Welding and cutting tasks are dangerous, especially when working on a construction site. As surroundings are constantly changing, it is important to keep safety top of mind.
Here are some tips for workers to stay safe while performing welding and cutting work on the worksite:
Prevention and Protection
To avoid injuries on the job, ask employees to consider these safety recommendations:
- Always check for fire hazards before starting to weld. Wood, paper and other flammable materials should be removed from the area. Flammable liquids should be removed as well. Never weld or cut in areas with a lot of trees or dry grasses.
- Clean away any debris on the floor or ground before welding over it. Then cover the ground or floor with metal or some other material that will not burn. It may also be a good idea to wet the floor or ground, though this can cause an added shock hazard. Guard against these hazards as necessary.
- Seal cracks so that sparks or slag cannot fall through them, and never allow these hot materials to fall into machine pits.
- If welding near combustible materials, a fire extinguisher, pail of water, fire hose or a pail of sand should be at hand. It may be necessary to have a worker stand by with a fire extinguisher to put out sparks as well.
- If welding or cutting a tank or drum containing flammable liquids or gas, do not start your operation until an approved test shows that there is no dangerous vapour present. Do not rely on another employee’s word that the tank or drum was tested previously; insist on a new test before starting work.
- If working in a confined space at the worksite, make sure the work area is properly ventilated. Many welding and cutting operations produce fumes that are harmful in heavy concentrations, and good ventilation is one of the best methods of protecting against this hazard. Utilize special ventilating equipment, if necessary.
- Wear face and eye protection such as goggles and a helmet to protect against hazards. Workers dealing with metal, chipping and cleaning should always have their helmets lowered to prevent throw particles of metal from coming into the eyes. Eye protection, such as goggles, are worn to protect against sparks, slag and molten metal, and flash burns caused by radiation from the welding equipment.
Find Out More:
This list is not exhaustive; assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business and your workers. This proactive approach is particularly important when it comes to identifying and avoiding gaps in your risk management program.
Download our “Construction Employee Safety Manual” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management and keep your employees safe: