Are you aware of the changes to the classification of welding fumes?
Welding activities produce many hazards through the production of contaminants in welding fumes and ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the welding process. Depending on the material and welding procedure that are used, the health limitations range from irritation of the airways to cases of cancer.
Summary of classification changes:
- In 2017, welding fume was reclassified from Group 2B ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ to Group 1 ‘carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
- It is now confirmed that long term significant exposure to welding fume can cause lung damage and various types of cancer.
- OH&S Regulations require employers to provide information and training for workers on exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace.
- The change has prompted many employers and their welders to change their stance on welders’ respiratory protection.
For advice on welding fume exposure and monitoring, health surveillance and/or respiratory protection programs for your workplace, including respirator fit testing, training and more, contact us today. All services can be performed at our Belmont and Mandurah locations, or via our mobile service directly on site.