Welding is a multi-risk operation for both operatives and others in the vicinity that must be strictly controlled.

Key Points:

1. Only well trained and competent operatives can perform welding operations.

2. Welding work activities and or operations will always highly require the usage of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

3. Always remember that the fire is an ever-present risk when welding and proper control measures must be adopted.

Key Discussion Points:

1. Infrared rays, visible light rays and ultraviolet radiation are hazardous to the eyes and skin.

2. Always make a usage of recommended and user compatible PPEs for the skin and eye protection (initial eye protection will always be required, and generally filter protection will be recommended).

3. Always observe unsafe conditions and unsafe acts. Closely and carefully observe the risks to other employees and provide them with compatible and standard protection/methodology and required procedures for instance, confining welding to areas, use of welding screens, etc.

4. Wear suitable clothing that covers bare skin and is flame resistant.

5. Welding and cutting produce fumes and gases that can harm the respiratory system (some fumes from lead or toxic coated materials can also affect the rest of the body) – wear filtered respirators for low-volume work. Permanent welding locations should have Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) installation.

6. Have CO2 or dry powder fire extinguishers at hand, and check areas where welding!

7. operations have been undertaken at least 30 minutes after work has been completed for any residual fire risks.

8. Compressed gas cylinders pose a fire and explosive risk.

9.  Ensure only the minimum number of cylinders are stored on-site as required, ensure they are stored upright, ensure flashback arrestors are fitted at cylinder gauge ends and non-return valves at inlets to the blowpipe, and ensure valves are closed before moving.

10.  The primary risk from electric arc welding is electric shock – check insulation, earthing, equipment condition and protective devices.