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Raising Welding Health & Safety Standards: An Exclusive Interview with CTO Martin Peruzzi

16 November 2023 | 

In a recent exclusive interview, voestalpine Böhler Welding's Chief Technical Officer, Martin Peruzzi, provides in-depth insights into the central role of health and safety in the welding industry. He reveals how the company is responding to the ever-increasing health and safety demands of the market. Join us as we delve into the details and background of these evolving standards.

Welding, a vital industrial process, produces a complex mixture of fume particles that pose a health risk to welders. In recent years, health and safety requirements have become more stringent, driven by specific legislation and increased research. Certain metallic components and welding processes have been identified as potential risks. In particular, in 2018, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified welding fumes and UV radiation from welding as “carcinogenic to humans”.

In response to these critical challenges, voestalpine Böhler Welding is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions to reduce welding fumes and improve welder safety.

As CTO, Chief Technical Officer, of voestalpine Böhler Welding, there's no question that health and safety is one of our core principles. My responsibilities include overseeing all facets of health, safety and environmental considerations related to the development of new products and offerings to the market.

Martin Peruzzi, CTO of voestalpine Böhler Welding

Hazardous welding fume reduction as a critical factor to increase the health and safety standards for welders

From my perspective, the welding industry has always prioritized welder safety. However, a few years ago, welding fumes were reclassified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which put more pressure on the industry to innovate. At voestalpine Böhler Welding, we've embraced this responsibility to provide innovative solutions for welder health. We follow the so-called STOP principle.

  • “S” stands for Substitution at the Source:

Avoid or minimize welding fume and hazardous components at the source. With this in mind, we have developed a first new range of cored wires with low manganese and Cr(VI) content in the welding fumes. Our diamondspark GUARD seamless cored wires have a manganese reduction of more than 60% and our high-alloy FOXCore GUARD cored wires reduce the Cr(VI) content in the welding fume by approx. 90%. In combination with customized welding programs, the total amount of welding fumes can be further reduced.

  • “T” stands for Technical Solutions:

Fume extraction systems, and here our CO-BRO® GUARD cell is the best example, as the cell offers complete protection with more than three extraction systems for welding fumes, depending on the customer’s requirements.

  • “O” symbolizes Organizational Solutions:

Especially those linked with health and safety training and increasing awareness of the potential harm of welding fumes and UV radiation.

  • “P” stands for Protective Measures:

Despite the three main measures mentioned above, the direct protection of welders always comes first, and here too our range of personal protection equipment, such as the ventilated Guardian Helmets, offers the perfect solution for the welder in terms of health and safety.

What sets us appart?

In this case, I'm pleased to say that we are the first to offer seamless cored wires with low manganese content in the welding fume. These wires maintain excellent weldability and mechanical properties, providing a unique and innovative solution for welders.

See the full interview with Martin Peruzzi

Find out more about our commitment to welding health and safety and how we're pioneering innovative solutions to meet these challenges. Join us on our journey towards a safer and more efficient welding industry.