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5 Welding Mistakes That Could Kill You

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Welding is a rewarding career and many people greatly enjoy it. Some people simply weld as a fun hobby. Whether you are a welder for pleasure or have made a good career out of it, there are some mistakes you can easily make that could kill you. It's important to pay attention to safety when welding, but many people become so comfortable with welding that they actually stop paying attention. That's when mistakes can happen, and no matter how good a welder you are, even a small mistake can have serious consequences.

1. Moving

You're going to have to move high pressure cylinders at some point. If you're in a hurry or distracted, you might try to move them without the protective cap. If the cylinder should fall or the valve otherwise gets knocked off, you would have 2500 psi escaping out of a tiny hole, turning the cylinder into a potentially deadly missile.

2. Carrying acetylene and oxygen cylinders

Carrying cylinders of oxygen and acetylene in your car, truck, or even truck toolbox can be dangerous. Small leaks can build up and if there's a tiny spark the cylinders can become a bomb. It's possible that even a massive amount of heat ‚Äď such as built up in a truck toolbox in the summer ‚Äď could lead to an explosion.

3. Welding in water

This may seem like common sense, but it is actually a mistake that is extremely easy to make. For example, you might be working on welding a pipe and there's a puddle of water that you didn't dry completely, or that you didn't notice until you started to work. Don't keep working! Even though the current used in welding is high amperage and low voltage, you can still be injured or killed.

4. Welding a container that held something flammable

This can be a very dangerous situation. If you're in a hurry or don't clean the container properly, you could be looking at an explosion. If you take special precautions ‚Äď such as washing the container well with soap and water followed by purging with argon ‚Äď it can be pretty safe. If you forget or are not thorough enough, you could be in trouble.

5. Having a lighter

This is a mistake that happens simply because you can easily forget that you have a lighter. It's also very dangerous, because if you weld while carrying a lighter in your shirt pocket ‚Äď a common place for many people ‚Äď you are playing with fire. If there's a spark, then you may as well have had a stick of dynamite in your pocket. This is definitely one mistake that can kill you.

Ed C.

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