Learn about Welding Safety and Welding Arc Flash

Published: 27th October 2008
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When you are working with a welder there is always the potential for Arc Flash. Anything that you do that works with electricity can do this and it can be a deadly process. Arc flash can happen on a large or small scale, and depending on the welder's safety precautions, it can cause severe burns or be deadly.

An Arc flash happens when there is a fault somewhere in an area where the welder is working. A quick and sudden amount of light energy and heat are released and if the welder is standing in the way, they can receive intense burns or the arc flash can be fatal.

This flash can also destroy equipment, cause eye problems and hurt people within a large radius from where it happened. In order to understand what this may look like, think about a large bolt of lightening that comes down and hits something on the prairie. This arc of light could explode the material that it hits upon and cause a lot of damage to that material.

This is basically what happens in an arc flash. This does not have to happen on a large scale only because you can also suffer from it when you are not using the correct safety equipment when you are welding.

The welder will expose themselves to UV rays that can hurt the surface of your cornea. Sometimes you don't know that this has happened until your eyes begin to feel warm. You may not know it until the next day when you have pain in the eyes. This pain can feel as though you have fractured glass in your eyes.

When you are doing welding it is very important to use a welding lens shade that is at least a number 5 and should be worn within 20 feet of the welding that is being done. If you are standing within 10 feet then you should use a number 9 lens.

Normal arc flashes can also expose you to fumes and toxic gases so it is crucial to your survival to make sure you are in an area that is well ventilated when you are doing your work.

It is equally important to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly because often an arc flash is cased by faulty equipment. You will need to check enclosed systems also because these can cause a problem because some electrical equipment can become energized when it is faulty.

There are a variety of products that can help you resolve issues of arc flash as long as the equipment is working properly, but they only work if the welder will use them. You can get specially insulated gloves, rubber roll blankets (that allow you to isolate the area that you are working within) and carbonX clothing for protection.

Although arc flash can be deadly when it happens, knowing the safety precautions needed can help you get out of the way and be safer. It is wise to know the consequences of arc flash and how to prevent it as much as possible.

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