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FUMES AND GASES can be hazardous.

Welding produces fumes and gases. Breathing these fumes and gases can be hazardous to your health.

  • Keep your head out of the fumes. Do not breathe the fumes.

  • If inside, ventilate the area and/or use local forced ventilation at the arc to remove welding fumes and gases.

  • If ventilation is poor, wear an approved air-supplied respirator.

  • Read and understand the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and the manufacturer’s instructions for metals, consumables, coatings, cleaners, and degreasers.

  • Work in a confined space only if it is well ventilated, or while wearing an air-supplied respirator. Always have a trained watch- person nearby. Welding fumes and gases can displace air and lower the oxygen level causing injury or death. Be sure the breath- ing air is safe.

  • Do not weld in locations near degreasing, cleaning, or spraying op- erations. The heat and rays of the arc can react with vapors to form highly toxic and irritating gases.

  • Do not weld on coated metals, such as galvanized, lead, or cadmium plated steel, unless the coating is removed from the weld area, the area is well ventilated, and while wearing an air-supplied respirator. The coatings and any metals containing these elements can give off toxic fumes if welded. ARC RAYS can burn eyes and skin. Arc rays from the welding process produce intense visible and invisible (ultraviolet and infrared) rays that can burn eyes and skin. Sparks fly off from the weld.

  • Wear an approved welding helmet fitted with a proper shade of filter lenses to protect your face and eyes from arc rays and sparks when welding or watching (see ANSI Z49.1 and Z87.1 listed in Safety Standards).

  • Wear approved safety glasses with side shields under your helmet.

  • Use protective screens or barriers to protect others from flash, glare and sparks; warn others not to watch the arc.

  • Wear protective clothing made from durable, flame-resistant material (leather, heavy cotton, or wool) and foot protection. WELDING can cause fire or explosion. Welding on closed containers, such as tanks, drums, or pipes, can cause them to blow up. Sparks can fly off from the welding arc. The flying sparks, hot workpiece, and hot equipment can cause fires and

burns. Accidental contact of electrode to metal objects can cause sparks, explosion, overheating, or fire. Check and be sure the area is safe before doing any welding.

  • Remove all flammables within 35 ft (10.7 m) of the welding arc. If this is not possible, tightly cover them with approved covers.

  • Do not weld where flying sparks can strike flammable material.

  • Protect yourself and others from flying sparks and hot metal.

  • Be alert that welding sparks and hot materials from welding can easily go through small cracks and openings to adjacent areas.

  • Watch for fire, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

  • Be aware that welding on a ceiling, floor, bulkhead, or partition can cause fire on the hidden side.

  • Do not weld on closed containers such as tanks, drums, or pipes, unless they are properly prepared according to AWS F4.1 (see Safety Standards).

  • Do not weld where the atmosphere may contain flammable dust, gas, or liquid vapors (such as gasoline).

  • Connect work cable to the work as close to the welding area as practical to prevent welding current from traveling long, possibly unknown paths and causing electric shock, sparks, and fire hazards.

  • Do not use welder to thaw frozen pipes.

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  • Remove stick electrode from holder or cut off welding wire at contact tip when not in use.

  • Wear oil-free protective garments such as leather gloves, heavy shirt, cuffless trousers, high shoes, and a cap.

  • Remove any combustibles, such as a butane lighter or matches, from your person before doing any welding.

  • After completion of work, inspect area to ensure it is free of sparks, glowing embers, and flames.

  • Use only correct fuses or circuit breakers. Do not oversize or by- pass them.

  • Follow requirements in OSHA 1910.252 (a) (2) (iv) and NFPA 51B for hot work and have a fire watcher and extinguisher nearby.

FLYING METAL or DIRT can injure eyes.

  • Welding, chipping, wire brushing, and grinding cause sparks and flying metal. As welds cool, they can throw off slag.

  • Wear approved safety glasses with side shields even under your welding helmet.

BUILDUP OF GAS can injure or kill.

  • Shut off shielding gas supply when not in use.

  • Always ventilate confined spaces or use

approved air-supplied respirator.

ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC FIELDS (EMF) can affect ImplantedMedical Devices.

    • Wearers of Pacemakers and other Implanted Medical Devices should keep away.

  • Implanted Medical Device wearers should consult their doctor and the device manufacturer before going near arc welding, spot welding, gouging, plasma arc cutting, or induction heating operations.

NOISE can damage hearing.

Noise from some processes or equipment can damage hearing.

  • Wear approved ear protection if noise level is


CYLINDERS can explode if damaged.

Shielding gas cylinders contain gas under high pressure. If damaged, a cylinder can explode. Since gas cylinders are normally part of the welding process, be sure to treat them carefully.

  • Protect compressed gas cylinders from excessive heat, mechani- cal shocks, physical damage, slag, open flames, sparks, and arcs.

  • Install cylinders in an upright position by securing to a stationary support or cylinder rack to prevent falling or tipping.

  • Keep cylinders away from any welding or other electrical circuits.

  • Never drape a welding torch over a gas cylinder.

  • Never allow a welding electrode to touch any cylinder.

  • Never weld on a pressurized cylinder explosion will result.

  • Use only correct shielding gas cylinders, regulators, hoses, and fit- tings designed for the specific application; maintain them and associated parts in good condition.

  • Turn face away from valve outlet when opening cylinder valve.

  • Keep protective cap in place over valve except when cylinder is in use or connected for use.

  • Use the right equipment, correct procedures, and sufficient num- ber of persons to lift and move cylinders.

  • Read and follow instructions on compressed gas cylinders, associated equipment, and Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publication P-1 listed in Safety Standards.

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