Electric welding is used extensively in many industries. Safe welding practice requires recognition of the hazards, an evaluation of the risks and the implementation of control measures to protect workers. The following is a list of the primary areas of consideration regarding electric welding safety.
Welding equipment must be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, and be inspected on a regular basis. Check the cables, ground clamp, electrode holder, gauges and switches to make sure that all are working properly before proceeding to weld. If using a fuel powered electric welder, ensure adequate ventilation for the fumes exhausted by the engine.
PPE & Fumes, Gases and Dusts
Fumes produced by the electric welding process can be toxic and may require local source extraction. An assessment of the work to be performed should be done before each job is undertaken. Fumes generally contain particles from the electrode, the material being welded, other finishes or coatings that have been applied to the metal, and gases used in the process. Welding fumes can have acute effects on the respiratory system. When electric welding is undertaken, electrodes, metals and finishes may produce emissions, which must be controlled. The MSDS will provide information about ventilation, respiratory, and personal protective equipment required for safe cutting and welding.
Heat and Sparks
Electric welding produces extreme heat and sparks. With the sparks that are produced, there is always a danger of ignition of a combustible material near the process; (i.e. rags, workers’ clothing, papers, flammable liquids and gases). Fire extinguishers are to be placed nearby, and a designated fire watch is to use when hot sparks, and slag have the potential of starting a fire in combustible areas. When cutting and welding in overhead areas, ensure spark containment by using fire blankets to protect coworkers, prevent property damage, and cutting and welding equipment below. As well, flag and tag the area below to warn and protect others of overhead welding hazards.
Share This Article
Subscribe to our RSS Feed. What is RSS?