Work Health and Safety Ministers have agreed to an immediate reduction to the workplace exposure standard for welding fumes (not otherwise classified) has been reduced from an 8-hour time weighted average of 5 mg/m3 to 1 mg/m3.
The change to the WES become mandatory once implemented in the WHS/OHS laws in the Commonwealth, states and territories.
Welding processes are common across many industries, including construction and manufacturing. Workers who are exposed to welding fumes can develop occupational lung diseases including lung cancer.
Under the model WHS laws, persons conducting a business or undertaking – like an employer, must eliminate or minimise the risks to worker health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable, including those associated with chemical exposure.