Welding can be a dangerous operation to undertake, especially if you are unskilled and you aren’t wearing the correct safety gear. While the tools for welding vary from ultrasonic tooling and horns to angle grinders or wire brushes, the safety equipment you choose should counter any of the risks these components present. Taking precautions protects your safety.
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Prevent Electric Shock
Live electrical circuits are used in order to make the metal materials melt, and when welding, there is a serious risk of electrical shock. It is the most significant threat that can result in both injuries and fatalities. Direct shock is a risk, but secondary electric shock can occur if you touch a part of the electrode circuit while you are touching the metal you are welding.
Prevent Hearing Loss
Welding can be a noisy activity, and exposure to loud noises over 85 decibels for long periods of time can cause hearing loss. Air arc gouging and flame cutting can produce noises over 100 decibels, so always having hearing protection in place when welding for any length of time. A ringing in the ears, vertigo and increased heart rate or blood pressure can be side effects of hearing loss.
Prevent UV Exposure
Welding produces an intense ray of UV light, and without the right protective equipment, it can create a long-lasting lasting condition of arc-eye. Welding curtains are comprehensive protection against this damage but special safety eyeglasses can also shield the eyes from IR radiation and UV rays. Continual exposure to arc flashes can result in cataracts and a permanent loss of vision.
Protection against burns and inhalation of chemical fumes are other crucial aspects of personal safety when welding. Since there are many things to consider, follow all company and OSHA guidelines for welding safety. If your company doesn’t outfit you with the proper personal protective equipment, take the initiative to purchase the materials on your own before contacting OSHA.
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