Metal is usually a hard, unyielding material, but it can become malleable with the application of high temperatures. This allows welders to make new equipment or artworks or repair existing ones. Welding is a valuable vocational skill, but the heat involved can make it dangerous. Anyone engaged in welding Salem OR should take the following safety tips to heart.
1. Wear the Right Gear
Dressing correctly for welding involves both personal protective equipment and the clothing you wear underneath. Your entire body should be covered because exposed skin can suffer injury. Your clothing should be flame-resistant and relatively tight fitting to avoid ignition from the sparks. Required PPE includes the following:
- Heat- and spark-resistant leather shoes or boots
- Insulated clothing to protect from electric shock
- Flame-resistant hoods or helmets, gloves and goggles
- Face shield
- Ear protection
Ear protection may not always be necessary, but noise levels in a welding shop or studio may exceed 85 decibels, which can damage hearing with prolonged exposure.
2. Check the Equipment
To prevent serious injury from malfunction of welding equipment, it is important to perform a thorough inspection of the equipment before turning it on, to make sure there are no signs of wear and tear and it is properly grounded.
3. Protect Against Stress Injuries
Injuries from welding aren’t always sudden and dramatic. Stress injuries can occur gradually from repetitive movements and awkward positions. Though developing over time, injuries such as these can be just as debilitating. Be sure to schedule breaks throughout your day so you can rest and stretch. Learn proper lifting techniques so you can practice them to protect yourself from overexertion.
4. Get Training and Continuing Education
It is important to receive thorough training before you start welding to be sure you understand the manufacturer’s instructions, best practices, and safety procedures. Like many other industries, welding sees constant technological updates, meaning you need to familiarize yourself with new techniques and equipment frequently.
Welding can be done professionally or recreationally. In either case, you must always obey safety procedures and report any violations you may witness.