Important news on raised control standards for welding fumes.

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced some important news on raised control standards for welding fumes.

There is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fumes as a human carcinogen. As a consequence the HSE has strengthened its enforcement expectation with regard to Local Exhaust Ventilation and the provision of suitable Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).

We would like to draw this new enforcement standard to the attention of all our clients who use welding equipment. Failure to put in place the appropriate controls could result in an increased risk of future Employers’ Liability claims. It is important that business owners act NOW to ensure the risks of welding fumes to employees and the general public are assessed and acted upon in accordance with the HSE’s new guidance.

For those occupations that are the most likely to undertake activities that involve regular use of welding equipment insurers will be asking their policyholders (at inception of cover or renewal) to provide confirmation that they have put the appropriate risk management controls in place.

If you would like to discuss this matter further then please get in touch.

With thanks to our friends at Tokio Marine HCC for this update.