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May 22, 2013
Check your welding, cutting, and brazing safety

Whenever workers are welding, cutting, or brazing, they are at risk. Fire is the most obvious hazard, but compressed gas cylinders, electricity, and hazardous welding fumes also pose hazards. Check your welding, cutting, and brazing operations for safety with this checklist, adapted from federal OSHA.

Personnel

  • Are all workers who weld, cut, and braze trained and authorized to do so?

  • Are written operating instructions provided to each operator?

  • Are employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations protected with personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing?

  • Do eye protection, helmets, hand shields, and goggles meet appropriate standards?

Compressed cylinders

  • Are compressed gas cylinders regularly inspected for obvious signs of defects, deep rusting, or leakage?

  • Are cylinders, safety valves, and relief valves stored and handled with care to prevent damage?

  • Are cylinders, cylinder valves, couplings, regulators, hoses, and apparatuses kept clean and free of oils and grease?

  • Are cylinders kept away from sources of heat, elevators, stairs, and gangways?

  • Do workers remove regulators and put valve-protection caps in place before moving cylinders, unless they are secured on special trucks?

  • Do cylinders without fixed wheels have keys, handles, or nonadjustable wrenches on stem valves when in service?

  • Do workers know not to use cylinders as rollers or supports?

  • Are empty cylinders appropriately marked, their valves closed, and their valve protection caps in place?

Safe work practices

  • Do posted signs warn "DANGER, NO SMOKING, MATCHES, OR OPEN LIGHTS"?

  • Are hoses color-coded (red for fuel gases; green for oxygen; black for inert gas and air hoses)?

  • Are electrodes removed from the holders when not in use?

  • Before a regulator is removed, is the valve closed and gas released?

  • Is a check made for adequate ventilation in and where welding or cutting is performed?

  • Is electric power to the welder shut off when no one is in attendance?

  • Is grounding of the machine frame and safety ground connections of portable machines checked periodically?

  • Are only approved apparatuses (torches, regulators, pressure-reducing valves, acetylene generators, manifolds) used?

  • Are work and electrode lead cables frequently inspected for wear and damage?

  • Are cable connectors adequately insulated?

  • Are pressure-reducing regulators used only for the intended gas and pressures?

  • Are fire safety precautions in place?

  • Are electrical safety precautions used in wet environments?

  • Do welders know never to coil or loop welding electrode cable around their bodies?
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