Weld Fume Safety Practices for Working in Enclosed Spaces

  • Program
  • Room 2E East
  • September 12 2018
  • 3:15 pm - 3:40 pm

When welders are working in tight or enclosed spaces, such as inside silos or fuel tanks, controlling weld fumes and keeping them out of the welder’s breathing zone is challenging. The dangers of weld smoke, the special challenges of controlling fumes in enclosed areas, engineering control options and personal protective equipment (PPE) are detailed. This presentation is targeted towards welders, fabrication shop owners, plant managers, health and safety professionals, and others concerned with weld fume safety. The following key items are discussed:

  • The health risks of elements commonly found in weld fumes – including hexavalent chromium, manganese, cadmium and beryllium – and how to recognize acute and chronic fume exposure symptoms
  • OSHA air quality regulations for shipbuilding and OSHA permissible exposure limits (PELs) for compounds found in weld fumes
  • Why NIOSH and ACGIH recommend lower exposure limits than OSHA, how to estimate current exposure levels for workers, and guidelines for setting air quality objectives
  • Engineering control options for working in enclosed spaces – including fume guns, portable fume arms, other source capture options, ambient air filtration systems and hybrid systems – and the pros and cons of each
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) options for weld smoke, when and how to use PPE, and how to combine PPE and engineering controls for effective protection of welders working in enclosed spaces