Work Health and Safety Ministers have agreed to an immediate reduction to the workplace exposure standard (WES) for welding fumes. The change to the WES will become mandatory once implemented in the WHS/OHS laws in the Commonwealth, states and territories. Welding processes are common across many industries, including construction and manufacturing. Workers who are exposed to welding fumes can develop occupational lung diseases including lung cancer.
Under the model WHS laws, PCBUs must eliminate or minimise the risks to worker health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable, including those associated with chemical exposure. The ACT WHS Council Members will be consulted regarding ACT adoption of the reduced WES for welding fumes, including a suitable transition period for local implementation.
Further information regarding the changes to the workplace exposure standard for welding fumes is available on the SWA website and can be found here.