Eight Ways to Protect Yourself During Welding Work

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In the construction industry, personal safety should never be overlooked. It's never a choice but a priority, and everyone should treat it as such, from management to workers.  
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have established safety standards in place that every welder and construction company should follow. Furthermore, when looking for welding jobs, you should always prioritize safe work environments that comply with all the standard safety regulations.  
Not enforcing safety regulations can cause work injuries. Welders can suffer various physical injuries, including cuts, burns, and even crushed bones–some can also be fatal.  
Did you know that Montana is currently the best state for any construction job? The employment rate in the sector experienced a 10% increase in the last year – and a whopping 12.3% increase when compared to pre-pandemic stats. It's a gold mine for construction and welding jobs with an emphasis on worker safety and 25% higher wages than other industries. 

Eight ways to protect yourself while on the job 

If you are currently on a hunt for a welding job, Montana is where you ought to be. You can find the right job for you via a quick google search. For example, you can google "welding bozeman MT", if you are looking for a job in Bozeman, Montana.  
Working as a welder is risky, especially when safety procedures are not followed. The work can get very dangerous very quickly as welders are exposed to toxic chemicals and gases, electric shocks, explosions, and more if safety procedures are neglected. We have outlined eight ways to protect yourself and prioritize personal safety during the job. 

  1. Know all the safety requirements

Successful welders are well-versed in all aspects of welding safety. To maintain a safe and productive workplace environment, you should make it a point to educate yourself on safety procedures established by both national organizations and the business you work for. 
Before using any equipment, you should also take time to carefully understand the manufacturer's instructions. Never presume you know how to operate a piece of equipment before reading the manufacturer's safety instructions. 

  1. Take appropriate measures to protect yourself

Safety in the welding industry isn't limited to your hands and feet, but also encompasses the protection of your internal organs from toxic fumes, your ears from excessive noise exposure, and your eyes/face from exposure to harmful UV rays. 
The best way to achieve this is by covering yourself from head to toe in personal protective equipment. Equip yourself with a variety of protective gloves to protect your hands from flame embers, high temperatures, and sharp objects. Similarly, protect yourself from sudden fires or explosions by wearing non-flammable materials. Lastly, don't forget safety goggles, a welding helmet, and a face shield for protection against UV exposure.  

  1. Double check your equipment

As a skilled welder, you should always make sure that your equipment is working correctly and grounded before you commence your work for the day. When it comes to welding, even seasoned welders should inspect their equipment regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying wires or leaky valves. 
You shouldn't assume that a piece of equipment that worked flawlessly the day before would continue to do so. You can never be too careful when it comes to double-checking your equipment before use as your safety is quite literally dependent on its performance. 

  1. Take precautions against toxic fumes

Long-time exposure to toxic fumes can cause various respiratory problems. However, it can be controlled by adding ventilation in the work area.  
When necessary, equip yourself with the necessary gear to protect yourself from inhaling toxic gases and chemicals.  

  1. Keep your workstation nice and organized

A congested work area often causes welding explosions and fire hazards. Your work area should be free of any combustible items since welding arc sparks travel 35 feet in the air. 
Generally, it's best to keep everything neat and structured. You should only have the tools and equipment you need for your current task at your workstation. 

  1. Protection against electric shocks

You should be aware of the hazards associated with an electric shock because it can have fatal consequences. 
For the sake of safety, welders should always check the electrode holder before beginning a weld for signs of damage. Your body must not have any contact with the ground or the welding material. Stay protected by placing insulating material between yourself and the ground and ensuring all your clothes and gloves are dry during the weld. Plus, always avoid contact with the metal on the electrode holder as it can severely injure you. 

  1. Follow all safety procedures

As a welder, one of the essential things you can do to ensure personal safety is to choose the right personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, you must hold yourself and others around you accountable for adhering to safety rules. Report any safety risks that come to your attention. Furthermore, if you ever feel your safety is at risk in your workplace, don't be afraid to raise your concerns. 

  1. Familiarize yourself with the work environment

Before starting a weld, take inventory of your environment. The knowledge of your environment is crucial for your safety during a fire or explosion as you would know where you can find the emergency alarms and exits. Familiarity with the emergency routes and procedures can help you evacuate yourself and everyone around you and alert the relevant authorities.  

Final thoughts 

The primary responsibility of worker safety for welding jobs lies on the shoulders of the employers. They must familiarize themselves with the risks, dangers, and appropriate safeguards to ensure worker safety. Welding doesn't have to be a perilous job – by following the safety standards, you won't have to worry about encountering fatal or non-fatal accidents.  
Welding risks can be mitigated by enforcing the use of protective equipment, sufficient inspections, vulnerability assessments, and training. Finally, when it comes to welding, there is no space for negligence. Even a minor task demands the same level of care and attention as a more extensive one. 

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