The Welding Fume White Paper released by AWS in March 2018 aimed to investigate the recent IARC reclassification of welding fume as “Carcinogenic to Humans”. The document pulled relevant information from multiple sources into one easy-to-read document, so that employers of welders and welders themselves could make better decisions regarding welding fume and suitable respiratory protective measures.
Below we take a look at some of the personal stories from around Australia and New Zealand from companies and individuals who have made a change as a result of the Welding Fume White Paper.
Tait Condon Pty Limited, New South Wales
Welders on this site had been using non-respiratory welding helmets with disposable respirator masks using a cross breeze provided by two-large roller doors which remain open at all times. Received a flyer in the mail regarding the reclassification of welding fume as carcinogenic and also received an email on the same subject. In response, the Safety Manager suggested the company call Work Cover NSW for their advice on Best Practice. The welders mainly doing MIG welding have now upgraded to the 3M Speedglas 9100 FX Air with Adflo PAPR.
Atlas Heavy Engineering, Queensland
After reading the White Paper on the Reclassification of Welding Fume as Carcinogenic, management wanted to upgrade all welders to Powered Air Respiratory Protection. To date, the welders had used reusable respiratory protection worn under their welding helmets. Management discovered that not only would powered air respirators offer better respiratory protection against carcinogenic fume, they were also a more economical option long term after conducting a cost to run analysis against reusable respirators. The company now supplies eight 3M Speedglas 9100 FX Air Welding Helmets with the Adflo PAPR to their permanent staff. The team loves them saying that they feel the Speedglas TrueView clarity and size of the viewing area allows them to weld more accurately and the comfort compared to the sweaty reusable respirator alternative is unbelievable. Never going back!
DMK Engineering, South Australia
6 months ago, we received a visit from the local AWS sales manager who introduced us to the Speedglas 9100 FX Air Powered Air Systems. We loved the systems but weren’t sure if we really needed to go down that path. After reading the White Paper from AWS and learning more about the reclassification of welding fume, moving to powered air respiratory protection was a no-brainer. We recently purchased 12 Adflo PAPR systems for our welders and couldn’t be happier.
Brett Roney, 2IC
Newmont Boddington Gold, Western Australia
Newmont had high standard processes in place to reduce fume exposure to its employees. As part of its welding policies, as a minimum requirement, a welder has to have powered respirators whenever welding is taking place. Newmont is looking to increase their ventilation system in their welding workshops which will aid in the respiratory protection of other people walking through the workshops as well.
I have always believed that lung cancer was a risk within the welding trade, however, it is good to know that over the past 8 years using powered air I have been wearing the best protection out there and the white paper document supports that.
The Speedglas 9100 FX Air PAPR is a great design. It sits central on your head which reduces the strain on your neck, the viewing range is superior to most other as the lenses are large enabling you to see people coming towards you out the corner of your eye.
Russell Jones, Purchasing Officer
KEMLAN INDUSTRIES, Queensland
We are a fireplace manufacturer in Brisbane and 3 months ago we became concerned after being made aware of the Welding Fume White Paper. We investigated different positive air welding helmets and decided that the 3M Speedglas 9100XXI Air with ADFLO would best suit us and seemed to be the best option. We contacted AWS and found the service and advice were excellent. We trialed 1 unit and all reports were excellent. We purchased 8 helmets 2 weeks ago and are very happy so far. The helmets are reliable, safe, comfortable, priced well and have a good warranty. The on-site training was excellent and the grinding button function is proving to be very useful and easy to use. It has given the company confidence in our welding fume safety. Thank you AWS for the great service.
Sandra Lomaz got in touch with AWS after reading the white paper and wanted to discuss what her son Samuel should be doing about protecting himself when welding. Sam was about to accept an engineering apprenticeship with a company in Rotorua and much of his workload was to be welding.
After a training session and careful consideration, Sam decided to select the 9100XXi FX Air with Adflo PAPR, as the majority of work he was going to be doing was Aluminium MIG welding.
His mother rang AWS and was absolutely ecstatic and thanked AWS for the time and effort, as she realised this would be something he would have for life and the product would be massively beneficial to Sam from the perspective of his health.
Have you read the Welding Fume White Paper from AWS yet?