The process of welding is a skilled trade that many professionals train in for a number of years before entering the job market. This fabrication process can be extremely dangerous producing temperatures in the thousands of degrees and giving off hazardous chemicals. It is a healthy practice for welders to follow safety precautions while performing their work.
Welding entails the use of an electric arc and/or flame making the risk of burns very high. To minimize or eliminate this risk, welders must wear protective gloves. A piece of material that the worker is handling that comes free, would instantly burn through several layers of flesh without protective hand covering. Gloves are made of heavy leather to withstand very high temperatures. Special jackets with long sleeves and aprons made of similar material should also be worn to protect the entire body.
Welding Hood Safety is also very important to protect a welder’s face and eyes. Varying welding procedures all have their pitfalls in the form of searing hot material blowing back in the welder’s face. At these temperatures the body can instantly be burned very badly. Welding hoods are made of thick metal or other heat resistant material with a glass window for the welder to see. Plastic safety goggles would not be sufficient for this high heat job. Another common injury is arc eye which is actually a burn in the welder’s retina caused by prolonged viewing of ultraviolet light. The window on a helmet is tinted so that looking at flame or arc during welding will not burn an image into the worker’s eyes. The corneas of a welder’s eyes can also become enflamed as a result of this phenomenon.
Dangerous and noxious gases are also a common job hazard for welding professionals. Welding processes such as flux-cored arc and shielded metal arc welding make smoke that contains different types of oxides. This smoke and the tiny particles it contains can lead to serious medical conditions like metal fume fever also known as Monday morning fever that produces flu like symptoms and can cause a worker to lose consciousness in minutes. Other dangerous fumes that can be produced include carbon dioxide and ozone which can be deadly without adequate ventilation.
Some welding procedures require the use of compressed and flammable gases that have the potential to cause an explosion. Even a small leak or mishandling of any flame next to a compressed air tank can cause a fatal explosion. The use of a positive metal enclosure, which is an isolated work environment for those positions considered hot work among which welding is included.
Welding is a valuable trade that takes some time to learn. Proper safety training and gear are just as important to learn about before welders enter the workplace. Noxious gases, extreme ultraviolet light and explosions are always a danger when these professionals go to work. Proper safety equipment and apparel such as helmets, gloves, aprons and jackets should be worn to minimize or eliminate hazardous conditions.