Working in a welding facility can be one of the hardest jobs on the planet. There's high voltage electricity, serious heat and vaporized metal particulates. How do you keep your workers safe? Here are a few tips to help create a healthy work environment in your production facility.
Creating a healthy environment in a welding facility
- Reduction in fumes. Fumes can cause serious problems in terms of metal toxicity and respiratory ailments. Because welding heats the metal to a melting point, it can also heat it to the point that it releases fumes from the metal into the air. To prevent this problem, encourage proper use of respirators that will remove the fumes from the air resulting in a healthier environment for your employees.
- Add clean air systems. Beyond respirators, you may want to look at an air cleaning system that removes the fumes from the air as well. Much like second-hand smoke, your employees don't need to be operating welders to breathe the same air.
- Encourage PPE. Do your employees have access to proper welding protection, hearing protection and burn protection? What about rubber-soled boots for electrocution concerns? But above and beyond having these tools and supplies available, you will want to promote a company-wide culture of safety to encourage employees to not only have the safety equipment on hand, but to actually use it as it was originally intended.
- Automate to reduce risk. The best way to reduce burns and welding injuries is to have the operator away from where the welding is taken place. One of the best ways to do this is by automating your welding operations. This also frees up workers for more important tasks as well as lowering your overall overhead.
- Reduce burn risk. In addition to personal protective equipment, you need to encourage welding operators to work conscientiously to reduce their risk of burns. Just because the metal is no longer glowing doesn't mean it's cool enough to handle without proper protection.
- Watch your electrical supply. Are there any problems with poor connections, employees hanging items on the conduit or water leaks that could lead to electrocution hazards? Take the time to ensure your electrical supply is being maintained properly and safely.
- Encourage safe equipment use. How are your employees working around your welding equipment? If they're taking actions that are not getting them hurt at the moment, that doesn't mean that behavior won't cause an accident down the road. If you see employees acting in an unsafe manner, take appropriate corrective action immediately.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your employees are healthier and face fewer on-the-job hazards to their well being. If you need help finding machinery that can reduce your workers' health risks, please feel free to contact us today. At OTC Daihen, we've been helping improve the welding industry for nearly a century.