1. Overview

By law you must protect your workers by controlling the health risks from welding fume. This applies to specialist welders and workers who do some welding, no matter how small the amount.

All welding fume can cause lung cancer, so you must put controls in place. HSE has issued a safety alert about the health risks of welding fume. Welding fume can also cause asthma and many other health conditions.

You can control risks to health from welding fumes by:

  • using alternative cold joining techniques
  • welding in a way that produces less fume
  • local exhaust ventilation (LEV)
  • using respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • maintaining control measures and good general ventilation
  • making sure welders understand the risks and how to use controls

Welding fume is subject to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. These COSHH advice sheets on welding, cutting and surface preparation help you to comply with COSHH. You can also read more general guidance on COSHH.

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