Welding is an essential component of many construction projects, but it can also be a dangerous job to do. Providing the proper safety and welding equipment can go a long way toward keeping your employees safe, but there are a few other things you should do to make your workplace safe for your welding crew. Use this guide to help create a better working environment for your team.
Provide Proper Ventillation
If your welding team is going to weld materials inside a building, it is critical that you provide proper ventilation to avoid prolonged exposure to fumes. OSHA requires that a mechanical ventilation system or local exhaust system be put in place for enclosed welding work spaces. Proper ventilation protects your employees from the dangerous fumes that can come with welding or cutting lead pipes, metals coated with cadmium or chromium and metals containing mercury. If your team works with metals containing beryllium, OSHA recommends both a local exhaust system and the use of an air line respirator due to the material's high toxicity level.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Your welders should wear personal protective equipment (or PPE) during all welding procedures. You can choose to have your employees purchase their own protective gear, but making it available to them can help to ensure compliance. Each welder should cover as much skin as possible to prevent burns. Long-sleeved flame-resistant shirts and flame-resistant pants should be worn at all times. Leather boots, welding gloves and protective head and eye gear are all essential for workplace safety. Any supervisors entering a work area where welding is being performed should also wear protective gear for their own safety.
Follow Proper Fire Safety Procedures
Welding equipment must operate at high temperatures to work properly. This can cause sparks to fly, which could ignite any flammable materials nearby. Your welding crew must inspect the work area before beginning to weld to make sure there is no gasoline, paint, wood, paper or other flammable material in the area. You should make sure that fire extinguishing devices are present and in good working order in your shop or at your job site. Train your staff in fire prevention and fire safety to ensure a safer workplace.
Welding is a dangerous job, but providing a safe working environment can reduce accidents and injuries. Follow these steps and use the OSHA guidelines to ensure your workplace is safe and secure for your welders and all your other employees. For more information, contact Wayne Oxygen & Welding Supply Co Inc or a similar company.