Project Details

Welding


Vehicle fabrication

Employees’ exposure to hazardous welding fumes has been evaluated in this project for a fabricator of heavy duty commercial vehicles. The vehicles were mainly constructed from aluminium and mild steel sections joined using Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) and Metal Inert Gas Welding (MIG) techniques.

We have carried out a comprehensive welding fumes exposure assessment in accordance with HSE guidance and validated sample collection methods. We were able to successfully demonstrate that the contaminant control in this factory was addressed adequately.

The TIG welding process is somewhat specific in the nature of the contaminants produced. As the process uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld the amount of fumes is very small in comparison to other welding techniques. However due to the absence of the fumes the welding spot is much brighter thus subjecting the operators to strong ultraviolet light. In addition to UV light risk the electric arc produces quantities of ozone and nitric oxides which can react with lung tissue and moisture to create nitric acid and ozone burn. Ozone and nitric oxide levels are usually moderate, but exposure duration, repeated exposure, and the quality and quantity of fume extraction, and air change in the room must be monitored. Welders who do not work safely can contract emphysema and oedema of the lungs, which can lead to health complications.



Small automotive components fabrication

Exposure to metal fumes during welding operation can over time lead to development of ill effects. Operatives who routinely weld require high level of protection from inhalation of welding fumes. Welding fumes contain many toxic metals which can cause acute and also chronic symptoms. One of the first steps to effectively protect your employees to undertake a thorough risk assessment of the process. A part of the risk assessment is a monitoring program. We are routinely working with our client to deliver comprehensive welding fume exposure assessment as a part of initial risk assessment and ongoing monitoring.


We are working with clients ranging from small fabrication workshops with high work patter variability to large producers with dedicated welding operatives. Our understanding of the different welding techniques, likely contaminates sources and secondary contaminant sources from related operations allow us to deliver high quality service for our customers.


Construction steel fabrication

Different working environments present unique exposure situation for the operatives and magnitude and the nature of contaminants can vary greatly between similar sites. Understanding of the specific processes is essential in understanding the exposure patters of operatives.


General fabrication on mild steel components exposes operatives to significant quantities of welding fumes containing many hazardous contaminants form the material, welding wire or the residual surface coatings. The most widely used welding technique is the Metal Inert Gas (MIG) process which is particularly suitable for joining variety of materials (mild Steel, stainless steel, aluminium). This technique is particularly effective for large pieces of materials with significant thickness.

The MIG Technique produces a much rougher welding line and a substantial amount of subsequent clean-up is required. The operatives can be exposed to fumes during the welding process and furthermore to substantial amount of particulate matter during the subsequent clean-up operation.

An adequate occupation exposure assessment must address all direct and indirect source of contaminates associated with the specific tacks and therefor understanding of the processes in essential in delivering reliable, accurate results for our customers.




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