Weld Fume Management

Welding Fume Management

To stay in compliance with regulations from agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), weld fumes must be managed. OSHA enforces exposure limits for each individual metal, metal oxides or gases found in the weld plume, such as hexavalent chromium and manganese.

To help employers comply with the environmental regulations, a Hierarchy of Controls is provided. This also helps companies drive improvement opportunities. Before companies implement controls, it is recommended to conduct air sampling to understand the types and levels of contaminants in the welding environment.

Using the Hierarchy of Controls, OSHA recommends minimizing weld fume exposure through these steps:

  1. Elimination or Substitution, such as changing the shielding gas
  2. Engineering Controls, such as fume extraction equipment
  3. Administrative Controls, such as proper body positioning
  4. Perso...