Manganese Seminar Update

If you are in the welding industry you have probably heard about Manganese.  The is an essential element in the welding process and has been getting a whole lot of exposure right now as the Manitoba Government has overnight reduced the allowable amount of manganese in welding fume by 90%.

Canadian Welding Association

On Tuesday February 13th the Canadian welding association hosted a seminar on the impact that the new legislation regarding the change in manganese levels in welding fumes.  We were incredibly fortunate to have three exceptional speakers present to us and have a summary of a meeting between the Manitoba government and the Canadian Welding Bureau presented.

Kevin Lyttle from Praxair spoke first and was able to clearly explain how manganese works the levels and

Following Christopher (Chris) Rahm an Occupational hygienist from Golder & Associates Ltd spoke regarding how the health effects are measured, the scientific studies and the recommendation paper that is the foundation behind Manitoba’s new law.

Finally Dan Curts from 3M presented options for personal protective equipment that is available for applications not only of excessive manganese concentrations, but other harmful fumes.

Each of these gentleman stressed a few key points. 1: The American hygienists recommendation clearly states that this paper was not to be applied to welding fumes. 2. That the recommendation is not to be adopted in to law by governing organizations 3. That engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment combined will be required to meet this requirement.

Canadian Welding Bureau

Craig Martin (VP Public Safety) from the Canadian Welding Bureau concluded the presentations with a summary of a meeting that was held with the Manitoba Government and the Canadian Welding Bureau.

I am sure that each person there was hoping to hear this would all go away and that the legislation is wrong.  Unfortunately that was not the case. I do think that everyone left with more information,  and a more clear understanding of what the expectations are. The CWA & CWB will be continuing to lobby the Manitoba government with the assistance of industry to clarify and change legislation.

Until next week.

Bonnie Pankratz