The process of welding and cutting of metals involve the application of high heat energy to the objects being welded or cut. This high amount of heat energy for welding process is obtained from the use of inflammable gases, (such as acetylene, hydrogen, etc.) or electricity. The intense welding heat and the sources employed to produce it can be potentially dangerous.
Therefore, to protect welders from injury and to protect building and equipment against fire, etc., a set of recommendations concerning safety and health measures for the welders and those concerned with the safety of the equipment’s etc., have been published by American Welding Society (AWS), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and many other International organizations. By keeping in mind these recommendations or precautions from the various organizations, the risks associated with welding to the technician can be minimized.
Therefore, it is highly suggested that the beginner in the field of gas welding must go through and become familiar with these general safety recommendations, which are listed below.
- Welding technician should never hang a torch with its hose on regulators or cylinder valves.
- During gas weld working, if the welding tip becomes overheated it may be cooled by plunging the torch into water; close the acetylene valve but leave a little oxygen flowing.
- Always use the correct pressure regulators for a gas. Acetylene pressure regulator should never be used with any other gas.
- Do not move the cylinder by holding the pressure regulator and also handle pressure regulators carefully.
- Use pressure regulator only at pressures for which operation is suitable.
- Open cylinder valves slowly to avoid straining the mechanism of the pressure regulator.
- Never try to use lubricant, oil or grease of any kind on regulator connections.
- For repairs, calibrations and adjustments purposes, the pressure regulators should be sent to the supplier.
- Do cracking before connecting pressure regulator to the gas cylinder.
- Inspect union nuts and connections on regulators before use; to detect faulty seats which may cause leakage of gas when the regulators are attached to the cylinder valves.
- Hose connections shall be well fittings and clamped properly otherwise securely fastened to these connections in such a manner as to withstand without leakage a pressure twice as great as the maximum delivery pressure of the pressure regulators provided on the system.
- Protect the hose from flying sparks, hot slag, hot workpiece and open flame. If dirt goes into the hose, blow through (with oxygen, not acetylene) before coupling to torch or regulator.
- Store hose on a reel (an automobile wheel) when not in use.
- Never allow the hose to come into contact with oil or grease; these deteriorate the rubber and constitute a danger with oxygen.
- Use the correct color hose for oxygen (green/black) and acetylene gas (red); never use oxygen hose for acetylene or vice versa.
- Always protect the hose from being trampled on or run over. Avoid tangle and kinks. Never leave the hose so that it can be tripped over.
Hazards of fumes, gases, and dust during gas welding process can be minimized by
- proving/improving ventilation of the place where welding is carried out
- using local exhaust units, and
- wearing individual protective respiratory equipment.