Welding Fume Monitoring

Welding Fume Risk Management & Assessment

The welding process produces various airborne contaminants including fumes, mists, dust, vapors, and gases. The quantity and composition of these emissions fluctuate significantly based on factors like the welding technique employed and the materials involved, such as metals, solvents, flux, paint, and plastics.

Exposure to welding fumes, dust, vapors, and gases can have varying impacts on human health. Potential effects range from mild respiratory irritation (nose and throat) to more severe conditions like chest tightness, asphyxiation, asthma attacks, wheezing, metal fume fever, lung damage, bronchitis, cancer, pneumonia, or emphysema.


Identify Welding Fume Hazards

Welding fume hazard evaluation based on the specific welding processes, materials and equipment used.


Assess Welding Fume Risks

Assess welding fume risks to ensure workplace safety and regulatory compliance.


Eliminate or Control Welding Fume Risks

Eliminate welding fume risks to protect worker health and ensure a safe environment.

Our Welding Fume Services


Welding Fume Monitoring

Welding processes across various industries, such as construction and manufacturing, generate hazardous fumes that can lead to occupational lung diseases, including lung cancer, among exposed workers.

To address this risk, Workplace Health and Safety has implemented an immediate reduction in the Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) for welding fumes (not otherwise classified) from an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 5 mg/m2 to 1 mg/m2. This change will become mandatory once implemented in the WHS/OHS laws in the Commonwealth, states, and territories.

Under the model WHS laws, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), like employers, must eliminate or minimise the risks to worker health and safety, including those associated with chemical exposure, so far as is reasonably practicable. PCBUs must ensure that workers are not exposed to airborne contaminants, such as welding fumes, above the concentration listed in the Workplace Exposure Standards (WES) for airborne contaminants.

Welding fumes are a complex mixture of hazardous chemicals, and some individual components also have their own WES. In addition to ensuring workers’ exposure to total welding fumes is below the WES, PCBUs must also ensure workers’ exposure to individual welding fume components is below their respective WES.

Monitoring welding fume exposure levels is critical for ensuring compliance with the updated WES and safeguarding worker health and safety. PCBUs should implement comprehensive monitoring programmes, including air sampling, fume analysis, and exposure assessment, to accurately measure and evaluate welding fume concentrations in the workplace.


Welding Fume Assessment and Reporting

After conducting comprehensive monitoring and data collection, the next crucial step is to accurately assess the results and provide detailed reporting on welding fume exposure levels. As part of this evaluation, the concentrations should be carefully looked at and compared to the relevant Workplace Exposure Standards (WES) for both the combined welding fumes and each individual fume component.

We should generate comprehensive reports that highlight areas where exposure levels exceed the permissible limits. These reports should not only identify non-compliances but also provide clear recommendations for implementing effective control measures. Suggested solutions may include engineering controls, administrative strategies, or the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to mitigate risks and reduce exposure.

Given the complex nature of welding fumes, it is essential that the assessment and reporting address both the overall fume concentration and the individual hazardous components that may have their own specific WES. This comprehensive approach guarantees sufficient protection for workers against all potential health hazards found in welding fumes.

Effective communication of the assessment findings and recommendations is crucial. All relevant stakeholders, including management, health and safety representatives, and affected workers, should receive clear and transparent reporting. This open dialogue promotes a culture of safety and facilitates the implementation of necessary control measures to safeguard worker health and ensure regulatory compliance.


Welding Fume Safety Solutions

Implementing effective safety solutions is crucial for protecting workers from exposure to hazardous welding fumes. A comprehensive approach should combine engineering controls, administrative measures, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Engineering Controls:

  • Local exhaust ventilation systems are highly recommended to capture welding fumes at the source. This includes fixed installations like downdraft tables and booths as well as portable solutions like movable hoods with flexible ducts or fume extractors attached directly to the welding gun.
  • General forced dilution Ventilation can also help dilute and remove fumes from the work area when designed and implemented properly.

Administrative Controls:

  • Establish safe work practices, procedures, and worker training programmes to minimise fume exposure through measures like job rotation, work scheduling, and proper housekeeping.
  • Implement a regular welding fume exposure monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of controls and identify areas for improvement.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • Provide appropriate respirators (e.g., powered air-purifying respirators or supplied-air respirators) when engineering controls alone are insufficient to limit exposure below permissible levels.
  • Ensure workers wear suitable protective clothing, gloves, footwear, and eye/face protection designed to protect against welding hazards like heat, UV light, sparks, and hot debris.

The selection and implementation of safety solutions should consider the specific work environment, welding processes, exposure levels, and regulatory requirements. A combination of multiple control measures may be necessary to achieve optimal protection and compliance with exposure limits for total welding fumes and individual fume components.


Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Effective contractor management is critical to maintaining a safe worksite and mitigating external personnel risks. We can work with you to develop a contractor management program which gives you practical tools to ensure your contractors align with your existing SHMS and ensures a comprehensive and compliant approach to overseeing third-party workers.

Our experienced consultants develop robust systems tailored to your specific operational needs, encompassing rigorous prequalification processes, continuous monitoring, and performance evaluations. From vetting contractor qualifications and safety records to enforcing adherence to your site-specific protocols, we provide an end-to-end solution.

This proactive management strategy enables you to verify competencies, identify potential hazards, and implement control measures, fostering a cohesive safety culture that extends beyond your direct workforce. With our guidance, you can confidently engage contractors while upholding the highest standards of workplace health and safety.

Welding Fume Risk Management for All industires

Male Worker


Safety helmet and Google

Construction & Civil

Container Truck



Industrial Manufacturing


Water & Energy


Oil & Gas

Waste (Water Pollution)


Company office

Local Government

Welding Process Health & Safety Responsibilities

The key duty holders responsible for managing welding process risks are as follows:

  • PCBUs, or Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking
  • Designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, and installers of plants, substances, and structures
  • Officers of the PCBU
  • Workers and others at the workplace


PCBUs have the primary duty to eliminate welding process risks, or, if not reasonably practicable, minimise the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. They must consult with workers affected by health and safety matters, as well as cooperate and coordinate with other duty holders involved in the same work.

Workers must take reasonable care for their own health and safety at the workplace.

Early consultation and risk identification allow for more options to eliminate or minimise risks and reduce associated costs.

PCBUs must comply with specific regulations for managing hazardous chemicals, airborne contaminants, plants, noise, and manual tasks related to welding processes.

Effective consultation with workers, health and safety representatives, contractors, subcontractors, and their staff is critical for improving decision-making and reducing injuries and illnesses.

When multiple businesses or undertakings are involved in welding processes, duty holders should exchange information, cooperate, and coordinate activities to effectively eliminate or minimise risks.

Welding Hazards and COntrol Measures

As a PCBU, you must ensure no one is exposed to airborne substances exceeding exposure standards. Welding generates varying fumes, mists, dust, vapors, gases like ozone based on processes and materials used.

Health effects range from respiratory irritation to lung damage, cancer. Many fumes are invisible. Fewer fumes from gas welding than electric. Ultraviolet radiation from arcs can create ozone. Identify equipment, materials, and fume levels generated.

5 Sticks Occupational Hygienist