Stainless steel is a durable and preferred construction material that can accept shielded metal arc, submerged arc and many other welding processes. Regardless of the welding process applied, safety concerns must be addressed, and Arc Machines Inc. rounds up tips to address the hazards of stainless steel welding.
Exposure to toxic fumes generated during the welding process can lead to dermatitis, respiratory irritation, eye and other organ damage, asthma, pulmonary congestion and cancer. Ultraviolet radiation can also be a concern when arc welding and result in the development of melanoma and other cancers. Arc welders must also be cognizant of electric shock risks.
How can welders protect themselves and work safely?
Use personal protective equipment such as gloves, coveralls and boots. Welding helmets equipped with powered air purifying respirators are recommended.
Prevent workers from being exposed to multiple processes simultaneously by ensuring that welding stations are engineered with adequate spacing.
Use forced ventilation near the welding process to quickly disperse fumes.
Select a stainless steel grade that contains a lower chromium content but meets strength, temperature resistance and other requirements in order to reduce toxic fume production.
Deploy an automatic welding process, such as orbital TIG welding, where the weld head is controlled remotely and the welder is removed from the immediate vicinity of the arc.