Five Potential Welding Safety Hazards to Avoid

Safety is a primary concern in any work environment. For arc welders this can even be even more challenging given the heat and radiation, as well as fires and possible explosions. Here are 5 common safety hazards you should do your best to avoid:

Electric Shock

Shocks can cause injury or in extreme cases even death. Also, people in shock tend to collapse and the fall can lead to more injuries. EHS Today says there are two types of shock, the primary voltage shock and secondary voltage shock. Between the two, primary voltage shock poses a greater threat to health and safety. Make sure you turn off the power to the welding equipment by unplugging it.

Arc Rays

Radiation exposure is a problem. UV radiation can lead to eye burn and while it’s temporary, prolonged and constant exposure to it can lead to permanent damage. Always remember to keep your helmet shields up every time you have to work. Different arc-welding processes require different eye shading so use a lens shade selector chart to figure out what shade numbers best fit you and your applications.

Explosions & Fires

Beware of sparks as well as molten metals that can spray up a good 35 feet from you work. Everyone on the job site must be aware of the risks and keep his or herself well away. Given this, you’ll also have to be away from any combustible materials such as gasoline, wood, paper, and hydrogen, among other things.

Fumes and Gases

Some of the gases generated by the arc welding process can displace oxygen, leading to a lack of oxygen in the immediate atmosphere, causing dizziness, unconsciousness and eventually, death. Best thing to do is read up on the material safety data at work so you know what you’re working with.

Confined Spaces

Most arc welders work in a confined space, which can aggravate all the risks involved in arc welding processes. So always wear your safety gear, maintain proper ventilation and have someone on the outside to handle any emergencies.

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