When it comes to working with metal, having the right safety gear and welding supplies in Massachusetts can mean the difference between a well-run shop and a shop rife with accidents and insurance risks. There are common risks associated with welding that can’t be completely eliminated, however adhering to safety practices and using welding safety gear in Massachusetts and all over the New England area, helps to reduce the risk and create a safer working environment.
This article will focus on seven different things that you can do today to improve welding safety in New England, through the use of welding supplies and education, whether you run a small local shop or a large manufacturing company. Not only will these tips keep your workers and your business safe from costly injuries and accidents, but they will also increase productivity across the board.
Step 1 – Protective and Safety Gear Tips are Key
Every welder should read the operating manual, regardless of how many years spent working on the job. Metal and industrial power tools, as well as protective and safety gear, change frequently as technology and knowledge within the industry improves. In addition to reading the operating manual, technicians should also make sure they understand the manufacturer’s recommendations for maximizing the potential of each machine in your shop. Make sure you are relying on the manufacturer as well as safety tips and requirements for the welding industry, whether you work in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island or anywhere else in the country.
Step 2 – Completely Cover Exposed Skin
There are many things in the welding industry that can damage or injure skin. Skin that is exposed during welding is susceptible to infrared and UV rays, which can be quite painful. Sparks that are created during welding can get caught in pant cuffs, pockets or shirts that aren’t fully buttoned up, smoldering within the clothing and causing serious injury to the welder. Your best bet is to purchase welding supplies in Massachusetts, such as welding gloves and jackets, that adhere to industry safety standards and are designed to completely cover your skin.
Step 3 – Always Think “Safety” First
In addition to covering up your skin and protecting it from sparks and harmful rays during welding, welders also need to protect themselves in other ways. Standards for welding safety in New England state that welders should wear safety glasses, an industrial-grade helmet, a leather apron, leather shoes and denim pants in addition to proper welding gloves and jackets to ensure they are properly protected. All clothing should be flame-resistant, taking advantage of modern safety clothing that is lightweight and made of pigskin leather and flame-resistant cloth for increased movement and better overall protection.
Step 4 – Be Aware of Fumes
Depending on the type of materials you are working with, you might be required to use a respirator or exhaust hood to remove fumes from your work area in order to maintain clean breathing air. Protective and safety gear tips are more than just helmets and gloves, it is also important to check the manufacturer’s welding electrode data sheet or consult with an industrial safety specialist whenever you are working with unfamiliar materials or equipment.
Step 5 – Protect Your Eyes
All it takes is a fraction of a second’s exposure to unprotected eyes from the rays of a welding arc for welders to experience a painful condition known as “arc flash.” It is important to use welding helmets that will properly filter the light from the face and eyes of the welder, as well as anyone else working in the area. Welding supplies in Massachusetts include screens, barriers, safety glasses with side shields and even ear protection, that should be used to protect workers from harm during welding. If you aren’t sure what you need, OSHA provides a specific guide that will help you choose a lens based upon the various materials and parameters being used.
Step 6 – Understanding Repetitive Stress Injuries
Sometimes just knowing and understanding what can cause an injury is the best method of welding safety in New England and beyond. This is definitely the case when it comes to repetitive stress injuries, such as neck fatigue, which is common in the welding industry. Protective and safety gear tips can go a long way toward helping this type of injury, such as using auto-darkening helmets instead of drop shields, which require welders to snap their heads in order to drop the hood repeatedly.
Step 7 – Reduce Clutter to Increase Safety
Busy workshops tend to get cluttered quickly, however taking the time to ensure that there is a place for everything and that everything is always put back in its place, can help save time, money and ultimately injury. The only items that should be in your weld area are the equipment and tools that will be used on the job. Check your tools and weld area on a daily basis and do a thorough clean and check-up once a week for maximum efficiency and safety.
For over 80 years, Mid City Steel has been providing customers with the best steel and industry supplies in New England. Welding supplies can now be purchased at the new steel service center and welding supply showroom at Mid City’s Westport, Massachusetts location. Everything you need from jackets to gloves, protective and safety gear, welding rod, wire and metal working tools, clamps and magnets or anything else you might require, can be purchased direct at Mid City Steel. Delivery is available and Mid City keeps all the best brand names in the business in stock and available to help you get in, get out and get it done!