Welding is a serious business. I bet you first got into welding because it seemed fun, interesting, fascinating. Actually, it is fun, interesting, fascinating. But things can turn from being interesting to you getting sued, losing your beautiful eyes, or getting burned. Things can turn from being fun to being a disaster you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. But I am a fan of fun. I prefer all things to be bright and beautiful. I’m sure you do amazing things with your welding skills. It is an art, and I believe you produce only masterpieces with your welding. That’s why I think I should share some basic tips to ensure that you get to enjoy the welding process with peace of mind so that everyone can appreciate your beautiful work. Whether you are an individual or a company, these tips apply wherever people weld.
A thing that’s going around lately is that ‘common sense is not so common nowadays. There are basics for welding safety. And it begins with using your brain. You know very well that you will be engaging in a risky business. Temperatures are likely to get really high and any careless mistakes can be fatal. So what do you do? You use common sense. When your lasagna or fat turkey has finished baking in the oven, you don’t just go in there with your bare hands and take it out. You know very well that you will not only spill the dish, but you are likely to get seriously burned. And things are like 50 times worse with welding. So the first thing when welding is to ensure you are protected from all the possible ways you could get harmed. Unlike taking food out of an oven, welding poses so many risks and dangers.
Your hands could get burned, you could lose your vision, you could get sunburns without actually going to the beach, you could burn the entire building down. Then the first thing you should do to ensure safety is to know all the possible dangers welding poses to both your life and the lives of those who may be around you.
RSI (Repetitive Stress Injuries)
Posture is very important when welding. Especially if you weld often and for extended periods. Repetitive stress/ strain injuries occur when you assume an uncomfortable posture or position when welding repetitively and for extended periods. This can cause back pains, your joints could ache, and you may even get a stiff neck. Stiff necks are not fun. How are you going to weld properly when you can’t even turn your head? So then, ensure that you are always comfortable when you are welding. Do strain or stretch your arms to reach to places you can’t. If the masterpiece you are working on is too big, get a ladder or find a way of getting closer to the spot you need to work on. Do some research on the various postures you should assume when welding and those you should avoid.
Welding helmets are one of the essentials when welding. You must have one, and it must be in good working condition. It will protect your eyes, necks, and lungs. When welding, flames of up to 6000 0C are produced. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are also released in the process. We are talking eye blinding (literally) bright light and UV rays that can cause your eyes permanent damage. Auto-Darkening Helmets are one of the most beautiful safety gadgets ever invented for welding. They automatically darken when you are welding to protect you from these harmful rays. You just put one on and the next time you’ll remove it you’ll be done with your welding. You don’t need to remove it because when you are using it, it senses the harmful light and darkens accordingly.
I started with indicating that you should be aware of all the dangers welding poses to your life. Investing in the proper gear is one of the basic things you should do. I have already introduced the helmet. Most people do just fine with just helmets, provided they are doing simple welding jobs. If you’ll be doing a lot of welding such that there will be constant extreme temperatures and sparks will be all over the place, then you may want to go all out. You need to protect your hands (welding gloves), your body (flame resistant welding suits or at least something to protect the areas of your body that could get exposed to either heat or the light), and remember that you are a human being and you need oxygen to breathe. Either ensure the environment you are in has free circulation of air or at least invest in a helmet that filters the toxic fumes you may be exposed to while welding
These are just basic points to start you up but you can never go wrong with them. They may seem like very few words but they are all you need to get you covered for now. Let welding be the fun activity that you desired since you first noticed it by ensuring that you observe all the safety standards it demands to actually be fun.