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A safety meeting in a nutshell
Note to Discussion Leader: Prior to the
meeting, review the types of welding processes in use, the specific hazards
associated with those processes and any MSDSs or safe operating procedures for
those processes. This information can then be used to supplement the material
The principal types of welding processes used in industry today are electric
arc welding (stick welding), heli arc welding (TIG welding), MIG welding, and
oxygen acetylene welding and burning.
The primary hazards associated with welding are:
- burns to skin (arms, hands, body, feet)
- fires spark igniting combustibles in welding area
- metal fume/ozone inhalation exposure
- flash burns to the eyes. This is also a hazard for other employees working
near the welding operations
- electrocution or shock electric arc welding operations.
The two most common injuries associated with welding operations burns to the
skin and eyes. For protection from injury, the welder should always wear:
- clothes made of 100% cotton, leather and other fire resistive fabrics like
Nomex. Never wear synthetic materials such as polyester or polyester blends
since they will ignite and burn rapidly. Jackets, long-sleeved shirts,
leather sleeves, leather gloves, safety toe boots (keep pant legs out of
boots) should also be worn.
- respirators, where ventilation is not adequate, to protect against fume
and ozone inhalation
- welding hoods, safety glasses with side shields and welding lenses. Eye
protection is always required during welding operations. Ensure that the
proper lenses are selected for the type of welding process being used.
Welders should also:
- use strategically placed warning signs and temporary shielding partitions
to protect other workers and bystanders in the area.
- ensure welding equipment is properly operating, that there are no
leaks in gas lines for gas systems and that equipment receives periodic
- remove or isolate combustible materials in the vicinity of the welding.
This includes removing flammable liquids, paper and wood.
- use hot work permit systems. These systems ensure all hazards have been
identified and are protected. Always follow your hot work permit system. A
hot work permit is a "safety checklist" designed to prevent fires,
explosions and employee injuries;
- establish fire watches for situations where sparks can reach and penetrate
to areas outside the welding operation.
- check the MSDS for the materials that are being welded and the welding
rods, and take the recommended precautions.
Finally, it is the responsibility of the welder to:
- protect his health and safety through consistent and proper use of
clothing and personal protective equipment, including eye, skin and
- protect co-workers and other personnel in the work area. The use of sound
fire prevention, ventilation, warning signs and portable shielding are
effective means of protecting others.
WELDING SAFETY CHECKLIST
- Always follow welding equipment manufacturers' instructions.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (clothing, glasses, etc.)
- Make sure ventilation is adequate to remove fumes and gases.
- Use respirators when exhaust systems are not available.
- Remove all combustible materials from the area and protect those that
can't be removed with fireproof materials.
- Use shielding and warning signs to protect other employees.
- Follow and use the Hot Work Permit system.
- Always secure gas cylinders and turn them off when not in use.
- Always inspect cylinders for damage and leaks.
"TO DO" LIST:
- Check, and update if necessary, MSDSs that pertain to welding operations.
- Review this information with appropriate employees, and document training
- Inspect welding area(s) and verify that proper protective personal
equipment is provided and used.
-- from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Safety Leaders Discussion