Five Mistakes That Could Compromise Safety When Welding With Plastic
Welding safety is of vital importance in ensuring that injuries and material damage are avoided at any industrial site.
Certain precautions need to be taken at your worksite to avoid hazardous situations if you're regularly going to be using plastic welding equipment. The following are five examples of potentially dangerous mistakes that you and your workers need to be aware of and avoid:
Failing to clean off melted plastic between uses
After each use of a work area and welding equipment, melted plastic is likely to accumulate and solidify. Over time, built up melted plastic can create a hazard and obstruction when a welder is working.
Melted plastic can be found not only on the work surface, but also on welding equipment itself. Plastic that has dripped onto work surfaces and solidified needs to be carefully scraped away.
Improperly storing equipment when it is not being used
Right after use, welding equipment will be hot for some time before it cools down. Care needs to be taken to give equipment time to cool before placing it near flammable materials or any areas with heavy traffic.
A welding tool needs to be stored in a flat area and the nozzle shouldn't directly touch any surfaces until it has properly cooled. If you are storing an automatic walk welder, it's important to put it in a locked position and to secure the nozzle.
Neglecting to wear protective clothing
A lot of welders assume that plastic welding is not as hazardous as metal welding and are therefore more lax about wearing safety clothing when welding with plastic. However, it's important to note that plastic welding also involves working with materials kept at very high temperatures and can therefore be hazardous.
Safety equipment for plastic welding should include gloves, protective eyewear, long sleeve shirts, and perhaps even ventilation equipment like a respirator if air circulation is limited in the area where the work is taking place.
Working with equipment in cluttered areas
Clutter in work areas can create a hazard by obstructing workers' movements and making it more likely that workers will knock things over or spills things.
Any spills or accidents during plastic welding work could create fire hazards and compromise the quality of the work. Make sure that workers are trained to clear obstructions away before they begin working with plastic welding tools.
Leaving contaminants on surfaces before uses
Contaminants that could hamper the plastic welding process include moisture, oil, dirt, and grease. If these contaminants come into contact with welded plastic, they can ruin the product that's being welded and waste time.
Make sure that workers are trained to carefully inspect the work area and thoroughly clean to remove any contaminating substances before they begin welding.