Enhancing Worker Safety in Welding Operations – Insights from Norsemen Safety

Posted By:

20th Jun 2024

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Norsemen Safety, a leader in providing welding fume extraction equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) in Northern Ireland, is committed to enhancing worker safety in compliance with the latest guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI).

As the hazards associated with welding fumes are increasingly recognised, our mission is to ensure that every welding professional is equipped with the knowledge and tools to work safely and effectively. Our focus is primarily on implementing Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems and using appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).

The Risks of Welding Fumes

Welding fumes, a complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates, and fluorides, are produced when metals are heated during welding. These fumes can pose serious health risks, including respiratory illnesses and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified welding fume as a Group 1 carcinogen, noting sufficient evidence of its potential to cause lung cancer and, to a lesser extent, kidney cancer.

Norsemen Safety Provides Guidance and Advice

Recognising these risks, Norsemen Safety advises on the crucial strategies to mitigate exposure and safeguard health based on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (COSHH).

Assessment and Control Measures

  1. Risk Assessment: Employers must assess the risk from welding fumes by considering factors like the welding process, the metals involved, and the work environment. Norsemen Safety supports businesses by advising them of the best safety equipment to mitigate these risks and provide effective control measures.
  2. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV): Effective extraction of welding fumes at the source is critical. Norsemen Safety provides a range of LEV solutions tailored to mig torch extraction. These systems are designed to capture fumes efficiently, minimising exposure to harmful particles.
  3. Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE): In scenarios where LEV alone cannot reduce exposure to an acceptable level, RPE becomes essential. We offer a variety of RPE solutions, from disposable masks for short-term exposure to advanced powered air-purifying respirators for intensive welding operations.
  4. General Ventilation: To further reduce the risk, Norsemen Safety emphasises the importance of effective general ventilation systems in workplaces, ensuring that residual fumes are adequately dispersed.
  5. Continuous Education and Training: Knowledge is the first line of defence against workplace hazards. Norsemen Safety advocates for ongoing education and training for workers and employers on safe practices in welding operations.

Collaboration and Compliance

In alignment with the HSENI guidelines, we at Norsemen Safety call for a collaborative approach to workplace safety, involving employers, employees, and safety experts. Compliance with these guidelines not only protects workers but also enhances productivity and ensures the safety of the workforce.

Director, Jackie Sclater 

“At Norsemen Safety, we are committed to safeguarding workers from the occupational hazards that are inherent in welding and industrial activities. We understand that managing and mitigating welding fume exposure is vital not only for the protection of our workers but also for the sustainability of our industry. Our dedication goes beyond merely supplying equipment, as we strive to set a standard in promoting best practices for health and safety in the workplace.”

Resources and Further Information

For comprehensive guidance, detailed product information, and expert advice on assessing and managing welding fume risks, please visit the Norsemen Safety website. 




About Norsemen Safety

Norsemen Safety & Industrial Supplies Ltd. is one of the leading providers of welding fume extraction equipment and personal protective equipment in the UK. Based in Northern Ireland, they extend their services across the Republic of Ireland and the entirety of mainland UK. With nearly two decades of industry expertise, Norsemen Safety is renowned for its commitment to quality and excellence, providing superior products and services that protect workers and promote safer work environments.