Khas Industries

3 Common Hazards During Welding

Common Hazards During Welding


1. Electrical Shock:

Arc Welding requires a live electric circuit to be completed which opens welders up to the risk of electrical shock that can result in serious injury or even death. Welders can receive two types of electric shocks:

i) Primary Voltage Shock:

This type of electrical shock is highly dangerous and can result in fatalities.This can occur if you touch any component inside the welder at the same time as touching the welder case while it is powered ON.

ii) Secondary Voltage Shock:

This type of shock is less dangerous and occurs when you touch two different parts of the welding circuit at the same time. For example, touching both the metal part of the electrode(stick/wire) and the workpiece(metal you are welding) at the same time would result in a secondary shock.


In order to avoid electrical shocks while welding, follow the steps below:

i) Disconnect Power Cable:

To avoid primary shock, ensure that the input power cable to the welder is unplugged

ii) Grounding:

Ground the welder case with the help of a qualified electrician so that if any issues occur inside the
Welder a fuse will blow, disconnecting the power and minimizing risk of primary shock.

iii) Wear PPE:

Wear appropriate protective equipment to minimize the risk of secondary shock

iv) Replace:

Replace any damaged insulation as soon as possible

2. Lung Damage

Welding releases many harmful fumes into the air. Exposure to these fumes for even a small period of time can cause symptoms such as dizziness and nausea. Prolonged exposure can lead to devastating effects such as lung cancer.


i) Natural Ventilation:

An essential component of a good safety practise when welding is to ensure adequate ventilation to minimize flume and gas levels. Having open windows, roof vents and open doors can provide good natural ventilation.

ii) Local Ventilation:

Local Exhaust Ventilation systems such as fume hoods, vacuum nozzles, fume extractor guns and fans can be used in cases where natural ventilation is not sufficient to minimize fume exposure.

iii) Respiratory Masks:

Ensure adequate ventilation before attempting to weld in a confined space. In cases where sufficient ventilation is not possible ,use respiratory equipment such as respiratory masks.

3. Fires and Explosions:

Sparks emitted during arc welding can cause fires and explosions which can result in fatalities. Sparks from welding can cause fires if there are combustible materials such as wood or oil coated tanks around the welding area. You can suffer significant damage from fires including burns, blindness and even death.


i) Keep Flammable Materials Away:

Before welding, ensure that all flammable materials are kept at least 35meters away from the welding area. As noted by the American Welders Association, sparks from welding can travel up to 35 meters from their source. Additionally, cover the welding area with flame-resistant screens to prevent sparks from reaching flammable materials.

ii) Cover Holes and Cracks:

Per the American Welders Association, ensuring that you cover any holes and cracks close to the welding area no matter what will further aid your safety. Molten material can lodge itself in these areas and smolder (burn slowly) before suddenly bursting into flames hence it is vital to ensure you cover all cracks and holes with non flammable material.

iii) Wear PPE:

Wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as eye, face, head, hand, foot and body protection. Correct PPE made of insulated material ensures you are protected from UV rays and sparks that could otherwise cause your clothing to catch fire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *