Methods of Fume Control | MillerWelds


Weld Fume Protection

OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls is a method that can help companies reduce fume exposure while limiting their risk of worker injury or illness. The options at the top of the hierarchy are more effective, as they address the Fume Overview hazard, rather than just reduce the risk.

Process Modification/Substitution

The first, and most effective level in the hierarchy of controls, removes the danger from the environment, or substitutes with something that does not produce a hazard. Hobart® Element™ filler metals address one of the leading health concerns in the industry – reducing the level of manganese in your welding environment – while maintaining the capabilities needed for industrial welding applications.

Designed for compliance and performance, Element wire can help you meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations for the manufacturing and fabrication industries – and ensure the best operability and productivity.  

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Engineering Controls

The second most effective level of control recommended by OSHA requires controlling the hazard through a physical change to the workplace or a change in the design of equipment, such as increased ventilation. Miller’s complete line of innovative extraction systems provides total weld fume solutions for any environment.

The complete line of Miller® FILTAIR fume extractors are designed specifically for welding – drawing weld fumes away from the welder’s breathing zone and keeping your facility clean. We offer many types of Fume Extraction equipment to best fit your environment and fume control needs.

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Work Practice Controls

The third level of the OSHA Hierarchy is work practice controls, which does not remove the hazards, but includes general workplace and operation-specific rules that limit or prevent exposure to the hazards. Safe work practices involve adjustments to how a task is performed, along with regular maintenance and supervision of engineering controls. It is also important that everyone using any type of personal protective equipment knows how to use and maintain their PPE for optimal performance.

Examples of work practice controls include:
  • Body Positioning: keeping his or her head out of the weld plume; changing body position so that the airflow moves from back to front; and making sure any air movement in the work area pushes fume away from the breathing zone.
  • Routine vision testing can identify changes to eyesight and whether the need for glasses or magnifying lenses is necessary. In some cases, this can prevent welders from placing their head so close to their work piece, keeping their head further from the plume.
  • Proper Training: ensuring workers are properly trained on how to weld can reduce spatter/fume generation, over‐welding and the need for clean‐up or rework.

Personal Protective Equipment

The fourth level of the OSHA Hierarchy is personal protective equipment, specifically, respirators. When engineering controls are not feasible, while they are being implemented or when they do not reduce exposure levels enough, respiratory protection should be implemented. Miller respirators are specifically designed to offer protection from welding fumes – keeping welders safe, comfortable and productive.

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