Spring Cleaning For Your Welding Shop - Safety First

Keeping Your Shop Clean, Extend The Life of Equipment & Your Personal Health

The idea of Spring cleaning is often relegated to the realm of New Years resolutions and good intentions.  However, for the welding shop and home garage where welding occurs regularly, the importance of keeping things cleaned up is not only an important safety factor but one critical to the life span of tools and equipment.  Safety of course, is always important to the environment in the shop.  A neglected item on the to-do list in a shop is regular dust removal. It’s an item  that is important to personal health and a neglecting it can harm expensive equipment.  Dust particles from welding contain carcinogens and many heavy metal components that can affect long term health.   But even in the short term, excess dust built up from welding activities that gets stirred up off the floor and the tables can irritate the lungs, can plug sinuses, coat lungs and can  trigger asthma attacks.  It can also irritate and injure eyes, even ones protected behind goggles and safety lenses.  Dust and dirt accumulation inside and on top of equipment also can create issues related to wear and component failure.  Seldom used lathe and milling beds can accumulate dirt and create wear and travel issues.   Welders in particular have susceptibility to dust and dirt and are frequently ignored in routine cleanings.  Most welders should be cleaned regularly to prevent metallic based particles from welding and grinding activities from building up on the circuit boards and contact switches.   Arcing across circuits not only can cause malfunction, but cause serious damage and premature failure.  When scheduling shop  cleanups, there are many good and valuable reasons for getting out the shop vac and dust mask to knock the dust off and out of equipment and the work place environment.