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5 Welding Safety Hazards You Should Avoid

19 Aug Posted in Cars

The welding process can be very dangerous for those who don’t wear the proper protective equipment. Many welders are not aware of the potential hazards they expose to when starting a welding project and this may lead to various serious accidents. Therefore, is highly important that all welders know more about the main safety hazards they expose to when not taking the proper precautions. Learning more about what you can encounter when starting a welding project is very important because you can take the appropriate measures to avoid all sorts of injuries. Here are some of the most dangerous welding safety hazards you can expose to, as well as what you have to do in order to avoid them.

Electric Shock

We have to start with one of the most serious risks that can lead to significant injuries or even death. Electric shock appears when exposed skin comes in contact with metal objects that have voltage between them. Depending on the voltage power, you can expose yourself to either a primary voltage shock (ranging from 115 to 600 volts) and a secondary voltage shock (ranging from 20 to 100 volts). For avoiding this, you have to always wear gloves and safety boots that offer you protection. Also, you have to be careful in wet environments and keep dry insulation when working.

Fumes and Gases

When welding, fumes and gases are released and they are very dangerous. The fumes or gas compositions depend on the material you are welding, some of them being more harmful than others. Since a welder is constantly exposed to them, it’s very likely to develop certain health issues like breathing problems, fluid in the lung, and so on. In order to avoid this, it’s best to work in well-ventilated places and always keep your head out of the fumes.

Fire and Explosions

The welding process can reach high temperatures, up to 10,000 ºF, creating spatter and sparks that can be sprayed up to 35 feet from the welding place. If they get in contact with flammable materials, they may easily pose fire and explosions. They fall into three categories, that is liquid, solid, and gas. Therefore, in order to prevent fires, you have to remove any materials that may catch fire when heated. Also, you have to know where is the fire alarm and the extinguisher to be able to apply the right procedures in case of a fire.

Radiation

One of the most common safety hazards when welding is photokeratitis, also known as arc-eye or welder’s flash. This happens due to the exposure of unprotected eyes to the UV radiation from the electric arc, causing an inflammation of the cornea. It usually leads to symptoms like eye redness, stinging, tears, or light sensitivity that may appear several hours after exposure. This eye condition depends on the intensity of radiation, as well as on the distance from the arc during welding and the best way to prevent it is by wearing a welding helmet. The helmet features a window usually made of tinted glass or plastic, or a filter made of polarized lenses. Some of the most advanced helmets have an auto-darkening screen, providing high protection for a welder.

Confined Spaces

When working in confined spaces, all the above hazards are amplified, so you have to be very careful. This means there are higher chances to appear explosions or to be exposed to gases or fumes that accumulate much faster. For this reason, it’s recommended that outside the confined area to be a person that can intervene in case something happens.

Conclusions

As you can see, welding can be a hazardous operation that can seriously affect your health. When working, a welder exposes to fumes and gases, potential fires and explosions, and even electric shock. For this reason, is highly important that you wear the right protective equipment, and always makes sure the place you work in is well-ventilated. Also, you have to make sure you remove all the inflatable materials that may catch fire from the heat, or from the spatter or sparks. In what concerns the clothes, it’s recommended that you wear clothing made of materials that are harder to ignite, such as thick cotton, or wool. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics because they can ignite much easier, so you can burn your skin.