Hyundai Launches New Welding Helmet In Conjunction With New HSE Laws
The welding industry has become an integral part of working life - not only in the UK, but worldwide. Welding is also an essential component of many industries - from automotive to aerospace, through to shipbuilding, construction and more. Without welding, these industries could not function and our economy would be at a standstill.
Whilst the benefits of the welding industry are clear, rapid growth of this industry has placed more risk on workers. For example, more and more workers are exposed to long hours and working in confined spaces. In turn, this opens them up to unwanted fumes and dust particles during their working day.
The HSE states that prolonged or continuous exposure (such as that of working hours) may lead to acute, or in worst cases chronic, respiratory diseases in all welding environments.
The main risk with working in enclosed spaces will be the lack of oxygen. This is because inert gases and common chemical reactions such as rusting can reduce the amount of oxygen you are working in.
New HSE Laws For The Welding Industry
In February 2019, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a safety alert to strengthen the laws based around the welding industry to ensure the safety of its workers.
The HSE launched an official safety alert that would come into immediate effect for all welding fumes, this includes mild steel welding as general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control.
The safety alert documented that there is new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer which shows that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans.
Due to this discovery, control of cancer risk will require suitable engineering controls for all welding activities indoors e.g. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV). Extraction will also control exposure to manganese, which is present in mild steel welding fumes, which can cause neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease.
The HSE Law also advises that appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) should be provided for welding outdoors. You should ensure welders are suitably instructed and trained in the use of these controls.
Regardless of duration, HSE will no longer accept any welding undertaken without any suitable exposure control measures in place, as there is no known level of safe exposure.
- Ensure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls (typically LEV).
- Ensure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration. This includes welding outdoors.
- Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fumes.
- Ensure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and test where required.
- Ensure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use you need to ensure that your RPE is effective in protecting the wearer.
What Does this Mean For Your (UK) Business?
Businesses up and down the country will need to look at their current regulations offered to their workforce to ensure they are meeting the expectations set out by the HSE.
If your business does not currently have any RPE as highlighted by the HSE, you will need to develop a program to ensure staff are suitably trained to use all of the RPE equipment provided. The importance of these programs are paramount for the safety of your workforce .
Having spent a number of years working in the personal protective equipment (PPE) industry, it is also key that employees exposed to certain working environments take part in regular face fit programmes. Aspects such as facial hair will need to be addressed across the workforce. In most, if not all, welding environments there will be a requirement for all employees to be clean shaven, which enables the equipment to gain an adequate seal for the respirator. Without this, the apparatus will not function as per the laws highlighted by the HSE.
Please refer to the HSE link below for a guide on how to protect your workers, control the risk and recommended training for all employees:
Hyundai Professional Welding Helmet Hits the (UK) Market
Hyundai Power Products, in conjunction with the new HSE laws, have launched their HYWH-850RM professional welding helmet to the UK market.
The HYWH-850RM is the first in the range from Hyundai as the look to put their stamp within the UK welding RPE industry. A professional air-fed welding helmet featuring solar auto dimming with spectral filtering technology, photoelectric senses and liquid crystal light control technology.
The HYWH-850RM offers full head respiratory protection providing the perfect welding solutions for welders working in the most demanding of conditions. This type of welding helmet use an air powered blowing system. This provides 99.8% purity. It’s able to provide fresh clean air for up to 8 hours without interruption.
The photoelectric sensor technology provide a high quality filter providing a clear view of observation and effective protection. The audible alarm notifies the user of low airflow and low battery ensuring the safety of all users at all times.
If you would like to know more about this product or any of our welding product range, please call our sales team on 01646 687880. You can also email us at [email protected].
Find the full Hyundai welding range by clicking here.