The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has put welding health and safety on the radar in a video produced under HSE’s ‘Go Home Healthy’ campaign.
HSE’s ‘Go Home Healthy’ ‘campaign is centered around everyone’s right to go home healthy from work. It calls for employers do the right thing to protect the health of their workers both today and for the future and includes a web area dedicated to lung health at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gohomehealthy/lungs.htm
Doug Thornton, Chief Executive of BCGA, said, “We hope this video goes someway to getting the message across that welding fume can permanently and severely affect health and foreshorten life, but it needn’t do.”
“Welding, brazing and cutting are essential processes in manufacturing industry and all these processes depend crucially on industrial gases. However, precautions should be taken to avoid the inhalation of welding fume, not only by operatives doing the welding, brazing and cutting, but by others working nearby too.”
BCGA is a strong advocate of health and safety in the welding sector. It has been working for a number of years alongside HSE and others in the industry to alert welders and their employers to the dangers of welding fume.
Mr Thornton added: “A safe and healthy working environment features good fume extraction or Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), supported where appropriate by the best available PPE, such as air masks, to protect welders and their colleagues.”
“Unfortunately, too often we see that whereas the welder himself is protected by such, other workers operating or walking close by are not suitably protected or trained. Employers, their safety managers and welders themselves should be aware of the legal responsibilities to provide a safe working environment and to adequately train personnel in best operating practices.”