Welding at home can be a lot of fun, but it can also be risky. Many welders forget about safety when they are at home, probably because they feel most comfortable there. This kind of forgetfulness can quickly land you in the emergency room or with a big repair bill – or both. These tips will help keep you out of trouble in your home welding shop.
It's easy to feel like you don't need to worry a lot when you are just planning to do a quick weld and oftentimes people will skip basic safety precautions such as wearing eye protection. This is a very bad idea because it is incredibly easy to be injured while welding, even if it's a quick, simple job. Did you know that OSHA says that around a thousand eye injuries occur every single day in the workplace? It's easy to see why you need to follow safety precautions at all times.
You have to make sure you have the proper setup at home. Keep your welder on a flat surface and away from water and flammable materials. This will help avoid fires and electrocution. Make sure you have the proper grounding. Metal-on-metal connections are best but don't use wire rope, chains, or similar items as grounding connectors.
If you use gas cylinders they need to be chained to a stationary, upright support or a sturdy cart at all times. If you move them, make sure the threaded protector caps are fastened to the tops of the cylinders. This will help keep you from being injured by the compressed gases. Another thing to remember is to use gas hoses designed for welding work.
Avoid clutter. Clutter can cause you to fall, cause fires, and creates other hazards. Make sure that you organize your workspace to minimize the dangers of falling or of things being pulled over or dropped. Hoses should be examined regularly for leaks and tears and connections need to be kept tight. Always have the proper tools and safety equipment and then use them.
Ventilation is also important and is often forgotten by home welders. You need to have the proper ventilation to avoid illnesses that are caused by welding gases. Never weld in an enclosed space such as a closed-up garage. Don't forget to watch out for those around you, such as pets and children. The gases are just as dangerous to them and anyone can be injured from the light of the arc or the flame. Never forget who might be around because if you weld at home those around you probably don't have the same training as your coworkers.