Electric Welding (Fumes and Vapours)
Employers must not allow workers to be exposed to levels above 1mg/m3 as an eight-hour TWA.
From Thursday 18 January 2024, the workplace exposure standard (WES) for welding fumes will be reduced from a time-weighted average (TWA) airborne contamination of 5mg/m3 over an eight-hour period to a TWA of 1 mg/m3 over an eight-hour period.
This change follows a review of the Safe Work Australia (SWA) workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants, where the Work Health and Safety Ministers agreed to the revision.
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) impose specific duties on employers in relation to welding fumes, including, ensuring the WES is not exceeded.
The SWA guide, Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants, of which the OHS Regulations reference, will be amended to reflect this change.