Welding - Health and safety

Welding and allied processes produce airborne particles and gaseous by-products that can be harmful to our health. Knowledge of the quantity and composition of the airborne particles and gases emitted can be useful for occupational hygienists in assessing workplace exposure and determining appropriate control measures.

Welding processes, consumables and parameters also give rise to various fume emission rates, which in turn lead to different welder exposures. Emission rate cannot be used directly to assess exposure. However, processes, consumables and welding parameters that give lower emission rates generally result in lower welder exposures than processes with high emission rates used in the same working situation. The following standards assist in ensuring best practice and risk reduction.

Key standards

BS EN ISO 15011 series – Health and safety in welding and allied processes. Laboratory methods for sampling fume and gases

BS EN ISO 10882-1 Health and safety in welding and allied processes. Sampling of airborne particles and gases in the operator's breathing zone. Sampling of airborne particles

BS EN ISO 10882-2 Health and safety in welding and allied processes. Sampling of airborne particles and gases in the operator's breathing zone. Sampling of gases

BS EN ISO 15012-1 Health and safety in welding and allied processes. Equipment for capture and separation of welding fume. Requirements for testing and marking of separation efficiency 

BS EN ISO 15012-2 Health and safety in welding and allied processes. Requirements, testing and marking of equipment for air filtration. Determination of the minimum air volume flow rate of captor hoods and nozzles

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