General Learning

General welding and cutting requirements

Whenever possible, move objects to a safe place before heating, cutting, or welding. Remove or effectively screen all fire hazards where the welding job is to take place.

Keep passageways, ladders, and stairs clear of hoses, cables, and other equipment.

Do not cut or weld any steel drum or other vessel that might have contained flammables until it has been steam purged and tested. Flushing with water is not sufficient.

Do not apply heat to the inside surface of any piping or vessel unless it is

  • Open to the atmosphere to prevent pressure buildup
  • Adequately tested for gases and oxygen content

Where it is necessary to catch falling sparks and slag, use glass-fibre blankets or fire-retardant welding tarpaulins.

Keep an appropriate type of fire extinguisher available at all times.

Make sure there is sufficient general ventilation.

Where welding fumes and gases can accumulate, use local exhaust ventilation to remove the contaminants.

In poorly ventilated areas, gases can accumulate and displace the air, causing an oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Proper ventilation is required when using inert gases while welding.

All workers engaged in welding or burning operations must wear

  • Flame-retardant work clothing, preferably made of cotton or wool fibres
  •  Leather gauntlet-type gloves and arm protection
  • An apron made of leather or other suitable
  • material for heavy work
  • Face protectors and safety eyewear to guard against harmful radiation or particles of molten metal, including when chipping and grinding welds
  • Substantial safety footwear made of leather or another equally firm material

Where possible, recently welded or flame cut work should be marked “HOT” to prevent other workers from being burned.

Before entering a tank, bin, or any other confined space, follow confined space entry procedures.

Never take gas cylinders into a confined space (Exception Compressed air cylinders for self-contained breathing apparatus).

Protect load-bearing ropes or cables from the effects of welding operations.

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