Welding Fume Control – What Everyone Needs to Know

hazardous-substances

Welding Fume Control

This online course examines everything that anyone who welds or works near welding fume needs to be aware of. It looks at the hazard of welding fume, the health risks, the legal requirements, and risk controls necessary to work safely around fume. It also explores important information regarding the use of respiratory protective equipment.

In 2019, the Health and Safety Executive announced that there is no safe level of welding fume exposure. Employers have a moral and legal duty to control this hazard and provide sufficient information, instruction, and training to anyone at risk. This course supports meeting these duties.

Human Focus’ Hazardous Substances Related Courses

Human Focus offers the following e-learning courses under the hazardous substances toolkit:

Why this Welding Fume Control Online Training is Vital

Welding Fume includes irritating gases, such as the oxides of nitrogen and ozone, which can cause acute and chronic health risks, as well as asphyxiation.

Exposure to welding fume can cause:

  • Acute irritant induced asthma
  • Metal fume fever
  • Acute pneumonia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Occupational asthma

Anyone that may be exposed to welding fume must be aware of the hazards they face. They must also understand the measures in place to protect them, including how to effectively use local exhaust ventilation (LEV) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Legal Requirements

Any organisation undertaking welding activities has a legal duty to ensure appropriate controls are in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of fume, under the Welding Fume Extraction Regulations 2019.

Welding fume also falls under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002. COSHH establishes a Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for welding fume and requires it to be risk assessed and controlled.

More specifically, employers have a legal duty to protect employees and others from any health and safety risks caused by  their work. In respect to welding fume, this means they need to:

  • Control the dangers of welding fume
  • Ensure employees understand the risks associated with welding fumes and how to control them
  • Provide welders with everything needed to do the job safely, including training

Employees also have legal duties that they must understand. This includes following the training they have been given and co-operating with the measures that are in place to protect them.

Human Focus’s Welding Fume Control Online Training can help employers and employees meet their legal responsibilities.

Course Objectives

This is an awareness level course which provides fundamental knowledge on health risks associated with welding and cutting activities. It further demonstrates the correct working practices to minimise exposure to welding fumes and irritating gases.

Prerequisites

This health and safety online training is an introductory awareness course and requires no prior subject knowledge or course certification.

Course Content of this Welding Fume Control Online Training

This course explores the following 10 sections:

  • Health Risks Associated with Welding Fume
  • Safety Risks Associated with Welding Activities
  • Risk Controls
  • How Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) Systems Works
  • Types of LEV
  • Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Basics
  • Factors Affecting RPE
  • Pre-use Checks
  • How to do the Job Properly
  • Duties & Responsibilities

Who Needs to Take This Online Course on Welding Fume

This health and safety training about welding is suitable for those who use welding and cutting operations at work – especially metal-to-metal welding procedures such as arc, gas, electric, and MIG welding.

Benefits of this Welding Fume Training Course

The employer and employees benefits of this course are as follows:

Employer Benefits

  • Supports meeting legal duties
  • Reduces liability
  • Prevents injuries and ill health

Employee Benefits

  • Understand of welding fume risks and controls
  • Gain understanding of duties in regards to fume
  • Certification issued upon completion

Why Choose Human Focus for Welding Fume Safety Course?

This Human Focus welding fumes control online course provides the following benefits:

  • RoSPA assured
  • Compliant with health and safety legislation
  • User-friendly learning management system (LMS)
  • Training tracking and record keeping
  • No extra/hidden costs
  • Comprehensive course content
  • Clear voice over
  • One-year accessibility
  • Multiple assessment test resits
  • Accessible from any device

Course Format

Format: Fully online

Course duration:  32+ Minutes

  • Single module
  • Mini-quizzes at the end of each section
  • End of course test

Knowledge Test 

The knowledge test is a pass or fail assessment test, which requires a score of 80% to pass.  Trainees are given two attempts to pass.

Certificate

On completion of welding fume control training, RoSPA assured certificates are awarded to trainees via the registered email.

Information Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Are welding fumes toxic?

Yes, welding fumes are highly toxic and cause serious health risks to workers if inhaled. Short-term exposure causes mild diseases such as nausea, dizziness, or eye, nose, and throat irritation.

However, the prolonged exposure to welding fumes leads to hazardous diseases such as lung cancer, damage to the larynx and urinary tract, nervous system, and kidney.

Certain gases in welding fumes such as helium, carbon dioxide, argon displace oxygen and cause suffocation risks, in confined spaces.

The quantity of hazardous substances in welding fumes is dependent on the welding process and the materials involved. Their effect is divided in the following three categories:

  • Respiratory damaging substances
  • Toxic hazardous substances
  • Carcinogen hazardous substances

What PPE is required for welding?

The Personal protective equipment (PPE) required will be determined by the risk assessment for the specific welding activity. It is the employer’s duty to conduct risk assessments and provide the necessary PPE. In most cases this will include:

a. Welding helmet, hand shields, and goggles for protection against:

  • Radiation
  • Sparks
  • Intense light
  • Chemical burns
  • Skin irritation

b. Respirators for protection against:

  • Fumes
  • Oxides

c. Fire-resistant clothing for protection against:

  • Fires
  • skin burns

d. Earplugs shielding against:

  • Ear noise damage

e. Boots for protection against:

  • Electric shock
  • Burns
  • Fires

Apart from PPE, Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) is also needed when local exhaust ventilation systems alone cannot provide adequate fume control, or when working outdoors. RPE is protected from breathing in harmful substances or from oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

Are welders required to use both LEV and RPE?

As there is no safe level of exposure to welding fume, the HSE will not accept any welding with no controls in place. As a minimum, anyone that is doing any welding must ensure exposure is adequately controlled using engineering controls – (LEV in most cases).

Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure to fume, then adequate and suitable RPE must be provided to reduce the risk of exposure.

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