Occupational exposure monitoring
By monitoring and assessing workplace exposures to various hazards, companies can identify potential risks and implement appropriate control measures.
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The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has reclassified mild welding fumes as a potential human carcinogen and, new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer discovered that prolonged exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer and possible kidney cancer in humans. Meanwhile, short-term exposure can result in nausea, dizziness, or eye, nose and throat irritation.
Employers are responsible for ensuring workers are safe within the workplace and are not overexposed to substances which may cause them long term or even short-term health issues. Employers should frequently assess the risk of their workers exposure to toxic substances to ensure limits are not being exceeded.
Over exposure to the following could increase your risk of lung cancer:
Here are our top tips to ensure you and your colleagues are as safe as possible when it comes to welding in the workplace:
Get your head out of the clouds
Ensure good ventilation
When LEV is not available, or you or your colleagues are unable to work outside, the safest way of working to avoid exposure to welding fumes is to use Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) - although this should be considered as a last resort.
RPS is uniquely positioned to design a fully integrated welding fume monitoring and laboratory analysis service, which supports clients to understand, evaluate and manage employees exposure in the workplace. Our service can be tailored in response to each client’s needs, to assist them to meet their (COSHH) regulatory requirements. The benefit of these combined services is the time and cost efficiencies you will gain, compliance with prescribed occupational exposure limits, control of the workplace environment and working methods, and staff education will help companies achieve the required level of workers’ protection.
One of the control measures used in occupational exposure monitoring is a Local Exhaust Ventilation system (LEV). These help keep employees safe at work by removing hazardous airborne substances. There is a statutory requirement for LEV systems to be tested every 14 months.
Our laboratories provides sample media and analysis using an in-house method. Along with welding fume analysis we have additional analytical services available that can also be considered when looking at protecting employees working alongside metals including dust, oils, and lubricants, such as: