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Premier Security & Fire Consultants has completed a major upgrade of its welding workstations with the installation of a new state of the art local exhaust ventilation system (LEV) to adhere to all the latest recommendations of the Health and Safety Executive.

The company engaged international extraction systems experts Nederman to install 10 original arms and extraction units in our workshops at Premier’s headquarters in Ilford, Essex.

The major investment in the health and safety project follows similar ventilation and extraction installs in Premier’s powder-coating and shot-blasting units.

New powder-coating ventilation

Earlier this month, the Health and Safety Executive issued a safety alert about the change in enforcement expectations for mild steel welding fume .

New scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer has come to light that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer, possibly kidney cancer and neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans. Subsequently, the Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

Shot blasting extraction unit installation

The reclassification will see the HSE’s enforcement expectation for mild steel welding fumes come into force with immediate effect, this is primarily because general ventilation does not provide the necessary control required to safely protect workers. Read the HSE’s full bulletin here.

The change in the HSE’s stance is aimed at improving air quality for all workers, employers, the self-employed, contractors’ and any others who undertake welding activities (including mild-steel) in any industry. The HSE will no longer tolerate welding activities without any suitable exposure control measures, regardless of the duration of the activities. The HSE know of no safe level of exposure and advise that risk assessments should be immediately adjusted to reflect this change in control measures.

The HSE advises that to minimise and reduce the risk of causing cancer in the workplace you should use of a local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system to control the manganese fumes given off during the welding process.

Ventilation and extraction unit

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