maintenance welding of metals involves
the generation of temperatures up to
thousands of degrees. It also involves
working with electricity, with
combustible gases and with a wide
variety of metals, chemicals, fluxes and
other potentially hazardous situations,
often in confined spaces. Yet in the 80
or so years that welding has been
regularly practiced, it has been proven
repeatedly that it is a relatively safe
occupation which is not injurious to
health. However, as in all trades and
all industrial activities, some safety
precautions must be taken. Magna
recommends the following be included in
your safety program:
Welders should never carry or use butane
lighters while welding. Several
fatal accidents have occurred when
welders were carrying butane lighters in
their pockets. A spark from a welding
arc can penetrate the pocket, land on
the lighter, burn through and thus
expose the fluid in the lighter, and an
explosion occurs. There is the same
amount of force in a disposable butane
lighter when it explodes as there is in
approximately three sticks of dynamite.
(2) Always wear
protective clothing suitable for the
welding to be done.
(3) Always wear proper
eye protection, when welding, grinding
(4) Keep your work
area clean and free of hazards. Make
sure that no flammable, volatile or
explosive materials are in or near the
(5) Handle all
compressed gas cylinders with extreme
care. Keep caps on when not in use.
(6) When it is
necessary to arc weld in a damp or wet
area, wear rubber boots and stand on
a dry insulated platform.
(7) Shield others
from the light rays produced by your
(8) Do not weld on
sealed containers or compartments
without providing vents and taking
(9) Do not weld on
containers that have held combustibles
without taking extra special precaution.
(10) If it is
necessary to splice lengths of welding
cable together, make sure all
electrical connections are tight and
insulated. Do not use cables with
frayed, cracked or bare spots in the
(11) Do not weld in
a confined space without extra special
(12) When compressed gas cylinders are
empty, close the valve and mark the
(13) Do not allow
flame cut sparks to hit hoses,
regulators or cylinders. Remember
flame cutting sparks can travel 9-12m.
(14) Never use
acetylene at a pressure in excess of 1kg
per cm2. Higher pressures can cause
(15) Never use oil,
grease or any similar material on any
apparatus or threaded fittings in the
oxyacetylene or oxy-fuel gas system. Oil and grease in contact with oxygen
will cause spontaneous combustion.
(16) Always use
this correct sequence and technique for
lighting a torch:
(a) Open acetylene
(b) Open acetylene torch valve 1/4 turn.
(c) Screw in acetylene regulator,
adjusting valve handle to working
(d) Turn off acetylene torch valve (you
will have purged the acetylene line).
(e) Slowly open oxygen cylinder valve
all the way.
(f) Open oxygen torch valve 1/4 turn.
(g) Screw in oxygen regulator screw to
(h) Turn off oxygen torch valve you will
have purged the oxygen line.
(i) Open acetylene torch valve on 1/4
turn and light with a proper lighter. Do
not use matches or cigarette lighters.
(j) Open oxygen torch valve 1/4 turn.
(k) Adjust to proper flame.
(17) Always use
this correct sequence and technique of
shutting off a torch:
(a) Close acetylene
torch valve first, then close oxygen
(b) Close cylinder valves, acetylene
valve first then close oxygen valve.
(c) Open torch's acetylene and oxygen
valves (this will release pressure in
the regulator and hose).
(d) Back off regulator adjusting valve
handle until no spring tension is felt.
(e) Close torch valves.
(18) Use adequate
ventilation at the point of welding
when welding lead, cadmium, chromium,
manganese, brass, bronze, zinc,
galvanized steel or other materials that
can produce noxious gases.
(19) Make sure your
arc welding equipment is installed
properly and grounded and is in good
(20) Welding may
produce fumes and gases hazardous to
health. Avoid breathing these fumes. Use adequate ventilation.
(21) Nearly all gas
welding fluxes and arc welding fluxes
are toxic or at least can cause
allergies to certain persons. Do not
take welding fluxes internally and keep
out of reach of children.