A lot of hazardous substances as for i.e. metal oxides, chromates, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, ultra-fine particles, may be formed during different welding procedures. For these respirable sustances air limit values exist even if according to uncomfortable work place situation hygienic working condition cannot always be guaranteed. We compared the lung function of welders with the lung function of workers who manage a welding automaton in an automobile supplying industry to improve the medical prevention strategy.
190 welders and 255 operators of welding automaton, aged between 26 and 59 years, were medically checked-up.The examination were performed every two to three years. Spirometry was performed using the ATS guidelines. Forced Vital Capacity, Forced Expired Volume in 1 second were compared. Smokers and non-smokers are defined.
The results show that even the lung function of the workers who operate the automaton is comparable to those of the welders. The dicrease of the lung function is not statistically different.
In the Europian Union, respectively in Germany, air limit values are really controlled. Medical check-ups of welders are regularly performed. Workers operating a welding automaton are not usually examined.
We propose that it is necessary to examine operators of automaton welding machines like welders every three years to diagnose early severe changes of lung function.
A. Brammertz, None.