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Stay Safe When You Weld

It is important to exercise safe practices in all aspects of life, but there are few activities where safety is more important than in welding. One Scottish welder recently lost his livelihood after a fire swept through his workshop in June 2019, destroying over £40,000 in tools. Ensuring that you take the time to properly prepare before beginning any welding job can help to guarantee the safety of you and those around you is absolutely vital.

In this article, we explain why your cautionary procedures should start before you pick up the welding gun, and beyond the finished weld.

Gas tanks with fire. during training

Safe Fuel and Gas Storage

Once you’ve put down the gun and finished your latest project, the next item on your agenda is to clean and put away your tools. While doing this, you should ask yourself how you are currently storing your equipment.

Firstly, your tools should be kept in an organised and sensible fashion. You should do this so that you can quickly know which tools are being used by co-workers at any point, or, in the event of a theft, be able to manage your inventory and recount any losses quickly. Some organisation will also accelerate your projects to stop you from wasting time searching for misplaced items.

Next, consider where you keep the fuel for your equipment. Welding supplies use a lot of gas, which is combustible and therefore a threat to your workshop if improperly stored. If you haven’t yet read up on our Safety & Storage documents for the relevant gases that you are purchasing and using in your workplace, then you should check the protocol against your workshop and ensure that no changes need to be made for your safety.

Whilst you should thoroughly check the safety documents, there are some quick tips that you can check for now in your workshop

  • Ensure that wherever the gas is kept, it is in a well-ventilated space.

This is to ensure that if there is a leak, the welding gas won’t stick around in your storage room and risk an explosion. If you work from a storage container, it is especially important that it is ventilated as a gas explosion within one of these structures can cause a lot of damage to the surroundings if either of the doors or roof is blown off.

Bottled Valves of an industrial stock of obsolete cylinders

  • Don’t store your gas bottles underground.

In some cases, gas can be heavier than air. This is true for Propane and Butane, so you should never store them in your basement, even if you think it is well ventilated. A high collection of leaked propane or butane in your basement could lead to suffocation.

  • Keep gas away from heat.

Gas expands when it is heated up, and many of the gases we sell are highly combustible; meaning that they could cause an explosion if heated too much. As well as keeping the gas in a ventilated space you should also make sure that it stays cool, this means keeping your gas supply away from your workshop.

  • Keep your fuel separate from your tools.

It might be easier to refuel your tools if the gas is right next to them, but anything that could trigger a spark should be kept well away from your flammable fuels.

  • Keep your expensive equipment under lock and key.

Make it difficult for any would-be thieves to access your equipment by adding extra security features to your workspace. Consider CCTV if you can afford it, or threaten CCTV with signs if not. Floodlights can also discourage thieves from attempting to steal your gear, as they will not want to risk being caught in the act.

Security Consultant Fitting Security Camera To Building Wall

Welding is a highly valuable skill, but the difference between a good welder and a great one is someone can be down to how cautiously they take care of their hardware and co-workers. Don’t risk your safety; read up on our safety documents now for a better workshop.