Welding can be challenging, but the rewards are great. For welders looking to stay in compliance and succeed in the industry, safety is the most important priority. Read on for the important safety tips all welders need to keep in mind.
1. Appropriate Clothing
Always cover-up. Every for a short job, even if you’re a veteran, there’s no room for exposed skin. Leave the shorts and tee shirts at home, and be sure you’ve got the flame-resistant gear. Recommended clothing includes the right fabrics that are tightly woven, like denim pants or a specific welding jacket. These days, there are great lightweight welding jackets with the right cloth or leather to keep you safe.
Bare hands won’t cut it, so use pliers for freshly-welded material and always wear your gloves. Customize your gloves to make sure they fit right and will keep you safe. You can grab some that are one-size-fits-all, but there are plenty of options to find something that will be right for you. Depending on which area of welding you focus on, you can get gloves with curved fingers or heavy-duty MIG Stick gloves.
No sneakers or cloth shoes while welding. You’ll notice a smoldering in your toes sooner than you’d expect. Boots will help limit skin exposure, or you can wear leather shoes with higher tops. Make sure your pants go over your shoes fully.
4. By The Book
Stay closely in tune with your operating manual. Welding professionals know how important it is to understand the equipment, so always begin with the manual. No one should be operating machinery without viewing the most recent manual. If you don’t have a hard copy available, there’s likely something you can reference online, so you and others know how to operate machinery, as well as tips on repair and maintenance.
5. A Clear Workspace
Some 9-5 professionals keep a messy cubicle. In welding, it’s all about minimalism. Every item has a home and needs to stay in its place to keep surfaces clear. In welding, clutter isn’t a nuisance; it’s a danger. Your area should include just your tools and equipment to avoid any flare-ups.
6. Helpful Helmets
Your welding helmet should help your work, not hinder it. Consider investing in an auto-darkening helmet, as workers benefit from having a multi-use helmet for cutting, grinding, and welding. Your process should be efficient, and the right gear will make that happen.
7. Eye Coverage
“Arc flash” can be extremely dangerous and irreversible. Prevent arc flash hazards with a filter shade in your helmet as well as safety glasses under your helmet. If you’re having trouble identifying the right lens shade, check out OSHA’s guidance for clarification.
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