The act of welding is used in a variety of industries including shipyards, marine terminals and the construction industry.
According to the American Welding Society, fumes from welding can contain hazardous compounds of chromium including hexavalent chromium and nickel. It is important that employees not only understand these risks, but can protect themselves against them as well.
These fumes can cause short-term adverse health effects such as headaches, dizziness and respiratory irritation. It also have serious long-term effects on health including the ability to cause cancer.
To avoid these effects take the following tips into consideration:
- Avoid breathing fumes and gases
- Keep exposure rate as small as possible by wearing appropriate protective gear
- Keep your head out of direct contact with fumes
- Weld in a well-ventilated area.
More than 500,00 workers can be affected daily by welding, cutting and brazing activities in different job sectors. Besides the possibility of welding fume contamination, also be aware of the following three hazards.
- Ensure you are trained on the appropriate ways to weld to keep both yourself and fellow workers safe.
- Wear appropriate protective clothing such as wool, heavy cotton or leather. Try to wear darker clothing as it can decrease the reflection that can occur while wearing a face shield.
- Use eye and face protection at all times to prevent serious and fatal injuries. Wearing a helmet can protect against a range of safety problems as well as goggles. Protective wear can also depend on how and where welding is being done.