TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 654/1998
G J Carter
Exposure to welding fume must be controlled within limits laid down by regulations. Compliance with the regulations is verified by measuring exposure using standard procedures. The most accurate exposure measurements involve both a gravimetric analysis of the fume collected on a sampler placed in the breathing zone and a chemical analysis. They are therefore expensive to perform, prohibitively so in some cases. To reduce the costs and increase the probability that exposure measurement is carried out, it has become acceptable, at least in the UK, to perform the gravimetric analysis and presume the analysis of the fume sample collected to be that composition supplied on the consumable manufacturer's safety datasheet. Costs could be further reduced if it were possible to estimate the gravimetric measurement for a given work situation, with sufficient accuracy to identify directly any requirements for fume control.
In the present work, factors expected to influence both the amount of fume generated and the duration of exposure during welding were identified. These were then evaluated in work situations with the ultimate aim of making accurate estimation of exposure without undertaking gravimetric analysis.
- To evaluate the relative effects of factors affecting exposure to welding fume.
- To predict exposure with sufficient accuracy to perform risk assessment.