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Hazard, Risk and Remedy information herein adapted from Safe Work Australia material. Definition of Welding herein may not represent a legal definition.

Welding is the process of permanently joining two or more materials together, usually metals, by heat or pressure or both. When heated, the material reaches molten state and may be joined together with or without additional filler materials being added. Thermoplastics, for example can be welded together using a suitable heat source to form permanent joins.

Many different energy sources can be used for welding including gas flames, electric arcs, electric resistance, lasers, electron beams, friction, molten metal baths and ultrasound. Welding includes joining methods as diverse as fusion welding, forge welding, friction welding, braze welding, brazing, soldering and explosion welding.


Welding is a potentially hazardous activity and precautions are required to avoid electrocution, fire and explosion, burns, electric shock, vision damage, inhalation of poisonous gases and fumes, and exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation.


Using a targeted hazard identification and risk assessment process (see tools below) in conjunction with professional regulatory and legal advice a number of controls can be put in place to mitigate welding-related risks. These include but aren’t limited to;

Substitution – Replacing a hazardous process or material with a less hazardous one, for example using a submerged arc welding instead of flux-covered wire welding will reduce exposure to radiation and fumes.

Isolation – Removing the welder and nearby workers from the hazard, or isolating the hazard itself from the workers, for example ancillary processes such as plasma cutting, gouging, grinding could be carried out in areas away from general fabrication reducing the risk of noise-exposure at the welding station.

Engineering – Using engineering controls to minimise the risk, for example, ventilation systems to remove welding fumes.

Additionally administrative controls and personal protective equipment are important to use in conjunction with the afore-mentioned controls.


Information SourceContents
Code of Practice - How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks

Safe Work Australia – Model Code of Practice – How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks

This code provides practical guidance for persons who have duties under the WHS Act and Regulations to manage risks to health and safety.
Safe Work Australia - Model Code of Practice - Welding ProcessesThis code provides practical guidance for persons managing risks involving welding specifically.
Comcare - Eye health in the workplaceGeneral information regarding the risks of eye injuries as they related to tasks performed by workers governed under Commonwealth WHS legislation.
UK Health & Safety Executive - Welding Health and SafetyGuidance on welding activities.


Information sourceWhat it contains
Incident notification - Part 3, Section 35 to 37 of the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011The legislative requirements for incident notification to Comcare
Comcare - Guide to incident notificationHelps you decide whether you need to notify Comcare of an injury, illness or dangerous incident under the WHS Act
Page last updated: 31 Mar 2016