10 FAQs about health in welding

Welding is one of the most dangerous occupations if not performed in a proper way. There are a lot of hazards associated with the welding.

Before starting any welding job, it is very important to be aware of its health hazardous as well as its preventive measures. 

It not only helps in minimizing the accidents, but also keeps welders safe and in good health condition.

Here are 10 health and safety FAQs about welding that every welder must go through in order to enhance its knowledge about the health concerns in welding jobs. Just make your career more enjoyable and safe.

♦ What exact metal fume fever is?

Metal fume fever is caused due to the fume of certain metals such as zinc, copper and cadmium. Its symptoms are fever, body pain, nausea and dizziness. 

In some cases, more exposure to metals fume can lead to severe illness or even death.

It can be prevented by identifying the surface coating of the metal you are going to weld. If it has the zinc, copper or cadmium, just remove the coating to avoid harmful fume generation.

♦ How Thermal Spraying affects the health?

In various industrial applications, thermal spraying is used to make the layers of metals, ceramics and polymers. Like other welding techniques, there are several health hazards linked with thermal spraying.

These are – exposure to harmful radiation, a risk of fire, extraction of fumes and dust, gas leakage, less knowledge of thermal spray equipment and working in a confined space are hazardous.

10-faqs-health-welding

♦ How ultraviolet radiation damages eye and skin?

​Ultraviolet radiation is generally produced by Arc welding processes. The direct exposure to UV causes several damages to your health, mostly to skin and eye.

The main risk to the welders is ‘arc eye’, in which outermost cells layer in the cornea gets damaged. The prolonged exposure to UV can cause permanent damage to an eye and can even cause skin cancer.

♦ How to protect yourself from UV, visible and infrared radiation?

The welder must have the protective equipment while welding. These are – filter glass for eye protection, dark & opaque shield/helmet for head and face protection and hand gloves for thermal insulation. 

A welder must wear clothing that covers all parts of his/her body.

10-faqs-health-welding

♦ Why a welder needs laser safety eyewear?

To reduce the health hazards and any kind of damage to eyes, every welder should wear an eyewear as the safety measure. It helps in minimizing the risk of eye exposure to the harmful laser radiation. 

So, always keep in mind to wear laser safety eyewear as the best and most-effective eye protection gadget.

10-faqs-health-welding

♦ What are the risks associated with gases produced during welding?

The gases produced during welding depend on the type of welding process you use. Some of these gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen monoxide etc. are hazardous to health. 

They may cause oxygen deficiency in the blood, headache, nausea, dizziness, irritation in eyes, nose & trachea, skin problems, intensive cough, lung damage etc.

♦ Please suggest health and safety measure while welding plastics

​When you weld plastics such as Polypropylene, polyethylene and polycarbonate, harmful fumes are produced. In many cases, welding is performed in a confined space where welder is more close to the operation.

It is recommended to use accurate exhaust ventilation system so that exposure to these hazardous fumes can be controlled.

♦ What health issues are associated with pacemaker user and welding?

During welding, exposure to the fumes and UV radiation are harmful to a pacemaker. The risk of cardiac arrest and collapse increases when heart pacemaker works near pulsing magnetic fields. 

Even, it can affect the memory of the pacemaker. It is advisable to avoid such strong electro-magnetic fields as much as possible.

♦ Can you please tell the minimum distance from welding arc to avoid the hazardous?

There is no such specific safe limit as it completely depends on the welding process, welding current, time of welding job and surrounding environment. But, still many says that the distance between 3 and 20 meters is considered little safe for a welder.

It is advisable to wear protection gadgets like helmet, gloves, filter glass, proper clothing and take other essential safety measures to reduce or eliminate the effects of the welding arc.

♦ Is there any need of health and safety training for the welders?

Yes, being an employer it is your responsibility to make your employees well aware about the health, safety and welfare at work. You must set certain health and safety policy and motivate your employees to follow them.

It helps in developing safe working environment, how to deal with situation during the occurrence of an unfortunate event, what precautions to take, how to use equipment safely etc.

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