MySDS mobile iconMobile menu

The Dark Side of Metal Work: Are You Protected?

Share This Post

The Dark Side of Metal Work: Are You Protected?

Every employee faces potential hazards in their workplace, some come with obvious warning signs, while others creep their way in, causing damage after prolonged exposure. The more ‘hidden’ hazards can sometimes be the most dangerous, and it is the employer’s responsibility to have preventative measures in place.


Siderosis is the “chronic inflammation of the lungs caused by excessive inhalation of dust [or fumes] containing iron salts or particles.” 1 Different forms of Siderosis can also see the deposit of “an abnormal quantity of iron in the liver” 2 as well as a “degeneration of the retina, lens, and uvea as a result of the deposition of iron” 3. Siderosis is most common with those working with iron oxide; welders, miners and allied processes. Allied processes being “metal joining or metal depositing processes, soldering, brazing, adhesive bonding, metal spraying and surfacing.” 4

What are fumes? Fumes are “solid particles […] formed by the condensation and oxidation of the metal which have been vaporized by the arc or flame. These particles are capable of being deposited in the gas-exchange region of the lungs.”

What are the symptoms of Siderosis? Siderosis does not often have symptoms. It can be seen on x-rays and CT scans as nodules on the lungs, however it does not often show any other signs to those it affects. You might be thinking, then what is the big deal? But the big deal is Siderosis can “give rise to other disease conditions which can cause significant symptoms.” 5

What can be done to prevent Siderosis? It is important that the employer put all safety precautions in place to make the workplace as safe as possible for its employees.

Ventilation • it is required that employers have the appropriate ventilation specific to the job that is taking place. This may include a ventilation hood, fan, duct, air cleaner or supplied air system.

Respiratory Protection • the appropriate respiratory protection needs to be worn by all employees that could be affected by the fumes in their workplace. Respirators need to be fitted properly and inspected regularly.

Safety Data Sheets • it is important that safety data sheets are available and kept up to date in order to provide employers and employees with all the adequate information needed to keep themselves safe.

It is recommended by the government of Canada that “the employer should make sure that all workers get regular checkups with the physician so as to detect any lung damage early and slow down the progression of the disease process”. It is important that both the employer and employees take all the appropriate precautions, the employer sets the guidelines but it is equally as important that the employees follow these procedures in order to maintain a safe workplace. If you notice something that needs to be changed, don't hesitate to speak with your employer, for safety's sake!

Are you worried your workplace may not be compliant? MySDS Inc. can complete a Safety Audit of your workplace and work with you to create the safest working environment possible for you and your employees. CONTACT US!


  1. The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
  2. Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc.
  3. Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
  4. ME Mechanical Classification of Welding and Allied Processes. Copyright 2019 ME Mechanical
  5. Welding and allied processes: A guide to health hazards and hazard control measures. Copyright 2019. Government of Canada.

Price Guarantee

If you find a lower price for a comparable service, we will beat it by 10%.* Contact us today, and start saving money today!

Get Started Today
*Subject to price match proof. Terms and conditions apply.

Posts you might like:

Guide to SDS Management for Canadian Organizations

This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need about SDS management for Canadian organizations. You will discover the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) regulations, the importance of effective SDS management for safety and compliance, and the best practices for maintaining, updating, and accessing SDSs. Read on to find out how to manage SDSs in Canada and how to benefit from using digital management software.

Read More >
Our MySDS logo: What's all the buzz about?

A simple shape that holds a lot of meaning. A honeycomb shape, or hexagon, can often be spotte

Read More >
MySDS Remembers

November 11th, Remembrance Day (originally Armistice Day)

Read More >
Live WHMIS 2015 Training

Does your company need to have updated WHMIS 2015 training? MySDS has all of the updated and necessary training procedures and resources for your business.

Read More >
Is Your Company Compliant?

The changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are significant. We can help you stay compliant.

Read More >
MySDS is a Quadshift company