01-04-2014

One of the biggest risks to welders is the fumes the process creates. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that thousands of workers develop occupational diseases every year in the UK after they have breathed in dust, fumes or airborne contaminants at work.

There are ways in which this risk can be reduced, including local exhaust ventilation (LEV). Also known as dust or fume extraction, this can help to clean the air and protect workers before they have a chance to breathe in the harmful substances.

Implementing LEV is not a straightforward process and there are literature and videos available on the internet to offer advice on what you must to do introduce it to your construction project.

LEV designers will work with their clients to assess their needs and provide the most effective systems to deliver the right amount of control. Installers will then fit the LEV equipment, while examiners will detect any defects in the system and work to fix them to ensure the solution works properly at all times.

In order for the equipment to protect welders, it must be the right type of system for the job and be properly installed. It should be tested at least once a year and if it is moved, it needs retesting. An indicator can be used to check it is working properly at all times.

There are also some key risks employees using welding hire will have to consider. They should get involved in the protection of LEV systems and also take an interest in training. The solution should be simple to use properly and managers must communicate this fact to workers, ensuring they are confident in asking for help if needed.

A daily checklist will go even further to keep workers safe and this should include checking for unusual smells or settled dust as well as testing to ensure all harmful gas, mist, dust and fumes are removed, some of which may be invisible.

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