Safety Precautions in Welding Operations

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SAFETY PRECAUTIONS IN WELDING OPERATIONS
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Section I. GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
2-1. GENERAL
a. To prevent injury to personnel, extreme caution should be exercised when using any types of welding equipment. Injury can result from fire, explosions, electric shock, or harmful agents. Both the general and specific safety precautions listed below must be strictly observed by workers who weld or cut metals. b. Do not permit unauthorized persons to use welding or cutting equipment. c. Do not weld in a building with wooden floors, unless the floors are protected from hot metal by means of fire resistant fabric, sand, or other fireproof material. Be sure that hot sparks or hot metal will not fall on the operator or on any welding equipment components. d. Remove all flammable material, such as cotton, oil, gasoline, etc., from the vicinity of welding. e. Before welding or cutting, warm those in close proximity who are not protected to wear proper clothing or goggles. f. Remove any assembled parts from the component being welded that may become warped or otherwise damaged by the welding process. g. Do not leave hot rejected electrode stubs, steel scrap, or tools on the floor or around the welding equipment. Accidents and/or fires may occur. h. Keep a suitable fire extinguisher nearby at all times. Ensure the fire extinguisher is in operable condition. i. Mark all hot metal after welding operations are completed. Soapstone is commonly used for this purpose. 2-2. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

a. General. The electric arc is a very powerful source of light, including visible, ultraviolet, and infrared. Protective clothing and equipment must be worn during all welding operations. During all oxyacetylene welding and cutting proccesses, operators must use safety goggles to protect the eyes from heat, glare, and flying fragments of hot metals. During all electric welding processes, operators must use safety goggles and a hand shield or helmet equipped with a suitable filter glass to protect against the intense ultraviolet and infrared rays. When others are in the vicinity of the electric welding processes, the area must be screened so the arc cannot be seen either directly or by reflection from glass or metal. b. Helmets and Shields.

(1) Welding arcs are intensely brilliant lights. They contain a proportion of ultraviolet light which may cause eye damage. For this reason, the arc should never be viewed with the naked eye within a distance of 50.0 ft (15.2 m). The brilliance and exact spectrum, and therefore the danger of the light, depends on the welding process, the metals in the arc, the arc atmosphere, the length of the arc, and the welding current. Operators, fitters, and those working nearby need protection against arc radiation. The intensity of the light from the arc increases with increasing current and arc voltage. Arc radiation, like all light radiation, decreases with the square of the distance. Those processes that produce smoke surrounding the arc have a less bright arc since the smoke acts as a filter. The spectrum of the welding arc is similar to that of the sun. Exposure of the skin and eyes to the arc is the same as exposure to the sun. (2) Being closest, the welder needs a helmet to protect his eyes and face from harmful light and particles of hot metal. The welding helmetis generally constructed of a pressed fiber insulating material. It has an adjustable headband that makes it usable by persons with different head sizes. To minimize reflection and glare produced by the intense light, the helmet is dull black in color. It fits over the head and can be swung upward when not welding. The chief advantage of the helmet is that it leaves both hands free, making it possible to hold the work and weld at the same time.

(3) The hand-held shield provides the same protection as the helmet, but is held in position by the handle. This type of shield is frequently used...
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