New series of ‘Protecting Welders’ Health Roadshows in the UK

Register now for your free BOHS Breathe Freely in Manufacturing breakfast seminar in Birmingham

BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has announced details of its programme of free morning seminars focusing on the prevention of occupational lung disease in the manufacturing sector, especially amongst those carrying out welding tasks.

These events are brought to you by the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign and Plymovent in a variety of locations across the UK, starting from Birmingham on the 19th of February 2020. The campaign has been raising awareness about occupational lung disease in manufacturing since 2017 in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Make UK (former EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation), TWI, TUC, JCB, Toyota and BAE Systems.

The roadshows are being presented at a time of growing synergy in collective efforts to tackle life-threatening lung diseases caused by exposures to welding fume.

Key milestones have included the following:

  • Welding fume was recently reclassified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
  • Subsequently, in February 2019, the HSE strengthened its expectations for controlling all welding fume, including from mild steel welding, issuing a safety alert on the subject.
  • In November 2019, the HSE updated its guidance on controlling welding fume, also producing a new welding microsite explaining how to protect workers from welding fume.
  • During January to March 2020, HSE is conducting a targeted inspection campaign directed at businesses that carry out metal fabrication work, checking on control of exposure to welding fume and metalworking fluids.

Who should attend?

Anyone who needs to keep abreast of these changes, and in particular people with health and safety roles in the manufacturing industry and those responsible for managing welders and protecting workers’ health should attend.

What will the sessions offer?

  • An outline of the problems – and solutions – around the respiratory health of welders in manufacturing, by leaders in worker health protection
  • Free materials: Speakers will explain the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing campaign and guide delegates in the use of the free resources and tools available.
  • Best practice: Industry professionals will present examples and case studies showcasing best practice in the manufacturing sector.
  • Showcase of the Welding Fume Control Selector Tool: This free online tool allows users to select the optimum welding fume control solution for regular welding tasks
  • A chance to network: The roadshows will provide an opportunity to network with other industry professionals with the exchange of perspectives, knowledge and expertise.
  • A hearty breakfast: The sessions will kick off with baps, coffee and tea.
  • Cost: Free of charge.

Where and when will the roadshows take place?

  • Birmingham: 19th February 2020
  • Manchester: 19th March 2020
  • Durham: 13th May 2020
  • Bristol: 18th June 2020

Neil Pickering, Group Director, Health, Safety & Environment at JCB and Chair of the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing Campaign said

If you are working in the manufacturing industry, these sessions will help to improve your understanding of how best to protect workers’ respiratory health. Register now to reserve your place via the Breathe Freely in Manufacturing website.

Tony Ashall, Business Director UK and Ireland at Plymovent said “Plymovent has been protecting welders and their colleagues from Welding Fume for over 40 years. The recent acknowledgement by the UK regulatory authorities that exposure to welding fume may create an increased risk of developing cancer has heightened people’s awareness of problems inherent in the welding process. Plymovent is pleased to sponsor and support this new round of Breathe Freely seminars which explore the techniques required to provide Clean at Work for those involved in the welding industry. Each session will include a question and answer session to help you find the best solution. Good advice is free and impartial at these sessions and we look forward to welcoming you.”

Mike Calcutt, Head of HSE’s Occupational Hygiene team said, “The start of 2020 has seen inspectors focus on the control of exposures to welding fume and metalworking fluids.  If you are visited by an HSE inspector, they will expect you to demonstrate how you are protecting your workers’ health and managing the risks. The Breathe Freely in Manufacturing roadshows will highlight important information and best practice in controlling exposures to substances that can cause significant harm.”