Welders need to take safety precautions to protect themselves from various hazards such as intense heat, light, and fumes, which may cause shock burns or eye disease.
Although welding is an advanced technology in the modern era, and it is increasing day by day with new ideas and techniques, it also creates dangerous situations during welding operations.
Safety precautions are required to avoid these situations.
As we know that welding activity is a hot work activity and mainly in this work welding is done by fusion of metals with the help of high temperature and/or pressure. This specific heat is received by electric arcs or flammable gases that may cause fire or burning.
In addition, we use a variety of shielding materials that produce harmful gases, which are hazardous to our health, to identify these hazards, a set of related recommendations to protect individuals, property, and the environment safety has been published by many international organizations,
There are many hazards, that occur in the work of welding and cutting and which can be fatal. While the welding system has improved over the past several decades, those potential hazards have also been identified. Other factors that may be hazardous to life, property, or the environment, are classified as follow:
Explosions and fire hazards are by far the largest in relation to welding and flame cutting activity, explosions occur when: —
- Oil or lubricating is likely to come into contact with any pipe, or valve, these can cause a fire when in contact with oxygen and heat.
- While we use copper metal with acetylene in the welding or cutting process, it may produce a highly explosive solid compound “copper acetylide” which by heat or friction gets readily detonated.
- Backfire may lead to an explosion due to the blocking up of the flame at the tip of the torch.
- Contact in the direct sunlight or electrical equipment of a compressed gas cylinder may cause an explosion.
Fire can cause loss of both life and property, there can be many reasons for a fire, such as: –
- Using damage insulation of the cable.
- Burning through hot slag/flying particle approaches into combustible materials.
- Losing connections to electrical equipment can cause overheating or sparking.
- Leaking of fuel gas valves.
Shock can also cause burns and loss of life, the basic reasons are as follows:
- Uninsulated/damaged power cables
- Lock of welding cable/holder
Welding and Cutting Operations
- Combustible material should be removed before starting welding or cutting activity. The working area should be free from scraps and all types of unwanted materials.
- The face shield should be worn at the time of cutting to get protection from hot flying particles.
- Cutting should be kept away from the operator to avoid the possibility of molten metal spraying into the face or cloth.
- To avoid ultraviolet rays, welding operators should have an appropriate Welding hood.
- welding cable shall be completely insulated to avoid shock. Earth clamp should be tightened and well connected as strong.
Gas Cylinders safety
- Gas cylinders must be kept in an upright position and in a shaded area and the cylinder valve should be closed when it is not in use.
- Cap should be used when not taken in use, as any type of support.
- Always keep segregated different types of cylinders because mixing can cause of fire or expulsion.
- Never try to mix gases in a cylinder.
- Water, dirt, and grease should always be cleaned before connecting the regulator to the hose pipe.
- Approved flash arresters should be installed.
- Anyone should not be allowed to smoke near the gas storage area.
Other gas equipment safety
- A correct pressure regulator should be applied for a specific gas.
- The pressure regulator should be calibrated, and the Union nut and connections on the regulator should be checked properly before starting.
- Gas torches and tips should be stored in a clean and safe place.
Arc welding Machine
- The arc welding machine shall be on an appropriate basis and shall be protected from inclement weather conditions when used in an open area.
- The welding machine should be clean periodically for dust and other substances.
- the machine should be calibrated and color-coded by authorized personnel.
- connecting terminals should be covered and cable must be fully insulated.
- The electrode holder should be tightened and well connected to the welding cable.
- welding cable should be free from repair and it should be flexible.
- The cable should be inspected and color corded periodically.
Welding Operators with safety
Operators should use full personal protective equipment to protect them from all types of injuries and incidents. A welding operator needs to be protected from:-
- Flying particles like hot slag, grinding sparks, flying metals, and hot electrode stubs.
- The ultraviolet rays
- Fumes and gasses
- Falling objects
- Fire and burning
- Heavy sounds
All persons involved in welding activity should participate in hazard identification and prevention programs to understand potential risks and prevention techniques.
To protect from the above-mentioned hazards, the welder must use full P.P.E like welding hood with proper glasses, dust mask, full-body harness, proper hand gloves for a specific job, Safety shoes, and earplugs.