When proper precautions are not taken, welding can turn out to be very unhealthy and dangerous. However, welders can reduce the risk of death and injury by using proper protection and integrating new technology. Welding is classified as a hot work process because many procedures for welding involve flame or open electric arcs.
Protecting the eyes and face
Flash burns and Ace eye is nothing new to welders as it is a result of the brightness of a weld area. In the case of flash burns or the Arc eye, there is an inflammation of the cornea due to exposure to ultraviolet light. When the cornea is inflamed after exposure to UV light, it can lead to burns in the retina of the eyes.
As a welder, getting the right goggles and helmet is essential to maintain proper welding safety and precautionary measures. Welders need to use welding helmets and Goggles that come with UV-filtering faceplates to prevent exposure to UV light. Welders should purchase any of the best welding helmets to reduce the risk of any eye injury that may occur.
OTHER PROTECTIVE MEASURES TO ENSURE WELDING SAFETY.
1. Getting the right protective clothing
To conveniently prevent injury, welders need to wear certain protective equipment which may include leather gloves. Another protective equipment welders can include is a protective long-sleeve jacket. A protective long-sleeve jacket will help avoid flames and extreme heat which may lead to burns.
When choosing a protective long-sleeve jacket, welders are advised not to use jackets made from synthetic material. Synthetic materials like polyester may burn when exposed to flame, making it a bad choice for welding jackets.
2. Using Translucent Welding Curtains
When welding, a welder has to ensure the safety of himself as well as bystanders and by-passers. Welders often require the use of translucent welding curtains to surround the welding area. With the use of these welding curtains, a welder can safely protect bypassers and bystanders.
Welding curtains need to be translucent enough to allow the passage of light without allowing detailed shapes to pass through. Most translucent curtains are made from polyvinyl chloride plastic film, quality material for translucent curtains. These translucent curtains can protect bystanders from UV light but are unable to replace the filter glass of a helmet.
3. Avoiding Exposure to Dangerous Fumes
Another thing that may jeopardize the safety of a welder is subsequent exposure to welding fumes. Welding fumes often contain particulate matter and dangerous gases that are harmful to welders. When welders continuously expose themselves to these dangerous gases, it may cause health issues for them.
However, some chambers are designed to help contain welding fumes. When carrying out some types of welding processes, particles containing various types of oxides are produced. The size of the particles produced plays a huge role in the level of toxicity of the fumes in question.
For fumes with smaller particles, the level of toxicity tends to be higher than fumes with bigger particles. This is because the small size of the particles allows them to pass through the blood-brain barrier with ease. Fumes containing ozone, carbon dioxide, and heavy metals are very harmful to welders without proper training and ventilation.
When a welder is exposed to even very low levels of manganese fumes, it can cause neurological issues for the welder. Levels of manganese fumes as low as (<0.2 mg/m3) can damage the central nervous systems of humans. It can also lead to complete damage to the kidneys, liver, and lungs of exposed welders.
Pulmonary fibrosis is another major effect of frequent exposure to manganese fumes during welding processes. When nanoparticles get trapped in the lungs, it can lead to serious pulmonary fibrosis in the welder. Fire and explosions can occur during the use of compressed flames and gases during welding processes.
A common precaution for avoiding such risk is to reduce the amount of oxygen present in the air. It is also important to keep combustible items far away from the workstation. This will help reduce the risk of fire outbreaks or explosions.
In conclusion, a welder needs to wear and obtain the proper materials needed to maintain welding safety measures. Getting and using only the best welding helmet is a great way to ensure proper welding safety. Welders are also advised to use translucent curtains to shield and ensure the safety of bystanders.