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MIG Welding

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
MIG welding is one of the common and popular methods of welding, but don't underestimate its dangers, you have to take some basic precautions to ensure that you keep yourself safe at all times. For example, MIG welding creates huge amounts of extremely intense light, direct exposure to the light generated by a welding arc will cause permanent damage to the eyes. Indirect exposure, although not quite as severe a danger, still poses problems especially if the exposure is prolonged after an extended and continuous period of time.

It is not just you that is at risk, pets, passers-by etc are all potentially at risk when you commence welding, so make sure that you have a cleared workspace where there will be no danger of someone being exposed.

The high levels of intense light are not only an issue in regards to eye damage, they can also cause skin cancer as well, as this light contains grossly huge levels of UV radiation. Make sure all your skin is covered whilst welding, otherwise you are at risk of developing skin cancer. Associated with this is burns, metal stays hot and will burn through flesh very easily, so take special care in allowing metal to cool down first before even attempting to handle it.

The fragments of metal that are released from metal as you weld are also highly dangerous, so make sure that your workshop is properly ventilated, and that you wear a vapor mask. It may seem an annoyance wearing it even for a simple task, but believe me, the alternative is far worse. Even a tiny amount of exposure to the likes of zinc can leave last effects, and or even kill you, regardless of how young or old you are.

Zinc poisoning is a particularly nasty form of toxin, as it attacks and destroys the body's natural defenses to cope and survive infection. Nickel and chromium have both been proven to cause cancer, as chromium can exacerbate issues with asthma.

Another major danger associated with MIG welding is fire, with such intense heat, and sparks flying everywhere, make sure that you wear at all times suitable protective clothing. This is not something you should skimp on, make sure you have the best safety gear on, you are placing yourself and your health at severe jeopardy if you do not take basic precautions.

A bucket of sand will work just as well if not better than a fire extinguisher, a bucket of sand can douse flames just as effectively and can be used on just about any material. It will also be far, far cheaper to restock a bucket of sand than a commercial fire extinguisher. It goes without saying that you should ensure that all potentially flammable materials are removed from your workspace.

This is the only cost cutting exercise you should really undertake when it comes to MIG welding, though no amount of money can ever fully compensate (or indeed even match) the most crucial element of safety: awareness and common sense.

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