Welding operations present numerous hazards, such as harmful dust, smoke, fumes, impact, electric shock, penetration, injurious light radiation, etc. to both the operators and employees in the vicinity.
Therefore, behind every successful metal fabrication shop is a safety-first workplace policy that includes the best welding safety practices to protect employees. As a result, workers make fewer mistakes and are more productive, which increases the shop’s quality control.
To keep welders safe, organizations such as OSHA and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists offer safety guidelines to help minimize, control and avoid welding hazards.
Studies have shown that an estimated 562,000 employees are at risk for exposure to the physical and chemical hazards of welding, cutting and brazing.
Welding non-ferrous chromium alloys, stainless steel, or similar “hot work” can result in potentially hazardous weld smoke, splatter, and the release of toxins like hexavalent chromium, which, if inhaled, can target the respiratory system.
In the absence of proper safety protocols, welders are at risk for:
- Limited visibility due to weld smoke, resulting in cutting mishaps
- Sores or nosebleeds
- Long-term weld smoke exposure, resulting in lung cancer or asthma
- Skin ulcers or rashes from hexavalent chromium exposure
- Spark or splatters burns on exposed skin
Worst yet, the combustible gases that build up in feed welds can ignite an explosion, endangering the entire shop floor.
Implementing welding safety in metal fabricator shops begins with a documented quality control program that focuses on educating workers about proper equipment operation and material handling.
The safety training should include:
- Proper use of welder hoods, PPE, and 3M masks
- Protection against falling objects. Welder helmets can obscure workers’ vision preventing them from noticing a falling object
- Equipment protocol training
- Inspecting face shields and goggles for scratches that may impair visibility
- Inspecting gloves, welding aprons, and protective clothing for holes and tears that may leave the skin exposed
Safety training is essential in preventing welding mishaps and metal fabrication mistakes that result from it.
Preventing Spatter Hazards
Spatter is generated near the welding arc when working with metals of different thickness or if the amperage or voltage is set too high.
The hot splatter can reach up to 35 feet, placing employees at risk for burns, spark-fire hazards, and eye injury.
Spatter safety practices include:
- Using leather gloves around hold welding surfaces
- Wearing a welding hood to protect from potential sparks
- Wearing an appropriate welding suit
- Providing welders proper metal forming and cutting education to prevent mishaps
- Using correct gas mixtures
- Proper torch angles and wire stick-out lengths
Safety-driven metal fabricators like PlasmaTech use welding machines that prevent splatter by ensuring constant power outputs.
At PlasmaTech, we only employ safety conscious, certified welders to prevent compromised fabrications that may lead to compromised welder safety.
Our quality control programs align with CWB, AWS, and ASTM specifications, adhering strictly to industry safety standards.
If you’re looking for reliable welding services in Wasilla, Alaska, you’ve come to the right place. We offer an entire line of hardfacing services, custom metal fabrication, metal cutting, and wear coating services.
Contact our team of certified welders today for more details.