Do you enjoy working with your hands? Are you detail-oriented? A career in welding might be right for you! A welder joins two metal pieces together by heating them. Welding, cutting, soldering, and brazing all use intense heat and laser beams that could potentially be harmful to your health and safety. To protect yourself, follow the standards developed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and the American Welding Society (AWS). First, learn these 4 welding safety basics:
1. Protect Your Skin
During the welding process, hot metal and sparks can fly off. Welded metal also remains very hot for several minutes. Cover any exposed skin with oil-free protective clothing such as leather gloves, fire resistant boots, a shoulder cover, and an apron.1
2. Cover Your Ears
Loud engines that run off of generators, air carbon cutting, and arc cutting can be very noisy. Control the noise in an acoustically controlled room and wear protective ear muffs or plugs.2
3. Shield Your Eyes
Arc, laser, and torch welding might produce harmful blue light and ultraviolet radiation (UV) that could cause skin burns and eye damage. A weld arc gives off a light that’s even brighter than the sun due to its close proximity to your eyes. Never look at the arc without a full welding mask with a dark shade and UV protective side shields.3
4. Protect Others
Even those who aren’t welding, but are close by can also be a risk. For example, aluminum and concrete can reflect UV radiation and harm other workers.4 Keep everyone safe by wearing protective clothing and using the proper equipment.
Basic welding skills are the same across several industries, so as a welder, you can easily shift from one to another. With up-to-date, quality training, you could go on to a career in shipbuilding, aerospace, or repairing and building bridges, highways, buildings, or oil pipelines.5
Charter College can teach you what you need to know to be safe and successful. We offer a Welding Certificate that teaches you hands-on cutting, welding, layout, and fitting skills that are currently used today. With a blended learning curriculum and a flexible year-round schedule, you could start today!