Welding processes are commonly used across a range of industries including aerospace, automotive, energy and construction. However, caution must be taken to ensure the safety of everyone in the immediate area.
Within this article, we will cover the process of welding, the risks associated with it and how you can mitigate these risks by using a welding curtain to create a safer working environment.
What is welding?
Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials such as metals and thermoplastics together by melting their surfaces. This differs from lower temperature metal-joining techniques such as brazing and soldering where only a filler material is melted.
What are the risks involved with welding?
As one of the most hazardous types of activities within a workplace, welding carries a large number of risks with it including:
- High exposure level to welding fumes and gases and to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
- Respiratory irritation
- Eye damage
- Electric shocks
- Fires and explosions
It’s important to comply with safety guidelines surrounding welding and to follow all the necessary safety precautions, such as installing a welding curtain. This helps to keep you, and anyone else who works in the same space, safe and secure.
What are welding curtains?
Welding curtains can create an enclosed space for welders to work in. More often than not, welding curtains include viewing windows that provide transparency while still effectively blocking out harmful UV rays. You will also find that many curtains and screens are fitted with wheels so that they can be moved from place to place quickly and safely.
When should welding curtains be used?
Welding curtains are most commonly used in any facility that does not have an enclosed or separate welding area.
This is because when a welder is at work, they can’t keep track of where their sparks are flying. A welding curtain can help to make sure that things stay contained and safe because even a small spark flying off onto a nearby machine or flammable material can start a fire.
What are the benefits of welding curtains?
Looking directly at the UV light created when welding can lead to flash burns and eye problems. A welding curtain can help to protect employees’ eyes when looking at the bright light.
One of the great things about welding curtains is that they are adjustable. This means you can choose the right size and design based on the area that you and your employees are working in. You can also attach the curtain to a mobile frame to move it from one place to another very easily.
Welding screens protect both the welder and anyone else passing by. They can be used to cordon off an area so that the welder can focus on what they need to do without having to worry about anyone else approaching or heavy equipment coming into the area.
While welders are required to wear protective clothing and masks to protect themselves from the heat produced by their welding equipment, other people using the facility may not have the same requirement or need.
As the welding process produces very high temperatures that could pose a health and fire risk, a welding screen or curtain in place around the welding station reduces these risks as the temperature is contained and controlled within the area.