The commercial use of metals in the construction of equipment, buildings, ships and airplanes has created terrific employment opportunities. Welders can earn good salaries because of their skills. Although welders can earn a lot of money, the job can be hazardous due to high temperatures, materials and work environments. For those on an arc welding path, always put safety first. Here are some welding safety tips to keep in mind.
Arc and other forms of welding use high voltage electrical equipment. The power can range from 20 to 100 volts. Death can result from exposure to less than 50 volts under certain conditions. It’s imperative that you understand and respect electricity. Never work in a wet or damp space. These include puddles, ground water or even where someone spills a coffee. Never handle electrified materials without safety gloves. If you are holding an electrified tool or material and touch another conductor, this can complete an electrical circuit right through your body.
The heat of a welding arc can hit 10,000 degrees. Be certain that you are not working near any combustible materials. Keep in mind that the arc itself does not have to touch other materials to start a fire. The sheer heat can start a blaze. Also, arc spatter is like shooting off a Roman candle. Work at least 35 feet away from flammable materials.
Always wear a complete outfit of safety equipment that includes rated clothing, gloves, face shield, safety glasses, and hearing protection. In commercial settings, you are not only protecting yourself from your own work, but also from those around you. Here are some of the common injuries caused by poor safety gear.
- Eye protection: Arc rays can cause what welders call “arc flash” that damages your eyesight. It can occur from other welders working to your side or even behind you. Also, small metal shards can become embedded in your eyes.
- Rated Clothing: High UV radiation produced by arc rays can cause intense skin burns. Welding spatter can burn through inadequate gear. Cover up.
- Ear Plugs: The high decibels from welding and metal gauging can damage your hearing.
- Helmets: Accidents such as falling materials can occur in industrial setting. Protect your head.
Welders enjoy a tremendous trade that has an excellent future. Always place safety as your highest priority and arc on!