If your business is manufacturing or carrying out processes which involve cutting and welding, then you will be only too aware of the risks are dangers to you and your employees.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff to provide a safe working environment with adequate training and risk management. Should one of your team suffer a workplace injury, you could be held responsible and be subject to an employers’ liability claim under your business insurance policy.
Risk Management Is Keys
Building a robust risk management programme and health & safety framework will help your business to control risk and reduce exposure to workplace accidents.
The following tips should help you identify risk areas and manage safety effectively:
#1 Check Fire Hazards
Check workspaces daily for fire hazards before you start any welding. Wood, paper and other flammable materials should be removed from the area. Flammable liquids should be removed as well.
#2 Keep Wood Floors Clean
Wooden floors should be kept clean and checked before welding over them and covered with metal or another non-combustible material that will not burn. Take additional care to avoid getting the floor wet as this can cause an additional shock hazard.
#3 Seal Floor Cracks
Any cracks in the floor should be filled so that sparks or slag cannot fall through them, while avoiding the possibility of hot materials falling into machine pits.
#4 Shield Doorways
Any open doorways, windows and similar openings should be protected with an asbestos curtain. Hot slag could also roll across the floor, with this in mind, you should ensure that the curtain is in direct contact with the floor itself.
#5 Combustible Materials
If there is a necessity to weld near combustible materials, a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, fire hose or a bucket of sand should be clearly labelled and close at hand. It may also be necessary to have a worker standing by with a fire extinguisher to put out sparks in these circumstances.
#6 Flammable Liquids
If you are welding or cutting a drum or tank or containing flammable liquid or gas, workers should not start work until an approved test shows that there is no dangerous vapour present. It is not enough to rely on another employee’s word that the drum or tank has been tested appropriately and a new test should be carried out before you start your work.
Adequate ventilation at the property is critical. Many of these operations can produce fumes that are harmful in heavy concentrations and good ventilation is one of the simplest and best methods of protecting your business against injury or illness to staff. It may also be necessary to arrange special ventilating equipment or extractors as appropriate.
#8 Eye and Face Protection
All employees should be provided with, and be instructed to wear, eye and face protection, such as goggles and a helmet to protect against injury. Welders working with metal, chipping and cleaning should always have their helmets lowered to prevent chipped particles of metal from coming into the eyes. Eye protection, such as goggles, is worn to protect against sparks, slag and molten metal and flash burns caused by radiation from the welding equipment.
Better Safety Equals Lower Premiums!
Business Insurance providers look closely at previous claims history, together with existing health and safety processes when calculating premium levels. By establishing and demonstrating a strong risk management framework insurers will look more favourably at your risk.
FREE Insurance Review
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