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5 Safety Precautions for Welding Work

Welding is a vital process for many industrial, manufacturing, and construction projects. However, welding is a process that entails certain safety hazards that need to be mitigated to prevent workplace injury.  

If you've got welding work scheduled in the near future at your facility, then you need to take the proper precautions to make sure that your welding work area is safe. The following are five safety precautions that should be part of your preparations.

1. Ensure the Site Is Adequately Ventilated

One of the most significant hazards to be aware of when it comes to welding is fumes. Welding work will create toxic fumes that can cause severe injury if the welding area is not properly ventilated.

Any worksite area where welding is going to be carried out should offer local exhaust to channel fumes and gases away. If the air seems a little stagnant around the worksite, then bringing a fan that can blow welding exhaust out of the area is a good idea.

2. Make Space Around the Welding Area

Welding work areas need to be entirely dedicated to welding. For this reason, you need to clear any unrelated equipment away from the work area to ensure optimal organization and safety.

While clearing out unnecessary equipment is important for the sake of organization, you need to make sure that your welding area is well lit with adequate shop lights. Welding often entails precision work. As such, it requires bright lighting so that the welder can handle more delicate tasks accurately. 

Using LED bulbs in shop lights around welding areas is more efficient and offers brighter lighting than traditional fluorescent bulbs. 

3. Remove Flammable Materials From the Site

Probably the biggest hazard in areas where welding work is being carried out is the risk of fire. Because temperatures tend to get very high around welding areas, any flammable materials located nearby could catch fire or even explode if they get too hot.

Remove all flammable materials from the site while welding work is carried out. Not only do paper products and flammable fabrics need to be kept away, but also combustible liquids like oil, gasoline, and paints. According to OSHA guidelines, combustible materials need to be kept at least 35 feet away from the welding area. 

4. Ensure Employees Undergo Safety Training

If you've got staff members who are not experienced with welding, then they need to be educated on avoiding welding hazards if they are going to be working near the welding area.

Training should include the welding process and any hazards involved, and how to dress around a welding site. Workers should know to keep their skin covered with long sleeves and wear high-top heavy-duty boots around welding equipment.

Workers who will be especially close to welding equipment might need to be trained to use a ventilator mask to prevent injury from the inhalation of fumes. In addition to ventilator masks, other safety equipment may be necessary including goggles for eye protection and gloves. 

5. Follow Instructions From Your Welding Service 

The best source of information on what you need to do to get your site ready for welding is consult your welding service provider.

Your welder can come to your site and evaluate how safe it is for welding work. Then, your welder can draw up a list of how to improve your site. For example, you may need to make equipment available or temporarily halt jobs elsewhere at your work site that might interfere with welding work.

To learn more about the best ways to handle your welding needs at your worksite, contact us at Wilson's Welding Service, Inc.