Welding Safety for beginners

WELDING

Welding is the fusion of two pieces of metal by heat. The two most commonly used in the construction industry are:-

• Gas Welding.
• Electric Arc Welding.

Gas Welding:

Main hazards associated with gas welding are:-

• Fires and explosions.
• Burns to eyes and skin due to hot surfaces and molten lead.
• Exposure to fumes – respiratory disorders e.g. cutting metalwork covered with lead paint.

Electric Arc Welding:

Main hazards associated with electric arc welding are:-

• Electric shock.
• Fire.
• Burns to eyes and skin due to molten metal and ultra violet light.
• Exposure to fumes – respiratory disorders e.g. metal fume fever welding galvanised steel or steel containing zinc.

Precautions

• Cylinders must be stored securely in upright position.
• Fit flash back arrestors to oxygen and acetylene cylinders.
• Clear combustible materials from area. Keep fire extinguisher close to the working area.
• Wear appropriate protective equipment –
• Eye protection
• Gloves
• Overalls
• Boots / spats
• Respiratory if working in poorly ventilated area
• Screen areas of electric arc welding to prevent exposure of UV light to others
• Do not leave trailing hoses or cables on the floor creating tripping hazards.

Basic Safety Precaution for Excavations

Most excavation accidents occur in trenches which have no support at all because they are in what is considered to be so-called “safe ground”, or because work has gone beyond the support provided.

• Excavations must be subject to risk assessments.

• Risk assessments will identify the method of support or sloping / battering.

• Always check that you have ladder access, and it is positioned in the supported area.

• Never throw tools or materials down to someone in an excavation, use a rope to lower them down.

• Always wear a safety helmet – even small stones falling from the top can injure you.

• Drivers of mobile plant must take special care when operating close to the edge of excavations.

• Excavations must have barriers around the top as identified in the risk assessment.

• Materials and equipment must not be stacked close to the edge of excavations.