Welding operators use highly technical welding processes that can create dangerous conditions in the workplace. Both oxy-acetylene and electric arc welding can pose safety and health hazards for welders and workers nearby. Exposure to these hazards can result in discomfort, temporary or permanent physical injury, or even death. However, welding can be safe if you protect yourself from the dangers. You owe it to yourself and your fellow workers to find out what the hazards are, evaluate their presence in your work environment, and learn how to control them. The first step to safe welding is to know about the hazards you may come up against. Every welding process has potential hazards that are always present – some are obvious, some are not. Let's take a look at some of these hazards now. The intense light rays emitted from an electric arc are ultraviolet and infrared. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from welding flashes can cause permanent damage to the eyes, and in extreme cases, blindness. Excessive exposure to infrared rays can cause burning of the skin. Arc flash, also known as welders flash or arc eye, is one of the most common and serious risks to a welder. It is a painful ocular condition sometimes experienced by welders who have failed to use adequate eye protection. Short-term symptoms can include extreme eye pain, usually described as a feeling of having sand in the eyes, headaches, migraines, and nausea. Long-term exposure to the radiant energy emitted from an electric arc can cause skin cancers, cataracts, and burns to the retina of the eye. The intense radiant light associated with oxy-acetylene welding and cutting operations can cause eye strain and burns to the skin. Temperature extremes are caused by the welding process, welded materials, the work environment, and the weather.
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Hot work hazards and control measures PDF Form: What You Should Know
HARMLESS WORK SAFETY — NFPA Hazard Categories: • Hot Work — Any situation that has a significant probability of serious hazard • Welding — Any situation from which a person's employment or the employer's business is jeopardized • Electrical Welding — Any situation from which the employer's business is jeopardized • Gas Welding — Any situation where the employer's business is at risk of significant property damage (i.e., house fires) or public injury (i.e., explosions) A Guide to Hitting Welding — Welding Education Centers The Hot Welding Hazard: Welding Training Center The Hazards of Hot Work Welding — The Welding Education Institute, Inc. Hot Work Controls and its Permit to Work Form A Guide to The Hot Work Hazard: Hitting Welding — Welding Education of Oklahoma A Guide to Welding Hazards: Welding Education Hazard Categories by HSE World Safety Rules and Guidelines A Guide to Welding Hazards: Welding Education, INC To ensure your employees and contractors are operating safely in accordance with these Hazard Categories and Safety Rules, it is imperative to adhere to written procedures and ensure that contractors and contractors' employees complete the required hazard awareness training (HIT) programs; and, also to understand the hazards associated with hot welding. These requirements also apply to all hot work facilities operated on a campus or in the vicinity of an on-campus campus in which personnel are working. Hazard Awareness Training to Protect Hot Workers The National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), both in Title I of their Standards of Practice (SOP), require that employers provide safe workplaces with equipment used to weld, fabricate, and assemble electrical and electronic components. The Welding Institute, Inc. offers several programs for providing the information and training necessary to meet these requirements in an effective and expedient manner.
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