Welding activity is one of the most important and dangerous activities in petrochemicals and special care needs to be taken during the activity that will be defined in the coming paragraphs.
Now without mentioning the advantages and disadvantages of this activity we cannot close the chapter on construction and petrochemicals as it has been widely in use for decades to join the pipes in the construction and petrochemical industry.
It is the technique to join two pieces of the same metal using a welding machine and the said materials like electrodes.
Advantages Of the Welding Activity
Without welding activity, we cannot imagine construction and petrochemicals.
These industries are solely dependent on the activity because when you talk about the Columns, Drums, and Heat exchangers, etc.
As with each of the equipment the workforce does this activity during Shutdowns, Turnaround, and New Projects.
Hazards In the Welding Activity
Electrocution & Burns
Damage Earthing Cable & Welding cable
Uncalibrated Machine & Uninspected Machine
Earthing or grounding of the machine is not in a proper manner.
If used switches are not functional
GFCI (Ground for Circuit interrupter) is not functional
Release of carbon monoxide from the machine
Doing the activity without proper PPE
Impact and penetration
Smoke and Fumes
Heat, Light, and Radiation
Mitigation Of the Welding
Do Proper Housekeeping:
Keep clear the area of combustible and flammable materials
Ensure good housekeeping in the area before the start of the job.
Take A Proper Work Permit:
Don’t start the job without a proper and completed work permit when both parties duly sign it. Here I am talking about the Permit Issuer and Permit receiver, after cross verification of the said area where the activity is going to commence.
The cylinders which are going to be utilized during the activity need to be chained properly and capped when not in use to avoid any incident and ensure that the gauges are in working order.
Assign A Competent Firewatch:
A fire watcher or fire watch needs to be deployed before the start of the activity to check the combustibles and flammables. along with the damaged and defective cables and they need to stay in the area after the completion of the job for at least 30 minutes.
Cover The Area in A Proper Manner:
Cover the area from top to bottom with a standard fire blanket where the activity is going to commence in order to contain the sparks.
Place A Pressurized Fire Extinguisher in the Area:
The workforce needs to place a pressurized fire extinguisher in the area considering the volume of the work in order to prevent a fire hazard.
Switch Of All the Machines:
Switch off all the running machines after completion of the job in order to avoid any incident or accident.
Turn Off the Gas Cylinder:
Turn off all the connected gas bottles and place a safety valve or safety cap if not in use in order to avoid incidents and accidents.
Use A Machine That Is Free from Defects:
Ensure the machine which is used in the activity is free from all defects.
Hence it must possess valid third-party certification with an updated calibration sticker.
Discard Damaged and Defective Cables:
Discard all the damaged and defective cables in order to protect the workforce from electrocution and electrical hazards. Moreover, don’t touch the hot surfaces to avoid burns.
Ensure that the grounding of the machine is connected to a proper grounding point matching the international standards.
Replace Defective Switches:
Replace all the defective switches from the machine in order to avoid any mishap.
Use Correct Rating Of GFCI:
The GFCI on the machines must have correct ratings in order to avoid electrical incidents.
Use Properly Serviced Machine:
The machines which are used during the activity must be properly serviced in such a manner not to eject smoke and fumes and should possess a valid preventive maintenance sticker, moreover it must be fitted with a spark arrester.
Wear Proper PPE:
In order to save the workforce from emanating sparks, light, heat, and fumes they must be provided with Coverall, Welding Helmet, Safety Shoes, Safety Glass, Face-shield, and Safety gloves matching international standards.
Use A Good Quality Filter Mask or N-95 Mask:
Use a good quality mask in order to save the workforce from harmful dust.
Avoid Repair Works in Live Condition:
Don’t do any repair work while the machine is on.
Perform Continuous Gas Test:
The Continuous Gas test needs to be done as per the client’s requirement and the level must be between 19.5% to 23.5%. and the personnel who are going to work inside the confined space must be confined space trained.
Place Cylinders and Fire Extinguisher Outside:
You need to place the cylinders and fire extinguisher outside the confined space as per the standards in order to avoid incidents and accidents.
If the activity commences inside the confined space apply intermittent job rotation.
Install Air Movers on Vent Points:
Install air movers and related equipment on the vent points to maintain air regulation during the activity.
Some Additional Tips
Ensure the power socket is near to the welding machine
Always work on a well-insulated surface in order to protect yourself from electrical hazards.
Wear shoes that have rubber insulation.
Wear dry gloves while handling the electrode holder and while working on the machine.
Always deploy a competent electrician in order to make or repair the machine and its accessories.
You must not use water pipes and gas pipes in order to complete the welding circuit.
Since it has a lethal effect and can lead to fire and explosion in the area.
Q: -How hazardous is welding activity?
Ans: -Since welding activity generates sparks, Infrared lights, fumes and electrical shock which is very dangerous to eyes and skin, that is why welding is one of the hazardous jobs.
Q: -What are the main hazards of welding activity?
Ans: –1. Electrical 2. Fire Hazard 3. Toxic 4. Burn and 5. Radiation hazards
Q: -Which is the most dangerous hazard of welding?
Ans: -One of the most dangerous hazards of welding is Electrical shocks since it can lead to fatality if proper precaution is not taken.
Q: -How can we save ourselves from welding?
Ans: -In order to save ourselves from welding we need to wear proper PPE in the form of 1.
Hard Helmet 2. Safety Shoes 3. Safety gloves 4. Mask 5. Overall, 6. Safety glass and 7. Welding helmets are the basic safety requirements.
We have seen in the above paragraphs how hazardous welding is in the petrochemicals and construction industry.
So, to save the workforce from the dangers of activity the employers need to give proper training to the workforce so that they will not breach the standard safety rules.
The must always stick to the said standards of the activity to save himself and their counterparts from imminent dangers.
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