Welding requires skill and expertise. Trying it without the proper protective equipment and an expert’s guidance is not advisable. If you’re looking into welding as a career or as a hobby, here is a welding hazards list for you!
1. Electric Shock
When using any electric-powered tools and equipment, electric shock is only one of the threats they pose. However, it may be more common in welding. When you weld metal together, charged electrical circuits create the molten metal that fuses metal.
Electric shock is serious, and it can lead to minor to major injuries, even death. You can either experience a direct electric shock, a secondary electric shock, or a fall after an electric shock. If you are welding, avoid the following:
- Wearing damp or wet clothes
- Metal platforms or structures
- Wet or damp areas
- Confined working space
2. Noise-Related Risks
It is not a secret that welding comes with a lot of noise. However, your ears may not be able to handle loud and prolonged noises. When is it considered loud? Anything above 85 decibels can cause hearing problems. Basic welding jobs such as air arc gouging and flame cutting can reach up to 100 decibels.
Frequent exposure to loud activities like welding can result in the following:
- Heightened blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Ringing sound in the ears (tinnitus)
You can either wear noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.
3. Burn Injuries
It is crucial to know the dangers of welding for you to understand the necessary precautionary measures. Another addition to the welding hazards list are burn injuries. Burns are inevitable. When welding, the heat can reach up to a thousand degrees. The combination of molten metal and UV rays makes burn injuries possible.
To avoid burn injuries, it is vital that you wear the proper protective equipment from head to toe. Make sure that you wear heat-resistant gloves before touching any newly welded metals. Aside from that, your clothing shouldn’t have holes or open pockets where molten metal or sparks can land.
4. Radiation-Related Hazards
Welding comes with electromagnetic energy or radiation that can also cause burns. UV rays can also affect the welder’s eyes. That’s why it is essential to wear the proper eye shields.
You may not feel the effects until a few hours later. The symptoms include bloodshot eyes, intense eye irritation, and pain. You might also feel like your eyes have sand in them. You might also be sensitive to light for quite some time.
5. Fumes and Gases
Not all welding hazards are visible to you. Sometimes, they might be in the air you breathe. Some extremely hazardous materials used in welding operations include nitrogen oxides, chromium, nickel oxides, carbon monoxide, and ozone. The extent of its effects will depend on how long the exposure is, the type of gas or fumes, and its concentration.
Here are a few of the illnesses caused by inhalation of welding fumes and gases:
- Metal fume fever
- Throat or lung irritation
Welding Safety Measures
Although welding comes with hazards, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to protect yourself and keep dangers at bay. That includes getting all the necessary training before you start your journey to welding.
Here are the things you can do to protect yourself:
- Wear the right PPE, including welding helmets, fire-resistant clothing, respirators, ear protection, and proper boots and gloves. Experts will tell you never to skimp on your safety.
- Never remove your welding helmet no matter what. Meaning that even if you aren’t the one welding, your helmet is still necessary. It can protect you from radiation and other hazards.
- Do not roll up your sleeves. When you do this, you risk burning yourself from molten metal or sparks.
If you have big projects and do not have the capability or the time to do them, a company that offers dynamic metal fabrication in Colorado can help. Flawless Steel Welding can do more than steel fabrication.
Some of our services include steel erection, sandblasting, miscellaneous steel fabrication, and more. If this sounds like what you need, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’re more than willing to do the job for you.