The department of Labor and Industries processes countless claims each week for accidental injuries sustained by welders. Burns, eye damage and other hazards are always possible when using this method of joining metals. Whether you’re a professional welder or a hobbyist who likes to do welding projects around the home, the number one concern before you begin is to become familiar with best welding safety practices.
Become familiar with the manual
If you don’t have extensive training as a welder it is best to start with the manual that came with your welder. It will provide you with information on safety that can help you to avoid common mistakes that can result in serious injury. You’ll learn how to make the best use of your welder by getting the information that is given directly from the manufacturer.
Consider the sparks and molten debris that will be generated by welding. Make sure that your arms, neck, legs and other body parts are protected with clothing that will help to deflect metal particles. Avoid any clothing type that leaves skin exposed or that could retain hot debris and catch on fire. Fire resistant materials are the best choice when welding. Some materials such as nylon or blends could flame up quickly or melt to the skin. Wear shoes that are fire resistant. Boots are recommended because lighter materials can catch fire or smolder, causing injury. Avoid keeping lighters or matches in your pockets because a well placed spark could ignite them causing burns.
Wear all of the recommended safety gear
Too often welders will forego certain pieces of safety gear for greater dexterity and comfort. This is how injuries happen. Wear gloves that will protect your hands and keep them on as you weld and come into contact with hot metal. There is no substitute for a certified welding helmet. Choose one that has been thoroughly tested as has passed the stringent testing to satisfy safety requirements, for more information you could read more on Best Welding Helmet Reviews. The helmet can protect your head, face and neck from injury as well as providing you with eye safety from chemical vapors and welding arc flash.
Don’t pick up hot metal with gloves on
Your gloves can provide a great deal of protection from flying debris but they do have limitations. Use a pair of pliers to pick up hot metal because super heated metals can burn right through your gloves.
Work in a well ventilated area
Welding produces chemical vapors and emissions which can be harmful. It is best to work in an area that has excellent ventilation or to prevent injury from toxic fumes. Ideally, an exhaust system that moves the contaminated air away from you should be used. An exhaust hood and a respirator can help to keep you safe from these environmental hazards. You can find additional safety tips by consulting the manufacturer’s data sheet for the welding electrode that you are using.
Proper helmet selection
There are quite a few different welding helmet options out there. One of the best choices is the auto darkening type because there is less need to lift the helmet to position your equipment prior to welding. The shade of the lens is light enough to see what you’re doing and when the arc flashes, they automatically darken to protect your eyes from welder’s arc flash. They decrease operator fatigue and lessen the odds of neck strain from flipping the helmet down just prior to welding. Any helmet you use should be in compliance with established safety standards which are indicated by a ANSI Z87.1-2003 rating.
During cold weather, the reaction time of auto darkening lenses can be delayed. Check the certification and rating to ensure that they meet the requirements for your environmental conditions prior to use. Those with a reaction time of 1/2,00 -1,3600 of a second are not appropriate for use in industrial settings. For tips on what and how to choose, visit our homepage.
When fixed shade helmets/lenses are appropriate
This type is the most economical and they work fine if there is little variance in your materials and weld parameters. They are not recommended for work in tight areas however. Be aware that the constant flipping up and down can result in neck strain and there is a greater chance of injury if you do not get the helmet in the right position before you start welding. If you have no idea as to what helmet to choose, check our Best Welding Helmet Reviews.
Keep the work area organized
Keep the tools and equipment you need for the job in convenient and handy locations so you can access them easily when needed. Avoid storing any unnecessary items with your welding equipment. You’re less likely to have accidents when the area is free of clutter and the items you need are within reach. This includes having tables at the appropriate height, wire feeders in good working condition and placed conveniently for use. Have your welding station well organized and laid out prior to work.
By taking the time to ensure that you’ve satisfied all of the items on your safety checklist, your welding sessions will go off more seamlessly and safely. Knowledge and understanding of best welding practices can keep you safe and help in avoiding common injuries. You’ll also be in a better position to perform at your peak for higher quality welds. For more information on welding helmets, visit weldinghelmets.reviews.