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Madison Capps / 5.22.2015

Welder Safety: Dress the Part, Maintain Your Art

 

 

Welders, we know it's a no-brainer when protecting yourself against your highly volatile welder's arc, but here are some things you should consider. 

 

When it comes to welding, safety practices are fairly universal. Here are a few head-to-toe tips for dressing smartly on the job - and keeping your most important assets safely shielded from an extremely intense flame (so you can keep doing what you love!). 

 


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1. Breathe Easy
Smoke inhalation is a very real threat for when working in confined spaces every day. Use smoke extractors in welding booths to help minimize smoke inhalation, but understand that they aren’t a magical tool that prevents inhalation 100% of the time.

RECOMMENDATION: Get a yearly physical to protect lung function.  

 

2. Button Up 
Any exposed skin is susceptible to UV radiation, burning just like high intensity sunlight - in other words, a sunburn. The welder needs to consider every detail of his attire. Sparks can catch in the smallest of areas, including pant cuffs (or frayed pants!), front pockets or shirts not fully buttoned up, or anything else that is loose. And, because you’re under the hood - you probably won’t notice the smoldering until you feel it…in which case you have a problem.

RECOMMENDATION: Check yourself before you wreck yourself when dressing yourself.  

 


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3. Use Your Head (and cover it up!) 
A moment of light from a welding arc can cause very severe retinal damage known as arc eye or welder’s flash, a painful eye condition caused by UV exposure. If you suspect this has happened, you can learn more about symptoms and treatment here. Fusing metal is nothing to go blind over.  

RECOMMENDATION: Regular visits to the optometrist. Seriously, do it.

 

4. Pocket Prevention
What would you do if your pocket suddenly caught on fire? Leave lighters and other flammable objects in the truck when you get to work. If one stray spark lands on your pocket or burns through your pants and hits your lighter, expect a small explosion. Burn holes in jeans are one thing, but a fire in your pants is another.

RECOMMENDATION: Empty your pockets before arriving onsite or heading to your welding station.

 


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Suiting up for the job correctly comes with the territory of welding. But remember, it's the little things like a lighter in your pocket that can get you in the most trouble. Schedule regular doctors appointments to keep your body in top shape and your welder's arc sparking. 

 

Other Resources: OSHA Inspection Checklists
Here are a few resources to ensure safety in your welding world: 
 
Welding and Cutting with Oxygen Checklist 

Welding with Arc-Welding Equipment

Welding with Resistance Welding Equipment

Welding, Cutting and Brazing General Checklist 

Photo Credit: Rick Janson
http://www.denverlifestyle.com/

 

 

Topics: Metal Fabrication, Manufacturing, Custom Fabrication, Welding