An engineering business was sentenced and fined in after a welder fabricator developed hypersensitive pneumonitis, a serious and irreversible respiratory illness which develops after long-term exposure to welding fumes and metalworking fluid.
The welder fabricator was at risk of inhalation of welding fumes and metalworking fluid mists, which potentially contained harmful bacteria. His 30-year long career exposure with the company led to the development of the condition, which has seriously impacted the employee’s life, preventing work and making oxygen necessary for day-to-day tasks. He is currently being assessed to ascertain whether a lung transplant would be beneficial.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to implement industry-standard control measures such as Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV), Respiratory Protective Equipment and a management system for the metalworking fluids.
Fluid systems, which contain water or water-mixes can become highly contaminated with harmful bacteria and must be monitored and controlled. Had these measures been observed, the development of the illness could have been prevented.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As a result, they were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9.555.29.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Lianne Farrington commented: “Companies should be aware of the need for a management regime in order to prevent occupational ill health and that failure to control exposure to metalworking fluids and welding fumes can result in serious and irreversible respiratory illness.’’
Read the full press release from the HSE, Company Fined After Worker Develops Serious Respiratory Illness.
Welding Fume Inspections
HSE has announced that their inspectors are continuing to visit businesses across Great Britain as part of their targeted HSE metalworking fluids (MWFS) inspection programme. We’ve put together a post with top tips on how to pass an HSE welding fume inspection.
Control Exposure from Welding Fumes
We’ve also assembled a tonne of advice to help businesses provide welding fume-free workplaces. Visit our Welding Fume Extraction page. We help businesses control exposure to welding fumes, that derives from metalworking and welding processes.
We offer a wide variety of different Welding Extraction products available for a wide variety of industries and sectors. We’re experts at capturing welding fumes and safely removing them to help your business provide a pollution-free workplace. We work in the metalworking industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical device manufacturing, power generation and general precision machining.
Read our Welding Fume and Grinding Dust Extraction case study that we recently completed.
Request your FREE LEV Site Assessment Today!
If your business participates in activities that involve metalworking fluids, we have the solution for you. We’ll call to arrange a convenient time and date to visit your site. We’ll analyse your working processes, assess the substances used and the contaminants generated. We’ll work out how best to control the dust and fume in a way that’s in line with your COSHH risk assessment. Next, we’ll design you a comprehensive LEV system that adheres to HSG258 guidance and send this you to via email.
We’ll do all this to ensure we fully understand your dust and fume extraction requirements and help you to provide a pollution-free workplace!
This is an amazing service we do for thousands of businesses that undertake processes such as welding and grinding throughout the UK and Ireland every year. We work with such a wide variety of industries, from manufacturing, industrial, woodworking, pharmaceutical and automotive workshops to schools, colleges and military establishments.
Request your FREE, no-obligation LEV site assessment today!
Why Choose Auto Extract Systems?
Auto Extract Systems is the UK’s leading LEV company. Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped thousands of businesses create dust and fume free workplaces. We have steadily been building and diversifying into new industries to help businesses provide pollution-free workplaces with comprehensive LEV (local exhaust ventilation) systems. Our team of P602 qualified LEV system design engineers have over 80 years of combined experience, the know-how, and the ability to specify comprehensive LEV systems to help your business meet HSE’s HSG258 guidance.
As experts in all things LEV, we can help your business become COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulation 2002 compliant with a tailored LEV solution. We provide comprehensive design, installation, maintenance and certification services across a range of industry sectors. Find out more about us here.