8 Propane Welding Safety Tips for Your Business
Make Your Pittsburgh-area Worksite a Safer Place
However large or small a role welding plays in your Pittsburgh-area business, safety needs to be front and center.
Welding can be a rewarding job, but there are potential hazards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 4,100 workplace welding injuries in 2017 (the most recent year published). Some of the more common injuries are:
- Eye injuries called welder’s flash, flash burn or arc eye, which are caused by exposure to the ultraviolet and infrared light from the welding arc
- Electrical shock
- Falling or lightheadedness due to exposure to fumes and gases
Fires and explosions, of which there is always a risk because of flammable materials, can be deadly.
Welders can also suffer long-term problems like hearing loss and respiratory illnesses.
Minimizing these risks is paramount to protect your workers and your business. We have eight best practices when it comes to welding safety that you can implement in your workplace.
Read the manual
This step is critical for safety in welding. Anyone who operates welding machinery and equipment needs to be familiar with the operating manual so that they can operate it properly. If the manual is lost or becomes damaged, get a replacement from the manufacturer, who may also be able to direct you to an online version of the manual.
Gear up right
No matter how small or quick the welding job appears to be, proper clothing and welding gear must be worn. Don’t allow short-sleeved shirts, shorts or sneakers. And don’t allow excuses that proper welding clothing or gear is too hot or constricting. Make sure clothing is flame-resistant, such as denim jeans, shirts made with tightly woven material and welding jackets. Welding gloves should be the right ones for the specific welding task or equipment. Shoes need to be high-topped, so pants can go over them, and they need to be leather, not synthetic or fabric.
Protect the eyes and ears
If you’ve ever had welder’s flash or arc flash, you know just how painful it can be. The right equipment can help prevent it. The welding helmet should have a proper filter shade, as well as the appropriate safety glasses that also have side shields. Make sure the lens shade is the right one for the welding job. Ear protection should also be worn. Protect people working nearby by using barriers or screens so they are not exposed to the arc.
Burns from welding are very painful and can cause serious damage. Make sure no skin is exposed. Shirt collars, front pockets, and cuffs need to be buttoned. Cuffed pants can catch sparks, so they shouldn’t be worn. Also, make sure pockets don’t have matches or butane lighters in them, as both are dangerously flammable if a spark gets near them.
Curb the clutter
All welding equipment should be labeled and have its place on a welding site. And that’s ALL that should be at a welding site. Give your welders a clear space to work and keep everything else away, as other objects may be flammable or create a tripping hazard.
Provide proper ventilation
The smoke and fumes that are part of welding can cause serious short- and long-term health problems. There should be an exhaust hood to not only remove fumes but bring in cleaner air. Make sure respirators are being used if required.
Stop the shock
Electric shock can not only be painful, it can be deadly. Proper equipment and good safety practices can help prevent it. Welders need to wear dry gloves that are in good condition. They also need to inspect the electrode holder before starting a job to ensure it, the insulation and the welding cable are in good condition and are not damaged.
Make safety a priority every day
Creating a safe work environment, no matter where in the West Virginia, Ohio, or Pittsburgh area you’re located, is job one for management, and one that has to be maintained. There must be adequate fire alarms, fire exits and functioning fire extinguishers. All should be easily visible and accessible, and all employees need to know where they are. You should provide regular safety training. And while employees who don’t uphold your company’s safety standards need to face consequences, employees and teams who do should be rewarded, perhaps with a prize or a free lunch.
ProGas values safety above all else, and we’re here to help your business meet those same standards, with welding supplies, equipment, and safety gear! Contact us today and we’ll get to work for you – or provide you the proper materials for you to do so!
We take pride in delivering great service to our friends and neighbors in the tri-state area, from Butler to Morgantown, Youngstown to Pittsburgh and everywhere in-between!