Welding Resources: an Introduction
This is the first installment of a monthly Welding Resources series. In this series, we’ll be covering key topics relevant to welding and welders. Rather than providing one narrative article detailing a specific tip, procedure, or issue, these Welding Resources posts are meant to serve as a consolidated list of the top online resources for the given topic.
This month, we’ll be discussing safety. Safety is a topic that has already received some attention on the blog - feel free to read our previous posts on welding safety - but there are loads of important information available online that any serious welder should be familiar with. Some of the primary safety organizations and specific resources are listed below.
Welding and Related Safety Standards Organizations
OSHA, www.osha.gov - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the U.S. federal government agency responsible for setting and enforcing occupational safety standards that assure safe and healthful working conditions for American workers. In addition to regulation, OSHA provides educational resources and assistance across all industries.
AWS, www.aws.org - The American Welding Society, founded nearly 100 years ago, is the premier welding society in the U.S. The Society’s mission is to promote the science, technology, and application of welding and related disciplines. Among the AWS’s many functions is the publication of relevant codes, guidelines, and handbooks - including those on safety.
ANSI, ansi.org - The American National Standards Institute sets the bar for voluntary consensus standards regarding worker safety and health, as well as environmental impact, for almost every business and industry sector in the U.S. ANSI is a private, non-government membership organization whose membership includes government agencies, companies, academic institutes, and individuals. While ANSI safety standards are voluntary consensus, many U.S. government regulations require that products sold or used must reply to ANSI standards.
Compressed Gas Association, www.cganet.com - Compressed gases in cylinders is a key component of welding, and there are important safety standards that should be followed in handling these cylinders of gases. The CGA offers quite a few publications about the safe handling of compressed gas, some of which are relevant for welders.
Welding Safety Standards Publications
Welding Safety Standards - This is the top publication in welding safety standards, and AWS has made it available for free download. It’s the complete voluntary standard developed to address safety in welding and cutting. Topics cover both the safe practices of welding and the mutual responsibilities for safety by management, supervisors, and welders. Access the free download here, or purchase a printed copy here.
Safety Gear - These two free fact sheets from AWS detail the proper selection of gloves and gear for safety and burn protection while welding. (And once you know what you need, shop BakersGas.com for some great deals on new safety gear!)
AWS Welding Safety and Health Fact Sheets - This collection of AWS’s free safety fact sheets is full of the basic information that welders need to know to perform their jobs safely. Find free fact sheets on 37 topics, including fumes and gases, radiation, working in confined spaces, wearing contact lenses, thermal spraying safety, safe handling of fluxes for arc welding, and many more.
OSHA Standards - For a really in-depth look at safety standards for welding, cutting, and brazing, visit OSHA’s page dedicated to the topic. There, you’ll find dozens upon dozens of links to general industry standards, shipyard-specific standards, construction welding standards, registers, directives, interpretations, hazards and solutions, and more.
Safe Handling of Compressed Gases in Containers - As its title indicates, this CGA publication details the safe handling of gases in containers. All welders work with compressed gases, making the information in this pamphlet valuable to any welder.
Working Outdoors - This OSHA fact sheet provides safety information for workers who must work outdoors. While not all welders work outdoors or need to worry about sun exposure (assuming they wear the correct safety gear), the information about working in hot conditions can be particularly pertinent.
Chemicals - This OSHA site provides an online, easy-to-navigate database of the chemicals that are commonly associated with welding, cutting, and brazing processes. Information is provided for collecting and analyzing samples of these chemicals, as well as the potential occupational health hazards of working with them.
Are there any other welding safety resources you would recommend? What's the most important safety standard in your shop?
Picture Credit: www.millerwelds.com