Safety Checks Every Welder Should Perform
Even if you’re extremely confident in your welding abilities, you shouldn’t throw safety checks out the window. Inspecting your equipment and workspace to ensure it meets the right safety standards for the job is necessary before each and every weld. This guide will break down the most important safety checks every welder should perform, whether you’re a novice or an industry veteran.
Before you begin welding, ensure your equipment, such as the torch, hoses, wires, and so forth, are free of damage. Improperly handling or storing these components can cause wear and tear, rendering them useless over time. Luckily, with some care given to handling and storage, as well as carrying out regular inspections, you can avoid using broken tools during your next weld.
Aside from the welding equipment, you also have to check your PPE (personal protective equipment). PPE such as gloves, respirators, and fire-resistant pants play a key role in keeping welders safe from toxic fumes, burns, and other common industry hazards. Never weld with any PPE that has punctures or other forms of damage.
Additionally, make sure you have the right PPE for the specific welding method you’re using. For example, the tungsten electrode used during TIG welding carries mild radioactive properties. Because of this, welders need to use a respirator along with their normal welding helmet, goggles, etc. to keep them safe from the harmful fumes.
Once you properly check your equipment, you should inspect your workspace for additional hazards. First, the floor should be clear of any unnecessary clutter you or any passerby could trip over. Second, you need to have good ventilation to combat the accumulation of toxic fumes. Finally, keep an eye out for any fire/explosion hazards—if you find one in your workspace, relocate it to a safer area.
If you can’t move the fire/explosion hazard, then securely place a flame-retardant covering over it and ask a peer to monitor it during and after your weld. Remember, even holes in the wall can have sparks, so don’t forget to cover those if you spot any in your work environment.
In Case of Emergency
Although the two points above might sound easy enough to follow, you still have to plan for emergency situations. This is why welders, before beginning a task, should double-check all their emergency equipment. If you’re unsure of what qualifies as emergency equipment, this includes tools such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and a nearby phone for contacting the fire department and other emergency services. That way, if any accidents occur during your weld, you can address them swiftly and safely.
Now that you’re familiar with the most important safety checks every welder should perform, you can maintain a healthy work environment during every weld. If you don’t have the right safety gear for the job, make sure to obtain it before your next welding project. At Welding For Less, we can help you find cheap welding supplies, such as torches, consumables, or safety helmets, that can help during your next weld without breaking the bank.