Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland announces inspection programme of engineering businesses

Date published: 14 April 2022

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has announced an inspection and enforcement initiative within engineering companies, which is set to begin in May. The inspections will focus on compliance with industry standards specifically in relation to the control of welding fume.

Image of a worker welding

HSENI Principal Anne Boylan said: “Welding fume, including mild steel fume, if not correctly managed, can cause lung cancer, kidney cancer, or lead to other health issues.

“Beginning in May our Inspectors will be visiting engineering businesses across Northern Ireland to ensure that proper controls are in place to manage the health risks associated with all welding activities.” 

Throughout the initiative, HSENI Inspectors will be focusing on the controls that are in place to ensure health risks associated with welding activities are adequately controlled, in line with current legislation. In particular, inspectors will require that:

  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) (On-tool extraction, fixed extraction, mobile extraction) is provided to control welding fume at source;
  • Records exist and are available, showing that LEV has been thoroughly examined within the last 14 months, or evidence that you have it planned for a specific date and
  • Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) where appropriate is provided to the correct standard and properly used and maintained.

To support businesses ahead of the initiative, HSENI working with industry professionals, has produced a series of six video presentations outlining the risks involved with welding and the controls that should be in place to protect workers.

For advice and guidance about the health and safety controls businesses should have in place and to view the guidance video presentations visit

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy (DfE), and is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland:
  2. For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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