Welding Safety: 5 Hazards to Avoid

Welding safety

Welding safety is critical on any project.

It’s a hazardous business, but the dangers can be controlled with the appropriate safeguards in place. Some of the areas for concern when it comes to welding safety include electric shock, fumes and gases, fire and explosions to name just a few. So, you see, welders don’t just do things by halves, and it pays to be safe.

At a minimum, welders can prepare a secure environment by simply doing some basic things. For example, know and adhere to the industry guidelines laid down by the governing trade associations in your area. Consistently review the relevant material safety data sheets (MSDS). Promote and monitor internal safety policies, maintain clean and orderly work environments, and ensure the use of well-maintained protective barriers. QSD is ready to help you there. But that’s not all.

Welding carries with it five dangers peculiar to the craft:

  1. Electric Shock: Arc welding is a high-voltage affair. The last thing you want is to be the shortest distance to ground. With voltage that high (20-100 volts), the shock itself could be life-threatening. Due to changes in polarity, alternating current (AC) can be far more hazardous than direct current (DC) welding. Bear this in mind, and take appropriate precautions.
  2. Fumes and Gases: Toxic gases are given off by welding rods and the metals being fused. It is always important to ensure proper ventilation. This can happen in any situation, but is all the more prevalent in tented or enclosed environments. QSD carries a range of welding tents for any conditions. Let us help you make the most appropriate and cost-effective choices.
  3. Fire and Explosions: Welding arcs can reach temperatures of 10,000ºF. As dangerous as the arc may be (and the current producing it), fire is also an ever-present danger. Combine that with explosive gases and materials that may surround you and you’ve got a extreme hazard on your hands. Ventilation is critical, but so too is your ability to set up barriers to block sparks or spatter. Here again, QSD has the answers.
  4. Inappropriate Equipment: There’s inappropriate and insufficient equipment, but there’s also poorly maintained equipment. In any case, attention must be paid. Fire and flame resistant fabrics are a must. Synthetics just won’t do as they can melt with only approximate contact. Helmets, masks and side-paneled safety goggles are, of course critical. But then there are your various tents and barriers. Their surfaces should be intact, and their supporting structures are equally important. Inspect often and replace regularly. There’s a lot riding on the safety of your personnel and the integrity of your facilities.
  5. Context-related Hazards: Are you using the appropriate materials for the job? Is the work area free from obstructions and fire hazards. And what about ventilation? These are just a few of the many context-related hazards that must be accounted for. Arrange the job space to be as safe as possible, and employ equipment and techniques to account for the rest.

At QSD, we’re committed to ensuring our welding customers’ safety. We do this using equipment and materials of the highest industrial standards. Our high-trained personnel are standing by to assist you with any questions you may have to ensure you’re making appropriate choices to fit the project and activity.