Welding is inherently unsafe and unhealthy. However, with proper safety precautions, it becomes a harmless, everyday job. Modern technology allows welders to operate under difficult conditions without being in danger of jeopardizing their health. Still, with all the technology at our disposal, adequate procedures have to be respected. Welders need to protect their skin from the extreme heat generated in the process of welding, and their eyes from hazardous UV radiation.
The most common risks connected with welding are burns and fires because welding involves an open electric arc or flame. Welding is, therefore, described as a hot work process. Welders need to use extensive personal protective equipment which includes industrial grade leather gloves and long-sleeve jackets. It protects the skin on their hands and arms from exposure to extreme heat.
Another vital organ welders need to protect are the eyes. Welding process creates bright light which can be a very serious hazard. Exposure to the ultraviolet radiation created while welding, without proper protective equipment like a welding helmet, will lead to a condition called arc eye. This problem leads to cornea inflammation and burned retinas. Ever since modern welding was invented, welders utilized welding goggles and helmets equipped with UV-filtering plates.
The welding process creates a burst of UV radiation in the form of bright light which can endanger not only the welder but the bystanders around the welding area, as well. The welding area is usually surrounded by special welding curtains. They are PVC film; translucent curtains positioned to shield people from the electric arc UV radiation.
Besides heat and light, the welding process creates dangerous fumes. Some welding procedures like flux-cored arc welding or shielded metal arc welding create smoke which contains hazardous gasses and particulate matter. Smaller particles present a very danger because they can cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to severe health problems. Welding has to occur in well-ventilated areas where gasses like carbon dioxide, ozone, and heavy metals leave the space immediately.Exposure to dangerous fumes which contain manga, even at very low levels, can lead to severe neurological issues and damage to internal organs.
Welding is an integral part of many production processes, and modern industry is unfathomable without it. The inherent risks connected with welding are manageable thanks to modern technology, good labor procedures and safety precautions and equipment, such as welding helmets, suits, and masks.