metalworking fluid webinar on Thursday, 22nd of July. The webinar will include a presentation on Local Exhaust Ventilation, a key control measure for metalworking fluids and welding fume and an extended Q&A session, for anyone that still has questions on controlling exposure to these substances. If you cannot attend this event, you could watch another Welding Fume and Metalworking Fluid webinar on the same topic that took place earlier this year. A free recording of this webinar is available to view here.