Welding is a risky yet exciting job got every DIY lover. When you are welding, it is important to keep yourself safe as it can harm your skin and other body parts even when you are inattentive for a second.
Although there are some basic safety rules, everyone already follows, but safety should be improved over time.
Welding is mostly used for manufacturing, repair work, and fabrication. It is also used to join two metal sheets together. It is very “hot work” and easily harms people and the environment, so it is necessary to develop welding safety to avoid accidents.
Precautions and Welding Safety Tips for Beginners
Here are few tips, precautions and guides you can consider before you next welding sessions.
Prepare the Welding Space/Area
First of all, you have to select the right place for welding. The location could be anywhere. Such as at your home or on the roof, but the area should be free from welding hazards. So, your welding method should follow an area check before daily work habits.
Also, the area should be clean and flat. If there are any flammable or ignitable materials, remove them. Clean all the dust and debris from the space and any explosive materials. Check the wires of the place if there are any short circuits.
If it is impossible to remove some equipment, use a welding blanket or pads to cover them. Keep a fire extinguisher near you. However, the area should be welding permissible.
Using Protective Clothing and Proper Gears
Having proper welding gears, welding tables, pants, and other clothing isn’t the only thing you should look for before welding safely. Here are a few more stuff for better performance and safety.
Protective Clothing is a Must Before Welding
Proper clothes are mandatory for improving the safety of the welding method. Welding is a hot job, but that does not mean you have to wear short sleeves or thin clothes as you may get heated too. Short or long sleeves do not matter, but the cloth should be flame resistant.
Although it is better to cover the exposed skin as rays and sparks can hit your skin, which is harmful. So long sleeve jacket and long denim pants are good to wear.
Avoid synthetic fabrics. Protect your pockets from emitted sparks as it can burn your clothes. Cover the bags and do not carry anything in your pocket when you are welding. If you sometimes roll the sleeves, check the rolled area too.
Use Right PPE for Better Protection
Wearing PPE will save you from any flying and heated dust and sparks in your body and hair. The only proper cloth is not enough to prevent those sparks.
The PPE should have a hair cover to protect your hair. It is best to protect you from harmful radiation. Also, it should be breathable to wick away your sweating.
Read the Owner’s Manual
Different welding machines will require different welding methods for better safety. Do not forget to read the product manuals before welding. If you are in a group, tell the other teammates to read thoroughly.
The operating manual has all the procedures and information about welding. Keep them in your mind.
Understand all the recommendations and techniques so that you can apply them better. Do not avoid reading the product manuals or flip it out even if you are a pro. Technologies are updates day by day that you may not be aware of.
Wear Respirators Along with Shade Helmet
Do not avoid wearing a respirator because it is uncomfortable. A welding helmet is not enough to protect your lungs from harmful chemicals. The respirator will save you from radiation when you are using TIG welding.
Auto Darkening Helmet
Welding means you have to work with tiny areas where a clear vision is needed. We should not weld anything with open eyes, so auto-darkening helmets are important. It has a light sensor to see only the welded area, and another location will be invisible so that you can focus only on the main part.
Along with the light sensors, the helmets must be ANSI standards. You can use an industrial-grade helmet that is also better for perfect welding.
Advanced technology helmet has many options, so you can be grinding and cutting too. It will protect your head, face, and neck properly. Use higher-end helmets because it has quick reaction times, and it can darken the area in winter. It also prevents neck fatigue.
Normal Welding Helmet
Normal welding helmets are also useful for welding. It should have a proper filter shade to protect your eyes. You can also use a lens shade for your eyes.
Welding Safety Tips for Eye Protection
A helmet is not enough to protect your eyes completely. A helmet with a visor will allow you to wear extra eye protection. When you weld, flying debris can hit your eyes and skin, which is dangerous. Arc welding is very uncomfortable to look at without eye protection.
Here are a few pieces of equipment you can take before the welding:
- Light sensors in the Helmet
- Exhaust Hood
- Contact Tip Recess
Wear special lenses to look safely. However, different welding requires an additional protective lens. Do not forget to use them. A proper lens will help you to avoid repetitive stress injuries along with using an auto-darkening helmet.
Gloves for Safety of the Hand
A proper size hand gloves are mandatory materials for welding. That is because different welding methods require extra hand gloves such as heavy and medium-duty MIG gloves. TIG gloves are specific.
The Right Footwear
Welding is a hand job but does not think that your feet are safe from it without any precautions. A steel-toed and high-topped leather shoes or boots are best for foot protection.
Rubber sole boots are also useful. It will save you from electric shock, heat, and fire. Also, it should be comfortable and breathable for a welding job.
Although the welding helmet will cover your ear, you will need extra ear protection as welding anything creates loud noises. Use fire resistance earbuds because flying dust and sparks can hit on your ears and burn.
Ventilate the Area
Proper ventilation in the workplace can prevent many accidents. Welding creates smoke and toxic fumes, so it is very important to blow them out. Also, the area should be properly lighted to work without any hazards.
If you are welding in an industrial place, there might be many types of machinery around you, which could be dangerous when you weld. Protect your whole body from any accident is not enough in a welding job; the surrounding could hurt you too.
Remove all the unnecessary tools and other obstruction that can make fires. Remove the clutter and flammable materials from your workspace. The environment around you should be work permitted.
Receive Appropriate Training
Do not weld without practice before. Receive appropriate training to understand the work well to know about the accidents and take safety precautions timely.
Inspect the Tool
Before welding, inspect your welding tools if it is ok or not. If there is any damage, repair, or replace the devices. Working with bad tools can also cause a big accident.
Check all the connections and voltage. Repair short circuits and check the wire condition.
Do Not Weld Continuously
Welding creates too much heat, and metal expands from it. So take a break sometimes when you are welding. Stop at least a few seconds later and take a rest, then again start welding.
This process will reduce heat, and the heated metal can get some time to cool and strong.
Most Common Welding Hazards
Maintaining proper safety prevents various potential hazards in welding. Some most common safety hazards are,
Exposure Fumes and Gases
If you do not wear safety glasses and Helmet, Overexposure fumes and gases will go to your lungs and damage your health.
Without protection, your eyes, ears, and other body parts can burn by the flying debris and sparks. It also damages the eye vision if you directly see it while welding.
It is also a hot job, so your hand could be burn if you do not wear gloves. Your hearing could be damaged because of excessive noise if you do not wear earmuffs.
Electric shock is another big accident. It can make serious injury as well as death too. To inspect the welding tools are necessary.
Explosion and Fire
Suppose you work in a place where many machine types and any flammable material around you can make explosion and fire. So, the area must be fire resistance.