Welding Safety

Welding Safety, Man welding
Source: MaxPixels

When it comes to joining together most metal surfaces in industry, very few are as commonly used as welding. This method is particularly popular because of the longevity of bonding that one gets. Though it is a relatively simple process to undertake, there are some considerations needed to ensure that all goes well.

When two metal surfaces are welded together, they are basically merged using a heating agent and / or pressure. Because of the intensity of the heat involved, injuries may occur.

 

Risks Involved When Welding

As already noted, there are a number of risks involved when welding and these fall into these a few broad categories:

  1. Electric Shock

    Considered one of the most dangerous risks of welding, electric shock is quite typical. Depending on the voltage and point of contact, it can result in severe injury or even fatality. This can be from the actual shock or a fall resulting from it.

  2. Gas And Fume Inhalation

    Another acute risk associated with welding is the advent of taking in large amounts of fumes. As is the case with any kind of combustion, welding producing gases that are toxic to the body. As a result, overexposure to these substances can cause serious bodily harm.

  3. Risk of Fires and Explosions

    The process of welding in itself produces extremely high temperatures. Depending on the type of materials being worked on, explosions can be commonplace. With temperatures going as high as 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it is especially true for volatile elements, such as workshops in which Hydrogen is stored.

  4. Inadequate Protective Gear

    While the issue of insufficient protective clothing is equally risky across a number of industrial activities, it is especially dangerous for welders. Welding poses a unique risk for those not sufficiently protected in the way of acute burns and exposure to arc rays. Such stakes, heighten the need and importance of sufficient protective clothing and equipment.

Mitigating Risk To Ensure Welding Safety

Taking into account all the above-mentioned hazards, one might even wonder whether it is worth the while trying to do a welding job by oneself. Fortunately, there are some counter measures that can be implemented to increase welding safety.

Wearing Insulated, Shock-Proof Material

aluminum and steel welding, protective clothing when welding
Image By: Air National Guard

The most common type of electric shock when welding is secondary voltage shock. A good way to avoid this is to wear dry gloves that don’t conduct electricity. As an additional precaution, make it a point to not touch any metal or equipment with either wet hands or clothing.

Ventilate and Rest

welding safety, ventilated factory room
Image by: Geograph

In most instances, prolonged exposure to the fumes that emanate from welding can have longstanding, health effects. To avoid these nasty eventualities, always ensure that the room you are operating in is well ventilated. If you start to feel woozy or out of breath, get some air and take a break.

Adequate Preparation and Inspection Are Key

Due to how common welding is, as an industry practice, it is often easy to take one’s work space for granted. However, to be safe from hazards and eventualities, it is imperative that one takes to time to inspect the work area for any flammables and hazardous objects lying around.

Failure to do so can be the difference between an event-free day and a stay in the hospital.

Welding Safety Can Be Achieved With Care and Due Diligence

In all, it is the responsibility of the individual who is welding to ensure a safe and injury – free environment. By following the simple steps outlined and taking the time to prepare the work area, each welding job can be a problem-free affair.