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Welding Safety on the job

I was sitting watching a program the other night with my sons and they were constucting choppers/ motorcycles. The folks were very creative and I have to say they caught my admiration. However, being a welder [ started at thirteen] I was not pleased with their habit of tacking metal without a helmet or safety glasses for that matter. I also noticed they used oxy-acetylene torchs without goggles. The UV light given off by an oxy-acetylene torch causes microsopic cuts on the cornea of the eye -- they heal but: they cannot be good for your eyesight over the long run. Tacking without an helmet leads to pieces of steel in your eye -- take my word for it-- not enjoyable.
However,it brings me back to an occurance when I was an apprentice.We were running a three inch liguid ammonia line between floors at the old Swifts building. I tacked the line and the fitter tells me the line is not straight.So, I had an helmet on , I cut the tack with the torch, without closing the helmet.I hit the oxygen to cut the tack and like an explosion, the tack metal blew back into my eye. Luckily, I have to wear presciption eyeglasses, and I escaped blindness.I had left the ground cable on the pipe and the welding machine was running. Why did the metal blow back like a bomb? I can only assume it had to have something to so with the welding machine ground -- was it? I would love to know the answer.Oh,as a note for safety ;any welding supply wholesale can sell you a slip over set of glasses made of light wieght plastic --they are called flash glasses and they are designed to prevent eye injury ,do yourself a favour buy some!
Thanks Jack Ennis Martin


  • joe_27
    joe_27 Member Posts: 2

    being a fitter and somewhat of a welder i know how this feels. many times have i taken a face full of slag or steel fragment from grinding and cutting. lucky so far every time i have had safty glasses or a helmet on. As to the show i know the exact one i have seen this it is extremly unsafe although i have done this myself and many times i have seen the so called "sandman" but to answer you question about the blow back while cutting i think that is is caused but inpurities like sand for example basicly exploding from the extream heat.
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