Hazardous Materials Safety for Metalworkers: Welding, Cutting, Finishing and Metalworking Fluids

Welding, Cutting, FinishingThe challenges of managing the safety of materials and airborne byproducts from metalworking processes include:

• Fumes in welding stick/wire metals

• Metal fumes when cutting and grinding

• Forklift emissions of carbon monoxide

• Degreasing solvent vapors

• Drying of skin from direct contact with metalworking fluids

• Dermatitis reactions from metals and organic solvents

By being diligent in preventing employee and customer injuries, as well as property damage, you will help minimize accidents and help to reduce your insurance costs. You can help control and manage the insurance risks associated with keeping hazardous materials safe by implementing these tips:

Welding and Cutting

• Conduct air sampling to assess exposure to metal fumes

• Use local exhaust ventilation in the workers’ breathing zones

• Provide mobile welding curtains and require their use to isolate fumes and keep flashes and sparks away from employees

Finishing

When performing painting processes:

• Perform all painting in an Underwriters’ Laboratories-listed booth, room or curtain enclosure

• Maintain the draft and filter systems of spray booths according to the manufacturers’ specifications and pattern of use

• Train painters in the safe use and maintenance of compressed air and spray equipment systems

• Develop and enforce a respiratory protection program that meets or exceeds Occupational Safety and Health Administration 1910.134

Metalworking Fluids

• Properly manage the quality of fluids used throughout the facility

• Verify that biocides that are part of your fluids inventory are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for use as an additive

• Enforce effective procedures to prevent skin dermatitis conditions

The challenges of managing the safety of materials and airborne byproducts from metalworking processes include:

• Fumes in welding stick/wire metals

• Metal fumes when cutting and grinding

• Forklift emissions of carbon monoxide

• Degreasing solvent vapors

• Drying of skin from direct contact with metalworking fluids

• Dermatitis reactions from metals and organic solvents

By being diligent in preventing employee and customer injuries, as well as property damage, you will help minimize accidents and help to reduce your insurance costs. You can help control and manage the insurance risks associated with keeping hazardous materials safe by implementing these tips:

Welding and Cutting

• Conduct air sampling to assess exposure to metal fumes

• Use local exhaust ventilation in the workers’ breathing zones

• Provide mobile welding curtains and require their use to isolate fumes and keep flashes and sparks away from employees

Finishing

When performing painting processes:

• Perform all painting in an Underwriters’ Laboratories-listed booth, room or curtain enclosure

• Maintain the draft and filter systems of spray booths according to the manufacturers’ specifications and pattern of use

• Train painters in the safe use and maintenance of compressed air and spray equipment systems

• Develop and enforce a respiratory protection program that meets or exceeds Occupational Safety and Health Administration 1910.134

Metalworking Fluids

• Properly manage the quality of fluids used throughout the facility

• Verify that biocides that are part of your fluids inventory are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for use as an additive

• Enforce effective procedures to prevent skin dermatitis conditions

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