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Job Hazard Analysis for Welding

There are a variety of safety precautions one should take when welding, as the equipment and material involved in welding can cause serious injury or death. Heat, sparks, dangerous gases and ultraviolet light are all part of the the welding environment. Whether you're completing a small welding project in your garage or are part of a team of welders on a big construction job, safety should be the first priority.

A Clean Workspace

A clean workspace is essential to welding safety. In order to avoid an accident on the part of the welder or individuals near the welder, the floor of the work space should be cleaned of all objects and substances to ensure proper footing of everyone in the vicinity of the welding torch. In addition, the welding project should be clear of extraneous or non-essential materials. To prevent the start of a fire, welders should also clear away any extraneous flammable matter that is cluttering the work area. An organized workspace is a safe workspace.

Project Your Eyes

The process of welding results in the creation of ultraviolet light, which can be extremely damaging to the human eye. Exposure to ultraviolet light can cause inflammation of the cornea. It can also cause burning of the retina, which can result in blindness. Because of this, it is crucial that steps be taken to protect the eyes of the welder and the eyes of those near or around the job site. Whether in the form of a welding shield or pair of glasses, protective eyewear must be used at all times by the welder as well as by those in the vicinity of the welding work. Welders who are working in a space where there are many people around should work being welding curtains.

Precautions Against Heat

Welding work involves melting metal, which requires extremely high temperatures. Additionally, most welding work yields high temperature sparks that can burn skin. Welders should wear heavy-duty gloves and protective clothing. Sturdy, reliable protective footwear should also be worn when doing welding work.

Dangerous Gases and Particles

The process of welding or fusing metals at high temperatures results in the creation of smoke and several dangerous gases. Welders working on projects that will take long periods of time should use an oxygen supply mask to prevent the inhalation of these dangerous by-products. Enclosed work spaces should be equipped with properly functioning ventilation systems. Those doing smaller welding projects should use a breathing mask and work near a supply of fresh air. Inhalation of welding by-products can cause serious long-term lung irritation and breathing problems, as well as damage the kidneys and central nervous system.

Know Your Equipment

Before doing any welding work, a full inspection of all equipment to be used should occur. No matter how big or small a project, malfunctioning equipment can result in serious accidents, injuries or death. In addition, individuals who are new to welding should always work with an experienced welder until they are sufficiently schooled in the ins and outs of welding work and equipment. Those who unfamiliar with welding should consult a professional certified welder instead of attempting to complete a welding job without proper procedural and safety knowledge.



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