Safety cannot be stressed enough when it comes to any form of welding. The risks are high from serious burns, blindness, to explosions. Welding safety is universal, no matter what form you are using. One of the most important things any welder can do to help protect themselves from risk of harm is to read. Read the manuals on any type of welding machinery you are using and know the manufactures safety warnings and follow them.
Wearing proper welding clothing is also essential in providing a safe work environment. Loose fitting clothes and exposed skin is just asking for trouble. Make sure all sleeve buttons are button up as well as if wearing a button shirt that you button it all the way to the top button. Do not roll cuffs of sleeve or pant as sparks can be caught in the cuffs and ignite. Always wear approved welding helmets, welding gloves, and welding clothing that is flame resistant. Welding jackets and aprons can protect you from unnecessary burns. Make sure to wear a quality high top leather boot for the proper foot protection.
Welding emits toxic fumes that are hazardous to your health. If welding in confined spaces especially, wear an exhaust hood so you can breathe freely. If the product you are welding requires you to wear a respiratory while welding, wear it. Helmets are the same as different products you weld, certain types of welding and products require different helmets and different shaded lens. Make sure you use the OSHA standardized lens for the job being performed. Your helmet should be fitted for your head. Using another person’s helmet, although you do receive some protection, still puts you at risk. If using an auto-darkening helmet, make sure it meets the ANSI standards and is the right industrial grade for the weld job you are performing.
Make sure your welding area is clear of any clutter from stand working on to the surrounding floor. The floor should be dry and free of anything that could cause a hazard. Only keep the essential tools you will be required to use to perform the task at hand. Make sure your work area is at a comfortable level if at all possible. Use boom mounted wire feeders if possible. This eliminates the hazardous of tripping. Welding blinds should be used if others are in near proximity of where you are welding and especially if there is any fuel supplies near.
Make safety your top priority everyday. Demand that you have the proper gear top perform the job requested. Your body, your hands, eyes, arms, and brain are your livelihood and you should protect them at all cost. Make sure you have the proper eyewash stations readily available to you in case of an incident as well as proper burn first aid. A well-protected welder is a productive welder.