Fume Minimisation Guidelines



Welding, Cutting Brazing & Soldering


These guidelines are based on research supported by the organisations listed at the end of this introduction. The aim of the research was to establish which processes generated fume at levels which would need to be controlled to comply with the requirements of the Hazardous Substances Regulations and to provide advice on the control measures which could be introduced to achieve this. Details of the legislation are summarised in Guideline 1.

Guidelines 2 to 16 provide the advice on control measures.

Controlling the level of operators’ exposure to fume is the primary focus of these Guidelines. Depending on the workplace, it may also be necessary to protect personnel, other than operators, from these fumes. As workplaces differ so widely, it has not been possible to develop specific advice for this protection. Some controls, such as local exhaust ventilation or well designed mechanical general ventilation, may protect other staff as well as the operator whereas controls such as personal protective equipment or breathing zone ventilation, such as a fan supplying a cross draft of air for the welder, will not protect staff adjacent to the operation. Some advice on general workshop ventilation is included in Guideline 2.

As with all documents of this nature, the guidelines are dependent on feedback from industry and other interested parties. Suggestions on improvements to these guidelines are welcome and should be addressed to Weld Australia (formerly known as the WTIA).


The use of these Guidelines cannot guarantee full compliance with the Hazardous Substances Regulations. By following the methodology a workplace will lessen or mitigate the risk of non compliance. Further professional assistance, for example by occupational hygienists or ventilation engineers, may be advisable in those circumstances where the Guidelines may not be entirely applicable or unusual conditions prevail.


While every effort has been made and all reasonable care taken to ensure the accuracy of the material contained herein, the authors, editors and publishers of this publication shall not be held to be liable or responsible in any way whatsoever and expressly disclaim any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage costs or expenses howsoever incurred by any person whether the purchaser of this work or otherwise including but without in any way limiting any loss or damage costs or expenses incurred as a result of or in connection with the reliance whether whole or partial by any person as aforesaid upon any part of the contents of these Fume Minimisation Guidelines.

These guidelines have been prepared by the Working Group on Fume, comprising representatives from:

  • Industry
  • Occupational Health and Safety state bodies
  • Australian Aluminium Council
  • Australian Institute of Steel Construction
  • Australian Stainless Steel Development Association
  • Australian Workers Union
  • Cooperative Research Centre for Welded Structures
  • Copper Development Association of Australia
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Nickel Development Institute
  • Welding Technology Institute of Australia.

Guidelines are based on the results of a fume assessment project carried out in 1997 as part of a Research Project of the Cooperative Research Centre for Welded Structures.

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Fume Minimisation Guidelines pdf 3 MB 30 Jun, 2015 Download