Your safety should be the number one priority for jobs like welding works. Welding is a process that joins the metals or thermoplastics through heat, causing fusion. Up to now, welding has served many benefits in construction, architecture, plumbing, and automotive industries. However, it also raises various safety concerns to the welder and society. Many experienced workers in this industry have acknowledged the danger and got injured while working. Welding is a dangerous occupation and needs to follow all the safety guidelines.
Why is Safety in Welding Important?
Welding is a hazardous workplace hustle. Over half a million workers are exposed to welding each year in the United States alone. They risk their safety and health in this field of industry. Welding safety can be arrayed by
- Conducting proper training sessions,
- Checking welding equipment,
- Inspecting the workers and the workplace while welding, and
- Ensuring that the workers are aware of the precautions and the process.
There are many elements in welding that directly or indirectly affect your health. Welding being a practiced job, there are always chances of getting harmed in the process. This work includes the process which releases some harmful elements. These elements are hazardous to health and thus require proper safety and precautions while welding.
Types of Welding
Welding is a professional job that requires proper knowledge and training. An individual is meant to have all the information about the process before performing this action. Different types of welding are done as per the requirement of the cause. Below are a few main types of weldings performed.
1. Arc Welding
Arc welding is a welding process used to join metal to metal by using the power of the electric current. The electric current helps to create enough heat to melt metal. When cooled, it results in the binding of the metals. Arc welding has replaced the methods of riveting and bolting to a large extent. In this process, heat is produced from an arc fixed between an electrode and the metal, which must be melted.
Arc welding is applied in,
- Welding of sheet metals.
- Welding of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
- Aerospace manufacturers.
2. Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Gas tungsten arc welding is another common and widely used method of welding. The material or the metal in this process is welded using a non-consumable electrode. This process is also called inert gas welding as it uses inert gasses (helium and argon) to cover the area (welding area) from the atmospheric contagion.
Applications of gas tungsten welding are:
- Art and craft.
- Automobile industries.
- Aerospace industries.
- Building and construction.
- Food manufacturing industries.
3. Resistance Welding
Resistance welding refers to the process of joining metals by applying force or pressure and passing a strong electric current through the area of metals being welded. This process is overly cost-effective as there is no need for other materials to melt the metals and form a bond. Instead, a constant electric current and constant welding time are needed for melting the metals.
Applications of resistance welding are:
- Used for the production of welding sheets, metals, wires, and tubes.
- Also used in welding cans, rods, bars, and pipes.
- Widely used in the automotive industry.
4. Stick Welding
Stick welding, formally known as shielded metal arc welding, is a standard arc welding process. This type of welding uses a consumable electrode concealed with a flux to perform the welding. Due to its versatility, the shielded arc is one of the world’s most popular welding processes. This process is used in the welding of steel and iron.
Other applications are:
- Construction industries.
- Maintenance and field repair, shipyards, and shipbuilding.
- Underwater pipelines and industrial fabrications.
Hazards and Risks of Welding
Welding is a hazardous job performed with all the necessary safety measures. While performing this job, many risks can take place at any time. To beware of some unforeseen situations, we have listed some risks and hazards in the workplace.
- The most common and sudden welding accident is Electric shock. This impulsive discharge of electric current can cause severe injuries and even immediate death.
- Welding releases some harmful fumes and gasses. Human exposure to these fumes can cause respiratory problems, cancer, and other severe health issues.
- Burns, cuts, eye (vision) damage, injuries to hands and fingers are physical hazards in welding.
- Harmful radiations released from the fusion can cause damage to the eyes and even the skin. Excessive noise can trigger one’s ears, causing hearing impairment.
- Fire and explosion in the workplace can cause huge damage to the workers and the workplace. Even the area around that workplace may also get affected. The flammable substances and materials should be kept at a distance to avoid unforeseen acts.
Welding Safety Rules
Welding is a dangerous activity, and even for experienced workers, it is necessary to perform this with all safety measures. Some safety tips and rules must be followed when welding is performed. Read these tips below to lay a safe weld.
- Shield your eyes, wear proper welding masks to protect yourself from fumes, and use hand gloves. Cover the exposed areas of the skin to avoid burns and cuts.
- Do not weld without adequate ventilation. Do take appropriate precautions against any electric shocks.
- Make sure your equipment is working properly and is not damaged. Impaired equipment and tools can cause serious accidents.
- Wear the right PPE for welding. Your PPE should have proper protection from heat, fumes, electricity, and radiation.
- The most important safety tip is that the welder and the helping worker should clearly and accurately know the process. All the welders and the helpers should be fully trained and aware of the hazards.
Tips to Keep Away Dangers of Welding
Taking precautions in a job like welding is a must. These welding safety tips are necessary steps a welder should take to prevent any untoward situation.
- Need for protective equipment and protective maintenance; Best helmets, respiratory protection, and eye protection. All the welding attire should be thoroughly checked.
- Clear and clean working environment. The welding work should be done in a safe area, free from fire risk.
- There should be regular inspection of gas cylinders. Their regulators should be properly checked to ensure that gas does not leak.
The welding process can be deadly if necessary precautions and safety rules are not followed. But when the process is done with all the safety measures, there are no serious concerns. Welding safety awareness sessions should be done in the workplace from time to time. Proper training sessions and first aid sessions should also be conducted. There should not be any compromise regarding human safety. Here, we have identified some possible hazards and some safety tips to avoid such situations. It’s vital to follow the guidelines and perform proper instructions to ensure safe working.