In the welding industry, it is crucial for the safety of everyone to know what the potential hazards are. Yes, accidents happen, but with proper training and precautions, injuries can be avoided. Every welding job has different duties, however, they all can face the same risks if not cautious.
Shop Safety: Common Risks
Welding can be a dangerous occupation when safety guidelines are not followed. If safety measures are ignored, welders can face a variety of hazards. The most common hazards that a welder can face are:
- Electric Shock – When using an arc welder, a welder is at the most significant risk of electric shock. This commonly happens when a welder touches metal that has high voltage. Electric shock is the most serious hazard posed by welding and can result in burns, internal damage, cardiac arrest, or in some cases death.
- Fumes and Gases – The welding process releases a variety of toxic fumes and gases. These can range from arsenic, manganese, lead, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and even carbon monoxide. When a welder is exposed to fumes and gases the health risks include impaired speech and movement, respiratory issues, and the possibility of cancer.
- Fire – Welding produces extreme temperatures and sparks. If a work area is not cleared correctly, it can cause fires and explosions.
- Physical Injuries – When welding, there are serval physical risks that everyone should be aware of. These include eye damage, cuts, burns, and crushed limbs. As a result, all welders are expected to wear the proper equipment on the job.
Advanced Career Institute teaches how to properly weld so that these issues are reduced as much as possible.
How to Avoid Workplace Risks
To avoid the mentioned risks and prevent further risks, follow these 6 tips.
Wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Wearing the correct PPE for each job will decrease the risk of workplace injury. The following are types of PPE most welder’s wear:
- Eye and Face Protection: Includes safety glasses and face shields. If the job requires, welders could also have to include a helmet.
- Fume and Gas Protection: Respirators and fume extraction systems protect welders when proper site ventilation is not enough.
- Heat and Radiation Protection: The heat put off from welding makes wearing a heat-resistant outer layer, gloves that extend up the forearm, welding hoods, and goggles vital to a welder’s protection.
- Electric Shock Protection: The previous protection equipment also helps with electric shocks when paired with insulated under layers and boots with rubber soles.
- Ear Protection: When a welder is in an area where the sound is over 85dB for an extended period, ear protection is needed.
Precautions from Fumes and Gases
Proper ventilation of the work area can be achieved by the use of fans, an exhaust vent, or exhaust hoods to remove the fumes and gases from the area. When necessary, the use of proper PPE listed above may also be required.
Take Precautions Against Electrocution
To reduce the chances of electrocution, welders should ensure that their gloves are dry and always remember to keep dry insulation between themselves and the ground.
Routinely check the equipment being used to ensure that safety concerns and working accidents happen much less. Even if the equipment was put back in working condition, that doesn’t always mean it will stay that way.
Know the Environment
Know and inspect the environment before beginning to weld. This will increase a welder’s efficiency and also increase the overall safety of the weld. Be sure to know where all safety tools are and remove any hazards that may catch on fire.
The welding industry is like any other career industry. It is constantly changing and evolving. This is why it vital for a welder to keep learning to provide the best and safest work.
There is a variety of options for welders when it comes to choosing a long-term career. Dream big and find a career that fits your desires and needs as a welder! In the end, it will make work a pleasure, and not a chore. The options in the welding field are genuinely endless. For further information on Advanced Career Institute’s Welding Training, contact us today!