Ensuring high levels of safety is vital when undertaking any welding activity. Ignoring your PPE and safe working practices can have serious repercussions and might even lead to fatalities. Therefore, you should follow the safety precautions below to protect yourself at work.
Ø Always Wear Appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Your employer must provide you with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The PPE’s include:
- Welding helmets with side-shields. Welding helmets protect you from UV radiation, particles, debris, hot slag, and chemical burns. You must wear the right lens shade for the work you are carrying out. follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and gradually adjust the lens filter until you have good visibility that does not irritate your eyes. You should also use a fire-resistant hood under your helmet to protect the back of your head.
- Respirators. Respirators protect you from fumes and oxides that the welding process creates. Your respirator must be suitable for the work you are carrying out.
- Fire-resistant clothing. Fire-resistant clothing protects you from heat, fire, and radiation created in the welding process and shields you from burns. It should have no cuffs, and pockets must be covered by flaps or taped closed. You should not use synthetic clothing. Instead, opt for leather and flame-resistant treated cotton.
- Ear protection. Ear protection protects you from noise hazards. You must wear ear protection that is appropriate for the noise created in your workplace and use fire-resistant ear muffs if there is a risk of sparks or splatter entering the ear.
- Safety shoes and gloves. Insulated, flame-resistant gloves and rubber-soled, steel toe-capped safety shoes shield you from electric shocks, heat, fire, burns and falling objects.
Ø Ensure Appropriate Training of Welders
Before starting any welding work, you must receive adequate training in the use and safety of your related work and equipment. There is also a need for a sectional toolbox before the commencement of the assigned task, as this will help curtail some hazards to its minimum.
Ø Ensure Your Workspace is Well Ventilated
Good ventilation is important when welding as it removes airborne gases and particles from your work area. You may need to employ a combination of ventilation strategies to combat all the pollutants created in the welding process. You might also need to use respirators if your ventilation strategies don’t reduce your exposure enough.
Ø Ensure Your Workspace is Free of Flammable Material
You should avoid keeping flammable materials in the vicinity of welding processes as sparks, heat and molten metal splatters produced in the welding process could potentially set flammable material on fire.
- Fire extinguishers must be ready for immediate use
Ensure that there is a fire extinguisher close to the welding vicinity. Knowledge of fire extinguisher use is encouraged.
Unsafe Acts concerning the use of PPE’s:
- Roll-up of safety coverall: Rolling up your safety coverall will leave you susceptible to molten metal or sparks getting caught in the folds, which could potentially lead to severe burns. You should also never tuck your trousers into your work boots.
- Removing of safety helmet while welding: You must always wear your safety helmet when welding and when in the vicinity of another welder. While the intensity of the radiation produced decreases the further you are from a welding arc, those less than 10 meters away are still susceptible to arc-eye. Therefore, you must remain behind welding curtains or wear the correct PPE, even if you aren’t the one carrying out the welding operation.
For more information as regards welding consumables and its safety precautions, please contact us.