Important Cutting & Welding Safety Procedures You Need to Know

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Cutting and welding metal with torches and grinders, sparks flying all around, sounds like a dangerous job. You deal with high heat and melted metal all the time. But when you follow a few simple safety procedures, you can reduce the safety risks of cutting and welding and do work of which you’ll be proud. With a combination of new technology, basic precautions, the right gear, and constant awareness, you can set the conditions for your work and be in charge of a situation before it gets out of control. There are so many interesting welding jobs in different areas, industries, and spaces, but wherever you land, here are 4 important safety procedures you should know:

1. Create a Designated Area

When you’re on the job, make yourself a space where you can run through all your safety checks and concentrate on your work without worry of any hazards. Ensure there are no flammable objects or toxic chemicals close by, and no coworkers at risk. Once you start welding, you’ll have some peace of mind knowing there aren’t any dangerous distractions lying about.

2. Fire Precautions are a Must

Even with a designated area for you to cut and weld, you need to specifically take fire precaution. Sure, you’re prepared, and all flammable liquids and gases are out of reach; but accidents do happen. Even if flammables are out of reach, cover them. While you’re at it, use fireproof material to cover any holes in the floor or walls where material could fall. Get a fellow worker to be your fire watcher. Once you’re done, monitor the area for any smoldering leftovers. And always keep a fire extinguisher handy.

3. Open the Vents

Any metal you cut and weld will give off fumes. Many will be toxic and could cause all kinds of lung, nose, and throat problems. You’ll wear a respirator, but even with that you need proper ventilation. If you’re inside and there are no exhaust fans, at the very least open any doors and windows. If that’s not possible, consider a downdraft bench, moveable hood, or even a fume extraction gun to remove the bad air.

4. Check Your Equipment

Is the welding machine gas arc or electrical? Do you have the correct power supply? Are you wearing the right protective clothing and equipment? Everything needs to be inspected. The welding machine power supply should meet all guidelines and standards. Wear protection for your eyes and face, exposed skin, ears, feet, and hands.

  • Helmet: resistant to heat, impact, electricity and with a UV protection lens
  • Pants, shirt, and apron: flame-resistant materials; heavyweight, tight-woven, 100% wool or cotton for the clothes, rubber for the apron.
  • Gloves and boots: gauntlet-type cuff leather gloves and rubber-soled, steel-toed work boots.
  • Earmuffs or plugs: protection from noise and free-floating sparks
  • Respirator: for lungs protection

If you follow these steps, your experience as a welder will be rewarding and event-free. You’ll have a chance to enjoy the fact that you build important things, beam by beam, like buildings, bridges, and vehicles. If you’re interested in a welding career, check out the Charter College welding career infographic. And if you’d like to learn more about our hands-on vocational training in welding, request more info today.