Blog Post #1526 – Taming Toxic Fumes

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (January 2017)

“HRS Group inc. has hired a retired millwright, Jody Patterson, to be one of our trainers. He was also a health and safety representative for many years and is totally familiar with the requirements for safety programs and processes.

It is because of him I have decided to use this next report that deals with welding fumes and other airborne hazards that may occur around the welding process.”

Dan Beal

CHSEP – Advanced

Welding fumes, which are gases used or produced during welding and cutting processes, are a complex mixture of metallic oxides, silicates and fluorides. Fumes are formed when a metal is heated above its boiling point and its vapours condense into fine particles. Vapours are also produced from the thermal breakdown of coatings and residues containing toxic ingredients on metal that is being welded, according to information from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), in Hamilton, Ontario.

Hazards from welding gases include asphyxiation, fire or explosion and toxicity. Factors that influence exposure risk include the type of welding processes used, the composition of welding rods, the type of coatings present, the location where the welding is conducted (an open area or a confined space) and the type of ventilation controls available.

The following measures can prevent exposure to welding gases:

  • Use substitute materials, such as water-based cleaners or high flashpoint solvents;
  • Avoid welding on surfaces that are wet with a degreasing solvent or near degreasing baths;
  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation to prevent the displacement or enrichment of oxygen and the accumulation of flammable atmospheres;
  • Use local exhaust-ventilation systems to remove fumes and gases from the welder’s breathing zone, and
  • Wear appropriate respiratory protective equipment.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Chemical Safety Awareness’, ‘Confined Space Entry’ and ‘WHMIS’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.



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