Precautions and Safe Practices
FUMES and GASES can harm your health.
Keep your head out of the fumes. Do
not breathe fumes and gases caused by the arc. Use enough
ventilation. The type and the amount
of fumes and gases depend on the equipment and supplies used.
Air samples can be used to find out what respiratory protection is needed.
Provide enough ventilation wherever
welding and cutting are performed. Proper ventilation will protect the
operator from the evolving noxious fumes
and gases. The degree and type of ventilation will depend on the
specific welding and cutting operation.
It varies with the size of work area; on the number of
operators; and on
the types of materials to be welded or cut. Potentially hazardous materials may
exist in certain fluxes, coatings,
and filler metals. They can be released into the atmosphere during welding and
cutting. In some cases,
general natural-draft ventilation may be adequate. Other operations may require
local exhaust hoods or booths, or personal filter respirators or air supplied
masks. Welding inside tanks,
boilers, or other confined spaces require special procedures, such as the use
of an air supplied hood or
hose mask. Check
the welding atmosphere and ventilation system if workers develop unusual symptoms
or complaints. Measurements
may be needed to determine whether adequate ventilation is being provided. A qualified
person, such as an industrial hygienist,
should survey the welding operations and environment. Follow their
recommendations for improving the ventilation
of the work area. Do
not weld on dirty plate or plate contaminated with unknown material. The fumes
and gases which are formed
could be hazardous to your health. Remove all paint and galvanized coatings before
welding. All fumes
and gases should be considered as potentially hazardous.
More complete information on health
protection and ventilation recommendations for general welding and
cutting can be found in the American
National Standard Z49.1, Safety in Welding and Cutting.