4 Potential Welding Safety Hazards to Avoid – An Essential Guide

As I love to weld in my spare time and do DIY home projects, I am very aware of the necessary precautions associated with the process. This is because I witnessed a pretty marring accident faced by a welder, and due to lack of proper welding safety precautions, he ended up in a pretty precarious situation. 

Welding Safety Hazards to Avoid

However, taking the proper safety measures, welding can be a pretty enjoyable and safe task. So tag along to know what steps to take to make welding a safe yet exciting experience for you!

Read it thoroughly!

The user manual that comes with the welding equipment one tends to buy, may seem a monotonous instruction guide. Many of you have this urging desire to simply throw that little book away and get started with the welding process. As tempting as the offer may sound, it is not safe.

This little guide that comes with the equipment, not only contains instructions to guide you on the use of the welding machine, but also has a section on the necessary precautions and safety measures. You will find a complete detailed section discussing the welding gear and the setting up of a safe environment to operate the machine on.

Therefore the next time you end up buying any equipment, make sure to go through the safety and instructions guide and implement the instructions before getting started.

1. Beware of the Fumes

However, if you do not feel like going through the guide, you can always come to look for our page for an interactive discussion of the dos and don’ts of welding. The first and foremost thing we are warning you against is the fume and gas production during the process.

Prolonged exposure to these welding fumes can lead to deterioration of your health, making you unsuitable for welding properly in the longer run. To avoid any such calamity, make sure you weld in an area or a workshop with proper ventilation and exhausts. This will circulate the air in and the fumes out so that you have minimum exposure to these poisonous gases.

While this exposure might seem a trivial thing, in fact, it is quite deadly. These gases contain some poisonous metals and elements which fuse together to form the base joint in welding. Inhaling them can cause respiratory problems in the welder. So you need to ensure you get minimum exposure to these fumes. Follow these steps to prevent fumes poisoning your respiratory system:

Precautions

  • Make sure to properly ventilate your workstation to pump out the fumes.
  • Wear the welding mask when you happen to work on prolonged projects. This will keep the fume intake to a minimum by preventing direct exposure. 
  • Even for short assignments, try to keep your head away from the fumes to prevent direct inhalation. 

2. Electric Shocks

The next thing you need to be careful about is the use of electricity. This goes without saying that you need to properly insulate your work station before setting up the welding arc. We stress upon this as an electric shock is one of the most severe hazards faced by a welder.

You may think how one can get a shock when welding, even if all the supplies and the wires are properly insulated. Well, the charge can easily build up when you perform the welding. So you may be safe from a primary shock, but the second shock is always there hidden in the dark unless you take proper measures to deal with it. Adhere to the following guidelines to have a shock-free welding experience:

Precautions

  • Make sure to insulate your workbench before placing metals to weld.
  • Have an idea of the power rating of your welding plant and ensure that its fuse and the circuit breaker at your main supply are in perfect order. 
  • Work carefully when bringing metals in contact with a high voltage arc. A shock of only 50 volts is enough to render a person dead. So be very careful when dealing with high current and voltage ratings in welding.
  • Wear dry gloves before you initiate the arc to weld.
  • Avoid touching the electrodes with anything wet when in use and insulate yourself from the ground.

3. Sparks and Metal splinters

Unlike electric shock, this danger is visible and can easily be avoided. Sparks can harm your skin and the metal splinters that may fly when you sharpen or cut metal pieces can easily damage your eyes. Improper clothing may result in aggravation to this problem. So follow these preventative measures:

Precautions

  • Gear yourself up with the welding helmet. This will protect your eyes from any stray splinters and at the same time prevent them from the flashing and radiation from the sparks. 
  • Make sure the helmet has the right grade filter to protect the eyes from radiation. If you happen to use the wrong filter, the whole purpose of using the helmet is destroyed.
  • Wearing protective clothing is another thing that you need to make sure. Regular clothes will not work when you are up and welding. You can reduce the probability of fire hazards by simply wearing fire-resistant clothing.
  • Goggles underneath the helmet ensure extra safety for the eyes.

4. Risk of Explosion

Another major risk that you may run into when welding is that of an explosion. Depending on the intensity of the work and fault that might occur, this can either be a large explosion or a small pop. Nevertheless, the right precautions can keep them at bay. The sparks that come from the welding arc may ignite a fire if it hits a flammable material. This can lead to a widespread fire if not controlled in time. So to prevent fire hazards or explosions from hitting your workstations, you need to take steps to prevent the fire from igniting. And if it does ignite, you should have the right tools at hand in your workstation to put it out. 

Precautions

  • The first step that you need to take to avoid fires is to remove all flammable liquids and mixtures from your workstation. Make sure your workstation has no such materials in its vicinity.
  • Heat resistant clothing should be worn at all times when welding.
  • In case a fire does break out, you need your fire extinguishing materials to be nearby. Make sure your fire extinguishers are placed in your workstation and ready to be used when necessary.
  • Fume exhausts should be built into your workstation.
  • Sand buckets to put out the welding fire.
Related articles that you may be interested in:
i. Tips About WELDR FORBEGINNER You Need To Know
ii. Solutions to find a good plasma cutter
iii. The Quick; Easiest Way to find the top welder for beginner

Conclusion

That pretty much sums up some of the major welding risks you need to be aware of. So please ensure all these measures are taken care of before you start the welding procedure. Welding can be a simple and safe procedure if the right measures are taken. Plus, to be a certified welder, you have to take care of these safety procedures. Safety comes first, just remember this.