Industrial Fabrication Quality and Safety Practices
When you’re in the metal fabrication industry, there are certain quality and safety practices you should follow to ensure that your workers are safe and that your clients are satisfied. Whether it is steel or aluminum fabrication, welders are always exposed to hazards that can endanger their lives.
In this article, we will discuss some of the guidelines you can follow to improve the quality and safety of welding practices in your workshop. Whether you’re working for a large construction company, a small metal fabrication workshop or a welding-centric company, you will find the something useful in this post.
Studying the Manual Carefully
These days, https://www.nist.gov/sites/default/files/documents/el/whitepapers.pdf new technologies are always introduced to the metal fabrication workshop</a>. When operating the equipment, it is important that welders carefully read, study and follow the manual. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the manual’s content so that you can use the equipment efficiently. If you lose the manual, you can always contact the manufacturer and request for a replacement. You can also go online and download the manual from the manufacturer’s website.
Wear the Proper Work Clothing and Gear
People inside the work area should not wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts. No matter how long or short you’d use the machines, you should always wear proper safety gear which includes protective clothing and gloves, among others.
It is advisable for workers to wear flame-resistant clothing with tightly woven material. Some welding jackets may be thick and heavy, but you can always search for manufacturers that offer flame-resistant clothing that is lightweight.
Make sure that no skin is exposed to the damaging and harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays coming from the welding machine. This means that you should also make sure that your pockets, shirts and pant cuffs are buttoned. The aforementioned may catch sparks and get your skin smoldered.
When it comes to gloves, you do not have to settle for the generic ones. You can find ergonomic gloves that are designed with curved fingers, making certain welding processes more comfortable. Of course, you should not forget to protect your feet too. So, wear high-top leather shoes or boots and avoid wearing tennis or fabric shoes that may catch sparks. Moreover, do not let the legs of your pants go over your shoes.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Constantly breathing in the fumes and smoke coming from the welding process can be dangerous to your health. Inside an enclosed work space, toxic fumes or shielding gases may accumulate and replace the breathable air. So, do not forget to mount an exhaust hood so that workers can have proper ventilation inside the work area.
Keep your Eyes Protected
Welders who do neglect to wear proper eye gear may experience an ‘arc flash’. Although temporary, this condition can be painful and it is caused by exposing the eyes to the rays from the welding arc. Sometimes, people experience an arc flash hours after exposure and it would be too late for them to realize that they should have worn protective eyewear.
Do not neglect to wear a helmet that is fitted with a filter shade that protects your eyes. Moreover, under the helmet, remember to wear safety glasses with side shields and ear protection. Whether you’re doing steel fabrication or simply observing, always remember to wear a protective helmet.
Get Auto-Darkening Helmets to Avoid Stress Related Injuries
If you want a better option apart from traditionally fixed helmets, then go for auto-darkening helmets. Helmets like such are lighter which reduces neck fatigue. When they have to drop the hood, welders do not need to snap their head because of the helmet’s lightweight nature.
You can also save some seconds in between welds because of the auto-darkening function. When you’re working on bigger metal fabrication jobs, these few seconds can accumulate to several minutes. Consequently, you will have a faster turnaround time that will profit the business.
Keeping the Welding Workspace Organized
One of the most important safety practices in metal fabrication is organizing the workspace. Every piece of welding equipment must be clearly labelled and have a designated storage space. Moreover, the welding workspace must only have the tools and equipment that the welder uses and nothing more. For a more efficient and organized workspace, it is advisable to get a welding table with a scissors mechanism. This allows the welder to adjust the height according to the application so that they won’t have to switch from one table to another.
Encourage Efficient Operations by Using Boom-Mounted Wire Feeders
Wire feeders that are mounted with booms are efficient for welders who work on a high-production welding station. Having one increases the work station’s efficiency, flexibility, and comfort. Place the drive assembly at the end of the boom and the controls of the wire feeder at the 12- or 16-ft. boom’s base.
This option allows you to rotate the boom at 360 degrees. The set-up also allows you to move the boom up and down at 60 degrees, giving you around 24 to 32 ft. work area diameter. After setting the boom in its position the counterbalance will hold it in place.
Encourage Welders to Comply with Safety Rules
When new programs are rolled out, workers see the project as something that will only last for a few months. Metal fabrication companies can implement a different approach to promote welding safety.
Little by little, incorporate the guidelines listed in this article into the daily work activities of the welders. If they comply, motivate them by providing them with incentives. You can even encourage them more by using a weekly point system that will be rewarded by the end of the month.
Another effective approach you can use is the ‘stick’ in the ‘carrot and stick’ technique. When employees violate the quality and safety rules, give them a demerit. Implementing consequences lets workers know that you are serious about your guidelines. Some may think that this is a harsh way of treating your subordinates. However, you can combine it with the incentive program so that they will still have the motivation to do their best.
People working in the metal fabrication industry are exposed to hazardous processes. Apart from the equipment and the products, the labourers are the most important assets of a company. When they are kept healthy, safe and happy, you can ensure quality workmanship and business success.
Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/highwaysagency/“>Highways England</a>