There’s no doubt that welding is a difficult skill to master and can very easily cause injuries to a careless staff member.
If you’re considering working within the metal and fabrication industry or are new to this arena, then we’d like to highlight a few key points regarding welding safety. Certainly, employers have a responsibility to take every precaution to keep their team safe, but we also need to exercise common sense in this potentially dangerous field.
Welding Safety Hazards
Noise levels are not one of the first things that we think about when we talk about welding yet are a real threat to health and safety. Noise levels above 85dB which include sounds such as heavy traffic, trains, lawnmowers, or motorbikes are considered dangerous to our hearing. Activities such as flame cutting, for example, can produce over 100dB which can result in tinnitus, dizziness, and even high blood pressure. Over time, exposure to these noise levels can cause permanent hearing impairment.
If you are working in damp or cramped conditions, then there is a very real risk of electric shock. When you’re dealing with live electrical circuits and molten metal the stakes are high, from electric shock, secondary shock or even falling from a height.
Arc-eye is a painful condition resulting from exposure to the intense light emitted during welding but is not the only eye hazard. Fumes, gases, sparks, dust or other foreign bodies can enter the eye and cause loss of vision.
The invisible hazards can be more toxic than the immediately obvious dangers. For example, welding fumes contain a cocktail of chemicals which have been known to cause cancer, asthma or lung damage.
Certainly, a career in welding is not for the faint of heart. However, working with professionals in an organisation which values the health and safety of their team makes for a wonderfully fulfilling career.