Tips for Reducing Common Health Hazards of Welding Fumes

Tips for Reducing Common Health Hazards of Welding Fumes

Cutting, shaping, and welding metal creates a lot of fine particle dust that can prove dangerous to fabrication shop employees. Inhaling that airborne dust can cause significant respiratory damage, potentially leading to chronic illness or debilitating diseases. However, there are ways to circumvent these scenarios and protect workers from inhaling or exposing themselves to particulate matter. Be aware of some tips for reducing common health hazards of welding fumes.

Clean Welding Surfaces

Metals often go through chemical treatments before fabricators work on them; these same chemicals may be present on the surfaces where you weld. There’s no telling how these chemicals will react to the welding process and other procedures. Often, they can release toxic fumes that will poison the body.

This uncertainty makes it necessary to clean off surfaces before and after working with metal. This ensures that you clean off anything left over from the last project and that you provide a clean slate for the next one.

Use Fume Extractors

Aside from chemical reactions, the metal itself will create particulate matter that workers must not inhale. Trying to position themselves far enough away as not to breathe in anything is often inconvenient. One of the most common methods to eliminate this threat is to use fume extractors.

These devices are highly mobile, giving workers the means to position the vacuum right where the dust originates. The extractor sucks up the metal dust, transferring it to a secure location away from workers, allowing them to work without fear of inhaling anything. There are many different kinds of fume extractors for sale, providing you with different solutions.

Utilize Proper Safety Gear

Personal protective equipment, such as respirators, is also an ideal solution to eliminate the common health risks of welding fumes. The specialized mask can filter out the fine particle dust from the air, providing your workers with clean air and catching the harmful material before it can cause any damage.

Masks will require regular maintenance to ensure they are always operating at the most efficient capacity. Masks left to intake too much dust will fail, allowing particulate matter through the filter and into a staff member’s lungs.

Safety Is Your Top Priority

Productivity should never take precedence over safety. Your workers expose themselves to dangerous materials every day, and it’s necessary to take the steps required to safeguard their health. Provide them with the tools to actively protect themselves and eliminate the possibility of anyone falling sick due to lax safety protocols.

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