As a profession, welding is both rewarding and dangerous. Accidents may happen in any form and in any way. Even if there are no accidents, it may leave a negative impact on your health. So, welding safety is so paramount that it takes a lot of protective equipment as safeguards.
So, what are the threats and what do we need to protect ourselves from welding radiation, sparks, and other dangers? Yes, an auto-darkening welding helmet will do most of the job protecting the welders, but there is more to do for the safety. In this article, you will learn all of those effective safety tips.
Common Welding Hazards And Risk Management
Before you get scared, let me assured you of something; welding is not a difficult task. It’s a complex job and sensitive too. You gotta be constantly aware of your safety. If you take all the safety precautions properly, welding won’t seem any dangerous at all.
Here are some proven to be effective safety tips that every welder must follow:
Wearing A Welding Helmet
It’s not a tough job to do but requires you to exercise certain safety precautions. Don’t be a fool enough to start welding without wearing a helmet. Among all the welding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), this is the most important one and this alone will protect you from most of the welding dangers. It protects you from flash burns, protects your eyes, and so on.
Follow The Instruction Manual
The welding instructional manual comes with all the safety instructions you need. Most of us don’t read it at all which is nothing but foolish. Spend some time reading the manual and you will learn something new even if you are already an expert welder.
Every welding gear like the welding machine, helmet, or other equipment come with a manual. You will find the right information only from that manual. Every metalwork project has a work plan and safety plant. Stick to these plans to keep yourself safe.
Beware of Fire & Explosions
This is a real danger that may put your life in threat even if you wear all of your protective gear. You will find lots of incidents where deadly fire accidents occurred from welding sparks and spatter. Believe it or not, welding sparks can reach up to 35 feet!
So, what you can do about it? To keep your workspace safe, you have to keep it neat and clean. There should not be any flammable objects near your workspace. Keep your workspace free of paint, gasoline, oil, wood, paper, etc. And make sure there are plenty of fire extinguishers in inappropriate places.
Beware of Fumes And Gases
Welding fumes and gases are enriched with complex metal oxide compounds. And it’s no secret that these fume and gases are hazardous for your health. The severity varies depending on base metals and rods you use for welding.
Things get worst when you overexpose yourself in such situations which ultimately leads to unrecoverable health issues. To avoid such health hazards, you have to make sure there is proper ventilation system available in your workplace.
Safety From Electric Shocks
High electric voltage is a must in welding which makes the electric shock so deadly! If you touch the metal objects with your bare hands and there is a voltage between the metal objects – life-threatening electric shock may happen.
That’s the reason it is so crucial to wear welding gloves while touching any metal objects and welding equipment. Never try to change the electrodes without wearing a pair of welding gloves. Each time you take a break or there is a shift change, make sure to turn off the power.
Just like your face and hands, you should take steps to protect your whole body as well. And the best way to do that is to wear a good quality welding jacket. Since they are fire-resistant, so you will be fully protected from sparks and spatters.
Buying such clothing requires some considerations. They come in a lot of variety. You should get the one that only matches the line of your work. By all means, avoid wearing short-sleeved T-shirts or any kind of shorts. Don’t downplay the importance of this thing even the task is a simple small welding job.
Protect Your Hearing!
It may sound very unlikely to you, but there are lots of evidence of entering metal sparks and airborne particles into ear canals. There will be serious consequences if that happens to you as well. So, you have to be careful to protect your ears too.
The right way to do so is to wear good earmuffs. Let me be very clear. I am not talking about earplugs. Earplugs won’t do any good protecting you from such things. Another great advantage of using earmuff is that it protects your ear from loud noises generated from welding.
Think About Your Legs Too
Just like your hands and face, your foot is susceptible to welding sparks and spatters too. Wearing leather shoes or boot is the best way to protect your foot. Make sure the legs of your pant go over the boot. Avoid wearing cloth or tennis shoes.
Most of the time you will be working in a confined space. There is a huge change in welding smoke and fumes may create trouble to breathe easily. Besides, the shielding gases also replace the oxygen in your workplace. So, make sure you can breathe freely and if not; ask your employer to improve the condition.
Even if you are not professional welder, you do some welding tasks like fixing the garden fence or the garage door now and then, right? So, everyone should know about welding safety to protect themselves from any unwanted circumstances.