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#41 Posted : 14 March 2019 13:50:57(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

I work for a company that manufactures and installs architectural and structural metalwork. They have their own welding / fabricating workshop and employ 10 welders. 

There is no LEV and the RPE is worn sometimes incorectly, or in one case not worn at all.

I have always belived that employees coming to work on any day of their life should not get back home less healthy than they were when walked in.  The fact that dusts, fumes, vapours resulted from certain work processes are hazardous to health is not news. Has anyone ever thought that welding fumes are not hazardous to health? Has anyone thought that getting metal fume fever, stomach ulcers, kidney damage and nervous system damage du to prolonged exposure is more acceptable than cancer? We knew how bad to health welding fumes are for many, many years now, and yet businesses have not taken this seriously ever - we are a small workshop, we do not weld much in a day - but tehre is welding every day, is expensive, etc. 

So, better ease the weight of the planet by aiding getting people ill more quickly and eventaully dead?

I am struggling to get the directors of this ''small welding workshop'' to do anything about it. Yes, we know BUT is expensive. Never something like, ''We know is expensive, but we will phase the purchase of mobile extraction units, and by the end of this year we will have a better control over it''. 

Therefore, I do not feel sorry for any of the ''small businesses'' that will go bust when fined / closed by HSE or due to law suits, because they have been waiting for it for years!

Edited by user 14 March 2019 13:52:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

#42 Posted : 15 March 2019 11:17:26(UTC)
Rank: New forum user

Some intresting comments on HSE recent update, however I notice no one discussed requirement of health surveillance/ lung function test? 

#43 Posted : 15 March 2019 21:45:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Originally Posted by: Oldroyd19659 Go to Quoted Post
Can i just make the point that no legislation has changed, no guidance has changed with repect to weld fume. What has happened is that EH40 has been updated and Chromium VI has been classified as a carcinogen. The rush to invest in air fed helmets is absolute folly. Each individual area of welding needs to have its own COSHH assessment. For example if you are welding Mild steel using FCAW or MIG this is predominantly a trivalent reaction and gives off Chromium II which if you look in EH40 the WEL is 0.5 mg/m3. We sample on a regular basis and get indicitive readings generally of 0.0006mg/m3. if you then stuck someone in a PFF3 at a APF of times 20, that in theory gives you protection to a theoretical value of 10mg/m3 so why would you buy an air fed. Then take the scinarioif you were welding mild steel using MMA then this would create Chromium VI which is a hexavalent reaction, and, as noted has been redesignated a carcinogen with a WEL of 0.05mg/m3.Given you get the same indicative readings of 0.0006mg/m3 then this is way below the WEL and you would be legally compliantto utilise PFF3 protection.In all scenarios you really need to try to facilitate engineering controls where possible. But to just go for air fed is ludicrous. If you look at the example above you would simply say use MIG where possible. As I said its about the assessment.The best way if you are in a workshop of keeping the team safe is to utilise flexible LEV and make sure the team know how to fully make use of it and extract the full plume. That way they should get 0mg/m3 of anything so why on earth would you give them an air fed mask as well.
A really interesting post, not the standard current knee jerk reaction I’m seeing in most posts. May I ask how you are carrying out your monitoring?
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