Safety First. Always. Part 1

Time for another lecture about welding safety. Yes, our monthly safety meeting is due.  Well, virtual welding safety meeting that is.

It’s time to look around your shop.  I mean take a good look, with fresh eyes.  Where’s your fire extinguisher?  When was it charged or inspected last?  Take note of that and make sure it’s in a convenient place.

Another issue, one that I need to work on myself, is the extension cord situation.  Power cords in a welding shop don’t last long. Weld spatter, hot metal, sparks and all kinds of abrasives come in contact with an extension cord in a welding shop.  What’s yours look like?  Is the insulation in good shape?  Does yours  resemble a king snake with black bands all over it?  If it does, it’s time to do something about it and replace it.

What about the prongs?  Are they bent, twisted or broken?  If they are, then it is time to retire  them.  While you are at it, see if they are neatly tucked away while not in use. And while you are using them, make sure they are not a trip hazard.

Welding isn’t fun when a spark rolls down your freshly installed cast! Make sure the ones you are using are properly sized for the job. Using an undersized cord creates an electrical hazard, not only for fire, but for a possible electrical shock.  It also can damage your equipment that you are using with the cord.  It may not seem like much at first, but an extension cord that is too small will cause slow and long term damage to your equipment.