ARC Welding Safety Tips: Ultimate Guide 2021

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The welding environment has several hazards that can cause gruesome personal injury and the fire can burn down your property. Safety measures are in place for a reason, which is to protect you and your workspace. It's always good to have arch welding safety tips at hand as a precaution.

The safety tips will only do you service if you actually implement them to make your workshop or workspace safer. Even the most experienced arch welder can make mistakes. As an independent fabricator, the safety tips will keep others and yourself safe.

Arc welding uses electricity to join two metals. Electricity creates a lot of heat, which is why it’s vital in the process as it can melt metals and allow them to perfectly join after cooling. Every decision you make as a welder is guided by industry safety standards set by ANSI and OSHA. Safety is vital for a successful welding career.

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General Arc Welding Safety

 Arc welding is a dangerous occupation when you disregard safety guidelines. Ignoring the safety measures exposes welders to a variety of hazards such as exposure to electric shock, harmful fumes, explosions and fires, etc. The following safety guidelines protect you and others as you carry out your tasks or projects.

Follow The Welding Equipment Manual

Welding Equipment Manual

Every welding equipment comes with a user manual and several warning labels. Never ignore the warning labels or discard the user manual before understanding the information. The manufacturer explains clearly how to use the welding equipment in the manual. Manufacturer also issue warnings of what might happen if you use the equipment wrongly.

Be Wary Of Electric Shocks

 Welding electric shock can kill as it has more voltage and is more life-threatening than a household electric shock. This shock can be fatal if you have a preexisting heart condition, as the damage will be catastrophic.
How do you avoid it? Always wear welding gloves when touching the electrode and never do so with bare hands.

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Wear Proper Welding Clothing

Wear Proper Welding Clothing

 Arc welding environment has harmful effects that can get into your body if you dress inappropriately. Exposing your skin to harmful welding UV rays and infrared rays leaves damaging effects on your body. Besides, the welding sparks can burn the skin. These sparks can get into your pant cuff or open pocket when under the hood, and you may not realize. This can have catastrophic consequences.

Install A Good Ventilation System 

Ventilation System

The welding environment can suffocate and you can have trouble breathing if you are working in a confined space. Ensure you can breathe freely, and if you have problems, talk to the welding engineer.

Keep A Clean Workspace 

Don’t clutter your workspace and keep the welding equipment in its rightful place when not using. Organize the welding room to increase productivity and keep you safe from hazards. Keep the gas cylinders in a safe location to avoid igniting the flammable gas. The sparks in the welding room can easily ignite the highly volatile gases.

Conduct Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your ventilation system, gas cylinder, and welding equipment to ensure they are safe to use and working properly. Increase awareness of the welding machine safety among your crew by organizing safety awareness programs and ensuring your crew follow all safety protocols.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wear all the welding gears like gloves, helmet, jackets, etc. even if you are welding for a few minutes. Never wear short-sleeved shirts or shorts when welding. Only use a flame resistant welding jacket. Nowadays there are many lightweight welding jackets. Use wrenches and pliers to touch welded materials.

Eye Protection

Ensure you wear auto-darkening welding helmet for enhanced protection against UV and infrared rays. Face Shields and safety glasses are vital when welding. The welding helmet protects your eyes from serious eye injuries resulting from the bright arc welding light. Dealing with the welding light directly with no welding hood or helmet affects your eyes and creates painful conditions. Only wear auto-darkening welding helmet from a reputable brand for adequate eye-protection.

Radiation And Heat Protection

Protect you from heat and radiation by wearing gloves, and flame resistant clothing to protect your body and hands. Wear goggles and welding hoods.

Ear Protection

Ear protection is needed when the welding room has a noise reading average of 85dB lasting for several hours continuously. Wear the ear protection always to prevent hearing loss.

Fume Protection 

Use respirators and fume extraction systems to protect you from exposure to harmful fumes. Address the ventilation system and ensure there is proper air circulation to avoid trapping harmful fumes in the welding room. You can also work in an open area.

Electrical Shock Protection

Wear insulated clothing that protects you from electrocution and always wear closed leather shoes to protect your feel from sparks. The shoes should cover your ankles for maximum protection. Ensure the shoes are heat resistant. Stick to the safety precautions like never touching the electrode with your hands. Do regular checking the equipment and replace any damaged electrodes to avoid exposing yourself to electric shock.

Wear Leather Shoes

Ensure you wear leather shoes and not cloth shoes for adequate foot protection. Ensure the pants go over your shoes and never wear open shoes.

Wear Protective Braces

Protective braces prevent injuries by adding an extra support and protection around certain parts. Pick a protective brace that gives you proper body form and can increase or decrease mobility when needed or add warm to sore areas. Braces ease pain, increase stability, and improve performance. There are braces for shoulders, ankles, wrist, back and knees.

Conclusion 

The welding industry is continuously evolving and there is better protective equipment getting into the market. Technology has made it easier to guard against harmful fumes and other welding hazards like sparks, infrared and UV rays. Ear protection equipment is useful in preventing hearing loss from the noisy welding projects. As a welder, wear personal protection equipment for safety. Familiarize yourself with the PPEs and equip your work stations with all protective equipment to added safety.


Manufacturers are releasing new welding equipment and techniques, which makes it necessary to continuously refresh your knowledge on best practices for safety and to improve your skills. There is nothing like being prepared when dealing with welding safety. Always be ready to learn and continuously see more information to better equip yourself to deal with welding safety hazards. This guide is a starting point.

FAQ

Can An Arc Welder Electrocute You?

Yes. Arc welders operate at a voltage of 80V to 120V. the excessive electric shock is catastrophic and life-threatening welders with preexisting health problems are at a higher risk. The electric shock can cause you to stumble or fall on other dangerous welding equipment, causing serious personal injury. Never touch the electrode or work the circuit with bare hands. Also never access the internal circuit when live. Always use gloves when touching the electrodes.

What Is A Safe Distance To View Arc Welding?

Several miles away. However, you still shouldn't look at the arc directly regardless of the distance. Use the same eye protection welders use to safely observe arc welding. This prevents eye injury, which can cause excruciating pain. Don’t stare at the arc welding directly for any amount of time. Even employees working 50ft away need eye protection as per the ANSI or OSHA standards, whether or not you are wearing contact lenses.

What Should You Never Cut Or Weld Directly Against?

Never cut or weld directly against concrete, cast iron, workbench, non-flammable surface. Also, never operate your welding equipment when standing on a wet surface, in a confined space, in a poorly lit area and when someone is standing close to you.

What Shade Of Lens Is Needed For Arc Welding?

Arc welding requires adequate eye protection as the job produces high-level intense infrared and UV light. Wearing goggles or welding helmets with enough shade protects your eyes from exposure to infrared and UV light. Arc welding jobs involve processes requiring high heat, which makes the shading number critical. Use a welding helmet or goggle with a lens shade of 8-13 for arc welding. The higher the number, the darker the welding lens shades. New welding helmets are fitted with an auto-darkening lens that regulates the lens shade depending on the brightness of the area. The lenses automatically sense the welding flash and darken instantly to your pre-set shade number. You can easily scrutinize your job without removing your helmet.

Can You Touch The Rod While Stick Welding?

No, it’s too dangerous. Never touch the rod when stick welding as you will suffer catastrophic secondary or primary electric shock which can kill you. As long as you don’t touch the electrode or rod or the stinger holding the rod, you are safe. Also, don’t touch any exposed wires connecting the rod or electrode holder to your stick welding machine. Replace any damaged electrode holder immediately to avoid accidentally touching it, which can cause nasty electric shock.

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Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by weldinghubs

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