Written By: Janet Ashby
Safety is vitally important when working in the workshop or when welding to ensure both your own safety and that of other people in the workshop. Below are the most important safety considerations to help prevent accidents occurring and to keep everyone involved out of the ER.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report over 1000 eye injuries occurring every year in the US, mainly to mechanics and and in workshops. Wearing good eye protection at all times in the workshop is essential for your protection.
1. Welders should always be placed on a flat surface with no water, oil, gasoline, cloth rags, paper or other flammable materials close by. Welding should not be carried out in wet conditions to prevent the occurrence of electric shocks.
2. Make sure grounding is properly carried out using metal to metal connections without paint or any other materials that can decrease the effect. Do not use inadequate means such as wire ropes or chains for connectors.
3. Gas cylinders must be securely chained in place either in a cart or to an adequate support. Only use hoses that are manufactured for welding and fasten any protective caps on gas cylinders when moving.
4. Do not work in a cluttered area. Put tools in draws or on shelves and clear away paper, rags and other clutter before working. Not only will this be safer and help to prevent fire but it will be easier to find tools and equipment when needed. Don’t leave hoses trailing in the ground and coil up hoses after use to prevent excessive wear and tear occurring from kinks and tangles.
5. Use a soapy solution on hoses and connectors regularly to spot and leaks. It will bubble if there are any gas leaks present. Immediately replace worn hoses or leaky connectors and do not be tempted to patch them up with duck tape.
6. Ensure you have the correct tools at hand so you are not tempted to perform unsafe tasks. For instance use pliers for handling hot metal, even heavy duty gloves are not adequate protection. use the proper tools for such tasks as sanding, brushing slag or chipping.
7. When cutting or grinding wear a pair of high impact glasses and get into the habit of putting them on safety glasses as soon as you enter the workshop. remove them only when you leave and resist the temptation to remove them while working.
8. Make sure your work area is properly ventilated. Leaving doors and windows open and having a small box fan to extract the fumes should be enough for a small workshop.
9. Wear safety clothes and equipment that is approved by the OSHA. Always wear flame resistant clothes to cope with any sparks or spatter produced during welding operations. Tennis or other cloth shoes can smolder and melt so a proper pair of leather shoes is essential. Wear a pair of leather gloves specifically made for welding.
10. Repeated exposure to the radiation from the arc can cause permanent damage to eyes and skin so wear proper face and eye protection. Safety glasses should be worn at all times in the workshop and underneath your helmet when welding. Auto darkening helmets that comply with the standards laid down by the American National Standards Institute allow you to reposition work or your hands without needing to be flipped up.
Never compromise on safety and be aware of the hazards that can occur in any procedure that you undertake in the workshop.
WATCH THIS VIDEO to learn more killer welding techniques
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