Avoiding Most Common Welding Hazards in the Workplace12 March 2021
Welding is a fabrication process wherein a professional welder will join two or more materials by melting them together and letting them cool for a specific amount of time. This specific process entails the use of high heat in melting the materials, which by itself can be dangerous if it is not handled properly.
There are a lot of welding risks and hazards that may be present in the workplace. Identifying these risks and hazards can be a great way of obtaining ample knowledge about them. Additionally, knowing all the necessary precautions can help in protecting welders and other people in the workplace.
Most Common Welding Hazards
One of the most common welding hazards that can be present in the workplace is burns. The high heat of the welding process typically comes from high-temperature welding arcs. Without any precautions, these arcs can easily cause burns that would easily affect the eyes or the skin. Other sources of heat out of the welding process include the ultraviolet (UV) rays and molten materials.
And speaking of UV rays, these elements alongside infrared radiation can also pose negative effects on the health of people. Without following the needed precautions, people in the workplace can easily be exposed to these elements and obtain eye damages. Some common eye damages that are caused by continuous exposure to UV rays and infrared radiation include arc-eye, cataracts, and vision loss.
Fumes and gases that are released by the welding process can likewise cause harm to the people in the workplace. These gases, which may include ozone, nitrogen oxides, chromium, nickel oxides, and carbon monoxide, can all come inside the lungs and subsequently cause serious illnesses. Those who are continuously exposed to these elements may obtain pneumonia, throat and lung irritation, and cancer.
Other welding hazards that some people may encounter include electric shock and noise hazards.
Basic Safe Welding Precautions
All the risks involved in conducting welding operations can be minimised and prevented if the welders and other people in the workplace will follow basic safety precautions.
One notable safety precaution that professionals must follow is the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Some of the items that must be included in PPE are welding helmets with side-shields, respirators, and fire-resistant clothing. Welding helmets can protect anyone from UV rays, particles, debris, and other elements that could cause burns and health problems. Respirators can also protect them from the effects of fumes and oxides that may come from the welding operation. Fire-resistant clothing, as the name implies, help save them from intense heat, fire, and radiation. Other items that must be included in PPE are ear protection, boots, and gloves.
Another safety precaution that can be done in the workplace is to ensure that the welding site will be well-ventilated and free from flammable products. A workplace that has good ventilation can easily allow airborne gases and particles to leave the area. And without these elements, welding operations can be conducted safely and effectively. Moreover, a workplace that does not contain flammable products can prevent any instance of a huge fire or sudden burn injuries.
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