Welders have to face a number of physical and chemical hazards which lead to a need for personal protective equipment. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that their employees are well-equipped and trained to handle hazards that pose a potential risk to their health. Following are some of the major hazards that welding workers have to counter:
Flying particles and flumes
Particles and fumes created during welding operations are potentially dangerous when inhaled. Most of the welders are exposed to these fluids during machining processes which is a major cause of respiratory problems in welders. Asthma, impaired lung function, chronic bronchitis and skin burns are some of the common occupational health-related issues. Appropriate use of safety garments like nomex coveralls and protective equipment like mask and gloves helps prevent skin contact with flying objects and flumes.
Welding operators have to deal with chemicals like metalworking fluids. As these metalworking fluids are alarmingly dangerous and contain harmful contamination, employees must take preventive measures in order to make the job safe. Appropriate protective dress such as boots, gloves, masks, and welding coveralls can help workers stay protected against workplace hazards.
Tools used in arc welding make it necessary for operators to guard against electric shocks. Electric shocks are considered a common workplace hazard which is life-threatening. This hazard mostly occurs when metal workers touch two metals charged with electricity at the same time. A careful scrutiny of a workplace to detect a potential risk of electric shocks can lead to a better working environment. Personal protective equipment can further improve the safety conditions.
Fire and explosions
Arc welding creates a high temperature that leads to a potential risk of fire and explosions. Having said that, the real danger is not the arc but the sparks, spatter and heat created during operations. Flammable materials should be removed from the workplace.
PPE plays a vital role in keeping welding operators free from burns, injuries, and exposure to arc rays. The right protective equipment and safety clothing not only allow workers to move freely but also provide adequate protection against welding hazards. Flame-resistant cotton garments or nomex coveralls is recommended for welders. Workers who have to face dangerous workplace hazards should pay close attention to safety information, procedures, and safety data sheets provided by the manufacturer. It is advisable to consult a safety garments manufacturer in order to get tailor-made coveralls, bib pants, gloves, coats, and other necessary safety equipment that suits your job.