4 Common Safety Hazards Associated with Welding Jobs

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

Acquainting yourself with safety risks associated with welding jobs is the first and most important step towards ensuring welding safety. Here is a breakdown of common safety hazards associated with welding projects and what can be done to prevent them.

Electric shock

Electric shock from high voltages is one of the immediate and most dangerous hazards facing a welder. Electric shock, also known as electrocution, can happen when a welder touches a bare wire or a metal component of the welding equipment that has "live" current with uncovered skin or wet clothes, thus incorporating themselves into the electric circuit.

Electrocution can result in severe injury or even death depending on the amount of voltage and current running in the electric circuit. The higher the current, the greater the potential for the electric shock to lead to severe injury or loss of life.

To protect themselves against electric shock, welders should wear dry, full-length clothing, hard leather gloves and close-toed boots. In addition, it is also important to ensure welding equipment and the work environment are kept dry. Remember, wet welding machines and work environments increase the risk of electrocution.

Flying sparks

Welding jobs can generate sparks, which have the potential to not only cause injury to the eyes, but also to start a fire or cause an explosion if left to fly around uncontrollably. For that reason, it is vital for welders to wear safety googles and to inspect the welding environment and remove any flammable materials from the area. Flammable materials can come in gaseous (e.g., propane and hydrogen), liquid (e.g., diesel, petrol and alcohol) and solid (e.g., wood and cardboard) states.

Extreme temperatures

The intense heat generated in the welding environment can make working conditions unbearable. The welding area should have good ventilation so that welders do not have a difficult time breathing properly. In addition to that, the welded material can become too hot to handle with bare hands. In this regard, welders must wear heavy, heat-resistant gloves to prevent burns while they are touching welded workpieces.

Toxic fumes

The welding process produces toxic fumes that can have negative health effects for welders that are overexposed to the hazardous gases. Welders should wear respiratory masks to prevent themselves from breathing in the harmful welding fumes. In addition, they should carry out welding jobs in well-ventilated areas equipped with local exhaust systems.

All forms of welding are potentially dangerous, but with the right safeguards, any welding job can be done safely.


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