Welding fumes assessments are carried out in strict accordance with the latest Health and Safety (HSE) guidance documents and International Standards (ISO).
Chemical analysis of the fumes along with the exposure concentration data provides a solid basis for a risk assessment of the welding process and hot process fumes to ensure operatives work safely with welding fumes and fine particulates.
The assessment is carried out on a representative sample of the workforce to provide reliable exposure data. The collected information is then expressed as personal exposure levels for each exposure group and compared with the relevant exposure limits.
The assessment process consists of:
- Evaluation of employees’ exposure times, working patters and exposure groups
- Evaluation of existing fume controls such as General ventilation, LEV and RPE
- Evaluation of welding consumables, materials, and welding techniques
- Personal sampling from a proportion of operatives
- Preparation of technical report with findings and recommendations.
Typical welding fume exposure of operatives consists of gaseous components and particulate fumes with varying concentration and composition. The fume composition depends mainly on the type of the welding rod, welded material and the welding technique. Certain components of welding or cutting fumes can be toxic to humans and long-term exposure to these fumes can result in deterioration in health resulting in conditions such as Pneumonia, Throat irritation, Metal fever, Occupational asthma, and others.