Gas Metal Arc Welding, more commonly known as GMAW or MIG welding, is the process by which metals are welded by using an electric arc to heat and fuse the two pieces of metal together. MIG welders are very common and are used for industrial welding most of the time. Welding is an inherently risky job, and the welding workshops and companies in Australia have to follow strict safety regulations stipulated by Safe Work Australia.
Safe work Australia, an Australian Government body, has stipulated rules for organizations registered under the WHS Act to ensure the safety of workers. The owners have to make sure that all steps are taken to minimize the risks involved in welding. Failing to do so may have the direct implication on the owners first, and then the directors of the company followed by the workers directly involved. Here are some ways that these regulations are making a difference.
In every workshop, you will be amazed to know about the sheer number of things that can catch fire at any time. The sparks emitted by the welding torch is almost always the root cause of such fires. A fire extinguisher along with fire prevention measures is a must. Water is a bad idea because of the electrical equipment you will have in your workshop, so CO2 type fire extinguishers are the best kind. On-site work requires access to firefighting equipment as well.
UV Radiation is a No-No!
As a welder, it is imperative that you are shielded from any UV radiation. UV light from molten metal can cause sunburn and far more serious problems. Appropriate clothing, gauntlets and a visor are a must.
Spits of fire while welding can not only start a fire but can also cause skin burns. Thus, it is important to wear safety gear at all times. Fire retardant cotton is a good fabric to use here. Modern composite fibres are also available.
Protecting your Eyes
The MIG welding arc produces a lot of intense, bright light that can hurt your eyes. Damage to the retina or cornea may be irreversible. The light can even cause serious sunburns. Wearing a visor is a must to ensure that you do not damage your eyes. Modern visors are sophisticated safety gear that automatically darken and block out bright light while letting low-intensity light through at the same time.
Apart from these precautions, it is necessary to wear a heavy leather apron or welding jacket. Safety regulations are there for a reason, and should never be disregarded.