Welding is a fascinating process, but it can also be quite dangerous. In a welding shop, safety precautions should be the highest priority because of the potential for injuries and accidents. For every 100,000 U.S. workers, there are 21 welding disasters, with more than 500,000 workers getting injured from welding accidents annually.
Possible welding shop hazards
It’s important to know about the possible dangers of welding, as well as proper welding shop safety. This knowledge will allow you to keep your employees healthy and decrease the chances of someone getting hurt.
There are a handful of potential welding hazards to be aware of. Here’s a list of the most common dangers:
- Electric shock.
- Overexposure to gas and fumes.
- Excessive noise, leading to hearing loss.
- Fire and explosions.
5 rules to follow for a safe welding shop
Welders know how important personal protective equipment (PPE) is, like flame-resistant gloves and welding glasses. But there is more you can do to prevent injury in a welding shop. While accidents do happen, here are five rules you should follow to prevent them to the best of your ability:
- Educate yourself — It’s essential to learn about the safety guidelines for welding. This includes the national guidelines as well as the guidelines set up for your specific welding shop. Knowing about these rules will help you enforce them in your workplace to decrease the likelihood of an injury.
- Check equipment — Doing thorough inspections of equipment before it’s used can make a big difference in preventing injury. Be on the lookout for any frayed wires or hose leaks. Catching any discrepancies could be all it takes to prevent an accident or injury from happening.
- Avoid clutter — Cleanliness is important in any workplace, but it’s especially true in welding shops where sparks are flying. Having a disorderly workstation can increase the risk of a fire due to sparks from the welding arc. Arcs can fly up to 35 feet, which means there shouldn’t be any flammable material in your perimeter while welding.
- Prevent electric shock — Electric shock is a welding shop danger that can be lessened with proper precautions. For example, electrode holders should be inspected before every use. Also, all welders should ensure that their skin, clothing and gloves are dry before handling the electrode holder. There should be dry insulation between the welder’s body and the material being welded as well.
- Protect employees from fumes — Ventilation is essential in a welding shop, and there are several options to choose from. Some shops set up fans or an exhaust system, while some feature exhaust hoods. Many welders wear respirators to prevent themselves from inhaling any of the dangerous gases.
Work-Fit can help you increase your welding shop’s safety
If you want to learn more about how to keep the welders in your shop safe and healthy, contact our team today for more information about how we can keep your employees working and living well.