printech,August,2004Welding Safety Tips

printech, August, 2004
Welding Safety Tips

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From: Gary Jones (
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 16:30:36
FYI - From JJKeller's Safety Clicks at

Welding: Safety is critical

Welding or "hot work" is done in most industries. Something always needs to be repaired, constructed, or taken down. Whenever hot work is occurring, everyone involved must take necessary precautions to prevent fires, explosions, or personal injuries.

Welding hazards

Welding operations expose workers to a number of hazards, including:
Electric shock
Fire and explosion
Confined spaces
Lead poisoning
Metal splatter, slag, and sparks
Slips, trips, and falls

Protecting workers

Some ways to control or eliminate these hazards include:

Ventilation "Exhaust hoods at the arc, fans, open spaces all help to reduce the concentration of hazardous fumes, gases, and dusts, as well as fire caused by those accumulations. Don't get too close to the fume or gas plume."

Respirators "When more protection is needed or when welding creates an oxygen-deficient area, a respirator is worn. Personal protective equipment"

(PPE)" This includes flame-resistant aprons, leggings, high boots, ankle-length safety shoes worn under pant legs, shoulder capes, skull caps, ear plugs or ear muffs, insulated gloves, safety helmets, goggles, faceshields, ANSI-approved filter lenses and plates, and shields."

Electrical precautions "Do not arc weld while standing on damp surfaces, wearing damp clothing, or wrapped in a welding cable. Properly ground, install, and operate equipment. Do not use defective equipment. Use well-insulated electrode holders and cables. Wear dry gloves and rubber-soled shoes. Insulate the worker from both the work and the metal electrode and holder."

Fire protection "Have a fire watcher when welding. Remove all combustible material at least 35 feet from the work area and try to move away from combustible materials, or cover combustibles with fire resistant material. Do not weld in dangerous atmospheres. Clean and purge containers which may have held combustible material. Obtain and follow a hot work permit."

Confined space precautions "Limited work spaces, hazardous atmospheres, slippery floor surfaces, and even interior surfaces of the space should be evaluated for flammability, combustibility, or toxic fumes that could result from the welding process."

Clothing "Wool, leather, or cotton treated clothing reduces flammability for gas shielded arc welding. Long sleeves and pants without cuffs/front pockets are recommended to avoid catching sparks. Don't weld on lead-painted surfaces."

Fall protection "Use a platform with railings, or safety harness and lifeline. Safety is critical for welders. Be smart. Put safety first."

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