Health & Safety News

News added on 13.07.2015

HSE LATEST NEWS

Occupational health

New advice for welders on combatting asthma

The HSE has released new guidance on how workers can avoid asthma when welding. What does it say?  

The HSE has released new guidance for welders who are exposed to welding fume. It's acknowledged that welders are more likely to contract asthma than other workers. This is increased further if they weld stainless steel as these fumes contain chromium and nickel which are capable of causing occupational asthma. Fumes are a mixture of airborne gases and very fine particles which can cause ill health if inhaled.

The advice for workers is to protect themselves and others by using correct working methods and controls, keeping their faces out of fumes, using appropriate equipment and checking that it works properly before use. Welders also need to undergo regular health surveillance.

More targeted information for welders in different industries can be found here http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/wlseries.htm.

Every year 3,000 people develop occupational asthma. Employers need to be aware of the risks and ensure that they properly protect workers carrying out welding tasks. The HSE's new guidance covers everything from extraction and ventilation to the specific risks presented by different types of welding. It's well worth reading.

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