Posted: 1 June 2017
The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) has launched a major new phase of its “Breathe Freely” initiative. This is a major drive to prevent occupational lung disease amongst welders. Several organisations are in partnership with BOHS on the campaign, including HSE. Therefore, HSE will be carefully scrutinising risk assessments for welding activities.
It is estimated that around 13,000 workers die each year from work-related diseases, and 90% of these arise from respiratory health hazards. Those carrying out welding are particularly at risk and hence the focus of this campaign.
Welding is one of the top ten causes of work-related cancer, estimated at causing around 150 deaths a year in the UK. Welding is associated with numerous other serious health conditions, such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), metal fume fever and effects on the nervous system as well as short-term irritation of the throat and lungs, and reduced lung function. Each year, it is estimated that breathing metal fume at work leads to 40 to 50 welders being hospitalised with pneumonia, with the disease killing about two welders annually.
All this can be avoided, with the right occupational health advice. Safety Management Ltd's Dr Graham Newport will provide you with risk assessments, and action plans, tailored to your staff and business. You can then ensure your work-force are safe and protected against these preventable diseases.