What safety measures should be taken during the TIG welding process?

Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding process is used to weld various types of metals through a welding current; however, it requires rigorous safety measures so that everything goes well. This process is also known as gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) that requires lot of skill and takes longer than other welding techniques.

To protect welders, to ensure safe TIG welding process and their environment below are the detailed safety measures:

A Selected Safe Welding Working Environment

It’s important to prepare workspace and thoroughly assess your surroundings. Keep the area clear from combustible material such as solvents, paints, gasoline, or compressed gas cylinders, within a 35-foot (10-meter) radius of the welding area.

Keep properly charge fire extinguisher ready to be used at the workspace. Remove all the items like rags, or paper towels that can easily ignite from fire sparks. If object to be welded is not feasible, remove all the fire hazardous items as recommended by OSHA. This precaution will keep welding workspace safe and minimizes the risks of fire by heat from welding process.

Fire Safety First: Protect Yourself from Fire Threats

In the circumstances where you cannot remove fire hazards completely, keep fire extinguishers ready. TIG welding process produce sparks, extensive heat, hot slags and other fire hazards, welders needed to be strictly safeguarded. Protect welders by using welding blankets, curtains to prevent fires from spreading into the surroundings.

Conduct Risk Assessment of the Area:

Many health risks are involved in the TIG welding procedure such as exposure to toxic fumes and UV rays. To identify potential risk hazards, risk assessment needs to be conducted. The importance of this assessment is to help you to establish a control and eliminate the risks. If after the assessment you realize that risks cannot be alleviated adequately, refrain the area from conducting any type of welding activities.

Equipment Safety: Proper Maintenance and Inspection

Ensure that all welding equipment such as cables, hoses, and torches is in good working condition. Regularly inspect and maintain the equipment to safeguard welders. To prevent the accidents caused by equipment failure check for signs of wear or tear, damage, or fraying.

Clear the passageways, ladders, or stairways which has the risk of falling or tripping while welders are working. Wear railings, safety belts, lifelines while welders are working on platforms, runways or scaffolds. Prevent electrical shocks, properly ground the equipment, never weld in the damp or wet areas.

Wear Appropriate Gears: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital to safeguard welders against any kind of physical injuries and illnesses.

Here is a list of welder gears that they must wear during TIG welding process:

    Long-sleeved, flame-resistant shirts or jackets

    Long pants without cuffs

    Welding helmets with shade filters or welding goggles

    Appropriate Respirators

    Ear muffs or plugs that meet OSHA standards

    Non-slip Boots and Leather gloves

This list of protective items shields welders from heat burns, UV exposure, toxic fumes, and noise.

Adequate Ventilation of the Welding Area

Ventilation is necessary to prevent the welding work environment from hazardous fumes and gases. This can be done by using local exhaust systems or portable fume extractors that remove air contaminants easily. Additionally, prevent the buildup of flammable or combustible gases and maintains oxygen levels within safe limits.

Provide proper training.

TIG welder should have training certificate and must be knowledgeable about the material they will be using and hazards associated with it.  Regular safety training of the welders must be provided, specially when new technique is introduced.

These safety measures ensure a safer and more productive TIG welding process and environment.

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