Of the many hazards present in the metal manufacturing industry, welders need to be especially aware and cautious when it comes to welding fumes and their effects on health, as well as how to best reduce exposure.

In early 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified welding fumes as a Group 1 carcinogenic. The change was primarily associated with the effects of ultra-violet (UV) exposure on the skin and eyes, lung cancers and limited evidence for kidney cancer from welding fume exposures.

Short- and long-term exposure to fumes impacts on a welder’s health negatively, causing eye, nose and throat irritation, lung infections, asthma, lung damage and various types of cancer. It is therefore important that welders understand the hazards of the materials they are working with and the scale of exposure.

Workplace health & safety (WHS) Regulations require employers to provide information and training for workers on exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace. In every workplace, health & safety holds the highest importance and workers and employers need to ensure it is being upheld every day. To assist, Pro-Visual Publishing in conjunction with the Australian Industry (Ai) Group and the National Safety Council of Australia (NSCA) Foundation have released the Metal Manufacturing Industry Guide to Safety 2020/21.

The Guide is an eyecatching safety poster that provides further information relating to welding fumes as well as other critical safety issues in the metal manufacturing industry. The Guide also features augmented reality (AR) capabilities, allowing it to become digitally interactive. By downloading the free Pro-Vis AR app, workers can use their smart device to scan any AR capable content to access to web links and PDF files.