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COSHH essentials for welding, hot work and allied processes

See our Respiratory Protective Equipment range

Welding fumes can cause lung and increases the risk of asthma and cancer. To comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), employers should follow all the points to reduce the exposure and therefore reduce the risk of illness.

Key points

  • Dust and fume can cause serious lung diseases.
  • Keep exposure as low as possible using all the controls in this sheet.
  • Design, install, commission and maintain engineering controls.
  • Health monitoring is usually needed.
  • See manufacturers’ safety data sheets - select safer consumables.

(COSHH essentials for welding, hot work and allied processes, 2006)

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

  • RPE is always needed. (Don’t panic, get your RPE here!)
  • Provide a powered or air-fed welding helmet that suits the wearer, the job and the work environment
  • For normal work, use a type LDH2 air-line helmet to BS EN 1835 standard or type TH2 powered filtering helmet to BS EN146/EN12942. 
  • For short-term tasks, type P3 high-efficiency disposable RPE is acceptable.
  • Make sure all RPE is properly fit-tested – book a Face Fit appointment today!
  • Make sure that workers check their RPE works properly before use.
  • Replace RPE filters as recommended by your supplier. Throw away disposable masks after one use.
  • Keep RPE clean and store it away from dust. 

(COSHH essentials for welding, hot work and allied processes, 2006)

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.

For more information on COSHH Essentials and a more comprehensive range of COSHH Essentials publications please see the COSHH Essentials website.


  • COSHH essentials for welding, hot work and allied processes. (2006). [PDF] Health and Safety Executive, pp.1-3. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/wl12.pdf [Accessed 30 Mar. 2019].