Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

 

image
Lower Limit Live Longer

Lower Limit Live Longer

THE WORKPLACE EXPOSURE STANDARD FOR WELDING FUMES IS NOW 1 mg/m³

AMWU members first campaigned to keep the workplace exposure standard for welding fumes before shifting our focus to lowering the limit. The old standard of 5 mg/m³ hadn't been updated since it was set in the 1990s, leaving workers exposed to unsafe levels of welding fumes.

SafeWork Australia supported our recommendation to lower the limit at the end of 2023, and the new limit of 1 mg/m³ came into effect on 18 January 2024.

WHY IS THE WORKPLACE EXPOSURE STANDARD IMPORTANT?

The WES is a general exposure standard that sets the upper limit of exposure a workplace can have for welding fumes. It's a critically important tool to keep workers safe.

Welding fumes have been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer in humans) since 2017 and are also known to cause other serious illnesses such as lung damage and emphysema.

To comply with WHS legislation, your employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to eliminate or minimise the risks from exposure to welding fumes, not just ensure that exposure is below the WES.

WHO IS AT RISK?

Thousands of AMWU members across the country – like fitters, welders and boilermakers – weld every day. Workers who don't weld but are around welding are also exposed to fumes.


Register your exposure

We've created the National Welding Fumes Exposure Register so workers who may have been exposed to welding fumes can record information for for their future reference. Having a recorded history of your exposure in the workplace can help you access any workers compensation you may be owed if you develop an illness or disease that is linked to welding fumes.


Not yet a part of your union? There's never been a better time to join.


MORE INFORMATION

        

CANCER COUNCIL: WELDING AND CANCER

AIOH POSITION PAPER: WELDING AND THERMAL CUTTING FUME - POTENTIAL FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH EFFECT

 

Share on

Latest campaigns

Build Them Here

Support Aussie Made

Asbestos free future