10 Tips for Welding Safety
As we encounter unprecedented challenges facing this frightening coronavirus outbreak, our crews and support staff are working hard night and day to provide the commercial support you need to keep your welding or industrial business productive and still profitable.
Our team felt strongly about sharing with our valued customers these welding safety tips for your Connecticut business. So as a refresher course, here are some best practices to apply in your welding workplace.
- Employees must 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. Welder’s flash or arc flash, is extremely painful. 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.
- Remove anything flammable on your person. Make your pockets don’t have matches or butane lighters in them, as both are dangerously flammable if a spark gets near them.
- Keep the work area uncluttered. All welding equipment should be labeled and have its place on a welding site. And that’s ALL that should be at a welding site. Give your welders a clear space to work and keep everything else away, as other objects may be flammable or create a tripping hazard.
- Maintain proper ventilation. The smoke and fumes that are part of welding can cause serious short- and long-term health problems. There should be an exhaust hood to not only remove fumes but bring in cleaner air. Make sure respirators are being used if required.
- Prevent shocks. Electric shock can not only be painful, it can be deadly. Proper equipment and good safety practices can help prevent it. Welders need to wear dry gloves that are in good condition. They also need to inspect the electrode holder before starting a job to ensure it, the insulation and the welding cable are in good condition and are not damaged.
- Make safety a priority every day. Creating a safe work environment, no matter where you do business in Connecticut, is job one for management, and something that has to be maintained. There must be adequate fire alarms, fire exits and functioning fire extinguishers. All should be easily visible and accessible, and all employees need to know where they are. You should provide regular safety training. Employees who don’t uphold your company’s safety standards need to face consequences.
- Reward employees and teams who rigorously follow proper safety practices to the letter, perhaps with a gift card or other prize. Consider doing this on a quarterly basis to spread the wealth—and recognition—around.
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, gases 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 with the utmost safety.