7 Tips to Seriously Improve Welding Safety
Safety is the most important rule in the welding business. From flying sparks to ultraviolet lights, the danger is everywhere. Here are seven tips to improve welding safety today.
1. Study Your Product Manuals
All welding products come with product manuals. The manual gives the operator important information about the equipment. It provides you with all the necessary safety information and tells you exactly how to operate for the best results. Many veterans trust experience over the product manuals, but this is a mistake. Every product is slightly different, so you can’t always rely on previous experience to get the job done. Additionally, if the manual is damaged, it’s crucial that you get a replacement from the manufacturer.
2. Cover Exposed Skin
You must cover all exposed skin while welding. Sparks can burn your skin if they touch you. Sparks can also catch in open pockets, cuffs, or unbuttoned shirts. This can hurt you and damage your clothes. Furthermore, dangerous infrared and ultraviolet lights damage and hurt any skin exposed while welding.
3. Wear Proper Welding Gear
Never wear shorts or tee shirts while welding. Always wear flame-resistant clothing, such as denim and other welding products. Welders used to complain about hot and uncomfortable clothes while welding. However, manufacturers make protective and lightweight gear now. As always, wear a helmet and gloves at all times. Newer helmets protect your face and eyes from harsh lights that can hurt skin as well.
4. Always Protect Your Eyes
As I said just before, welding metal produces light that hurts eyes. Seconds of exposure to harmful UV light can cause serious eye pains. Eye protection and head gear are crucial in preventing this problem. Newer helmets have automatic darkening lenses that adjust to different levels of brightness. With constant improvements in safety gear, welding accidents are less and less common.
5. Avoid Repetitive Stress Injuries
Auto-darkening helmets remove the need to put helmets on and take them off. Most welders snap their necks quickly to put the face guard back down. This causes repetitive neck injury and back problems over time. Additionally, it’s important to always work in your comfort zone. Adjustable height tables are the best way to stay comfortable while working. They take away the need to bend over, twist, or kneel while working. You can always adjust the table to be in the most comfortable position for you, which reduces the risk of operator error.
6. Keep Your Station Clean
Cleanliness is always preferred while welding. Clutter all over your work station is dangerous, not to mention unprofessional. If you can’t keep your work station clean then how are you going to get the job done? Everything in your space needs a designated shelf, drawer, etc. Minimalism is the best way to ensure a safe work station; you should have only the bare essentials, and anything more should be removed.
7. Consider a Reward System
An easy way to improve safety and minimize risk? Incentivize it. Provide a gift or bonus to the employee that puts the most effort into workplace safety. When others see him wear a cool new helmet, they’ll be motivated to be safer too. On the other hand, it can also work to punish those who violate safety codes. Some places even take it as far as to punish those who ignore it when they just see someone else violate codes and don’t tell the safety manager. It can be harsh but effective.
Overall, safety in welding is no joking matter. It’s a dangerous trade that results in serious injury when there’s an accident. Following these safety tips can really improve the safety around your work station.