Welding Safely (Revised. See: 77-131)

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 72-10261

Several potential health and safety problems associated with welding are noted in this pamphlet. These problems vary with the method of welding, location of work, materials being welded, and the instituted control measures. Certain hazards are common to most welding processes. These include damage to the eyes and skin from infrared and ultraviolet radiation, burns from contact with hot metal or sparks, adverse physiological effects from breathing metal fumes and gases, accidents from material handling, and shock from electrical current. Welding hazards are controlled by employing proper ventilation principles, using respirators and other personal protective devices including proper clothing and by following safe working practices in general. The responsibility of management is to alert the workers to the hazards and the means by which to avoid them. Each worker should properly maintain and operate his welding equipment in such a manner as to avoid undue risk to health and safety. Workers should abide by safety measures required for each type of welding, avoid electric shock, maintain equipment in good mechanical and electrical condition, be alert to possible fire hazards, utilize all required protective equipment and clothing, check the ventilation system before working and periodically thereafter, never weld inside drums or other confined spaces without adequate ventilation or respirators, never weld in the same working area where degreasing or other cleaning operations are performed, and cooperate with facility management in reporting defective equipment and hazardous conditions.

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2017