Let’s take a look at some of the essential safety measures that help protect welders in the metal fabrication industry.
Safety hazards for welders
Without the proper safety measures, welders are at significant risk of low-quality outputs or even injury. Risks include:
- burns/spatter on exposed or unprotected skin
- Cutting mistakes due to poor visibility from smoke
- Rashes or skin ulcers from exposure to hexavalent chromium
- Nosebleeds, sores, or even holes inside or around the nose
- Asthma or lung cancer from long-term exposure to smoke
- A build-up of combustible gases can ignite an explosion
Safety measures for welders
Putting the right safety measures in place can ensure that welders are protected from potential risks. The following measures are particularly useful:
Safety-First Welding Practices: Implementing safety-first welding practice is the first step to protecting welders from potential risks. This includes a quality control program with a strong focus on educating welders on proper, safe welding practice. Education in the form of ongoing training and quality control prevents metal fabrication mistakes such as spatter injuries and will result in higher quality outputs. Furthermore, all equipment should be inspected regularly to maintain safety and standards of quality.
Avoid Spatter Hazards: Generated at, or close to the welding arc, spatter can be caused by working with metals of various thicknesses or alternatively, from mistaken welding settings, such as setting the voltage or amps too high. Spatter poses a significant risk as it can reach up to 35 feet from any welding area which places welders and all surrounding employees at risk of severe injury. To avoid spatter, the correct protective equipment must be used including a welding hood and shield, leather gloves and a leather apron, vest or suit. Furthermore, using the best quality welding equipment will allow workers to avoid spatter from occurring in the first place.
Minimize Indoor Air Quality Risks: Welding dust and fumes can threaten the safety of welders and surrounding workers. These airborne contaminants can also diminish the life of cooling fans and expensive machinery, significantly impacting fabrication quality. Proper ventilation and fume-extraction tools should always be used to minimize this hazard. 3M masks may also be required to ensure a safe and productive welding environment.
If you need quality steel that is fabricated to suit your unique needs, contact Spahr Metric today. Our team of expert metric steel consultants have the experience and knowledge to answer any of your questions and will ensure that you find the best solution to suit your needs.