Safety Focus of the Week: Arc Welding
Arc welding is used frequently in our shops and job sites. It involves a process of an electric arc between a base metal and an electrode, both of which are superheated to their melting point and fused together. The molten metals are shielded with flux (stick welding) or gas (wire feed) to protect the cooling metals from contamination.
Several safety issues need be considered during arc welding:
- Proper PPE – Welders Helmet, Gloves, Leather Boots, Proper Clothing (FR, leather aprons, sleeves, etc.), Ear Plugs, Skull Caps
- Fire Protection – Provide fire extinguisher, clear work area of flammable materials, etc.
- Obnoxious Fumes – Provide active venting and, when necessary, use the proper respirator.
- Prepare Metal Surface – Avoid cutting and welding on coated surfaces. Beware of Lead Paint!!
- Electric Shock – Avoid arc welding in wet conditions
- Protecting Others – Provide Screens for Other Workers and Public
- Haz Comm – Provide necessary warnings, material labels, and MSDS sheets
- Proper Handling/Storage/Transportation of flammable, oxidizing, and compressed gas cylinders
This link provides the industry standard in arc welding and cutting safety: