Welding is one of the fascinating things because human beings are in a way like some insects. Most people normally stare for a while when they see someone welding. There is just something so mesmerizing about that bright light that flashes on and off, on and off, or for an extended period of time. Some people will stop and just look, while others (trying to play it cool), will at least give it a second look. I’m just saying that welding is fascinating. Be that as it may, the activity poses serious risks to both those welding as well as those who may be just around looking. It is the duty of welders to ensure everyone’s safety because they are the ones who should know better regarding the activity and its risks. Here are some risks that most welders overlook either because of ignorance or just mere carelessness.
Observers (or the Audience)
So you are one of the people walking down the street and you see a bright light flashing on – off – on – off. And like a moth, you are smitten and you take your curious eyes to go see what’s causing the light or what is that lady doing with that thing. And just like that, you could lose your vision. Seems risky? It is. All welders ought to know the danger of the flames and bright lights that are emitted during welding. An observer may not really know this because they may be ignorant of the dangers of being exposed to such bright light. Just like it’s very dangerous to stare directly at the sun like I once used to when I was a child (I thought it made me look cool because other kids would stare in awe and wonder), exposure to such bright lights is harmful to one’s eyes. The flames and light produced during welding are like tiny suns. The temperatures are too high and there are also Ultra Violet (UV) rays emitted. These are both harmful to your eyes. It is the responsibility of a welder to let observers know about this to prevent avoidable harm or injuries.
It is also the duty of fellow welders to warn other welders when they are being careless, or when they overlooked something. If you are an observer and you understand the potential risks of a welding situation, it is your duty to alert the one responsible so that they shift gears or take the necessary steps to remedy the issue.
The Right Gear
Most welders are only concerned with the helmet. I mean, anyone who is not a welder, when you tell them about the activity, one of the first things that will come to their head is the welding helmet. That is because this is what most people see most welders wearing. Most disregard that there are other body parts that are exposed to the dangerous flames, fumes, and light that are produced during the activity. if you are a welder, don’t just rely on the helmet and gloves for safety. Consider the toxic fumes that may be emitted, think about the other body parts that may be exposed to the dangerous welding environment, and how you are likely to be affected. It is your duty to know these things because welding is both a fun and very risky activity.
The sparks that are produced during welding can easily accumulate and cause a fire if one is in the wrong environment. If there is wood or anything that can easily catch fire, then care should be observed. Clutter is something else that most welders ignore. It is easy to just start stashing stuff here and there, and the next thing you know you are out of room for stashing more stuff. Some of the stuff you stash may be flammable or even most of it. A cluttered environment can easily cause poor ventilation. The welding environment should be strictly for welding and the welding equipment. The moment you start introducing other things into that environment, you will be creating an environment that may cause a fire due to electrical faults, or people may get unnecessarily harmed because someone tripped on a cable or stepped on a piece of metal.
People have a bad habit of not reading manuals because they think they are so smart they can figure out how everything works by themselves. This attitude can be dangerous in the welding environment. As a welder, you should be knowledgeable regarding all the possible safety standards that need to be observed. You may not know everything that’s required, but you should at least know the safety measures that should be observed when using the equipment you have. These can always be found on the manuals of the equipment you buy. Don’t just toss it aside and get to business. Spare some time to go through that manual and you could save a life. Furthermore, every safety standard you read on a manual, at least for that tool, the chances of things ever going wrong while you are using the tool will be reduced significantly.
These are things that most welders overlook. If you feel there is something I left out and you are a professional, feel free to share. Don’t’ let your friend put you or any other person (including themselves) in danger by overlooking safety standards.