Welding Safety Tips for Your Connecticut Business
Welding can be a rewarding job, but naturally, there are potential hazards. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported more than 4,100 workplace welding injuries in 2017—the most recent data that’s available.
Some of the more common injuries include:
- Eye injuries, typically referred to as welder’s flash, flash burn or arc eye. These are caused by exposure to the ultraviolet and infrared light from the welding arc
- Electrical shock
- Falling or lightheadedness due to exposure to fumes and gases
- Fires and explosions
Welders can also suffer long-term problems like hearing loss and respiratory illnesses. Minimizing these risks is paramount to protect your workers and your business. As a refresher course, here are some best practices to apply in your workplace.
- Study the manual. This step is critical for safety in welding. Anyone who operates welding machinery and equipment needs to be familiar with the operating manual so that they can use their tools properly. If the manual is lost or becomes damaged, get a replacement from the manufacturer, who may also be able to direct you to an online version of the manual.
- Use the right gear. No matter how small or quick the welding job appears to be, proper clothing and welding gear should always be worn. Don’t allow short-sleeved shirts, shorts or sneakers. And don’t allow excuses that proper welding clothing or gear is too hot or constricting. Confirm that clothing is flame-resistant, such as denim jeans, shirts made with tightly woven material and welding jackets. Welding gloves should be the right ones for the specific welding task or equipment. Shoes need to be high-topped, so pants can go over them, and they need to be leather, not synthetic or fabric.
- Protect the eyes and ears. If you have ever had welder’s flash or arc flash, you know just how painful it can be. The right equipment can help prevent it. The welding helmet should have a proper filter shade, as well as the appropriate safety glasses that also have side shields. Make sure the lens shade is the right one for the welding job. Ear protection should also be worn. Protect people working nearby by using barriers or screens so they are not exposed to the arc.
- Cover up. Burns from welding are very painful and can cause serious damage. Make sure no skin is exposed. Shirt collars, front pockets, and cuffs need to be buttoned. Cuffed pants can catch sparks, so they shouldn’t be worn. Also, make sure pockets don’t have matches or butane lighters in them, as both are dangerously flammable if a spark gets near them.
Hocon Industrial Gas values safety above all else, and we’re here to help your business meet those same standards. Count on us for welding and cutting supplies, welding machines and gas and of course, safety products.
Contact us today and we’ll get to work for you – or provide you with the proper materials and supplies for you to get the job done.
We’ll continue to focus on welding safety in our next post.