Welding Hazards in the Workplace : Safety Tips & Precautions

Welding safety hazards

When we talk about the welding hazards , Welding work presents a variety of hazards to both workers and those around them. Therefore, it is important that you know the risks and dangers of welding and the precautions you can take to protect yourself.  

Electrical shock

During the arc welding process, active electrical circuits are used to create a pool of molten metal. Therefore, there is a risk of electric shock when welding. Electric shock is the most serious hazard when welding and can cause serious injury or death, either from direct impact or from falling from a height after a blow. There is also a risk of secondary electric shock if you touch any part of the welding circuit or electrode at the same time as you touch the metal to be welded.                                  

You are particularly at risk when working in electrically hazardous conditions. This includes welding:      

  •  In humid conditions
  • When you wear wet clothes
  • On floors or metal structures
  • In tight spaces where you must lie down, kneel or bend over

Noise risks

While welding you will likely be exposed to constant loud noises. Loud noise is considered to be greater than 85 dB (A), and welding activities such as flame cutting and air arc gouging can generate noise levels greater than 100 dB (A). This can be very harmful to the ears and lead to hearing loss.         

Regular or immediate exposure to loud noise can cause everlasting noise-induced hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss can have the following damages:

  •  Resounding in the ears known as tinnitus.
  • Occasional dizziness called lightheadedness.
  • The pulse increased.
  •  Arterial hypertension

Exposure to UV and IR rays

If you see the intense ultraviolet light generated during welding without PPE or appropriate welding curtains, it can cause a long painful and lasting sometimes called arc eye. Many factors can influence the severity of a lightning burn, including: B. Distance, duration and angle of penetration. Prolonged exposure to arc rays can also lead to cataracts and loss of vision.                       

The other forms of eye damage are:

  • In the eye penetrate foreign objects such as sand, sparks and dust.
  • Particles of smoke and gas that can cause conjunctivitis.     

Exposure to vapors and gases

When welding you are exposed to invisible gaseous vapors including ozone, nitrogen oxides, chromium and nickel oxides, and carbon monoxide, which can easily enter your lungs. Depending on the gas or smoke, the concentration and the length of your exposure, the resulting damage can be severe.  

Diseases caused by welding fumes and gases include:

•   Pulmonary infection. Regular contact to welding fumes and gases can lead to lung infection, which can then develop into pneumonia. While antibiotics can usually stop infection, severe pneumonia can lead to hospitalizations , serious illness, and death.                

• Occupational Asthma Chromium oxides and nickel oxides, made by welding stainless steel and high nickel alloys, can cause asthma.       

•  Cancer. All welding fumes are internationally considered “carcinogenic”.   

•  Metal fever. Welding or hot working on galvanized metal and heavy exposure to welding fumes from steel can often lead to flu-like symptoms which are usually worse at the start of the work week. You may have heard that drinking milk before welding will help you avoid developing metal fume fever, but it’s a myth.                       

•    Irritation of the throat and lungs, including dry throat, tickling in the throat, coughing and tightness in the chest.       

Burns

The combination of high temperature welding arcs, UV rays and molten metal exposes you to unadorned burns when welding. These injuries can affect the skin or eyes and can be very serious. They can also occur very rapidly .                   

Burns usually happen when welders ponder they can skip the precautions to make quick welds . It is bad practice. By following our precautionary measures outlined, you should be able to avoid burns.                 

Safety precautions for welding

Ensuring a high level of safety is essential when welding. Ignoring your PPE and safe work practices can have serious effects and even lead to death. Therefore, follow the safety precautions below to protect yourself while you work.       

Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment

Your employer or manager is responsible for providing you with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to make it available . The PPE you will receive includes:            

•  Welding helmets with side protection. Welding helmets protect you from UV rays, particles, dirt, hot slag and chemical burns. It is important that you wear the correct lens protector for the job you are doing. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and gradually adjust the lens filter until you have good vision that does not irritate your eyes. You should also wear a flame retardant hood under your helmet to protect the back of your head.            

•   Respirators Respiratory protection devices protect you from vapors and oxides created by the welding process. Your breathing apparatus should be suitable for the work you are doing.      

•   Flame retardant clothing. Flame retardant clothing will protect you from the heat, fire and radiation generated during welding and protect you from burns. It should not have cuffs and the pockets should be covered with flaps or sealed. You should not wear synthetic clothing. Instead, opt for flame retardant treated cotton and leather.                 

•   Ear protection to prevent welding hazards. Hearing protection protects you from the risk of noise. It is important that you wear a hearing protection adequate against the noise created on your work and that you were wearing earmuffs fire resistant if there is a risk of sparks or splash in your ear.                                       

•    Boots and gloves. Flame Retardant Insulated Gloves and Steel Toe Rubber Sole Safety Shoes protect you from electric shock, heat, fire, burns and falling objects.   

To obtain complete protection for your PPE, you must not:

•   Roll up the sleeves or pants. Rolling clothes makes you vulnerable to molten metal or sparks which can get stuck in the folds and cause severe burns. You should also never tuck your pants into your work boots.      

•  Remove your helmet while welding. You should always wear your helmet when welding and around another welder. Although the intensity of the radiation generated decreases , the farther away from a welding arc are eliminated , those containing less than 10 feet away, remain sensitive to arched eyes. Therefore, it is important that you stay behind welding curtains or wear the proper PPE, even if you are not the worker doing the welding.                         

Get the right training

Before starting any welding work, it is important that you receive proper training in the use and safety of your job. Online learning courses provide a simple, affordable and flexible training option.  

Make sure your work area is well ventilated

While talking about the welding hazards , Good ventilation is important when welding because it removes gases and particles from the air in your work area. You may need to use a combination of ventilation strategies to control contaminants created during welding. You may also need to wear respirators if your ventilation strategies do not sufficiently reduce your exposure.           

Make sure your work area is free from flammable materials

You should avoid storing flammable materials near welding processes, as sparks, heat and molten metal splashes from welding can potentially ignite flammable materials.

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