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Safety and Health

TECH. INFO.

SAFETY & HEALTH

HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES IN WELDING AND CUTTING APPLICATIONS


Fume, dust and gas that may adversely effect the health of the welder are formed during welding and cutting works. The welder should protect himself against those hazardous substances according to the safety and health directives (UVV 26.0) on welding, cutting and related processes. Accordingly, the workplaces should be planned according to the welding method, materials and application conditions in such a way that they make it possible for the welders to breath fresh air free of any hazardous substances and be equipped as follows:



  • The welding fume should be evacuated from the point where it is formed,
  • Technical ventilation should be provided,
  • A regular ventilation should be available,
  • Other suitable ventilation methods should be used,


or

  • One or more of the above options should be used.

Material Safety Data

Material Safety Data Sheets containing safety instructions are available for each OERLIKON welding material. These material safety data sheets include information on:

a) Hazardous compounds,
b) Possible damages associated with the use of this material,
c) First aid procedures,
d) Limit values required for the workplace,
e) Disposal method for the wastes.

Please feel free to request the Material Safety Data Sheets for the welding materials you use from OERLIKON.

In addition to the content of the welding material, other hazardous substances may also be formed with the heat of the welding arc. These substances may be formed due to following reasons:

* Metallic coatings such as galvanic (zinc), lead
* Paints, zinc and lead paints,
* Surface protective compounds and impurities such as oil and grease

Particular attention should be paid when welding the metals containing lead, cadmium, zinc, and chrome. These elements form hazardous and toxic substances. This also applies to the materials containing plastic, oil and grease on their surfaces. The workpieces containing hydrochloric acid or hydrocarbonated compounds on their surfaces should be cleaned up before welding. They cause formation of toxic phosgene (MAK: 0.1 ml/m3) during welding.


Ventilation

Natural or technical ventilation should be provided for the air to be inhaled at the workplace in order not to reach the MAK- values. This type of ventilation should meet the requirements given in Table 1 and 2.

The ventilation methods given in Table 1 are listed relatively to the concentration of hazardous substances contained in the welding materials used or the coating types. The ventilation methods given in Table 2, on the other hand, are listed relatively to the concentration of hazardous substances contained in the base metal used or the coating type.

The ventilation type also depends on the flaming duration or arc duration. The "short-term" refers to a flaming or arc period equal to 30 minutes/day or 2 hours/week. The "long-term" refers to any duration exceeding these values.

It should also be made sure during welding at outdoor areas that the hazardous materials don't penetrate into the breathing zone. During welding in narrow and confined spaces the polluted air should be evacuated or the workplace should be ventilated with fresh air according to article 29 of UVV 26.0.


Table 1. The ventilation type relative to the welding method or welding material used

METHOD

WELDING MATERIAL

Welding of Coated Steels

Non-alloy and light alloy steels,
Aluminum alloys

High alloy steels,
Non-ferrous metals
(excl. aluminum alloys)

k

u

k

u

k

u

Gas fusion welding
fixed
portable


F
F


T
T


T
F


A
A


T
F


A
A

Coated electrode welding
fixed
portable


T
F


A
T


A
T


A
A


A
T


A
A

Mig/Mag welding
fixed
portable


T
F


A
T


A
T


A
A


A
T


A
A

TIG welding
fixed
portable


F
F


T
F


F
F


T
T


F
F


T
T

Submerged arc welding
fixed
portable


F
F


T
F


T
F


T
T


T
F


T
T

Powder spraying

A

A

A

A

-

-

 

k: short term

 

F: natural ventilation

   

u: long-term

 

T: technical ventilation

   
   

A: Intake of hazardous materials where they are formed

   
             

Several ventilation equipment may be selected for the workplaces depending on the ventilation requirements. For instance;

Fume extraction system from welding torch, welding mask or head mask,
Portable fume extraction systems
Fume extraction shafts that can be approached to or mounted on the workpiece or workplace

According to article 29 of UVV 26.0, the areas having an air volume less than 100 m3 or the areas with a length, width and height less than 2 meters and not having a natural airflow can be referred to as "confined spaces".

Confined spaces are: basements without windows, passages, pipelines, wells, tanks, boilers, containers and the cells and tank sections in ship building. Fume extraction systems and artificial ventilation methods should be used when welding at confined spaces to prevent formation of hazardous substances, accumulation of combustible gases and reduction of oxygen.

Suitable respiration equipment should be used at places where fume extraction or technical ventilation is not possible. Ventilation should be given particular attention when performing oxy-gas welding, flame cutting and heating works that may cause the nitric-oxide formation to exceed the admissible limit values at confined spaces.

Attention!!! Ventilation with oxygen is not allowed at confined spaces since it may cause severe burning related injuries!



Table 2. Ventilation methods for welding methods without welding material

METHOD

WELDING MATERIAL

WELDING OF COATED STEELS

Non-alloy and light alloy steels,
Aluminum alloys

High alloy steels,
Non-ferrous metals
(excl. aluminum alloys)

k

u

k

u

k

u

Flame annealing,
Flame rectification

F

T

F

T

F

T

Flame hardening

F

T

-

-

-

-

Flame shaping

F

T

-

-

-

-

Flame cutting
fixed
portable


F
F


T
T


A
T


A
A


T
T


T
T

Carving

F

T

-

-

T

T

Slag removal with flame
fixed
portable


A
F


A
T


A
A


A
A


-
-


-
-

TIG welding
fixed
portable


F
F


T
F


F
F


T
T


F
F


T
T

Plasma cutting
fixed
portable


A
F


A
T


A
T


A
A


A
T


A
T

Arc-oxygen cutting,
Arc-air cutting
fixed
portable



T
F



A
T



A
T



A
A



T
F



A
T

Butt weld

T

A

A

A

T

A

Other resistance welding methods

F

F

F

T

F

T

 

k: short term

 

F: Natural ventilation

 

u: long term

 

T: Technical ventilation

 
     

A: Intake of hazardous materials where they are formed

 
 

Inhalation Protection

Protective respiratory devices suitable for welding process should be used in cases where the ventilation is not sufficient. The protective respiratory devices suitable for welding works: respiratory devices with hose and respiratory devices containing compressed air. Using a suitable protective filter will be beneficial if the atmosphere at the workplace contains at least 17% oxygen. However, these filters are not allowed to be used at confined spaces such as containers, pipelines, tanks, railcars etc.

Air Supply

The air extracted from the workplace may be re-supplied after being decontaminated from hazardous substances. If the concentration of hazardous substances don't exceed 1/4 of the relative MAK- values, the re-supplied air may be deemed to be sufficiently decontaminated from hazardous substances. Ventilation and air supply according to the specific conditions should be provided if the welding fume contains carcinogenic-level substances such as nickel compounds or chrome compounds.

Personal Protective Equipment

The personal protective equipment that the personnel working with several welding and cutting methods should use acc. to UVV 26.0 "Welding, Cutting and Related Works" are given in Table 3.

Table 3. Coordination of protective equipment for different welding methods

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
(as a general rule)

WELDER
PROTECTIVE MASK GLASS FILTER


DIN 4646
DIN 4647 T.1

WELDING
GOGGLES


DIN 58211 VwB 6, 7

FACE AND HEAD
MASK


DIN 58214 VwB 6, 7

WELDING
GLOVES


DIN 4841
Section 4

LEATHER APRON OR SeS

Method

Protection Level

Coated electrode welding

9 - 14

-

X

X

X

Mig/Mag welding

10 - 15

-

X

X

X

Tig, plasma welding

5 - 14

-

X

X

(X)

Arc - cutting

10 - 15

-

X

X

X

Plasma cutting

11 - 13

-

X

X

X

 

X: necessary

       

(X): necessary in some cases

       

-: not recommended

       

SeS: fireproof protective clothing

       

VwB: application area

       
 

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