Levels of risk for work with molten metals

The type of incidents which may occur and the level of molten metal to which workers may be exposed to can be broken down as follows:

  • Level 0 – Sparks and other relatively low risk uses such as welding and flame cutting
  • Level 1 – Molten metal splashes occurring from small spillages etc
  • Level 2 – A cloud of molten metal droplets, eg from a small water/molten metal explosion
  • Level 3 – localised impact from a large eruption or explosion.  Clothing will not necessarily provide full protection but it may reduce the severity of any injuries

BS EN ISO 11612 is the standard which clothes will usually be tested to.  It places fabric into three performance levels which are considered to relate to Levels 1, 2 and 3 above. Those performance levels are in the two tables below.

Note that the performance levels stated are those in 'test' conditions.  The amount of molten metal splash in a real incident will vary. This should be considered as part of your assessment.

Performance levels of materials during testing

Table 1 - Molten aluminium splash

(generally also acceptable for molten aluminium bronze and molten minerals)

Performance levels Molten aluminium splash (g)
  Min Max
D1 100 <200
D2 200 <350
D3 350  

Table 2 - Molten iron splash

(generally also acceptable for molten steel, molten copper and molten brass)

Performance levels Molten iron splash (g)
  Min Max
E1 60 <120
E2 120 <200
E3 200  

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Updated 2023-05-02