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Welding Processes Safety Intro

This is the first of a series of safety articles on different welding processes. Safety should be your number one priority no matter which welding process you are using.

Many people think of welding as a very dangerous trade, and rightly so. I've been hurt quite a few times in the 25 years I've spent in the trade, a couple of times really bad. And guess what, when I was hurt bad, it was because of "the other guy!" There were plenty cause by my own fault though. Once I put my hand under a 2 ton concrete beam that was being set in place. There was a plastic shim the beam was to sit on and it was turned wrong so I pushed it real fast with my fingers.

Very stupid move! The beam was hanging on the crane and had been there a few minutes, so I "figured" I could move it before they came down on the load. Here's a good tip for shop, field and even garage hobbyist…DON'T "FIGURE"!!! Right when I put my hand under that sucker, they lowered it! Thank God it kind of bounced and I was able to get my hand out.

I'd heard of guys pulling their hands out of their gloves with no fingers after similar accidents, and I sure was relieved mine were there and there wasn't even any blood. By some fluke I had escaped injury except to my pride for being a dumb#$%@%, and my hand was numb and hurt like heck for a while.

One split second of not using common sense and I got nailed. Most every welding process is relatively safe as long as you educate yourself and use common sense. If you want to see a lack of education and common sense watch just about any of the cable TV shows about building motorcycles, hot rods, or doing work on some of fabrication and building shows. I've seen these guys cutting with no cutting glasses and for that matter cutting with no glasses at all, as well as all kinds of other crazy stuff.

I won't mention any names, but just tune in and watch if you wanta' see what I mean. In the coming articles I'll talk about different safety for different welding processes. Usually I'll tell about something I've seen or that has happened to me in the hopes of keeping someone else from doing it, or having it done to them. Safety affects us all and yet until recent years it was hardly even addressed on most of the jobsites I worked on.

Just remember to use common sense and follow the safety practices. Don't take chances because it CAN happen to you.

Nice general description of welding processes…


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