This SLIC guidance document was developed for National Labour Inspectorates, with the aim of increasing inspectors’ confidence in addressing and regulating health risks from welding activities and exposure to welding fumes, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of interventions principally in manufacturing and other sectors, such as construction.
Part 1 provides background information, including: health risks, types of welding, the legal framework for regulation, typical control measures, health surveillance and a key information summary for inspectors.
In addition to the activities described as ‘welding’, there are a number of associated processes that can produce fumes similar to that from true welding. The following processes are included in the scope of this guidance and are those which can give rise to fume exposures and have the potential to cause ill-health (in no particular order):
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW), also known as Manual Metal Arc (MMA) welding
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), also known as Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) also known as Metal Inert gas (MIG) and Metal Active Gas (MAG) welding
- Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- Plasma cutting
- Laser cutting
- Flame cutting
- Arc-air gouging
Part 2 principally focuses on nine Welding Fume Task Sheets, specific to different welding activities. These have been developed to provide basic guidance on each activity, approaches to control welding fume exposure and, suggested actions for National Labour Inspectorates.
There is a section on inspector personal safety, and summary information about other health and safety hazards from welding activities, in addition to welding fumes.
Published by: Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC)
Publication date: November 2018
Number of pages: 49 pp.