11 May Fumes and the Risks
Fumes and dusts are of great concern for many industries where they can have a huge impact on the health of workers to a greater or lesser degree. May 4th was World Asthma day, and the HSE have used this to highlight the risks of occupational asthma particularly in people whose work requires them to come into contact with fumes of one kind or another.
Sadly, thousands of people die from work related lung diseases every year, the fumes from welding in particular, can cause cancer and other lung diseases. One industry where the fumes are of extra concern is the fabricated metal industry where welding is one of the major producers of fluids that can then be inhaled as a mist by workers.
To ensure these cases are kept to an absolute minimum, HSE inspectors visit fabricated metal businesses across the country to ensuring that they know the risks associated with welding fumes and metalworking fluids, and are doing everything possible to minimise those risks and protect the health of workers.
Of course, It’s not just the welding industry where workers risk their health by breathing in fumes, gases and vapours, risking diseases such as, asbestosis, silicosis, asthma, and lung cancer. Every industry from cement making to wood processing can cause substances that are dangerous to the workforce.
If you run or oversee an industry where your workers could be at risk you must do everything possible to ensure their safety. If you need information on the correct steps to take and how to prepare for an inspector’s visit, the HSE has plenty of information available on their website.