Spring Cleaning in a Welding Shop

Once again, spring time is almost upon us.  If you are in the South, or South West, you probably already have seen the pollen and the saucer magnolias in full bloom. Temperatures are already hitting the 70’s and 80’s if not higher. Spring cleaning is going on all over the place, and for a welder, it’s a good time to do a little of your own. For a welder, there are several types of cleaning that should take place. Overall a good full dusting down of the welding shop is in order. The dust that is created inside a welding shop is toxic to breathe, and yet it pervades every pore of the shop and is easily stirred up and breathed into the lungs.  There are more than one or two carcinogenic substances in this dust which is a safety hazard and is not good for long term health. But the short term damage it does is concerning as well. Asthma and allergies are the most apparent. But the dust can irritate the eyes as well since so much of it contains metal fragments. It’s not a good thing to have metal scraping against the eyeball! I typically try to wash the entire welding shop out. I started a month ago myself, and it took a good day to go over my whole shop, but I got everything washed, and dusted. It’s almost as clean as the day I moved into the space, and I have a peace of mind and don’t feel that constant “grinding” feeling under my feet as I walk. For most welders, there’s probably some scrap metal laying around that needs to be salvaged or pitched into the recycle bin. This is not only an eye sore, but a trip hazard. It can also be a potential for a little extra cash since scrap metal is high.  Or, it could possibly be a good way to reduce operating expense, by squeezing every little bit of useable material out of your drops. It is a good time to separate and organize it to be able to know what you have that you can use to complete a small job. It’s also time to take inventory of the consumables and stock supplies you need to operate. It’s a good time to buy because there are a lot of spring sales going on, and many times the LWS has unpublished sales on small items like marking pens, and grinding disks. It’s a good time to check the charge on the fire extinguisher as well, just to make sure you are ready for the unexpected. Make sure the inspection is up to date as well.  Whatever the reason you use to start cleaning up the shop, it can save you costly down time in maintenance, and health well into the future.  It can save you lots of nickel and dime expense as well.