We were recently asked by Abacus Lighting, a lighting manufacturer based in Nottinghamshire, to carry out health and safety training. Abacus’s columns, masts and high-performance exterior lighting are used extensively across the globe in some of the most challenging environments.
In February 2019 new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforcement expectations for Welding Fume Extraction came into effect. These changes affect all businesses undertaking welding activities by ensuring that appropriate controls are put into place to control fumes from any welding activities. This is hugely important in light of the 13,000 work-related lung disease deaths per year in the UK.
We tailored the training to the site based on our knowledge held from carrying out the site’s LEV Local Thorough Examination and Testing on a yearly basis. This was delivered to around 40 employees including managers.
The training was written relating to working with carcinogens and included information statistics from the HSE.
Employees were given information about the fumes generated whilst carrying out welding operations, depending on which metals they were working with, and the diseases associated with each of these.
Key issues covered:
Instruction was also given to employees and management on the correct selection of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems, depending on the process application.
LEV systems covered included extraction booths, mobile welding LEV, on-torch extraction and multi-positioning extraction arms, which are generally a ducted system with an extraction fan vented out to atmosphere. The correct use of these systems was explained including the positioning of any extraction hoods and the distance required, to ensure effective capture, removing fumes from the operator’s breathing zone.
Photographs were used throughout the training, showing LEV systems in good condition, and some showing defects on LEVs, which can reduce the performance of the system, and as a result increasing the potential risk of personnel inhaling carcinogens.
There was an increased awareness of the risk of the inhalation of carcinogens as fumes a disperse into the atmosphere. Employees were also better placed to make the correct selection of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems, depending on the process application, and apply the correct use of these systems. Employees were up to date with the most recent changes to enforcement expectations in relation to the control of exposure to welding fume. This demonstrated Abacus Lighting’s commitment to the highest health and safety standards.