March 23, 2019

Change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume spurs demand for clean air welding helmets and fume extraction products

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is set to release a safety alert highlighting new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer suggesting that exposure to all welding fumes causes lung cancer, and kidney cancer. Following the findings, The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

The HSE has strengthened their enforcement expectation on all welding fume, including mild steel welding. The legislation, which changed on Monday 18 February, impacts all workers, employers, contractors’ and anyone else undertaking welding activities, across every industry. Once in effect, HSE will not accept any welding to be undertaken without suitable exposure control measures in place.

New enforcement expectations require all businesses undertaking welding activities to ensure that effective engineering controls are provided and used correctly to control fume arising from welding activities. As a result, all of the impacted organisations and individuals will be required to use Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) for welding activities indoors, and adequate respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for welding outdoors and in the case that LEV is not enough to protect against the residual fume.

Meeting Expectations

Products like the Engweld Pro-Line Air Papr Unit Complete supply clean air to the wearer reducing the effort required to breathe in fume environments through a controlled airflow system that guarantees constant flow. With enhanced warning signals, optical and audible alarms for low power, clogged filter and reduced airflow, the Pro-Line Air Papr Unit ensures workers are protected, and compliance is met.

The unit comes with a smooth and clear status display, an ultra-quiet brushless motor, two-speed airflow control, audible & vibration warnings, large view pro-line welding & grinding helmet, removable Li-ion battery, and can run for 10+ hours.

When dealing with hazardous fumes and smoke, precision is critical to ensure safety. Binzel Rab355 and Rab255 4M Mig Torch + Fume Extraction Unit Fes-200 offer efficient fume extraction through the torch directly. These units are designed with better accessibility and manoeuvrability, as well as being lightweight thanks to the innovative ABICOR BINZEL Low-Weight Bikox®. This solution guarantees highly efficient smoke removal directly at its source without affecting the protective gas shield.

For light welding and extraction operations, the Nederman FilterCart is the most versatile and robust mobile welding fume extractor. Fitted with an integrated spotlight for improved efficiency, the FilterCart Original comes with a 3 m (10 ft) long arm, with other sizes available on request.


The two products discussed in this article can be found on the Engweld website: They are https://engweld.co.uk/category/fume-extraction and https://engweld.co.uk/category/clean-air-welding-helmets