Toolbox Talk: Arc Welding and Fire Safety

| |
CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Arc Welding and Fire Safety addresses risks associated with working with arc welders. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)

https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoIf properly installed and used, the arc welder is very safe. If used improperly, the unit can expose welders to fire, explosion, and retinal burns.

 

 

Here is an Example

Ben was working from an aerial lift in a factory, welding angle iron supports to a steel joist. The area directly below Ben contained magnesium shavings and cuttings. Welding sparks and slag from the welding operation landed in the magnesium shavings, causing a violent fire that engulfed Ben. He sustained severe burns, fire and smoke inhalation, asphyxia and was killed.

  1. Why did this accident happen?
  2. Have you known or heard of anyone who was injured or killed while welding?
  3. If so, what happened?

Preventing Injuries from Arc Welding

  • Inspect the arc welder before starting any operation.
  • Read all warning labels and instruction manuals for the welder.
  • Remove all potential fire hazards from the welding area for at least 35 feet.
  • Use fire tarps to prevent sparks coming in contact with flammable or combustible materials or liquids.
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready for immediate use.
  • Don’t strike an arc without proper eye protection is nearby.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent injuries while arc welding?

1.____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

2.____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

OSHA REGULATION: 1926.351 and 1926.352

Graphic of a welder with a fire extinguisher nearby and flammable materials outside of a 35 foot zone.

  • Inspect the arc welder before starting any operation.
  • Remove all potential fire hazards from the welding area for at least 35 feet.
  • Have a fire extinguisher ready for immediate use.