Safety Steps For Arc Welding

Safety Steps For Arc Welding

Most welders will agree that arc welding is a perilous exercise. The biggest threats are burns that can be caused by high temperature arc and hot metal. Further, electric arc produces two types of rays - violet and infra-red and both of them cause very severe burns to the eyes. It is common knowledge that a welding operator should always wear a helmet with the correct shade lens and other protective devices while welding. Experts say that having filter plates fitted in the welding helmet will near totally remove the harmful rays if proper shade lens is used.

Electric shock and harmful flames are the other sources of dangers that can arise out of arc welding. This is particularly true if the welder welds without wearing gloves, uses naked cables and holder without proper insulation. A welder must make it a point to wear protective clothes, use gloves, wear helmet, keep electrode holders properly insulated, create dry conditions and keep the welding area adequately ventilated. It is also important that the welder does not stand on wet areas while welding and wears safety glasses to protect eyes and face.

It is imperative that all welders are properly trained to use the concerned welding equipments. It is also necessary to regularly check, maintain the welding equipment in good working order. In the work area there must be sufficient air movement to drive away toxic fumes and ensure oxygen is adequately present. Use exhaust hoods, air moving systems, and roof and wall exhaust fans.

Make it a point not to weld or cut used drums, barrels, tanks or other containers till they are thoroughly cleaned of all likely inflammable substances. After cleaning also, a container should be vented and filled with water before welding or cutting begins. The container should be arranged so water can be kept filled to within a few inches of the point where the welding or cutting is to take place.

It is strictly recommended that a fire extinguisher is always kept handy whenever welding or cutting is done. Completely avoid use of a cutting torch in areas where sparks could prove a hazard, like rooms containing inflammable materials or spraying rooms and greasy or slippery areas. Shift combustible materials at least 40 feet away from any cutting or welding area. Arc welding includes shielded metal-arc, gas shielded and resistance welding. It is necessary to strictly adhere to the specific manufacturer's recommendations for safety. The next safety aspect pertains to electrode holders - avoid loose cable connections and make sure to keep connections tight. Avoid using electrode holders with defective jaws or improper insulation. Do not change the polarity switch when the machine is under a load.

Last but not least in importance is the danger from electrical shock that can quite often prove deadly. Suitable steps must be taken to prevent all possible electrical shocks. Never change electrodes with bare hands, wet gloves or while sitting or standing on wet floors. The employer must provide the proper personal protective equipment needed for welding jobs in the workplace. Fire-resistant gauntlet gloves, aprons, coveralls, leggings and boots are the basic safety accessories needed for welders. Welding helmets, respirators, ultraviolet radiation filter plates for arc welding, and goggles with filter lenses should be mandatory. Merely providing the safety equipments will not do. It must be made compulsory for all welders to use them.