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.
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.
• 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.
• 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
• 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.