welding fumes

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DURATION: 1 week
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Course ID :
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Course Date: Start End
November 10, 2020 November 14, 2020
November 17, 2020 November 21, 2020
December 1, 2020 December 5, 2020
December 15, 2020 December 19, 2020
January 5, 2020 January 9, 2020
January 12, 2020 January 16, 2020

welding fumes

Course overview:


Weldability Sif provide a complete training and certification service which is intended to provide fundamental


knowledge of hazards associated with welding and cutting and how to demonstrate good working practices to reduce exposure to fumes and gases. The higher risk activities within this unit require safeguarding at all times.


 What does this qualification cover?


  • The Health and Safety legislation associated with the protection against welding and cutting fumes and gases.


  • How welding and cutting fumes and gases are produced.


  • The hazards associated with welding and cutting fumes and gases.


  • How to demonstrate good working practices to reduce exposure to welding and cutting fumes and gases.


  • How engineering-controlled solutions can be used to reduce exposure to fumes and gases when welding and cutting.




How is the complete unit achieved?


To achieve this Unit the learner must demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes.


Evidence of the learner’s achievement will be placed in their portfolio. The


main pieces of evidence for their portfolio will include:


  • Knowledge Assessment (WFHC1-001A)


  • Task(s) set by Teacher/assessor (if appropriate)


Who is this qualification for?


This course is suitable for Welders, Managers, Supervisors, Inspectors and Quality Personnel, and other professionals within the industry sector who are looking to improve their knowledge and awareness of fume hazard control practices.


What are welding fumes?

Welding fumes are a complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides. Fumes are formed when a metal is heated above its boiling point and its vapors condense into very fine, particles (solid particulates). Welding fumes generally contain particles from the electrode and the material being welded.


Can the composition of welding fumes vary?

Yes, welding fumes contain oxides of the metals in the material being welded.


Fluxes containing silica or fluoride produce amorphous silica, metallic silicates and fluoride fumes.

Fumes from mild steel welding contain mostly iron with small amounts of additive metals (chromium, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, titanium, cobalt, copper etc.).

Stainless steels have larger amounts of chromium or nickel in the fume and lesser amounts of iron.

Nickel alloys have much more nickel in the fume and very little iron.


How do coatings change the composition of welding fumes?

Vapors or fumes can come from coatings and residues on metal being welded. Some ingredients in coatings can have toxic effects. These ingredients include:


metal working fluids, oils and rust inhibitors

zinc on galvanized steel (vaporizes to produce zinc oxide fume)

cadmium plating

vapors from paints and solvents

lead oxide primer paints

some plastic coatings

Metal Coatings – A Source of Hazardous Fumes


How do I remove the coatings?

Remove coatings from the weld area to minimize the fume. The removal of coating will also improve weld quality.

Use stripping products to remove coatings. Make sure to remove any residues before welding.

Use wet slurry vacuum removal techniques for removing very toxic coatings.

Do not grind coatings. Grinding dust may be toxic.


What are the factors that affect worker exposure to welding fumes?

Type of welding process.

Composition of welding rod.

Filer metals and base metal used.

Type of coatings present.

Location (open area or confined space).

Type of ventilation controls (mechanical or local).

Work practices of welder (e.g. remove coatings, clean surfaces, stay upwind when welding in open or outdoor).

What are welding gases?

Welding gases are gases used or produced during welding and cutting processes like shielding gases or gases produced by the decomposition of fluxes or from the interaction of ultraviolet light or high temperatures with gases or vapors in the air.


What are examples of welding gases?

Gases used in welding and cutting processes include:


shielding gases such as carbon dioxide, argon, helium, etc.

fuel gases such as acetylene, propane, butane, etc.

oxygen, used with fuel gases and also in small amounts in some shielding gas mixtures

Gases produced from welding and cutting processes include:


carbon dioxide from the decomposition of fluxes

carbon monoxide from the breakdown of carbon dioxide shielding gas in arc welding

ozone from the interaction of electric arc with atmospheric oxygen

nitrogen oxides from the heating of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen

hydrogen chloride and phosgene produced by the reaction between ultraviolet light and the vapors from chlorinated hydrocarbon degreasing solvents (e.g., trichloroethylene, TCE)

Gases are also produced from the thermal breakdown of coatings:


Polyurethane coatings can produce hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and isocyanate vapors.

Epoxy coatings can produce carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Vinyl paints can produce hydrogen chloride.

Phosphate rust-inhibiting paints can release phosphine during welding processes.

Minimizing exposure to degreasing solvent vapors.


What are the hazards from welding gases?

Hazards from welding gases include:


asphyxiation (lack of oxygen)

fire or explosion



How can I prevent exposure to welding gases?

It is important to follow manufacturer’s instructions, safety data sheets (SDSs), and safety protocols to minimize the hazards of welding gases.


Use substitute materials such as water-based cleaners or high flash point solvents.

Cover the degreaser baths or containers.

Do not weld on surfaces that are still wet with a degreasing solvent.

Do not weld near degreasing baths.

Do not use chlorinated hydrocarbon degreasers.

Have adequate ventilation in a workplace to prevent the displacement or enrichment of oxygen and to prevent the accumulation of flammable atmospheres.

Use local exhaust ventilation systems to remove fume and gases from the welder’s breathing zone.

Wear appropriate respiratory protective equipment. The respiratory protective equipment should not be used to replace the use of mechanical ventilation.

Thoroughly understand the hazards associated with welding.

Clean welding surfaces regularly to remove coatings that could potentially result in toxic exposure levels.

Stay upwind of welding fumes when working in open or outdoor areas. Be aware, however, that working outdoors or in open work environments doesn’t guarantee safe ventilation.

Use local exhaust ventilation systems for indoor welding. Be sure to keep exhaust ports away from other workers.

Never weld in a confined space that doesn’t have ventilation.

Wear respiratory protection if ventilation and work practices don’t adequately reduce welding fume exposure to safe levels.


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