Welding can be defined as the sculptural process or fabrication that put materials together using thermoplastics from different low temperatures that do not melt the base of the metal. Safety is a very critical issue as far as welding is concerned because welding has got many health hazards when care is not taken appropriately. The most common injury emerging from welding is becoming burned. If a worker is burned, the damage may be severe. As a result, the penetrating heat and pressure get into contact with the skin (Petkovsek, 2015). Apart from burns, welding hazard may result from exposure to dangerous Ultraviolet Radiation and Infrared Radiation. UV rays cause hazardous blisters on the skin and also cause arc-eye which is an eye condition which affects the eyes' lenses. IR radiation, however, creates scarring and thermal scorch which causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Arc welding, for example, is a safe occupation but when safety measures are not taken into consideration appropriately, welders are encountered by very many hazards which can be hypothetically dangerous, including shocks from electricity, fumes, and gases from the welding materials, fire and explosions. Therefore, employers have a mandate to ensure that their employees follow the guidelines provided in their workplace regarding the safety measures related to welding (Petkovsek, 2015).
The most immediate and severe hazards that welders are likely to come across is the electric shock. Due to the fall from the reaction from trauma, or the shock itself, death or severe injury can occur. For one to avoid electric shock as one of the health hazard related to welding, the voltage operator should put on protective gloves which are in a dry condition and also in an excellent working condition. The operator is advised not to touch the electrode or metal parts of the electrode with bare hands or wet clothing and always be sure to insulate themselves from the work and the ground (Petkovsek, 2015).
The electrode holders should also be inspected by the operator for damages before beginning to weld, the electrode holder insulation and the welding cable should be kept in good condition since they prevent the skin from being into contact with the electrically active parts of the welding component (Steel, 2015). The holders are in various sizes and are manufactured based on the producers own design specifically to operate within a range of welding current. In case the holder is too small, it can cause overheat hence affecting the skin.
Another health risk comes from the overexposure to the fumes and gases from welding sites which can be hazardous to the health of a human being. These smokes have possibly harmful complex compounds of metal oxides from consumables, so it is essential for one to keep off from these fumes (Petkovsek, 2015). Welding areas need enough ventilation and local exhaust to remove vapors and gases from the breathing zone and the general area.
The welders should wear proper welding protective equipment. These proactive gears are worn to avoid injuries which might be caused by the lack of the material. For example, one should wear ear protective gears when working in areas where there is a lot of noise, preventing the year from getting damaged by the nose or the particles as a result of welding from getting into the year (Steel, 2015).
Those who are working in a closed space or an elevated area are advised to be aware of the need to take additional precautions. In any welding work, the welders and operators should pay close attention safety data issued on the products being utilized and the material safety information sheets given by the producers and work with their managers and colleagues to follow appropriate safety measures for their workplace (Petkovsek, 2015). For example, many people working on the construction sites are prone to hazards such as falls from heights, scaffold collapse, trench collapse. The remedies to such risks may also include considering the use of elevated platforms or aerial lift to protect against the fall hazard. On the other hand, scaffold collapse can be prevented through making sure it is sufficient and rigid to carry an extra weight than the intended load without displacement or settling. Therefore, when all the remedies are put in place, the welder is safe from hazards related to elevated areas.
The picture above describes welders with full protective gear to avoid the hazards related to welding. On the head, he is wearing welding helmet that is well ventilated and provides eye protection. He is also wearing protective gloves that prevent the hands from attracting a burn. The welder in figure one is a representation of a well-equipped worker in a welding company with all the safety measures required in that field.
Proper training to undertake welding work is needed especially for beginners, one should never attempt to start a welding project until he/she becomes familiar with the process and the guidelines which are related to the kind of work to be performed. Even for pros, one should not be careless when handling the welding tools to avoid injuries (Petkovsek, 2015). One should not weld near flammable liquids since they can cause a severe burn to the welder or even explosions in the area of the welding because combustibles such as butanes, petroleum, and matches are highly flammable and risky (Steel, 2015).
In conclusion, anyone who has interest in welding has a career should be more concerned about his or her safety. It is fundamental to understand the negative consequences that come with welding and learn how to avoid them. Therefore, welders should take extreme precautions while carrying out their activities. This is because the dangers of welding affect every part of the body, for example, eye problem caused by arc eye is also known as flash burn which can be avoided by wearing goggles and welding hood. Flying particles and debris can affect the ear and cause a hearing problem, and its remedy is wearing earplugs or earmuffs which also help in controlling the noise that can lead to hearing loss. Nose problem from inhaling toxic fumes can also be prevented when proper precautions are taken. Companies that deal with welding take safety seriously, and there is nothing to worry about when welding. For example, LeJeune Steel industry offer in-house safety due to the rate at which they value their workers, and as a result, the company's reputation is maintained (Steel, 2015). Therefore, it is possible to avoid hazards related to welding, but only the right procedure is followed without any excuses since it threatens human life and health.
Petkovsek, J. (2015). Five Potential Welding Safety Hazards to Avoid.
Steel., L. (2015, August 21). The Common Welding Injuries and How to Avoid Them.
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