The practice of welding is very useful for sculpture and fabrication. The process involves heating the surfaces of two objects by bringing them to their melting point and then pressing them together. This is an important part of our economy, as well as one of the best ways to join metals permanently. With the importance of welding, however, it is important to remember that there are several health and safety tips that every welder should follow. From the proper protective gear to watching for new smells, here are three health and safety tips for welders.
Watch for Smells
Being aware of the smells around the job is an important safety rule. Since welding brings metals to their melting points, there are fumes and gases that are released during the welding process. These fumes may be a health hazard. When working in a small space, it is important for welders to have the proper equipment to clean the fumes from the air. An exhaust hood can be the best way to make sure that the welder has clean breathing air. It is also critical for welders to look at the materials that they are working with, as some of these require the use of respirators. With this in mind, it is also important to keep a nose open for a changing smell.
Have a Good Helmet
Having a good helmet is a very important when welding. Even the smallest amount of time spent looking at the rays of the welding arc can lead to arc flash, a painful eye condition. As a result, the use of a helmet that is properly fitted is critical since the shade and the size will protect the welder’s face and eyes while working. Auto-darkening helmets are some of the best since the lens darkens as the light changes. This means that the welder’s eyes are always protected from the welding arc. It is also important that the helmets are up to the standards of safety in the industry. The best helmets include auto darkening helmets and more, each tested in extreme heats. Many also have had heavy objects thrown at them. These tests work together to make sure that the heads of the welder are protected.
Additionally, welders need to be sure to wear the proper clothing while welding. It is important to wear gloves while welding to protect the hands, but the gloves should be specifically made for welding. If they are not, the gloves are vulnerable to flames and debris, and so will not protect the hands. Shoes need to be closed-toed. Boots or tall leather shoes are ideal, while cloth and tennis shoes may possibly begin to smolder. This can cause damage to the feet. Clothing should also be made from fabrics that are tightly woven. Jeans are a good option. There are also jackets specifically made to protect welders.
When welding, there are several important health and safety rules that welders need to keep in mind. Wearing the proper protective gear, from clothes to helmets, and being aware of changing smells are critical ways that welders can stay safe.