Welding — one of the OSHA-defined “hot work” activities — is a major task in many

Welding — one of the OSHA-defined “hot work” activities — is a major task in many industries. You’ll find it performed in manufacturing, fabrication, and repair work. In fact, anywhere two or more materials must be joined together, welding will likely be present. While each type has its own benefits, advantages and uses, they all have one thing in common: they’re very hot! These procedures have the potential to harm people, property, and the environment, so developing a safe welding program is essential. In this article, we’ll look at several tips and best practices for improving welding safety. The list is by no means exhaustive. Nor is it meant to provide legal or regulatory advice. But it should give you and your team some great talking points as you develop your own program. Welding can be performed anywhere: from the shop floor to outdoors… and even on the roof. So start your planning with a site hazard analysis. A thorough, eyes-on approach works best. Identify flammables, ignitables, and other materials that can be affected by intense heat. This includes gasses, vapors, mists and fumes. And don’t forget combustible particulate solids, such as grain dusts. Identify any pot...