Top 5-Tips to Staying Safe While Welding-

welding safety

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Safety is a prime consideration in the welding profession.

According to surveys, America suffers an average of 37 deaths per 100000 steel industry workers. The death rate is even worse for underwater welding workers, which is 15%. Moreover, 500000 welders per year got injured by welding-related accidents. 

The statistics are terrifying when it's your daily job. The risk is even greater when you are a hobbyist welder because home workshops are usually not equipped with proper safety systems.

Accidents can happen while welding, but the number shouldn’t be so high. Accidents can be minimized, even prevented if proper safety measures are taken.

It's crucial to know how to be safe from hazards while welding. Hence, we will discuss 5 tips to staying safe while welding.

Welding might be hazardous to those who are performing the job and whoever near the welding process. It's essential to know the risk factors of the welding process  and how to be safe from them. Following are the 5 tips to staying safe while welding:

1. Always wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)

Personal Protection Equipment

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Wearing PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is the basic requirement for welding. Welding without wearing PPE can be extremely dangerous. PPE for welding usually include:

(a) Welding boots

Welding boots are generally heavy-duty shoes with steel in the toes. These boots can withstand electricity and are heatproof. The steel in toes protects your feet from heavy metals that might fall on your feet while welding. Besides these are

(b) Helmets

A helmet is an essential item for the welders. A welding helmet is designed to protect your eyes, face, and necks from flash burns, sparks, ultraviolet, and infrared rays. Auto-darkening helmets are suitable for welding as they allow you to see your project correctly while protecting your face and eyes.

(c) Gloves

Welding gloves allow you to touch hot materials while welding. Gloves also protect you from spatters burning holes in your hands—besides, these work as a shield from UV radiation rays that cause skin cancer.

(d) Welding jackets

Welding jackets are made from fire-resistant materials to protect you from metal splatters and high heat during welding. Welding jackets are usually made of leather, have long arms and turtleneck that save you from neck burns and splatter burns.

(e) Respirators

Respirators are the devices you put on the mouth to inhale fresh air while welding. The device removes toxic gases and substances from the atmosphere through a filter. You can find a wide range of helmets with enough space for the respirators.

(f) Ear protection

Ear protection protects your ear from noise hazards. It's crucial to wear fire-resistant ear muffs if there is any risk of splatters entering your ears.

 Your PPE can fully protect you if you don't:

(a) Roll up your sleeves and trousers that can leave your skin exposed to severe burns.

(b) Remove your helmet while welding. Most welders flip their helmet off while tacking, which is extremely hazardous.

2. Save yourself from electrical shock

Save yourself from electrical shock

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During the arc welding process, high levels of voltage are used to produce the arc that has been burned under the temperature about ten thousand degrees. That means you are exposed to an increased risk of electric shock, resulting in serious injuries, even death. You are also exposed to the risk of secondary electric shock if you touch a part of the welding or electrical circuit, even the metal you are welding.

Electrical shock is the most severe hazard while welding, and you must avoid welding:

(a) In damp weather.

(b) Wearing wet clothes.

(c) On metal flooring.

(d) In cramped conditions.

Numerous safety features are included in the modern welding machines to protect you from potential electrocution hazards. But still, you have to be extra cautious while welding to protect yourself from electrocution.

3. Beware of the fire hazard and burns

Beware of the fire hazard and burns

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Fire is another severe hazard regarding welding. The heat involved in the welding process can ignite the flammable materials around it, though the metal itself is inflammable. It is advisable to keep a fire extinguisher near you, in case of fire breaks out. Fire can spread rapidly and can burn down the whole workshop if proper precautions are not taken.

You can be susceptible to severe burn injury during the welding process because of high-temperature welding arcs, UV rays, and molten metal. Gloves will protect your hands from hot metals; you should still be extra-cautious as the gloves are not designed entirely heatproof. Helmets and Headcovers are also essential to protect your face and head from the extreme heat you are exposed to. 

4. Well-ventilated workshop

Well-ventilated workshop

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The electrical welding process uses inert gas for welding, which is usually non-toxic. But the gas will cause asphyxiation if inhaled enough to replace oxygen. There are other toxic gases, and fumes disperse from the weld when the metal surface is burned.  Fumes and gases like ozone, nitrogen oxide, chromium, nickel oxide, carbon monoxide can easily penetrate your lungs. Lung diseases caused by welding fumes and gases include:

(1) Pneumonia

(2) Occupational asthma

(3) Lung cancer

(4) Metal fume fever

(5) Throat and lung irritation

Hence, you should wear a respirator while welding. Workplaces must have an extractor fan to suck out the toxic fumes and gases. Besides, gas detectors should be used in workshops to measure oxygen. The gas detector will notify when the oxygen level decreases. It will detect toxic gases near you as well.

5. Receive appropriate training

Before starting any welding project, it's crucial to receive ample training on use and safety regarding welding. There are so many e-learning courses that provide an easy, cost-effective, and flexible training opportunity on Welding Safety Training and health and safety training.

FAQ

1. Is it safe to weld at home?

Make sure your home workshop is well-ventilated to protect you from toxic gases and fumes. Extra precautions are a must while working from home. And, keep your children away from your workshop.


2. What are the side effects of welding?

According to OSHA, welding fumes and gases cause severe health problems for workers if inhaled. Short-term exposure might result in nausea, dizziness, or eye, nose, and throat irritation. But prolon


Conclusion

The risk factor cannot be eliminated from the welding job. Unfortunately, most of the injuries occur due to carelessness. Many businesses don't have the necessary safety standards to keep their workshop safe from potential risks. Moreover, hobbyist welding is also taken carelessly, where the risk is even more critical because of the lack of proper safety systems at home.

It’s crucial to take proper safety measures while handling a job like welding. Make sure to follow the above 5 tips to stay safe while welding.