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Top Tips for Improving Welding Safety

Top Tips for Improving Welding Safety

As a welder, you have to ensure that you are safe when operating your equipment. This is because there are extreme risks to your health involved with your position. For example, sparks from the welding equipment could land on your clothing and cause it to catch alight, or you could become blinded by the arc light. 

However, all of these common welding safety hazards can be avoided by following some simple guidelines. Ensure that all arc welding equipment is properly turned off after use and that welding consumables are disposed of correctly. If you want to ensure that your welding operation runs safely, read on below for some top tips. 

 

Keep the manual handy

There is vital information in the welding machines manual that you get with each tool. You will be taught exactly how to turn on and switch off the device and what to do if it becomes damaged or stops working during any arc welding processes. 

Ensure that all people who operate the arc welding equipment are 100 percent familiar with it and that they have read the manual from cover to cover. An online article or advice from someone who has used the machine might help with small issues but should never replace the original manual for your welding equipment. If you lose the manual, ask for another one from the manufacturer and be sure it is up-to-date and compliant with your machinery. 

 

Always wear the right attire

You will need to ensure that your workers always wear the right clothing for their job. This includes non-flammable, thick outerwear made from material such as canvas or coated in a non-flammable chemical with gloves, and pants without cuffs. For shoes, choose shoes or boots with a high ankle and never let pants legs go over the top of the shoes. 

Before your workers start any job, ensure that they are dressed correctly. You can do this by providing them with a standard uniform which they can leave at work when they go home. This way, it will remain clean and undamaged for longer. Do not allow any workers to wear thin, flimsy materials and provide them with two uniforms so they are never without it when on the job. 

 

Ensure there is enough ventilation

When welding, it is important to ensure that there is enough ventilation in the space. This is because the toxic gases and fumes created from welding can accumulate and cause serious health issues for your workers. 

Make sure there are exhaust hoods to extract the fumes if you cannot open any windows, but natural ventilation is always preferable. However, if there is a breeze, you should leave the windows closed. Be sure that no fans are turned on during the welding, as they could blow the sparks into flammable materials or back onto the workers. Ask your workers to take breaks from welding and go outside into the fresh air so they can clear their heads and escape the fumes. This will ensure there are no mistakes made and everyone remains healthy. 

 

Always wear a visor

This is one of the most important aspects of welding safety. Wearing a visor protects your workers’ eyes and face from the arc light and prevents sparks from flying onto their skin and burning them. It also ensures that they will not be blinded by the light.

The helmet and visor needs to fit properly, not being too big or too small and it should have a filter shade. Make sure that your workers are wearing protective glasses underneath the visor so that their eyes are not in danger. The helmets should have ear protection and side shields as well. This will protect the sides of their face from any sparks and ensure the light does not enter their peripheral vision. Do not cut corners with the visors as these are the last defense of your workers against the danger of welding. 

 

Embrace ergonomics

Ergonomics can cause safety hazards to workers too. If your workers suffer from repetitive stress injuries, they will not be able to operate equipment effectively and this could become dangerous. Allow them to take breaks from welding to stretch their legs, arms and necks every few hours and work in shifts on a very long job.

Remove all clutter from the work area and keep the power source clear of any dirt and debris. This will help to avoid further injuries and issues. On lunch breaks, allow workers to lie back or sit comfortably so they are rested for the remainder of the job. 

Ergonomics greatly affect how workers perform in their roles, especially if the job is labour intensive and requires hours of sitting in one position. Allow regular water breaks and encourage them to take breaks, even if you are on a deadline. Your workers will thank you and the work will be done on time and up to standard. 
 

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