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WELDING AND CUTTING

Today's construction workers in welding and cutting must not only protect themselves from injury but also must assume responsibility for their helpers, co-workers in other trades and, in some instances, the sidewalk superintendent. Accident records indicate that other people near arc welding operations are injured more often than the welder.

There is also the ever present chance of fire. In addition to causing serious injuries, fires from welding and cutting cost hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars annually.

Accident records show that certain conditions and/or actions cause most cutting and welding accidents. Precautions that will prevent many types of accidents include:

1. Before starting to weld in a confined space, be sure you have the proper permit, your supervisor's permission, and that there is proper ventilation.

2. Keep a correct type fire extinguisher handy and within reach at all times.

3. Inspect all work areas and place required shields or blankets before welding or cutting. See that there are no explosives, dangerous gasses, or flammable materials nearby.

4. Be sure all floor gratings are covered, with no cracks, through which sparks can drop to levels below.

5. Don't allow co-workers to stand too near the work or stare at the art.

6. Your helper must be as well equipped as you are, and must be wearing the proper type of eye protection.

7. Always inspect cutting and welding equipment before starting work.

8. Keep oil and grease away from oxygen valves.

9. Oxygen and acetylene cylinders should be tied off at all times.

10. When welding and cutting there may be times that you need a fire watch assigned to your work. Check with your supervisor.

SAFE WELDERS ALWAYS SET THE EXAMPLE, INSTRUCT THEIR HELPERS PROPERLY, AND NEVER TAKE CHANCES.

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