Arc welding techniques generate, to a greater or lesser degree, radiation spanning ultraviolet to infrared and metal evaporation that condenses to fume. Each of these aspects has implication on the health and safety of the welder.
Other types of welding are gas welding, resistance welding, friction welding, especially friction stir, aluminothermic welding, used for joining rail track. Several of these processes can generate significant noise hazards. Other dangers are radiation, electromagnetic fields, fume and deposits, mechanical hazards, electrical hazards and gases.
The primary health effects associated with welding fumes are:
Irritation of the respiratory system
Metal Fume Fever
Long term, chronic effects
Personal protective equipment for welding includes welding helmets and visors, masks and filters, ear muffs and other hearing protection, clothing to protect against molten metal splashes and other hazards, gloves, safety footwear and gas detection as it is one of the most hazardous working practices.
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