The Welding Location
The first consideration for welding safety is the location and peculiarities of the space where workers will perform the welding operation.
Weld or cut only in locations designated explicitly for this purpose unless you have obtained approval for the job and have taken the necessary precautions to eliminate fire and explosion hazards.
Do not weld in any location outside the shop unless you take the necessary precautions and get authorization. Before you weld in any compartment, room, tank, or adjacent space that contains or which has contained flammable or explosive materials, liquids, or vapors, make sure they are:
- made safe,
- tested, and
- proclaimed safe.
These restrictions also apply to closed drums, tanks, and similar containers. Allow welding or cutting only in areas that are or have been made “fire-safe.”
- When you cannot move work practically, as in most construction work, the area must be made safe by removing combustibles or protecting combustibles from ignition sources.
- If you cannot remove fire hazards, install suitable guards, or take special precautions as discussed below, then welding and cutting should not be performed.
- If you cannot move the object to be welded or cut and if not all the fire hazards can be removed, use guards to confine the heat, sparks, and slag and protect the immovable fire hazards.
Do not permit welding or cutting in the following situations:
- in areas not authorized by management
- in sprinklered buildings, while such protection is impaired
- in the presence of explosive atmospheres (mixtures of flammable gases, vapors, liquids, or dust with air)
- inside uncleaned or improperly prepared tanks or equipment which have previously contained such explosive atmospheres or have the potential for explosive atmospheres
- in areas with an accumulation of combustible dust
- in areas near the storage of large quantities of exposed, readily ignitable materials such as bulk sulfur, baled paper, or cotton