According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1,000 workers suffer an injury for every 100 million welding hours. And this statistic is much worse than the average injury rate of other industries.
If you’re in the welding trade or plan to join, the injury rate should be a sobering reminder of the dangers that come with the job when safety isn’t a priority. It can’t be an afterthought. You should think about safety precautions before, during, and after welding.
Welding fails can have dire consequences. While they can lead to waste and higher costs, they can also lead to severe injuries. Many potential problems can be averted if you dress appropriately with a welding helmet, safety glasses, safety boots, and hearing protection.
You’ll also want to learn about common welding mistakes and how to steer clear of them. Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe on the job.
You need to ensure you do the proper preparatory work before welding. For instance, you’ll want to get the metal ready before welding to avoid any quality issues at the end of the project. It’s essential that you get rid of rust, dirt, paint, and anything else so that the weld area is bare. If you don’t heed this point, you could jeopardize your welding project and grapple with welding fails.
You also need to know your metals—some metal types must be cleaned more extensively than others. If you’re familiar with aluminum products, you know that this metal requires thorough cleaning before welding. A rushed job or a partial job won’t do. It must be extensive. This will require, firstly, getting rid of oils and contaminants and, secondly, removing any oxides.
As mentioned above, one of the key welding fails is improper safety habits. You’ve already seen that injuries in the welding space are higher compared to injuries in other industries. But a lot of welding injuries can be prevented. Potential injuries include sight impairment, dismemberment, burns, and hearing loss. These injuries can be life changing in their impact, so don’t forget your welding helmet, hearing protection, safety glasses, and safety boots. They will keep you safe even if, despite your best efforts, something goes wrong. Too much is at stake to gamble by welding without wearing or using the proper safety gear.
You need to select the right electrodes and wires for the welding method you choose. This means you need to know enough about welding best practices to understand how to select the right products. Choosing the wrong electrode for your application will cause you nothing but problems. So, ensure you have the experience to match the right electrode to the right application so that you don’t jeopardize the project and waste money in the process.
The main difference between good welding vs. bad welding is experience. You need to know how to prepare, how to properly use the equipment, and understand best practices. After getting certification in welding, you need to practice. You might be able to get an internship where you can work under an experienced welder who can assist you. If you’re not sure you have the right experience to do the job safely and correctly, don’t do it until you gain the requisite experience.
It’s also critical that you buy the right size welding gun. If you don’t do your homework and get a welding gun that has an amperage that’s too high or too low, you may find yourself looking at countless welding fails. It’s usually recommended that welders opt for a welding gun with an amperage that is lower than average. What this will do is offer more maneuverability, lessen fatigue, and even cut operational costs.
If you’re not sure how to choose the right welding gun size for your needs, find the help you need at a reputable welding supplies store. You’ll not only find a great selection, but also good advice and recommendations.
Don’t overlook the importance of preventative maintenance. Doing so will keep your welding equipment running properly and reduce the need for repairs caused by neglect. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual so that you know the maintenance schedule. Conducting routine maintenance means you won’t experience welding fails with your equipment when you need it most.
One of the benefits of welding robots is that it’ll help you do more with less. Are you having trouble finding skilled workers for welding positions at your business? Do you sometimes have to turn down orders because you don’t have the manpower to do them? The Great Resignation isn’t over yet. Over the past couple of years, it’s a trend that has seen many employees resign in search of greener pastures. But many employers have been stung by this development. One option is to invest in cobot welding that can help you do more with fewer staff members.
Another bad habit that leads to welding fails is inadequate preheating. In fact, some otherwise skilled welders don’t preheat their welding equipment often enough or, even worse, don’t do any preheating whatsoever. This is a big welding fail since preheating helps to safeguard against cracks forming in the weld. It does this by slowing down the cooling stage after the welding is done.
While preheating is essential and shouldn’t be overlooked, you must also select the right preheat and interpass temperature setting. When looking at examples of bad welds, we can attribute a lot of problems to poor preheating procedures. Do your research so that you know exactly what the setting needs to be for your application.
At Oxygen Service Company, we’re your welding services and supply store. As a 100% employee-owned business, we’re committed to providing quality dry ice, specialty gases, and welding services and supplies for various industries across the Midwest. Whether you have questions or want to place an order, you can count on one of our customer care agents to help you. We can’t wait to service your business needs. After all, service is our middle name.
For the help you need with all things welding, get in touch and find out what we can do for you.