Welding fume: HSE revised guidance

New evidence shows exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause cancer and HSE has updated guidance to reflect this.

In February 2019 HSE issued a safety alert to inform industry of a change in HSE enforcement expectations in relation to the control of exposure of welding fume including that from mild steel welding.

The scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans.

HSE has now revised its Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) direct advice for welding, and its welding website. To help make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled please visit HSEs newly revised welding advice.

If you’re an employer, you must know what you have to do to make sure your business complies with health and safety law and these enforcement changes. HSE’s website has a range of specific welding advice and guidance to help you depending on what your role is. The newly revised welding guidance can be found on the HSE website.

In the new year, HSE inspectors will be visiting businesses across the country to check compliance with the law. By subscribing to our newsletter, you will receive information about our inspection campaigns. As an employer you should know the risks, plan your work and use the right controls when welding.