Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 148

WTIA Technical Note No.

Health and Safety


in Welding

The WTIA National Diffusion Networks Project is supported by


Federal and State Governments and Australian industry

to contents (i) next page


Welding Technology Institute of Australia
The Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) is the recognised national Australian Body
representing the overall interests of the welding industry, with its primary goal to: assist in
Published by the Welding Technology making Australian Industry locally and globally competitive in welding-related activities. The Goal
and Strategies within its Business Plan cover the Total Life Cycle of Welded Products/Structures.
Institute of Australia
The WTIA is a membership based, cooperative, not-for-prot, national organisation representing
the Australian welding industry and is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee under
Editors: the Australian Corporations Law. WTIA is governed by a Council elected by the Divisions and
Mr Ben Gross Corporate Members.
WTIA Research and Technology Manager Formed in 1989 through an amalgamation of the Australian Welding Institute (AWI) (founded
Prof Ian Henderson 1929) and the Australian Welding Research Association (AWRA) (founded 1964), its key roles
WTIA Manager Technical Panels have been, and still are, predominantly in technology transfer, certication of personnel, education
and training, provision of technical services and facilitating research and development.
Ms Anne Rorke
Through its Council, Boards and Industry Support Groups, and Technical Panels it has
WTIA Technology Transfer Coordinator representation from a tremendous range of industry, government authorities and educational
Mr Bushan Salunke institutions both locally and internationally.
WTIA Expert Technology Tool Coordinator Membership is offered within various categories and professional levels, presently consisting
of approximately 1,400 individual members and 300 company members, whose annual
WTIA subscriptions provide a signicant portion of the operating costs of the organisation.
ABN 69 003 696 526 The current staff of 22 includes 13 engineer/technologists with a variety of specialist backgrounds
Unit 3, Suite 2 9 Parramatta Road in welding technology. This expertise is complemented by Industry Support (SMART and
Technology Expert) Groups and Technical Panels with over 300 technical specialists, and
Lidcombe NSW 2141 by a number of WTIA voluntary Divisional Bodies in all States and Territories. Together they
PO Box 6165 contribute on a signicant scale to Australian Industry through its excellent network of volunteers
Silverwater NSW 1811 throughout Australia and the wide cross-section of its membership from MD to welder.
Tel: +61 (0)2 9748 4443 The WTIA provides a very wide range of services to industry across Australia, Government
and individual members. It is the body representing Australia on the International Institute of
Fax: +61 (0)2 9748 2858
Welding, is a Core Partner of the CRC for Welded Structures, and it has a number of MOUs
Email: info@wtia.com.au with kindred local and overseas bodies. It is actively involved in numerous initiatives to assist
Website: www.wtia.com.au in improving the competitiveness of Australian Industry.

Executive Director Mr Chris Smallbone WTIA National Diffusion Networks Project, SMART
President Mr Pat Kenna
TechNet Project and OzWeld Technology Support
Honorary Secretaries Centres Network
New South Wales & ACT: Jeanette Cryer, Welding technology in the broadest sense plays a major role in Australias well-being and is
PO Box 1175, Menai, NSW 2234 utilised by over 20,000 Australian businesses large and small with over 300,000 employees.
Tel: (02) 9543 2452; The Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) is a signicant player with industry in
promoting improvements in industry through optimum use of Technology.
Queensland: Susan Bowes,
The Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, announced that the WTIA has received a $2.45m
PO Box 744, Archereld Qld 4108 grant from the AusIndustry Innovation Access Program (IAccP) Industry. The Institute launched
Tel: (07) 3711 6554; its new Industry Sectoral Projects (ISPs) from 1 September 2003 as part of the WTIA National
Western Australia: Mary Forward, Diffusion Networks Project. The Projects involve the implementation of a structured welding
PO Box 123, Kelmscott, WA 6991 and joining technology demonstration and improvement program in seven Australian industry
sectors over three years (2003-2006).
Tel: (08) 9496 0926;
The sectoral strategy involves the WTIA working directly with leading Australian rms, SMEs,
South Australia & NT: Pat Johnstone, supply chains and technology specialists in the OzWeld Technology Support Centres (TSCs)
PO Box 133, Hove SA 5048 Tel: (08) 8377 3181; Network to help them:
Victoria & Tasmania: Brian Hamilton, PO Box analyse and dene the key challenges, opportunities and requirements that will govern the
204, Mooroolbark Vic 3128 Tel: (03) 9726 0500. competitiveness of Australias capability in each sector and identify specic areas where
welding, joining and fabrication innovation and technology needs to be upgraded and
WTIA Technology Managers transferred to improve both their own and Australias competitive advantage and market
performance in that sector;
New South Wales & ACT: demonstrate project activities and identify how the solutions can be implemented, document
Paul Grace; Tel: (02) 9748 4443; the activities of the demonstration projects and outcomes, disseminate activities to the wider
Regional New South Wales: industry and plan activities for future actions needed, including research, development,
Glen Allan Tel: (02) 4935 5445; education, training, qualication and certication.
Queensland: document key Expert Technology Tools and Technical Guidance Notes for each technology/
sector application and facilitate the ongoing uptake, tailored application and skills
Leon Rosenbrock Tel: (07) 3364 0770; development in each of the welding/joining/fabrication technologies identied through the
Northern Territory: program.
Freecall: 1800 620 820; The new industry sectors to be tackled include rail, road transport, water, pressure
Western Australia: equipment, building & construction, mining and defence.
Ian Henderson Tel: (08) 9368 4104; The new NDNP will also act as an umbrella encompassing the two other projects for which we
Regional Western Australia: previously received substantial Federal Government, State Government and industry funding.
Geoff Hall Tel: (08) 9599 8614; The OzWeld Technology Support Centres Network will continue to support solutions to meet
the needs of industry and will be expanded to 35 local and 20 overseas TSCs, all contributing
South Australia: appropriate and leading-edge technologies to assist all industry sectors.
Greg Terrell Tel: (08) 8303 9175; The SMART TechNet Project, with its SMART Industry Groups and Industry Specic Groups
Victoria & Tasmania: (ISGs) already running in the Power Generation, Petro/Chemical, Pipelines, Alumina Processing,
Alan Bishop Tel: (03) 9214 5052. Inspection & Testing and Fabrication industries will continue in parallel with the new Project, with
potential for interesting cross pollination with groups for the new Industry Sectoral Projects
Core Partner of the Cooperative (ISPs) and SMART Groups.
CRC-WS Research Centre for Welded Major benets from this Project are overall improvement and competitiveness of Australian
industry through the use of latest proven technology, economically diffused by a greatly improved
Structures network, as well as improved and expanded services to sponsor companies. The Project is
believed to be the major practical strategy for rapid improvement of our welding businesses.
The returns on investment for all parties on the WTIA OzWeld Technology Support Centres
Project and SMART TechNet Project have been enormous. The return on this new National
Diffusion Networks Project is expected to be even higher for parties involved.
to contents (ii) next page
for the Welding Industry

What are they? Clearly, ETTs such as WTIA Technical Notes, various Standards,
software, videos etc are readily available to industry.
An Expert Technology Tool (ETT) is a medium for diffusion and The group of ETTs shown overleaf relate to a general welding
take-up of technological information based on global research fabricator/contractor. The ETT group can be tailor-made to suit
and development (R&D) and experience to improve industry any specic company or industry sector.
performance.
A company-specic Knowledge Resource Bank can be made by
It can be formatted as a hard copy, software (xed, interactive the company omitting or replacing any other ETT or Standard.
or modiable), audiovisual (videos and sound tapes) or physical
samples. It can be complemented by face-to-face interaction, Total Welding Management for Industry Sectors
on-site and remote assistance, training modules and auditing Total Welding Management Systems and the associated
programs. Knowledge Resource Banks are being developed for specic
The diagram overleaf and the information below show how industry sectors, tailored to address the particular issues of
the WTIA has introduced a group of ETTs to help companies that industry and to facilitate access to relevant resources. A
improve their performance. company-specic Total Welding Management System can be
made by the company adding, omitting or replacing any element
ETTs and the SME how can they help my Total shown in the left hand column, or ETT or Standard shown in
Welding Management System? the other columns. This approach links in with industry needs
already identied by existing WTIA SMART Industry Groups
A Total Welding Management System (TWMS) is a major ETT in the Pipeline, Petrochemical and Power Generation sectors.
with supporting ETTs created specically to assist Australian Members of these groups have already highlighted the common
industry, particularly those Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) problem of industry knowledge loss through downsizing,
that do not have the time or nance to develop an in-house outsourcing and privatisation and are looking for ways to address
system. These companies, however, are still bound by legal this problem.
requirements for compliance in many areas such as OHS&R,
either due to government regulation or to contract requirements. The concept of industry-specic Total Welding Management
The TWMS developed by the WTIA can be tailor-made by SMEs Systems and Knowledge Resource Banks will be extended
to suit any size and scope of operation, and implemented in full based on the results of industry needs analyses being currently
conducted. The resources within the Bank will be expanded
or in part as required.
with the help of Technology Expert Groups including WTIA
What is Total Welding Management? Technical Panels. Information needs will be identied for the
Total Welding Management comprises all of the elements shown specic industry sectors, existing resources located either within
in the left-hand column of the table shown overleaf. Each of Australia or overseas if otherwise unavailable, and if necessary,
these elements needs to be addressed within any company, new resources will be created to satisfy these needs.
large or small, undertaking welding, which wishes to operate How to Access ETTs
efciently and be competitive in the Australian and overseas
markets. Management System ETTs, whether they are the Total Welding
Management Manual (which includes the Quality Manual),
The Total Welding Management System Manual (itself an Expert OHS&R Managers Handbook, Procedures, Work Instructions,
Technology Tool) created by the WTIA with the assistance of Forms and Records or Environmental Improvement System,
industry and organisations represented within a Technology can be accessed and implemented in a variety of ways. They
Expert Group, overviews each of these elements in the left- can be:
hand column. It details how each element relates to effective Purchased as a publication for use by industry. They may
welding management, refers to supporting welding-related ETTs, augment existing manuals, targeting the welding operation
or, where the subject matter is out of the range of expertise of the of the company, or they may be implemented from scratch
authors, refers the user to external sources such as accounting by competent personnel employed by the company;
or legal expertise. Accessed as course notes when attending a public
Knowledge Resource Bank workshop explaining the ETT;
The other columns on the diagram overleaf list the Knowledge Accessed as course notes when attending an in-house
Resource Bank and show examples of supporting ETTs which workshop explaining the ETT;
may, or may not, be produced directly by the WTIA. The aim, Purchased within a package which includes training and
however, is to assist companies to access this knowledge and on-site implementation assistance from qualied WTIA
to recognise the role that knowledge plays in a Total Welding personnel;
Management System. These supporting ETTs may take any Accessed during face-to-face consultation;
form, such as a Management System e.g. Occupational Health, Downloaded from the WTIA website www.wtia.com.au
Safety and Rehabilitation (OHS&R), a publication e.g. WTIA ETTs created by the WTIA are listed on page 122 of this
Technical Note, a video or a Standard through to software, a Technical Note. Call the WTIA Welding Hotline on
one-page guidance note or welding procedure. 1800 620 820 for further information.
to contents (iii) next page
TOTAL WELDING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
supported by KNOWLEDGE RESOURCE BANK
TOTAL WELDING MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM MANUAL
KNOWLEDGE RESOURCE BANK
i.e. resources for the Total Welding Management System (Notes 1 and 2)
ETT: MS01
(Including Welding Quality
Management System) ETTs: MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ETTs: OTHER RESOURCES ETTs: STANDARDS

ELEMENTS:
1. Introduction

2. References

3. Management System AS/NZS ISO 9001


TN19 Cost Effective Quality Management AS/NZS ISO 3834
4. Management Responsibilities AS 4360
(incl. Risk Management)

5. Document Control

6. Production Planning

7. Contracts AS 4100
TN6 Control of Lamellar Tearing
TN8 Economic Design of Weldments AS 1210
8. Design
TN10 Fracture Mechanics BS 7910
TN12 Minimising Corrosion
TN13 Stainless Steels for Corrosive
Environments
TN14 Design & Construction Steel Bins
9. Purchasing (incl. Sub-Contracting)
TN1 Weldability of Steels
TN2 Successful Welding of Aluminium AS/NZS 1554
10. Production and Service Operations
TN4 Hardfacing for the Control of Wear
TN5 Flame Cutting of Steels
TN9 Welding Rates in Arc Welding
TN11 Commentary on AS/NZS 1554
TN15 Welding & Fabrication Q&T Steels
TN16 Welding Stainless Steels
TN17 Automation in Arc Welding
TN18 Welding of Castings
TN21 Submerged Arc Welding
Videos Welding Parts A & B AS 1988
PG02 Welding of Stainless Steel
11. Identication and Traceability TN19 Cost Effective Quality Management

12. Welding Coordination ISO 14731


13. Production Personnel

14. Production Equipment


TN1 The Weldability of Steel
15. Production Procedures TN9 Welding Rates in Arc Welding
TN19 Cost Effective Quality Management
16. Welding Consumables TN3 Care & Conditioning of Arc Welding
Consumables
17. Heat Treatment AS 4458

18. Inspection and Testing PG01 Weld Defects AS 2812


19. Inspection, Measuring and Test Equipment

20. Non-Conforming Product

21. Corrective Action TN20 Repair of Steel Pipelines AS 2885


22. Storage, Packing and Delivery

23. Company Records TN19 Cost Effective Quality Management


24. Auditing

25. Human Resources

26. Facilities

27. Marketing

28. Finance
MS02 OHS&R Managers Handbook TN7 Health & Safety in Welding AS 4804
29. OHS&R MS03 OHS&R Procedures TN22 Welding Electrical Safety AS 1674.2
MS04 OHS&R Work Instructions Fume Minimisation Guidelines
MS05 OHS&R Forms & Records Video Fume Assessment
30. Environment MS06 Environmental Improvement MS TN23 Environmental Improvement AS/NZS 14001
Guidelines for Welding
31. Information Technology

32. Innovation, Research and Development


Note 1: Examples of ETTS listed are not all-embracing and other ETTs within the global information
33. Security
supply can be added. ETTs can be formatted in a range of media.
34. Legal Note 2: Dates and titles for the ETTs listed can be obtained from WTIA or SAI.

to contents (iv) next page


This Technical Note:
This Technical Note is an Expert Technology Tool developed as part of the very successful WTIA SMART TechNet
Project, supported by industry and Federal, State and Territory Governments. It is designed to give practical guidance
and the latest information available from a wide range of research and experience related to safety and health in
welding and allied operations; is presented in a form which gives positive guidance on safe practice together with a
brief explanation for such practices. It is intended to assist all engaged in welding and allied processes, ranging from
trainee-welders to senior management in industry and Governments; it will provide occupational hygienists with
information on welding processes; it has been prepared by WTIA under the direction of its Technical Panel 9 Welding
Occupational Health and Safety and Environment. Members of this panel are listed in Appendix E
The Technical Note is a revision of the Second Edition published in 1998.
It will be subject to further revisions from time to time.
The main changes from the previous edition are:
Gas welding, cutting and gouging completely revised and expanded
Technical improvement (e.g. information on Voltage Reduction Devices)
Major update on referenced Standards
Addition of new references

Acknowledgments
WTIA wishes to acknowledge the contribution of its members, members of WTIA Technical Panels and Committees,
WTIA SMART Industry Groups and all those in industry who have contributed in various ways to the development
of this Expert Technology Tool.
Particular acknowledgment for valuable help and guidance is given to the members of the above Technical Panel with
special mention of Mr Chris Dupressoir from Sydney Water Corporation, Dr Bob Kenyon from WorkCover Authority
of NSW, Mr Bruce Cannon from BlueScope Steel, Mr Alistair Forbes from BOC, and Mr Stan Ambrose, Mr Sasanka
Sinha and Mrs Krystyna Whittaker from WTIA.
The Publishers also acknowledge the important assistance given by the International Institute of Welding through its
many informative documents.

Disclaimer
While every effort has been made and all reasonable care taken to ensure the accuracy of the material contained herein,
the authors, editors and publishers of this publication shall not be held to be liable or responsible in any way whatsoever
and expressly disclaim any liability or responsibility for any loss or damage costs or expenses howsoever incurred by
any person whether the purchaser of this work or otherwise including but without in any way limiting any loss or damage
costs or expenses incurred as a result of or in connection with the reliance whether whole or partial by any person as
aforesaid upon any part of the contents of this Expert Technology Tool.
Should expert assistance be required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

Copyright 2004
This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by
any process without written permission from the Welding Technology Institute of Australia, PO Box 6165, Silverwater,
NSW, Australia 1811
National Library of Australia card number and ISBN 0-920761-09-8

to contents (v) next page


Contents
Page
1 Introduction............................................................................................... 1
2 Scope......................................................................................................... 2
3 Principles of Safe Working ....................................................................... 3
3.1 Basic Objective .................................................................................. 3
3.2 Risk Assessment ................................................................................ 3
3.3 Safe Working Practices ...................................................................... 4
3.4 Responsibility for Health and Safety ................................................. 4
3.5 Occupational Health and Safety Policy ............................................. 4
3.6 Occupational Health and Safety Programme..................................... 4
3.7 Safe Working Pre-requisites .............................................................. 5
4 Electric Arc Welding, Cutting and Gouging ............................................. 7
4.1 Introduction ....................................................................................... 7
4.2 Basic Requirements of Electrical Equipment .................................... 7
4.3 Welding Power Sources ..................................................................... 8
4.3.1 Types of Welding Power Sources or Machines ....................... 8
4.3.2 Compliance.............................................................................. 8
4.3.3 Open Circuit Voltage ............................................................... 9
4.3.4 High Frequency Equipment .................................................... 9
4.3.5 Service Conditions .................................................................. 9
4.3.6 Machine Loading..................................................................... 9
4.3.7 Installation, Operation and Maintenance ................................ 9
4.4 Wire Feeders .................................................................................... 10
4.5 Welding Leads ................................................................................. 10
4.5.1 General .................................................................................. 10
4.5.2 Lead Connections .................................................................. 11
4.5.3 Work Lead ............................................................................. 11
4.6 Electrode Holders ............................................................................ 11
4.6.1 Type ....................................................................................... 11
4.6.2 Class ...................................................................................... 12
4.6.3 Gripping Action ..................................................................... 12
4.6.4 Lead, Anchorage and Connection ......................................... 12
4.6.5 Routine Inspection................................................................. 12
4.6.6 Use ......................................................................................... 12
4.7 Welding Torches and Guns .............................................................. 13
4.8 Shielding Gas Cylinders and Pressure Hose.................................... 13
4.9 Safe Installation, Maintenance and Use of Arc Welding,
Arc Cutting and Arc Gouging Equipment ................................... 13
4.9.1 Management .......................................................................... 13
4.9.2 Installation and Handling of Equipment Connected to
Electrical Supply ............................................................... 13
4.9.3 Installation and Handling of Engine Driven Equipment ....... 13
4.9.4 Maintenance and Inspection by Maintenance Personnel ...... 13
4.9.5 Operation by Welders and Operators .................................... 14
4.9.6 Safe Working Practices by Welders and Operators ............... 14
4.9.7 Further Information ............................................................... 14

(vi) next page


Contents
Page
5 Gas Welding, Flame Cutting and Gouging ............................................. 15
5.1 Introduction ..................................................................................... 15
5.2 Gas Properties and Particular Hazards ............................................ 15
5.2.1 Gases Used ............................................................................ 15
5.2.2 Oxygen .................................................................................. 15
5.2.3 Fuel Gases ............................................................................. 17
5.2.4 Shielding Gases ..................................................................... 18
5.3 Gas Supply ....................................................................................... 18
5.3.1 General .................................................................................. 18
5.3.2 Bulk Gas Supply.................................................................... 18
5.3.3 Cylinder Types and General Care ......................................... 18
5.3.4 Cylinder Storage, Transport, Handling and Use ................... 19
5.3.4.1 Storage ..................................................................... 19
5.3.4.2 Transport .................................................................. 19
5.3.4.3 Handling................................................................... 19
5.3.4.4 Cylinder Use ............................................................ 19
5.3.4.5 Connection to Regulators and Hoses ....................... 20
5.3.5 Piping and Manifolds ............................................................ 20
5.3.6 Portable and Mobile Cylinder Supply ................................... 20
5.3.6.1 Storage ..................................................................... 20
5.4 Equipment Specications and Assembly......................................... 21
5.4.1 General .................................................................................. 21
5.4.2 Pressure Regulators and Gauges ........................................... 21
5.4.3 Hoses and Fittings ................................................................. 21
5.4.3.1 Requirements ........................................................... 21
5.4.3.2 Colour Coding.......................................................... 21
5.4.3.3 Location ................................................................... 22
5.4.3.4 Fittings ..................................................................... 22
5.4.3.5 Length and Diameter ............................................... 22
5.4.4 Blowpipes and Mixers ........................................................... 22
5.4.4.1 Requirements for Blowpipes.................................... 22
5.4.5 Tips, Nozzles and their Attachment Fittings ......................... 22
5.4.6 Safety Devices ....................................................................... 22
5.4.6.1 Requirements ........................................................... 22
5.4.6.2 Non-return Valve ...................................................... 22
5.4.6.3 Flame Arrester.......................................................... 23
5.4.6.4 Flashback Arrester ................................................... 23
5.4.7 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ................................... 23
5.4.8 Cylinder Trolleys ................................................................... 23
5.4.9 System Assembly .................................................................. 23
5.4.9.1 General Compatibility.............................................. 23
5.4.9.2 Fuel Gas ................................................................... 23
5.4.9.3 Flow Capacity .......................................................... 23

return to contents (vii) next page


Contents
Page
5.5 Setting Up Plant Safely.................................................................... 26
5.5.1 Safe Equipment ..................................................................... 26
5.5.2 Training ................................................................................. 26
5.5.3 Rules and Instructions ........................................................... 26
5.5.4 System Operation .................................................................. 26
5.5.5 Equipment Inspection and Maintenance ............................... 26
5.5.5.1 Inspection ................................................................. 26
5.5.5.2 Maintenance ............................................................. 26
5.5.5.3 Detailed Inspection and Maintenance ...................... 26
5.5.6 Flame Cutting and Ancillary Equipment ............................... 27
5.6 Emergencies and Incidents .............................................................. 27
5.6.1 Backres and Flashback ........................................................ 27
5.6.2 Gas Leaks .............................................................................. 27
5.6.3 Ignition of Oxygen Regulators, Hoses and other
High Pressure Equipment .................................................. 27
5.6.4 Cylinders in Fires .................................................................. 28
5.6.5 Acetylene Cylinder Overheating ........................................... 28
5.6.6 Oxygen Cylinder Explosions ................................................ 29
6 Plasma Arc Welding and Cutting ............................................................ 31
6.1 Introduction ..................................................................................... 31
6.2 Process Features .............................................................................. 31
6.3 Electric Shock .................................................................................. 32
6.4 Noise ................................................................................................ 32
6.5 Arc Radiation (Non-ionising) .......................................................... 33
6.6 Noxious Gases ................................................................................. 33
6.6.1 Production of Gases .............................................................. 33
6.6.2 Recommendations ................................................................. 33
6.7 Fume ................................................................................................ 33
6.8 Dusts ................................................................................................ 33
7 Resistance Welding ................................................................................. 35
7.1 Introduction ..................................................................................... 35
7.2 Manufacture and Installation of Resistance Welding Equipment .... 35
7.2.1 Electrical Safety .................................................................... 35
7.2.2 Mechanical Safety ................................................................. 35
7.3 Location of Equipment .................................................................... 36
7.4 Personal Protective Equipment ........................................................ 36
8 Special Welding Processes ...................................................................... 37
8.1 Aluminothermic Welding ................................................................ 37
8.1.1. Thermit Process ..................................................................... 37
8.1.2 Applications .......................................................................... 37
8.1.3 Precautions ............................................................................ 37
8.2 Laser Welding and Cutting .............................................................. 38
8.3 Electron Beam Welding ................................................................... 38
8.3.1 Process ................................................................................... 38
8.3.2 Precautions ............................................................................ 38

return to contents (viii) next page


Contents
Page
8.4 Electroslag Welding and Consumable Guide Welding ................. 39
8.4.1 Process .............................................................................. 39
8.4.2 Precautions........................................................................ 39
8.5 Explosive Welding ........................................................................ 40
8.6 Friction Welding ........................................................................... 40
9 Brazing and Soldering ............................................................................ 41
9.1 Brazing and Soldering Processes.................................................. 41
9.2 Brazing Hazards ........................................................................... 41
9.2.1. Fluxes ................................................................................ 41
9.2.2 Filler Metals ...................................................................... 42
9.2.3 Explosion and Fire ............................................................ 42
9.2.3.1 Possible Sources ................................................. 42
9.2.3.2 Flame and Gas Heating ....................................... 42
9.2.3.3 Brazing Atmospheres .......................................... 42
9.2.3.4 Nitrate and Nitrite Salt Baths .............................. 42
9.3 Soldering Hazards ........................................................................ 42
9.3.1 Toxic Fume and Salts........................................................ 42
9.3.2. Safety Precaution for Fluxes ............................................. 43
9.3.3. Toxic Fume from Solder ................................................... 43
9.3.4 Fire Hazard Rosin Based (Safety) Fluxes ...................... 43
9.4 Electrical Hazards ......................................................................... 44
9.5 Eye Injuries ................................................................................... 44
9.6 Cleaning Hazards.......................................................................... 44
9.7 Burns to Body ............................................................................... 44
10 Metal Preparation Processes ................................................................... 45
10.1 The Need for Metal Preparation ................................................... 45
10.2 Metal Cleaning Processes ............................................................. 45
10.2.1 Chemical ........................................................................... 45
10.2.2 Physical ............................................................................. 45
10.3 Precautions with Preparation Processes ....................................... 45
10.3.1 Chemical Treatments ........................................................ 45
10.3.1.1 Caustic Solution Cleaning .................................. 45
10.3.1.2 Acid Solution Cleaning....................................... 45
10.3.1.3 Pickling and Passivation pastes .......................... 46
10.3.1.4 Degreasing Chemicals ........................................ 46
10.3.1.5 Solvent Paint Strippers and Removers ................ 46
10.3.2. Physical Treatments .......................................................... 46
10.3.2.1 Abrasive Plate Descaling and Cleaning .............. 46
10.3.2.2 Mechanical Edge Preparation ............................. 47
10.3.2.3 Grinding and Abrasive Disc Cutting ................... 47
10.3.2.4 Deslagging, Chipping, Chiselling
and Peening ..................................................... 47
10.3.2.5 Flame Cleaning ................................................... 47
10.4 Coated Metals ............................................................................... 47
10.5 Contaminated Surfaces ................................................................. 47
10.6 Metal Preparation in Special Locations ........................................ 47

return to contents (ix) next page


Contents
Page
11 Metal Spraying........................................................................................ 49
11.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 49
11.1.1 Basic Compounds ............................................................. 49
11.1.2 Hazards to Health ............................................................. 49
11.2 Surface Preparation ...................................................................... 49
11.3 Gas Fire and Explosion ................................................................ 49
11.4 Dust Fire and Explosion ............................................................... 49
11.4.1 Need for Precaution .......................................................... 49
11.4.2 Flammable Metal Dusts .................................................... 49
11.4.3 Self-Burning Dust Mixtures ............................................. 50
11.4.4 Collection of Metal Dusts ................................................. 50
11.4.5 Prevention of Dust Fire and Explosion ............................. 51
11.5 Health of Operators ...................................................................... 51
11.6 Personal Protective Equipment ..................................................... 51
11.7 Metal Spaying Guns ..................................................................... 51
11.8 Spray Booths ................................................................................ 51
12 Heat Treatment Processes ....................................................................... 53
12.1 Type of Process ............................................................................. 53
12.2 Hazards ......................................................................................... 53
12.3 Burns............................................................................................. 53
12.4 Flame Heating .............................................................................. 53
12.5 Electrical Heating ......................................................................... 53
13 Precautions with Various Materials ........................................................ 55
13.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 55
14 Electric Shock ......................................................................................... 59
14.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 59
14.2 Factors Affecting Severity of Electric Shock ............................... 59
14.3 Electricity Supply to the Welding Machine and
Ancillary Equipment ................................................................. 59
14.4 Risk of Shock and Choice of Welding Process ............................ 60
14.4.1 Resistance Welding ........................................................... 60
14.4.2 Manual Metal Arc, Arc Air Gouging ................................ 60
14.4.3 Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) ................................ 60
14.4.4 Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and
Flux Cored Arc Welding (GCAW) ............................... 60
14.4.5 Submerged Arc and Electroslag Welding ......................... 60
14.4.6 Plasma Welding and Cutting............................................. 61
14.5 Avoiding the Risk of Electrocution in Manual Welding............... 61
14.5.1 Preventing Contact with the Electrode ............................. 61
14.5.2 Preventing Contact with the Work Piece .......................... 61
14.5.3 Avoiding Contact through Damaged Equipment or
Poor Work Practices...................................................... 61
14.5.4 Limiting or Eliminating the OCV ..................................... 61

return to contents (x) next page


Contents
Page
14.6 Assessing the Risk of Electric Shock ........................................... 62
14.6.1 Normal Environment ........................................................ 62
14.6.2 Hazardous Environment ................................................... 62
14.6.3 Environment with a High Risk of Electrocution .............. 63
14.7 Voltage Reduction Devices (VRDs) and In-line Switches ........... 64
14.8 Multiple Welding Machines ......................................................... 64
14.9 Rescue of Victims ......................................................................... 64
14.10 Additional Guidance ..................................................................... 64
15 Arc, Flame and Laser Radiation ............................................................. 65
15.1 Radiation (Non-Ionising) and its Effects ...................................... 65
15.1.1 Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) ............................................... 65
15.1.2 Visible Radiation .............................................................. 65
15.1.3 Infra-red Radiation (IR) .................................................... 65
15.2 Personal Protection ....................................................................... 65
15.3 Protection of Other Personnel ...................................................... 65
16 Fire and Explosion Protection................................................................. 67
16.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 67
16.2 Causes of Fire ............................................................................... 67
16.2.1 Sparks and Hot Metallic Particles..................................... 67
16.2.2 Electrode Stubs ................................................................. 67
16.2.3 Oxygen and Fuel Gases .................................................... 67
16.2.4 Hose Locations ................................................................. 67
16.2.5 Gas Cylinders ................................................................... 68
16.2.6 Containers and Piping ....................................................... 68
16.2.7 Partitions and Walls .......................................................... 68
16.2.8 Electrical Connections ...................................................... 68
16.2.9 Ignition Temperature ........................................................ 68
16.2.10 Dust Fires and Explosions ................................................ 68
16.3 Dust and Fires in Explosions ........................................................ 68
16.3.1 Hazardous Dusts ............................................................... 68
16.3.2 Prevention of Dust Explosions or Fires ............................ 68
16.3.3 Ventilation Ducting ........................................................... 69
16.3.4 Fighting Dust Fires ........................................................... 69
16.4 Safe Location ................................................................................ 69
16.5 Fire Protection .............................................................................. 69
16.5.1 Fire Extinguishers ............................................................. 69
16.5.2 Fire Watchers .................................................................... 69
16.5.3 Fire Watch Duties ............................................................. 70
16.6 Responsibility for Fire Protection ................................................ 70
17 Fume and Ventilation .............................................................................. 71
17.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 71
17.2 Fume ............................................................................................. 71
17.3 Formation of Fume ....................................................................... 71
17.4 The Constituents of Welding Fume .............................................. 71
17.5 Welding Fume Concentrations ..................................................... 72

return to contents (xi) next page


Contents
Page
17.6 Control of Fume .......................................................................... 72
17.7 Ventilation ................................................................................... 72
17.7.1 Necessity for Ventilation ................................................ 72
17.7.2 Selection of Ventilation Method ..................................... 72
17.7.3 Local Exhaust Ventilation .............................................. 72
17.7.4 Mechanical Dilution Ventilation .................................... 73
17.7.5 Natural Ventilation ......................................................... 74
17.8 Ventilation for Particular Process ................................................ 74
17.8.1 Gas Welding, Flame Cutting and Gouging Processes .... 74
17.8.2 Manual Metal Arc Welding ............................................ 74
17.8.3 Flux-Cored Arc Welding ................................................ 74
17.8.4 Gas Metal Arc (MIG) Welding....................................... 74
17.8.5 Plasma Arc Welding and Cutting ................................... 74
17.8.6 Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) Welding .................................. 75
17.8.7 Submerged Arc Welding ................................................ 75
17.8.8 Aluminothermic Welding (Thermit) .............................. 75
17.8.9 Arc Air Gouging............................................................. 76
17.9 Materials and Consumables......................................................... 76
17.9.1 Source of Fume .............................................................. 76
17.9.2 Special Materials ............................................................ 76
17.10 Coated Metals .............................................................................. 76
17.10.1 Hazards........................................................................... 76
17.10.2 Control Measures ........................................................... 76
17.11 Metal Preparation Processes ........................................................ 76
17.11.1 Introduction .................................................................... 76
17.11.2 Hazard ............................................................................ 78
17.11.3 Precautions ..................................................................... 78
17.12 Contaminated Surfaces ................................................................ 78
18 Noise Control .......................................................................................... 79
18.1 Need for Noise Control ............................................................... 79
18.2 Effect of Noise on the Ear ........................................................... 79
18.3 Noise ............................................................................................ 79
18.4 Noise Sources .............................................................................. 80
18.5 Detection of Hazardous Noise ..................................................... 80
18.6 Noise Measurement ..................................................................... 80
18.7 Limits on Noise Exposure ........................................................... 80
18.8 Noise Control .............................................................................. 80
18.8.1 Control by Elimination and Substitution ....................... 80
18.8.2 Control at the Noise Source ........................................... 80
18.8.3 Control of Noise Transmission ...................................... 80
18.8.4 Administrative Noise Control ........................................ 80
18.8.5 Control through Personal Protection .............................. 80
18.8.6 Audiometry .................................................................... 81
18.8.7 Summary ........................................................................ 81
18.9 Vibration ...................................................................................... 81

return to contents (xii) next page


Contents
Page
19 Personal Protective Equipment ............................................................... 83
19.1 Introduction ................................................................................. 83
19.2 Recommended Equipment for Various Processes ....................... 83
19.3 Protection of Eyes and Head ....................................................... 83
19.3.1 Purpose ........................................................................... 83
19.3.2 Helmets and Hand Shields ............................................. 83
19.3.3 Protective Goggles ......................................................... 83
19.3.4 Contact Lenses ............................................................... 84
19.3.5 Protective Filters ............................................................ 84
19.3.6 Welding Helmets with Self-Darkening Filters ............... 84
19.3.7 Welders' Caps ................................................................. 85
19.4 Protective Clothing for the Body ................................................. 85
19.4.1 Purpose ........................................................................... 85
19.4.2 Type of Work Clothing ................................................... 85
19.4.3 Gloves ............................................................................ 85
19.4.4 Safety Footwear ............................................................. 85
19.4.5 Additional Protection ..................................................... 85
19.4.6 Clothing Condition ......................................................... 85
19.5 Screens......................................................................................... 86
19.6 Respiratory Protection Devices ................................................... 86
19.6.1 Introduction .................................................................... 86
19.6.2 Respirator Types............................................................. 88
19.6.3 Selection of Equipment .................................................. 89
20 Welding and Cutting in Conned Spaces ............................................... 91
20.1 Introduction ................................................................................. 91
20.2 Supervision, Permits and Precautions ......................................... 91
20.3 Ventilation, Shading and Thermal Insulation .............................. 91
20.3.1 Ventilation ...................................................................... 91
20.3.1.1 Shading ............................................................ 91
20.3.2 Thermal Insulation ......................................................... 91
20.4 Electric Shock.............................................................................. 92
20.5 Flame Cutting, Welding or Preheating ........................................ 92
20.6 The Welder................................................................................... 92
20.7 Emergency Removal of Personnel from Conned Space............ 92
20.8 Typical Check List ....................................................................... 93
21 Welding or Cutting in or on Containers .................................................. 95
21.1 Introduction ................................................................................. 95
21.2 Supervision and Approval ........................................................... 95
21.2.1 Permits ........................................................................... 95
21.2.2 Gas Freeing Area ............................................................ 95
21.2.3 Other Considerations...................................................... 95
21.3 Welding or Cutting Containers which have held Combustibles .. 95
21.3.1 Introduction .................................................................... 95
21.3.2 Identication of Hazard ................................................. 96
21.3.3 Basic Precautions ........................................................... 96

return to contents (xiii) next page


Contents
Page
21.3.4 Cleaning Procedures for Small Vessels .......................... 96
21.3.4.1 Water Washing and Rinsing ............................. 96
21.3.4.2 Hot Chemical Solutions ................................... 97
21.3.4.3 Steaming .......................................................... 97
21.3.5 Water Filling Treatment ................................................. 97
21.3.6 Non-Flammable Gas Purging......................................... 98
21.3.7 Large Vessels, Tanks, etc. ............................................... 98
21.4 Welding on Containers and Piping Under Internal Pressure ....... 98
22 Welding and Cutting on Pressurised Equipment .................................... 99
22.1 Introduction ................................................................................. 99
22.2 Precautions .................................................................................. 99
22.3 Procedures ................................................................................... 99
23 Welding and Cutting in Hot or Humid Conditions ............................... 101
23.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 101
23.2 Heat Stress ................................................................................. 101
23.2.1 Effects of Heat Stress ................................................... 101
23.2.2 Contributing Factors..................................................... 101
23.2.3 Minimising Heat Stress ................................................ 101
23.3 Extreme Conditions with High Preheat in Conned Space....... 102
23.4 Risk of Electrocution ................................................................. 102
24 Welding in Reneries and Chemical Plants .......................................... 103
24.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 103
24.2 Precautions with Toxic or Flammable Liquids or Gases ........... 103
24.3 Fire Precautions General ........................................................ 103
24.4 Plant and Personnel ................................................................... 104
25 Welding and Cutting at Heights or Underneath Construction .............. 105
25.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 105
25.2 Electrical Shock ......................................................................... 105
25.3 Head Protection ......................................................................... 105
25.4 Falls or Falling Objects.............................................................. 105
25.5 Storage of Equipment ................................................................ 105
25.6 Fire or Burns to Personnel ......................................................... 105
25.7 Lifting of Equipment ................................................................. 105
26 Welding and Cutting Underwater and Under Pressure ......................... 107
26.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 107
26.2 Proven Equipment ..................................................................... 107
26.3 Personnel ................................................................................... 107
26.4 Procedures ................................................................................. 108
27 Protection During Weldment Testing .................................................... 109
27.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 109
27.2 Radiographic Testing ................................................................. 109

return to contents (xiv) next page


Contents
Page
27.3 Magnetic Particle Testing .......................................................... 109
27.4 Penetrant Testing ....................................................................... 110
27.5 Pneumatic Testing...................................................................... 110
27.6 Hydrostatic Testing .................................................................... 110
27.7 Structural Proof Testing ............................................................. 110
27.8 Leak Testing .............................................................................. 110
28 Welding and Cutting in Machines and Special Locations .................... 113
28.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 113
28.2 Welding and Cutting in Machines ............................................. 113
28.3 Special Locations....................................................................... 113
28.4 Working in Tanks, Pipelines, Pressure Vessels, Boilers and
other Containers..................................................................... 113
29 General Industrial Protection ................................................................ 115
29.1 Introduction ............................................................................... 115
29.2 Ergonomic Considerations ........................................................ 115
29.3 Thermal Discomfort .................................................................. 115
29.4 Lighting ..................................................................................... 115
29.4.1 General ......................................................................... 115
29.4.2 Colour........................................................................... 116
29.5 Noise and Vibration ................................................................... 116
29.5.1 Noise ............................................................................ 116
29.5.2 Vibration....................................................................... 116
29.6 Working Posture ........................................................................ 116
29.7 Manual Handling ....................................................................... 116
29.7.1 Correct Position for Lifting Tall Cylinders .................. 116
29.7.1.1 Rigging .......................................................... 116
29.8 Other Ergonomic Conditions ..................................................... 116
29.9 Housekeeping ............................................................................ 116
29.10 Plant and Equipment ................................................................. 117
29.11 Psychological Factors ................................................................ 117
29.12 Natural Hazard Elements........................................................... 117
29.13 Personal Gear............................................................................. 117
29.14 First Aid ..................................................................................... 117
29.15 Materials Handling .................................................................... 117
29.16 Personal Hazards ....................................................................... 118
29.17 Safe Use of Compressed Air...................................................... 118
Appendix A: References ............................................................................. 121
Appendix B: Statutory Authorities.............................................................. 125
Appendix C: Exposure Standards ............................................................... 127
Appendix D: Chemical Symbols ................................................................ 127
Appendix E: Members of WTIA Technical Panel 9 ................................... 128
Expert Technology Tools ............................................................................ 129

return to contents (xv) next page


This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents (xvi)


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 1 PAGE 1

INTRODUCTION

In recent times there has been an increasing emphasis and health in welding1 and is involved in research and
on human values in society generally. In industry, this support to industry in this eld.
development has made the working environment safer
The welding industry consists of a large number of
and healthier for all concerned, thus leading to:
people engaged in an extremely wide range of processes
a) Reduced industrial accidents and injuries and im- and working conditions where hazards occur if safe prac-
proved health and comfort of workers. tices and adequate precautions are not adopted. However,
b) Compensation for the complexity and stress of mod- when carried out in a correct manner, using appropriate
ern industrial life. equipment working under safe conditions, welding opera-
c) Reduced loss of time and services of experienced tions present a minor safety and health risk.
people due to accidents and ill health.
Despite the signicant progress in Welding Occu-
d) Prevention of and reduced consequential damage to pational Health and Safety, injuries still occur, almost
property and equipment by re, explosion etc. always involving human error.
e) Higher quality, greater efficiency and increased
production and competitiveness. This Note has been prepared to complement available
f) Greater economy both to industry and to the nation. literature by presenting the latest information on matters
of health and safety in welding. Its objective is to assist
Industrial laws and regulations are continually being all involved, by serving as a basis for the general guidance
revised to reect these changing social attitudes and world of industry and for the training of personnel.
developments.
In this Technical Note, it has not been practical to
Legislation has been improved throughout Australia to give detailed guidance on every welding health and safety
control Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace. matter. Where any doubt exists, advice should be sought
WTIA has become more deeply concerned with safety from suitably qualied health and safety professionals.

return to contents next page


PAGE 2 CHAPTER 2 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

SCOPE

This WTIA Technical Note gives guidance on health and This Note deals with:
safety practices in various welding, cutting and allied i) The basic principles of safe working.
processes such as brazing, soldering, pre- and post-weld ii) The main hazards and safety measures in welding,
material treatments and metal spraying, for: cutting and allied processes used in industry.
a) The prevention of injury to persons. iii) Precautions required in particular working
situations.
b) The prevention of ill-health and discomfort.
Other Expert Technology Tools address in more detail
c) The prevention of damage to property, equipment and welding electrical safety (Technical Note 22) and OHS&R
environment by re, explosion etc. Management ( MS02/5-OHS-01).

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 3 PAGE 3

PRINCIPLES OF SAFE WORKING

3.1 Basic Objective occupational health and safety committees are required
All industrial operations including welding, introduce to be set up, in certain circumstances, to discuss health
hazards and potential risks which may affect health and and safety aspects of the workplace. OH&S Committees
safety if adequate precautions are not taken. Thus, one are particularly relevant in organisations involved in
basic objective must be to ensure that work is always welding, cutting, spraying, brazing or soldering activities.
carried out in a manner to maintain: Two Australian Standards are particularly useful in
a) The health (i.e. well-being and soundness of body) this regard, namely:
of personnel directly engaged in the work, their AS/NZS 4801 Occupational health and safety manage-
associates and other nearby persons; ment systems Specication with guidance for use
b) The safety (i.e. minimisation of risk) of all personnel This Standard species requirements for an occu-
involved, including those nearby also damage to pational health and safety management system
nearby plant, equipment and the environment. (OHSMS), to enable an organisation to formulate
a policy and objectives taking into account legisla-
3.2 Risk Assessment tive requirements and information about hazards or
Management, unions, employees and other persons risks.
directly responsible for, or involved in, industrial AS/NZS 4804 Occupational health and safety manage-
operations must be aware of all hazards which could arise ment systems General guidelines on principles,
in these operations, and the risks to health and safety must systems and supporting techniques
be eliminated or minimised and controlled. This Standard provides guidance on the development
and implementation of occupational health and safety
In order to achieve a safe workplace, it is necessary
management systems (OHSMS) and principles, and
to conduct a risk assessment for all procedures, plant
their integration with other management systems.
and chemicals used in the workplace. The result of a
competent risk assessment should include: Hazards, injuries and illness that welding and cutting
a) Identication of hazards and the way in which the personnel, including Supervisors and Inspectors, are
hazards can cause injury or ill health; exposed to more frequently than other workers include:
b) Assessment of the magnitude of the risk (Job Safety a) Electric Shock Contact with electrically live com-
Analysis); and ponents.
c) Control of all hazards to eliminate them or minimise b) Radiation Burns Burns to the eyes or body due to
risks to health and safety. the welding arc.
Note: Risk is the likelihood and consequence of c) Thermal Burns Burns due to weld spatter or hot or
failure.Hazard is a situation with potential to harm. molten materials; or due to burning of clothing etc in
oxygen enriched atmosphere.
The risk assessment should be conducted in accor- d) Fire and Explosion May be due to arc, ame, sparks
dance with the guidelines in AS/NZS 4360. It should be or spatter or electrical faults in combination with
fully documented and it should be repeated whenever new ammable materials, gases or liquids.
procedures or chemicals are introduced in the workplace e) Eye Injury Radiation and foreign matter can cause
or otherwise at least every 5 years. injury.
All Australian States have adopted National Model f) Illness Illness may result from inhalation of fume
Regulations and National Codes of Practice for the control from welding, brazing, metallizing or cutting, from
of Workplace Hazardous Substances. These documents surface coating on the material being dealt with,
provide information on risk assessment relevant to exposure from breakdown of contaminants such as residual
to chemicals and fumes. Under some State legislation, chemicals in drums, paint or plastic bonded to metals.
return to contents next page
PAGE 4 CHAPTER 3 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

g) Asphyxiation Displacement of oxygen by non-toxic 3.4 Responsibility for Health and


gases can be dangerous. Safety
h) Hearing Impairment Excessive noise should be
avoided. Occupational health and safety legislation adopted in all
States imposes responsibility on all employers and people
i) Falls Working at heights or above openings who have any control of a workplace to ensure that the
increases risk workplace is safe and that healthy and safe work practices
j) Other Hazards Those typically found in general are observed. This responsibility is to contractors and
engineering or in special areas visitors as well as to direct employees. Everyone has a
e.g. radioactive NDT materials. responsibility to look out for the safety of themselves
and others.
As part of assessing the risks the effectiveness of
existing controls should be evaluated. Overall responsibility rests with the highest level of
management. Management should ensure that a healthy
Suitably experienced staff should conduct the risk
and safe working environment is provided and maintained;
assessment. It may be simple and obvious (SAO) or
that safe systems of work are known and followed; and that
complex, depending on the nature of the hazards and the
all workers receive appropriate OH&S training and are
threat posed to health and safety. Professional assistance
consulted. Management is also responsible for providing
may need to be recruited from outside the organisation
rst aid, and plan for foreseeable emergencies.
for complex situations and serious threats to health.
An outcome of the risk assessment may be improved All persons in an organisation are involved in some
equipment design or upgraded safety devices. Standard aspect of health and safety and each person must be aware
operating procedures and the nature of induction training of their responsibility in order to provide a safe workplace
required to operate plant and other tasks should grow environment for themselves, colleagues and others.
out of the risk assessment process. Documentation, such
as material safety data sheets (MSDS), and equipment In virtually all injuries, one or more of the following
instructions used in the assessment process should be factors have been involved:
available for reference. a) Failure to identify a hazard;
b) Failure to minimise or avoid the hazard;
When assessing the effectiveness of existing controls
c) Lack of knowledge of the materials being used;
and endeavouring to improve them the hierarchy of
controls should be used: i.e. d) Inadequate safety precautions;
1) Where possible eliminate the use of hazardous equip- e) Poor equipment design or maintenance;
ment or methods. Where this is not possible. f) Poor working procedures, methods, or supervision;
2) Substitute safer equipment or methods for the hazard- g) Worker inexperience or lack of knowledge of operation.
ous ones.
3) Isolate the hazard from people. 3.5 Occupational Health and Safety
4) Minimise the risk by engineering means. Policy
5) Minimise the risk by administrative means (for exam- Senior management has a responsibility to ensure an
ple, by adopting safe working practices or providing occupational health and safety policy is developed and
appropriate training, instruction or information). promoted in the workplace. The OH&S policy should
6) Using personal protective equipment as a second line outline the organisations approach to workplace health
of defence when other means are not appropriate or and safety and commit all levels of management and
fail e.g. use of gloves. supervision to the maintenance of health by facilitating a
safe work environment. Implementation of an appropriate
3.3 Safe Working Practices health and safety programme must occur at all levels of the
organisation. The prevention of accidents and injuries is
Having identied feasible hazards, steps must be imple- achieved through good design of equipment and working
mented to prevent damage and accidents or injuries to all conditions and control of employees actions. A rational
persons in the workplace. Such steps would include: and consistent approach, which involves workers in risk
a) Regular checking and maintenance of equipment. assessment and in decisions about controls, is the best way
b) Induction and periodic training of personnel in health to achieve worker cooperation and compliance. In some
and safety procedures. states it is a legislative requirement to consult employees
c) Ensuring suitable safety devices are installed. and unions on occupational health and safety issues.
d) Ensuring safe working methods and procedures are
known and observed. 3.6 Occupational Health and Safety
e) Ensuring suitable personal protective equipment is Programme
provided and maintained. A planned approach to occupational health and safety
f) Periodic review of control procedures. must be taken at each plant or work site. A systematic
g) Procedures to ensure that contract workers are aware approach which may include the use of welding specic
of workplace hazards before they begin work. check lists, discussions with employees and detailed
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 3 PAGE 5

consideration of workplace specic problems should be Hence, each worker and assistant shall be given the
applied to ensure all foreseeable hazards are identied following instruction:
assessed and controlled. The production of fume from
a) Know and use the safe working method and proce-
welding ,cutting and allied processes must be addressed
dures and when in doubt, ask.
in this process.
b) Ensure all equipment used is maintained in a safe
Management and Unions at all levels should, by
condition.
example and direction, encourage the development of
health and safety awareness. c) Make use of appropriate personal protective clothing
and equipment.
All employees should be suitably trained to undertake
their work safely by implementing safe practices as an d) Ensure fume control or ventilation systems function
integral part of their work. A safety culture inuencing properly.
all work should be expected, not the piecemeal application
e) Maintain a high standard of housekeeping.
of precautions only for the most hazardous procedures.
f) Ensure any unsafe condition is made safe before
Adequate rst aid, nursing and/or medical facilities
working.
should be available. There should be an effective system
for reporting and investigating any accident, incident near g) Ensure dangerous areas are properly sign-posted,
miss or ill health. and enter such areas only when necessary, e.g. highly
ammable or toxic areas.
3.7 Safe Working Pre-requisites h) Ensure the use of adequate lighting.
It is essential that each worker be advised by his or her
i) Be aware that many occupational hazards are exacerbated
employer of any hazards peculiar to the work environ-
in smokers and never smoke cigarettes on the job.
ment. It should be recognised that while safety devices
and safe working practices will greatly reduce the number j) Immediately sign-post or tag with a specially designed
of accidents which occur, each worker plays a major role tag and report any defective or dangerous equipment
in overall safety. to persons responsible for equipment maintenance.

return to contents next page


PAGE 6 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 4 PAGE 7

ELECTRIC ARC WELDING, CUTTING


AND GOUGING

4.1 Introduction 4.2 Basic Requirements of Electrical


Equipment
This Chapter refers to measures which should be adopted All main and ancillary equipment necessary for these
for safety in the use of processes which use an electric welding operations should be selected and used on the
arc between an electrode and workpiece or between basis that it has the required capacity or rating and is safe
electrodes to develop heat for welding, cutting or gouging. (Reference 2). This equipment should also comply with
These processes require particular safety consideration the requirements of electrical supply authorities, which
in respect of the possible hazards in Table 4.1, which are are usually based on relevant Australian Standards (see
electrical, radiation, burns, fume and noise. also Section 4.3.2).
Table 4.1 Hazards in Arc Welding, Arc Cutting and Arc Gouging
Process Hazards (Note 1)
Arc Exposure Electric Radiation Burns Fume Noise
Title Abbreviation
Shock (Note 2) (Note 3) (Note 4)
Manual Metal Arc Welding MMAW OPEN X X X X (Note 9)
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding GTAW or TIG Welding OPEN X X X X
(Note 5) (Note 9)
Gas Metal Arc Welding GMAW or MIG or CO2 Welding OPEN X X X X
(Note 5) (Note 9)
Flux Cored Arc Welding FCAW
With shielding gas OPEN X X X X
(Note 9)
(Note 5)
Without shielding gas OPEN X X X X (Note 9)
Submerged Arc Welding SAW ENCLOSED X X
(Note 6) (Note 7)
Electroslag Welding ESWCG EFFECTIVELY X X X X
(consumable guide) ENCLOSED (Note 6) (Note 8)

Electrogas Welding EGW PARTIALLY X X X X X


ENCLOSED (Note 8)
Plasma Arc Welding PAW OPEN X X X X X
Plasma Arc Cutting PAC
Open OPEN X X X X X
Water shrouded ENCLOSED X X
Submerged ENCLOSED X
Arc Air Cutting AAC OPEN X X X X X
Arc Air Gouging AAG OPEN X X X X X
Notes: 5. Shielding gas also introduces risk of asphyxiation.
1. X indicates hazard. 6. Slight risk of accidental exposure. Limited protection advisable.
2. Ultraviolet, visible and infra-red radiation. 7. Fume level is low and welder is remote from arc.
3. Includes hot objects and particles. 8. Welder is also remote from fume.
4. Due to consumables, materials and coatings. 9. Noise levels relatively low main source is motor driven equipment.
return to contents next page
PAGE 8 CHAPTER 4 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

4.3 Welding Power Sources HF a.c. including HF ignition or re-ignition devices


added on to d.c. or low frequency a.c. supplies.
4.3.1 Types of Welding Power Sources or Ma-
chines Many welding machines, especially engine-driven
units, also provide a 240V a.c. (50 Hz) outlet for power
A wide range of direct current (d.c.) and alternating tools.
current (a.c.) types is available for electric arc welding:
a) Low frequency a.c., including mains frequency (50 Hz). Note: The risk of electrocution is primarily related
b) High frequency (HF) a.c. Typically 5-6 kHz to the voltage of an electric source, and also the available
current. With welding machines the available current is
c) d.c. (some types of rectiers impose a mains frequency always thousands of times higher than the level that poses
wave form on the d.c.) a threat to human life. Current of the order of 30mA can
d) Pulsed current (some of the above current types may cause ventricular brillation, heart failure and death.
be pulsed at, e.g. 25-500 Hz) Electrical voltages at both the output and input of the
Power supplies to provide such current types are: welding machine may be high enough to inict serious
damage, even death. Welders and operators must be
a) Machines driven by electric motors, petrol or diesel
familiar with the risk and must undertake the precautions
engines.
described herein and in Chapter 14 to avoid electrocution.
i) Generators provide d.c. Limiting current ow in people depends on maintaining
ii) Alternators provide a.c. or, with rectier, d.c. a high circuit resistance.
b) Transformers which reduce mains voltage to that
required for welding. 4.3.2 Compliance
i) Transformers provide a.c. Australian welding machines are manufactured to AS 1966.
ii) Transformer/rectiers provide d.c. Single phase portable welding machines are required to
c) Solid State power supplies (including pulsed welding conform to AS/NZS 3195 or equivalent Standards.
units).
Such machines are required to have a clearly
i) Solid State d.c. units.
visible name-plate which legibly and indelibly provides
(ii) Solid State a.c. units. information relevant to the operating conditions of the
(iii) Inverter units, a.c. and d.c. machine. Name-plates should not be interfered with in
Square wave low frequency a.c. any manner.

Table 4.2 Maximum Open Circuit Voltage Permitted by AS 1674.2 2003


Working conditions Maximum permitted open circuit voltage (OCV)

Category A environment (AS 1674.2 Clauses 1.3.6.1 & 2.3.1)


is where the risk of electric shock or electrocution is low. Normal d.c. 113 V peak, or
safe working practice is used. The welder is not in contact with a.c. 113 V peak and 80 V r.m.s.
the workpiece.

Category B environment (AS 1674.2 Clauses 1.3.6.2 & 2.3.2)


d.c. 113 V peak, or
is where there is signicant risk of the welder being in contact
a.c. 68 V peak and 48 V r.m.s.
with the workpiece. Freedom of movement is restricted.

Category C environment (AS 1674.2 Clauses 1.3.6.3 & 2.3.3)


is where the welder is in contact with the workpiece and the
d.c. 35 V peak, or
risk of an electric shock or electrocution is greatly increased
a.c. 35 V peak and 25 V r.m.s.
due to the presence of moisture (sweat or water) and where
the ambient temperature is above 32C.

Mechanically held torches with increased protection for the d.c. 141 V peak, or
operator a.c. 141 V peak and 100 V r.m.s.

Plasma cutting d.c. 500 V peak


Notes:
1. Each power source, complying with IEC 60974-1 that is suitable 3. Power sources to be used in Category C environments are likely to require
for a Category B environment should be marked with a symbol a hazard-reducing device (Standard AS 1674.2-2003 Clauses 2.3.3
comprising the letter S in a square box. This symbol can be found and 3.2.7 Safety in Welding and Allied Processes Part 2: Electrical).
in Box 7 of the rating plate or sometimes on the front panel. 4. Most GMAW, GTAW and FCAW equipment will meet Category C
2. MMAW power sources to old Standards may supply excessively requirements because welding voltage and current is switched
high a.c. voltages for Category B and Category C environments. with a trigger switch.
It is necessary to measure the open-circuit voltage to determine
suitability and, if necessary, t a hazard-reduction device.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 4 PAGE 9

4.3.3 Open Circuit Voltage protection IP23. Machines with a degree of protection
Welding machines generally operate within the following IP21 are only suitable for use indoors. If the degree of
voltage range: protection is not stated on the machine, the manufacturer
Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) 35-113V should be consulted. If the machine will be used in
an unusual environment, the manufacturer should be
Operating Arc Voltage 16-36V consulted as regards its suitability.
The OCV (i.e. voltage between welding termi-
Examples of unusual environments include conditions
nals ready for welding but carrying no current) poses
such as high humidity, unusual corrosive fumes, steam,
the greater hazard. OCV is accordingly restricted by
excessive oil vapour, abnormal vibration, abnormal shock,
AS 1674.2-2003 for three classications: (Refer to Table 4.2)
excessive dust, severe weather conditions, vermin infestation
4.3.4 High Frequency Equipment and atmospheres conducive to the growth of fungus.
High frequency (high voltage pilot arc) is often used to 4.3.6 Machine Loading
facilitate arc starting, in GTAW (TIG), for example. The
source of high frequency (HF) current and the HF circuit Care should be taken to ensure that:
are required to be constructed to prevent a voltage, in a) The current rating of the selected machine is adequate
excess of that in Table 4.2 and at the supply frequency to handle the welding job.
being applied to the welding current in the event of b) The machine is not operated above the makers current
insulation or equipment failure. It shall not be possible rating at the appropriate rated duty cycle (Reference
for the voltage of the HF circuit to exceed 3500 V or the AS 1966 or AS/NZS 3195).
HF current to in the output circuit to exceed 50 mA.
Caution must be exercised when using low duty cycle
The circuit also must be such that HF current will or low current rated machines for processes which readily
not create a danger for the welder, e.g. inside conned allow the duty cycle or rating to be exceeded.
spaces with metal walls (see Chapter 20). Additionally,
precautions should be made to avoid interference by elec- 4.3.7. Installation, Operation and Maintenance
tromagnetic elds created by HF currents and voltages,
with other equipment. Machines not provided with a connecting plug must be
directly connected to the electricity supply by a competent
4.3.5 Service Conditions person in accordance with AS/NZS 3000. Flexible,
Welding machines that comply with AS 1966 are capable of trailing leads must be used for machines that are moved
delivering their rated current and operating satisfactorily: around.
a) At ambient air temperature up to 40C. Figure 4.1 indicates a typical method for connection
b) In atmospheres where gases, dust and radiation of plant to the electrical supply and to work.
normally produced by the welding arc are present.
Do NOT connect work/return terminal to electrical
Machines should be located in clean, dry conditions systems earth or to machine case. Any connection
away from high temperatures. Dust, oil and moisture between the output terminals and the machine case or
may cause deterioration or overheating of plant, possibly earth, may cause potentially damaging welding currents
making it unsafe or inoperative. Where machines are to flow through structures, bearings, gearboxes and
required to be located out of doors, suitable protection electronic equipment. It may also expose others to the
must be provided to protect them from the environment. risk of electric shock.
Special protection is required for machines exposed to
corrosive fumes, steam, shock loading or severe weather.
a.c. Power Supply
Many industrial situations contain hose down areas (2 wires plus earth)
as dened in AS/NZS 3000:2000 Electrical installations
Switch
(known as the Australian / New Zealand Wiring Rules). Electrode holder
Socket
Unless the welding machine has the correct IP rating it Plug
Electrode
should not be used in hose down areas. Secondary winding Work
Primary
Electric welding equipment must not be used in winding Choke
Welding cable
hazardous atmospheres, eg environments containing
ammable gases or combustible dusts where an explosion Fully insulated
connector
could occur.
Work clamp
Standards Australia is in the process of replacing Machine terminals
AS 1966 parts 1, 2 and 3 with a new standard based upon CEI/
IEC 60974-1, which is the basis of many world standards. a.c. Welding machine Work or Return cable
(Transformer type)
Welding machines to these standards are marked
with a degree of protection on their compliance plate. Figure 4.1 Typical Electrical Connections for
Arc Welding Machines
Machines for use outdoors are rated with a degree of
return to contents next page
PAGE 10 CHAPTER 4 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

1 Power supply lines D and testing should be carried out by a competent person
2 C to ensure the electrical safety of the equipment and
Electrodes accessories. Refer AS 1674.2 2003 Section 5 for
Machine 1 Machine 2 minimum frequencies and items to be checked during
routine inspections. It is a requirement of AS 1674.2 -
2003 that the owners of the welding machine keep suitable
Work records of periodic tests and a system of tagging including
Notes: the date of the most recent inspection
1. An unsafe condition will arise if the supply cable connections 1 and
2 are interchanged or if connections C and D are interchanged, i.e. Maintenance of equipment should only be carried out
voltage between the electrodes will be 2 x OC voltage. by a competent person.
2. Supply connections 1 and 2 are either active and neutral respectively
of a single-phase supply, or two wires of a three-phase supply,
depending on the voltage for which the machines are designed. 4.4 Wire Feeders
Figure 4.2 Safe Connection of Adjacent Welding Where wire feeding equipment is used in continuous wire
Machines for Simultaneous Operation processes, the whole coil of wire is at welding potential
with respect to the work. The equipment should therefore
be installed and maintained in a safe condition and in
Note: The work/return lead is commonly referred accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.
to as the earth in a welding circuit. This is incorrect Particular notice should be taken of the possibility of
terminology and reinforces a misunderstanding of the contact with high voltages and the need for suitable
function of the work lead. Potentially hazardous situations earthing.
are caused when welding currents nd alternative return
paths to the welding machine. 4.5 Welding Leads
Where machines are installed adjacent to each other 4.5.1 General
or where welders are working in close proximity to each
other, special care is required to avoid the risk of shock The electrical welding circuit consists of a Welding
due to exposure to the combined voltage of the adjacent Lead to take the electrical output from the welding
machines. Open circuit voltage between electrode holders machine to the Electrode Holder and a Work (or
should be checked to ensure this does not exceed 113V for Return) Lead to complete the electrical circuit from the
d.c. machines and 113V peak 80V r.m.s. for a.c. machines, work being welded back to the welding machine. Leads
unless positive screens or barriers prevent physical contact are also known as Cables.
between either welders or workpieces (see Figure 4.2 and The welding and work leads must be of sufcient
refer to AS 1674.2). capacity for the welding current (Table 4.3) and the
The voltage between the electrode holders or torches insulation must be sound.
of power sources connected to the same workpiece can be Leads should conform to AS/NZS 1995: Welding
up to twice the normal open-circuit voltage. This occurs Cables. They should not be replaced or repaired except
where any of the following apply: by a competent person. Lead lengths should be as short
(a) d.c. power sources of different polarity are connected. as possible to avoid increased risk of lead damage and
(b) a.c. power sources are connected with primary leads voltage drop. All leads should be kept clear of other
opposed or out of phase. personnel, walkways and areas where they can
(c) a.c. power sources are connected with secondary leads be damaged. Frayed lead or damaged insulation can
opposed and primary leads in phase. cause re or injury. Damaged leads should be repaired
Where primary circuits on any adjacent machines or replaced.
are in phase, the output terminal of a.c. welding power As lead length increases there is a progressive voltage
sources shall be connected in phase. Where practiced, drop that must be considered. Refer AS 1674.2 2003
adjacent power sources should be connected to minimize Clauses 4.2.2. and 4.2.3. The maximum lead length can
voltage between electrode holders or torches. It is the duty be calculated using the welding machine OCV, the lead
of authorized personnel to ensure that an electric shock resistance in ohms/km and the welding current.
due to simultaneous contact with two electrode holders
will not occur. Leads should conform to AS 1995 and are not to be
replaced or repaired by unauthorised personnel. Lead
Correct handling and use of welding machines lengths should be as short as possible to avoid increased
together with regular maintenance and inspection are risk of lead damage and voltage drop, and the length of
necessary to ensure safe operation. Section 4.9 lists the electrode lead should not exceed 9 m except with the
essential safety measures with machines and other consent of the authorised person as per AS 1674.2. All
electrical equipment. leads should be kept clear of other personnel and away
A pre-start check should be carried out by the from areas where they can be damaged.
operator before powering up the welding equipment and Frayed lead or damaged insulation can cause re or
commencing welding operations. Routine inspection injury. Damaged lead should be repaired or replaced.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 4 PAGE 11

Table 4.3 Capacity of Welding Leads (Cables) Compiled Connection of exible output leads to the welding
from AS/NZS 1995:2003 power source or to extend leads may be carried out by
Nominal Cross- the welder. The power source shall be switched off or
Current Rating (Amperes) at
sectional Area of otherwise isolated from the power supply before the
10 Minute Duty Cycle (Note 1)
Conductor connection or disconnection of the output leads to the
mm2 100 60 30 25 output terminals.
10
4.5.3 Work Lead
90 91 99 102
16
The function of the Work or Return lead is to provide
125 129 145 151 a safe and low resistance electrical return path from the
work being welded back to the welding machine. The
25
165 175 206 218
Work lead should not be referred to as the earth lead.
It is an active part of the welding circuit and must remain
35
insulated from earth.
205 223 270 288
50 Often work returns (and their connections) used
260 289 361 386 in welding are inadequate. Always take the following
70 precautions:
325 370 471 507 a) Avoid faulty work return connections. These can
95 cause electrical shock or re due to overheating.
390 454 590 637 b) Always connect close to the work or work table
120 and never connect work return leads to structural
455 536 705 763 systems, piping in plant or the like. This practice
150 may cause electrical shock to others, malfunction of
535 636 843 914 protection control equipment, re at another location,
185 destroy electrical wiring or cause corrosion due to
600 723 968 1051 impressed electrical currents. Corrosion can occur
240 to hulls of ships during maintenance welding and a
715 870 1174 1276 similar situation will occur in any situation where an
electrolyte is involved in the welding circuit, such as
Note 1 Current ratings are based on 100, 60, 30 and 25% duty cycles wet oors. (see also Figure 4.3)
over a 10 minute period based on a lead temperature of 90C
and an ambient air temperature of 40C. c) Ensure the current-carrying capacity of the work
return leads is not less than that of the electrode
4.5.2 Lead Connections leads.
Where connections to welding leads or joining of leads d) Fully tighten Work return connections so they
are required, such connections must be insulated metallic have a rm contact and provide a good electrical
connectors of an appropriate type and current capacity. connection.
Frayed connections provide a risk of re or electrical Note: Work (or return) lead (or cable) is the
shock and should not be used. recently agreed terminology in AS 1674.2:2003 and
previously was also known as work return or return
When connecting to terminal posts, the use of cable or lead.
undersized bolts or oversized washers makes an unsafe
connection that is prone to work loose and overheat. 4.6 Electrode Holders
Always use the correct size brass bolts, nuts and washers.
All connections shall be of adequate current-carrying 4.6.1 Type
capacity and made so they cannot slacken or overheat Electrode holders should conform to AS 2826 which
under normal conditions of use. concerns the following three types:
All jointing of connectors and terminals to leads shall Type A All-insulated holder. Under conditions of use
be made to the requirements of AS/NZS 3000. Each joint all conductive parts are completely covered by
or connection shall have a resistance of not more than the non-hygroscopic insulating material.
equivalent resistance of the total length of the conductors
Type B Insulated holder. Under conditions of use no live
that are joined.
part of the holder, when placed in any position
The tting of all hardware to leads including in-line on a at surface, can touch the surface.
connectors, terminal lugs, electrode holders and work Type C Holder with insulated handle which does not
return clamps shall be carried out by a competent person. full the requirements of Type A or B.
Output lead connections shall have clean contact Types A and B are preferred. Effective heat insulation
surfaces, and shall be properly tightened and adequately or cooling of the holder handle, e.g. provision of air ducts
protected against inadvertent contact. can considerably reduce welder discomfort.
return to contents next page
PAGE 12 CHAPTER 4 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Table 4.4 Ratings of Electrode Holders (AS 2826)


Classication Electrode diameter and lead size
Duty Minimum range of diameters of Nominal size of
Rated Current
cycle electrode core wire capable copper lead capable
Designation
of being held of being connected
Amps
percent mm mm2
Class 130/25* 130 25 1.6 to 3.2 16
Class 200/30* 200 30 1.6 to 6.3 25
Class 300/30* 300 30 2.0 to 6.3 35
Class 300/60 300 60 2.0 to 8.0 50
Class 400/60 400 60 3.2 to 8.0 70
* The ratings for Class 130/25, 200/30 and 300/30 electrode holders are designed to satisfy the conditions for use with limited input and light
industrial power sources (see AS 1966, Parts 1 and 2).
The nominal size of copper lead does not preclude provision of facilities for connections to other sizes of leads. The nominal lead sizes need
to correspond to the ratings of the respective holder.

4.6.2 Class * The ratings for Class 130/25, 200/30 and 300/30
electrode holders are designed to satisfy the conditions
AS 2826 also lists ve classes of electrode holder and for use with limited input and light industrial power
prescribes the welding current and duty cycles for which sources (see AS 1966, Parts 1 and 2).
holders may be used (see Table 4.4). These conditions The nominal size of copper lead does not preclude
should be adhered to in order to reduce overheating and provision of facilities for connections to other sizes
accidents. Holders should be suitably marked to identify of leads. The nominal lead sizes need to correspond
class and type, e.g. marked as AS 2826 No.300/60. to the ratings of the respective holder.
4.6.3 Gripping Action
Wheels X Spring or screw action types are preferred as they provide
End limit switches X
Bearing (possibly motor) X more uniform contact with the electrode and less over-
Wire ropes X heating of the holder.
Bearings X
4.6.4 Lead Anchorage and Connection

Drill
The lead to the holder should be light and exible to avoid
operator fatigue. Although the anchorage of the lead to
electrode holder is required to full test requirements on
manufacture to AS 2826, frequent exing and use may
B A
C result in breakage of the lead wires, deterioration of the
anchorage or exposure of the electrical conductors. This
a) Defective Work Leads Causing Damage and Injury
If work return lead AB or its connections are defective, high current causes overheating of the holder, discomfort and risk of
may leak through incorrect alternate connection AC, causing shock.
damage to:
drill causing burnt-out drill, injury to tter and damage to machine parts Broken lead wire or insulation may be repaired by
crane causing damage to points marked X; limit switches have removing the damaged part of the lead. Deterioration
been completely destoryed.
Work connection AB right of the anchorage may require the electrode holder to be
Earth connection AC wrong replaced.
4.6.5 Routine Inspection
d.c. Welding
machine This should include checks for:
1
3 a) Loosened metallic screws in the holder.
2
b) Burnt or cracked insulation which exposes electrical
A Wharf B
conductors.
X
c) Overheating and damage at lead connections.

b) Defective Work Leads Causing Corrosion 4.6.6 Use


If work return 2 is broken or of high resistance current will return via
sea, ship B and return lead 3 or via steel wharf piles. If electrode is Holders can be damaged by throwing or dropping. Care
positive, corrosion and breakdown of any paint will occur at X. should therefore be exercised in handling this equipment.
Figure 4.3 Work Leads Incorrect Connection Points
Welding electrodes should be removed from holders
after use.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 4 PAGE 13

Note: Faulty electrode holders are a major cause of e) Special provisions related to the location of the
serious electrical shocks and the most common factor in work, e.g. at heights or within vessels, as outlined in
electrocutions. (refer WTIA Technical Note 22). Chapters 20-28, should be understood and adhered
to.
4.7 Welding Torches and Guns f) The type of material being welded or cut can inuence
Welding guns are used in continuous wire welding the necessary safety provisions (see Chapter 13).
processes and welding torches in gas tungsten arc (TIG) j) Fume generated is dependent upon processes and
welding. Construction can be complex where provision materials and requires a fume control plan (see
for gas shielding and water cooling is also required. Chapter 17).
For safe use: 4.9.2 Installation and Handling of Equipment
a) Amperage rating and duty cycle specied by the Connected to Electrical Supply
manufacturer should be adhered to. Note: Argon and a) Ensure equipment has required voltage and current
argon mixtures can have a major effect in de-rating a capacity.
torch designed for carbon dioxide shielding. b) Connect to main supply safely and locate safely
b) Maintenance procedures specied by the manufacturer (Section 4.3). Only an authorised person can install
should be observed and no modications attempted. such equipment.
c) Heat shields or cooling devices provided should be c) Locate main switch adjacent to equipment to allow
maintained and always used where necessary to pre- ready isolation from supply.
vent discomfort or burning of skin or deterioration of d) Ensure correct earthing of machines and feeders.
the equipment. e) Check welding and work leads for full insulation
along their length. Do not use damaged or worn
4.8 Shielding Gas Cylinders and leads.
Pressure Hose f) Locate welding and work leads safely to avoid
Shielding gas cylinders and pressure hose are required for damage. In wet conditions run leads above the wet
external gas shielded welding processes and water cooled surface out of contact with the water.
torches. Hose types are generally designed for use with g) Ensure work lead is secure (Section 4.5.3).
specic gases only and they should not be used for other
gases unless approved by the supplier. To avoid leakage 4.9.3 Installation and Handling of Engine Driven
of gas or water, only approved, well-maintained hose Equipment
should be used, together with correct ttings. See Chapter a) Check capacity and electrical requirements as in
5 for requirements for cylinders, hoses and ttings and Section 4.9.2.1.
their proper use. b) Locate engine so persons are not exposed to exhaust
gases and excessive noise.
4.9 Safe Installation, Maintenance and c) Locate on level base and prevent any possibility of
Use of Arc Welding, Arc Cutting plant moving, e.g. by chocking wheels.
and Arc Gouging Equipment d) Locate where protected from weather. If out doors,
The following precautions apply to all electrical equip- equipment may require temporary shelter.
ment, i.e. power sources, machines, feeders, supply leads, e) Electrical connections etc as for equipment in Section
welding leads, holders and guns. 4.9.2.1.
f) Ensure fuel tank has no leaks and cooling fan is
4.9.1 Management guarded.
a) All operations must be carried out in a safe manner
and in a safe workplace. Particular requirements in 4.9.4 Maintenance and Inspection by Mainte-
respect of electrical shock, radiation, re and explo- nance Personnel
sion are given in Chapters 14 to 16. Some recommendations for routine maintenance and
b) All welders should be provided with, or have access inspection checks are:
to, printed instructions concerning safe operations a) Adopt routine periodic inspection and repair and keep
with the equipment being used. Special measures may records where necessary.
be required for personnel having English as a second b) For engine driven equipment, also carry out routine
language. inspection and maintenance.
c) Metal or metal oxide dusts may be hazardous with c) Adopt routine checks of oil level and moisture content
regard to re, explosion or be detrimental to the health in oil cooled transformers.
of operators. Accumulation of dusts, especially in d) Clean equipment by periodic blowing out with e.g.
certain combinations, should be regularly cleaned reduced pressure compressed dry air with safety
up and recommendations in Sections 16.3 and 19.6 nozzles. Do not use other gases for this purpose.
observed. Increased frequency of cleaning is required where
d) Under no circumstances should welding plant be metallic dust may be present. PC boards may be
moved whilst the electrical supply is connected to it. adversely affected by dust.
return to contents next page
PAGE 14 CHAPTER 4 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

4.9.5 Operation by Welders and Operators nals, etc) clear of ammable materials, particularly
a) Check for defective electrode holders and guns, insulated electrical leads, compressed air, oxygen and
insulation, damage, overheating or suspected ammable gas hoses.
defects. f) Be especially careful with welding processes such as
b) Ensure all connections are tight and contact areas are manual metal arc welding or arc gouging, which have
clean. a live electrode holder whenever the power source is
c) Check welding leads for damage. turned on. (See Section 14).
d) Report and clean up all fuel leaks and spillage in g) Do not drag live welding leads to the work. Ensure
engine driven equipment. the electrode holder has no electrodes in it before
turning on the welding machine.
e) Ensure exhaust gases create no problem.
h) Ensure the welder is properly insulated from the work
piece. Use heat resisting mats, wooden duckboards or
4.9.6 Safe Working Practices by Welders and other means as insulation from the job and ooring.
Operators. Wear at least two layers of dry clothing including
a) Ensure the welding machine is in good condition dry leather jackets and rubber soled safety boots. If
before use. Tag defective equipment so it cannot be insulation from the earth and job is difcult, ensure
used before it is repaired. the welding machine is suitable for hazardous
b) Use only insulated lead as per Table 4.2 for the environments.
welding and work leads. Avoid using bare metal straps i) Use welding gloves on both hands, for handling the
as a work leads. Never use gas or water pipes as part of electrode holder or gun, and when changing elec-
the welding circuit. Connect the work lead as close as trodes. Welding gloves need to be dry and free from
possible to the welding. Ensure the welding machine holes. Do not hold electrodes under the arm-pit while
work terminal is connected only to one workpiece changing them. Do not wrap the electrode lead around
c) It is a good practice to earth bond the workpiece. yourself.
The work lead shall be installed and maintained by j) Keep yourself and the work area dry. Do not use
a licensed electrician. It shall have at least the same leaking water cooled equipment. Dry up any con-
capacity as the welding lead and shall be clearly densation. Keep clothing and gloves dry from
marked to distinguish it from the work lead. Only perspiration. Avoid working in rain or close to water.
one earth bond shall be used. (See Chapter 14). Do not cool the electrode holder
d) Connect all leads (including the hot box if it is with water.
powered by the welding machine output) before k) Work in a tidy manner. Where there is more than one
turning on the power source. All leads should be welder, know which leads belong to each machine.
checked for sound insulation and tight connections Discard hot stub ends, off-cuts, wire snips into a
after every break in work. Poor connections in the suitable receptacle, not on the oor. They can cause
electrode and work circuit increase the risk of re, slipping.
damage to equipment, and electrocution. l) When MMAW is nished or interrupted, remove the
e) Keep welding leads as short as possible. Only coil electrode stub from the electrode holder and switch
them using a pattern to minimise inductance (see off the power source.
Figure 4.4). Tangles of leads can overheat. Keep m) Only use welding equipment for its intended purpose.
connection points (work lead clamp, machine termi- Misuse, such as lighting cigarettes or horseplay, can
lead to severe burns, electrocution, arc ash and
damage to equipment.
n) Be aware of the possible impact from spatter e.g. glass
fracture, ignition of ammable insulation materials,
damage to painted surfaces.

4.9.7 Further Information


WRONG RIGHT
Current ows in one direction Current ows in both For welding electrical safety see also AS 1674.2:2003
High inductance directions Low inductance and WTIA Technical Note 22 particularly in relation to
Figure 4.4 Welding Lead Storage voltage reduction devices (VRD), affects on the human
body, and case studies of electrical accidents.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 15

GAS WELDING, FLAME CUTTING


AND GOUGING

5.1 Introduction i) Electric shock which could result when gas welding
or cutting on cables or other conductors at high
This Chapter refers to safety measures for those processes voltage.
which use a flame to provide the heat required for
j) Inuence on the workplace from the above hazards
welding, heating and metal cutting applications. It also
(containers, vessels, heights, etc). Refer to Chapters
refers to similar applications e.g. ame straightening,
20-28 for details relating to the workplace.
bending, preheating and site PWHT.
k) Production of ammable gases such as hydrogen and
The heat source is produced in the majority of carbon monoxide due to incomplete combustion of
applications by mixing compressed oxygen with a fuel fuel gas (especially when preheating)
gas and igniting the resulting mixture. Some additional
processes may use the oxygen content of atmospheric or
compressed air instead of pure compressed oxygen, but 5.2 Gas Properties and Particular
the same general principles apply. Hazards
Some other welding processes, but non-flame
5.2.1 Gases Used
applications, involving compressed inert gases are
partially treated here for convenience due the similarities The ames used in gas welding, cutting and allied pro-
in dealing with high pressure gas cylinders and gas cesses operations are obtained by the ignition of mixtures
reticulation systems. of oxygen and appropriate fuel gases, the most common
being acetylene, LPG, natural gas and hydrogen.
When using any of these processes, particular safety
considerations apply in respect of: All of these fuel gases, especially when mixed with
a) Burns from ames, hot objects, malfunctioning hand- compressed oxygen, are capable of releasing very large
held equipment, molten particles etc. amounts energy in the form of heat or explosion, requiring
minimum energy to start the reaction.
b) Explosion from mixed gas concentrations created by
fuel gas leakage from cylinders, bulk supplies, hoses, Accordingly, they should be treated with great care
welding equipment breakable connections, etc. and in accordance with well dened safety procedures.
c) Fire caused by ignition of flammable materials, Some industrial gases may be ammable, oxidising,
leakage of fuel gases, contact with hot slag, welding toxic or corrosive, and users need to take special precau-
equipment in poor condition etc. Plant, buildings, tions in handling them. Users should always have on hand
ship and bush res have occurred. Material Safety Data Sheets, normally available from Gas
d) Ignition of materials not normally considered Suppliers, for each of the gases stored and used at any
ammable due to oxygen enrichment (see Sections location. All gases, except oxygen, are asphyxiants and
5.2.2 and 5.6.3). can displace breathable oxygen.
e) Violent rupture or explosion of components due to The properties of these and other commonly used
being pressurised beyond their design pressures. gases are listed in Table 5.1. A summary of the properties,
f) Asphyxiation due to displacement of atmospheric, characteristics and hazards of the more common gases used
breathable air by inert or toxic gases, e.g. leakages in gas welding, cutting and allied processes is given below.
in conned spaces or lack of oxygen resulting from
excessive rusting in conned spaces (Chapter 20). 5.2.2. Oxygen
g) Radiation damage (to eyes principally). Cylinder colour is black. Oxygen has no smell, and
h) Fumes originating from the particular materials being is generally considered non-toxic at atmospheric
welded, heated or cut. pressure.
return to contents next page
PAGE 16 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Table 5.1 Physical and safety properties of gases

LP Gas Natural Town Gas Non-Flammable Gases


(C3H8) Gas Mixture for Gas Shielding
Oxygen Acetylene Hydrogen
Property (CH4) Carbon
(O2) (C2H2) (H2) Argon Helium
Dioxide
(Note 1) (Note 2) (Note 3) (A) (He)
(CO2)
Density relative to air 1.103 0.901 1.52 to 2 0.55 app. 0.070 0.5 app. 1.38 1.52 0.138
Ignition limits V%
2.5 to 80 2.2 to 9.5 5 to 15 4 to 74 6 to 32
in air
Ignition limits V%
2.5 to 80 2 to 57 5 to 60 5 to 94 8 to 70
in oxygen
Ignition temp C
423 554 700 585 560
in air
Ignition temp C
428 530 628 585
in oxygen
Flame temp in air
2325 1925 1875 2050
(Note 4)
Flame temp in oxygen
3100 2800 2750 2810 2000
(Note 4)
Smell Odourless Pungent (Sweet) Pungent Pungent Odourless Pungent Odourless Slightly acid Odourless
Colour Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless Colourless
Gas cylinder colour Peacock
Black Maroon Silver/Grey Silver/Grey Signal Red Green/Grey Brown
(AS 4484) blue
Regulator colour
Black Red Orange Red Red Red Blue Green/Grey Blue
(AS 4267, AS 4840)
Welding Hose colour
Blue Red Orange N/S N/S N/S Black Black Black
(AS 1335)
Safety device colour
Blue Red Red Red Red Red
(AS 4603)
Blowpipe inlet
Blue Red Red Red Red Red
connection colour
Notes:
1. LP Gas consists primarily of Propane (C3H8) other constituents include articial odourisers for safety.
2. Natural Gas consists primarily of Methane (CH4) and contains articial odourisers for safety.
3. Town gas composition varies but consists chiey of methane (CH4), Hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). Town and coal gas are similar.
4. Approximate calculated values only there is some scatter in the literature.
5. N/S = Not specied in this Standard.

Oxygen normally constitutes 21% of air and when Proper advice should be sought, e.g. from Gas
the concentration of oxygen exceeds 21%, ammable Suppliers and Equipment manufacturers, before using any
materials become increasingly easier to ignite and burn materials for oxygen service, especially lubricants, seals
more rapidly and with a higher flame temperature. and thread sealants, including PTFE tape, which have not
Oxygen itself does not burn, but supports and accelerates been supplied for use with oxygen and marked accordingly.
combustion in other substances including those not
When the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere
normally considered combustible and which may be
is less than 21%, gradual and sometimes undetectable
readily ignited by sparks. Metals may also burn. Hence,
changes occur in operators alertness and efciency.
great caution must be exercised in preventing oxygen
enrichment of the atmosphere, particularly in conned Each year many accidents ranging from minor to fatal
space situations. Oxygen should never be called air. types occur through either misuse of oxygen or failure to
understand its properties and their signicance.
Oxygen in contact with oil, grease, other hydrocarbons
or oil based substances can cause spontaneous ignition Some lessons which have been learnt through misuse
and consequential re or explosion. Hence all oxygen or unsafe use of oxygen4 are:
systems (e.g. cylinders, pipework, regulators, blowpipes) a) DO NOT use oxygen to refresh air: There is often
must be kept completely free of oil or grease. a temptation to use oxygen to sweeten air when
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 17

welding or cutting operations have been carried out This gas, in its free state under pressure, may decom-
in conned spaces. Large amounts of oxygen can be pose with explosive violence. For this reason it is sup-
released locally in a short time from gas cylinders plied in special cylinders (Section 5.3.3). Explosions
under pressure. In one situation where this was done, can occur in pure acetylene subjected to excessive
hot work in the form of ame cutting was carried out temperature or pressure. Mechanical shock to the cyl-
with a subsequent ignition of workers clothes and inder due to mishandling, or overheating when under
fatal burns. high pressure, may also cause decomposition, giving
b) TAKE CARE in confined spaces: Do not leave rise to high temperatures and possible detonation even
blowpipes or hoses connected to the supply gases in the absence of oxygen. Another possible cause of
within confined spaces during work breaks or detonation is ashback in welding, heating or cutting
overnight. Even slow leaks can result in very blowpipes, and safety devices are recommended in
hazardous situations, with possible re and explosion blowpipe gas supply, whether from gas cylinders or
on re-ignition of the blowpipe. gas reticulation systems (Sections 5.6.1 and 5.4.7).
c) VENTILATE conned spaces: In ame cutting not Under certain conditions, acetylene can react with
all of the oxygen released from the cutting nozzle is metals such as copper and silver to produce explo-
necessarily used in cutting. In conned spaces this sive acetylides. This places a restriction on materials
may result in a dangerous increase in oxygen content which can be used for the construction of pressure
in the air, pointing to the need for adequate ventilation regulators, other equipment and piping. Copper al-
in such situations. loys containing more than 70% copper or 43% silver
d) DO NOT use oxygen as a substitute for compressed should never be used with acetylene.
air: There are many examples of this situation where Free acetylene must never be used outside the cylinder
oxygen has been used, such as in cleaning, resulting at pressure exceeding 150 kPa gauge (see Sections
in serious and fatal accidents due to re or explosion 5.3.4.4 and 5.4.9.2).
from spontaneous ignition. NEVER use oxygen to The properties of acetylene are taken into account
start engines, drive air tools etc. in systems developed for its storage and supply, and
e) DO NOT use oxygen or compressed air to dust off with adherence to safe procedures (Sections 5.3 to
clothes. Clothes can become readily ammable and 5.5), dangerous situations will not arise.
even self-igniting through oxygen enrichment. b) Liqueed Petroleum Gas (LPG): Cylinder colour is
f) DO NOT KINK pressure hosing: Kinking or nipping aluminium. LPG is usually supplied as a mixture of
hose to interrupt gas flows or whilst changing gases with propane as the main constituent.
torches is a very dangerous practice. Gas can still Standard LPG has been odourised and has a sh-like
bleed through the system, or more seriously, escape smell. It is non-poisonous, but may cause asphyxia-
rapidly should the operator lose his grip or the hose tion through depletion of oxygen.
rupture. It is denser (heavier) than air and will collect in low or
conned spaces, e.g. ducts, drains, basements, boats,
5.2.3 Fuel Gases ships and closed tanks. A concentration of as little
Each of the fuel gas-oxygen combinations warrants as 2.2% in the air can burn. It is a re and explosion
care in use, from handling of the gas supplies through hazard, and requires minimum energy to ignite when
to the point of intended ignition. There are greatly mixed with air or pure oxygen. LPG will ignite and
increased risks of re and explosion in the case of leaks. burn instantly from a spark or piece of hot metal.
Asphyxiation is also possible due to exclusion of air in c) Natural gas: Not normally supplied in cylinders
leakage situations. for gas welding processes. It is available from gas
reticulations systems at different supply pressures.
The precautions in Section 5.2.2 (b), (c) and (f) Natural gas is a mixture of gases and its main con-
therefore apply equally to the use of all fuel gases. stituent is methane.
All fuel gases have special properties, which warrant It is lighter than air and not likely to collect in ducts
additional precautions: and drains, but could collect in roof spaces. It requires
a) Acetylene: Cylinder colour is claret. Acetylene has a minimum energy to ignite in air or oxygen. A concen-
distinctive garlic smell. It is non-toxic, but asphyxi- tration of as little as 5% in the air can burn. Natural
ation is possible through depletion of oxygen. gas is a potential re and explosion hazard.
Acetylene is lighter than air and not likely to collect d) Hydrogen: Cylinder colour is signal red. Hydrogen
in ducts and drains, but could collect in roof spaces. has no smell and is non-toxic.
It requires minimum energy to ignite in air or oxy- Hydrogen is much lighter than air. A concentration of
gen. A concentration of as little as 2.5% in the air as little as 4% in air can burn. It is a re and explo-
can burn. Acetylene is a potential re and explosion sion hazard, and has very low ignition energy. The
hazard. Adequate ventilation and leak free systems absence of a warning odour and its very low density
are required. Hot metallic particles or hot slag can combined with the possibility of explosion requires
cause ignition of leaks remote from the area where special attention in obtaining highly leak-tight distri-
welding or cutting is taking place. bution systems.
return to contents next page
PAGE 18 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

It burns with a very pale blue ame which is almost d) Fire protection including re ghting systems, location
invisible and may be difcult to see under some work- of signs, cleanliness of workplace and absence of
ing conditions. ignition sources must comply with all statutory
Contrary to other gases, hydrogen cylinder valves requirements and manufacturers provisions.
should never be cracked open to let out an amount of e) Reporting of any abnormalities in the functioning
gas to clean the valve outlet (snifting), as the gas may of either a bulk installation or generating plant must
self-ignite in air on release from the cylinder valve. be immediately reported to a responsible person.
Emergency telephone numbers must be prominently
5.2.4 Shielding Gases displayed.
These gases are used to shield arc welding or hot
operations on certain materials. They are usually inert 5.3.3 Cylinder Types and General Care
and non-ammable and are stored in high pressure gas Cylinders used for oxygen, acetylene, LPG, hydrogen or
cylinders (See Table 5.1) other gases, are in effect thin walled highly pressurised
vessels. Due to the presence of gases under pressure, full
or partially lled cylinders can cause serious injury or
5.3 Gas Supply damage should they rupture.
5.3.1 General Also, slow leakage of gas may result in a high risk
Gases used in gas welding, cutting and allied processes of re or explosion or the possibility or asphyxiation.
are delivered to the point of use either from portable Oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and inert gas cylinders,
compressed gas cylinders, supplying generally only one are tted with a bursting disc safety device. LPG cylinders
application, or from reticulation systems supplying an have a spring-loaded pressure relief valve.
entire workshop. Acetylene cylinders differ from those used for other
gases in that they are lled with a porous substance
In turn, the gas reticulation systems may be supplied
saturated with acetone in which the acetylene is dissolved
from manifolded gas cylinders, bulk gas vessels or from
under pressure. Acetylene is unstable and highly reactive
mains pressure supply.
at high pressure. The porous substance or ller is therefore
a) Cylinders (single or manifolded) are used in the intended to quench heat of spontaneous decomposition
majority of workshops. Details of safe supply, usage and reduce the risk of explosion. Fusible safety plugs are
etc are given in Sections 5.3.3, 5.3.4 and 5.3.6. tted in the shoulder of the cylinder to permit the gas to
b) Bulk gas installations of liquid oxygen, in special escape rather than the cylinder explode in the event of
insulated low temperature storage vessels, or of overheating (see Section 5.6.5).
liqueed petroleum gas in pressure vessels, are used
in most large shops. General safety provisions are Because of these factors and the particular properties
given in Section 5.3.2 and 5.3.5. of the stored gases (Table 5.1), particular care is always
required in the handling and usage of cylinders as follows:
c) Mains pressure supply of town or natural gas may be
used where available in larger shops. a) Cylinders are generally obtained on loan or hire
from gas suppliers. This allows the periodical testing
d) Acetylene generators, in a very few cases, are used
specified in Australian Standards and statutory
for acetylene supplied on the plant. General safety
regulations to be carried out by the owner.
provisions are given in Section 5.3.2.
b) Do not tamper with the markings or colour codings of
In all cases, gas supplies may be subject to statutory or cylinders. Do not use cylinders without labels/colour
regulatory provisions. Many Australian Standards cover code. Do not guess contents return cylinder to supplier.
the subject (see Chapter 30 for a listing). The location, c) Relling of cylinders must be carried out only by
separation, allowed quantities and signage of gas storage competent organisations with the correct gas and with
should be in accordance with the relevant statutory the owners approval. Relling with any other gas is
requirements and manufacturers provisions. not permitted.
d) Gas should only be used for the particular intended
5.3.2 Bulk Gas Supply purpose, e.g. never use oxygen for cleaning (dusting),
Bulk gas installations and acetylene generating plant or to provide ventilation or to support breathing (see
safety provisions include: Section 5.2.2).
a) Authorised personnel only are permitted to operate e) Gases should only be identied by their correct name
this plant. so as to avoid dangerous mix-ups.
b) Manufacturers instructions must be available and f) Never attempt to disguise or repair damage to a cyl-
followed. inder such as denting. Such cylinders must not be used
c) Location must meet all statutory requirements and until advice is obtained from the gas supply company.
manufacturers provisions. Particular mention is g) Valve seats and outlets should be protected by keep-
made of AS/NZS 1596 (Storage and Handling of ing all kinds of dirt and contamination away from
LP Gas). cylinders, especially during connection and discon-
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 19

nection. Grit, loose bres and other dirt may lodge Cylinders should always be stored upright and
in connectors and on valve seats causing leaks or are restrained to prevent falling. Full cylinders should be
picked up by high velocity gas streams, causing hot segregated from empty ones and fuel gases from oxygen.
spots in regulators potentially resulting in ignition NO SMOKING OR NAKED LIGHTS signs should be
(Section 5.6.3). Organic matter such as oil, grease displayed where fuel gases are stored.
and hydrocarbon liquids which may ignite spontane-
ously in high pressure oxygen is another hazard to 5.3.4.2 Transport
regulators and other downstream equipment (Section Take sensible precautions and ensure ADG Code and
5.6.3). Any damage to valves or outlets should be other regulatory requirements are met.
reported. Use open vehicles wherever possible. If closed vans or
h) Avoid ame impingement from the welding or cutting cars have to be used make sure they are properly ventilated
blowpipe. Keep cylinders away from all sources of at all times. Ensure all valves are fully closed and that
articial heat (furnaces, boilers, radiators, ames). there are no leaks. Secure cylinders against movement
The fusible plugs at the top of an acetylene cylinder within the vehicle. Do not allow any part of the cylinder
are particularly sensitive to heat and operation can to protrude from vehicle (this prohibits cylinders being
lead to an extensive acetylene ame vertically from carried horizontally across forklift tines). Disconnect all
the top of the cylinder. equipment (e.g. pressure regulators) from cylinders. Do
i) Do not be tamper with safety devices. not use cylinders in a closed vehicle.
j) Return cylinders with the valve closed. Acetylene and LPG cylinders must be transported
upright (this ensures that the safety device is in contact
5.3.4 Cylinder Storage, Transport, Handling with vapour and not liquid).
and Use
5.3.4.3 Handling
5.3.4.1 Storage
Do not move cylinders with the cylinder valves open.
All storage areas must comply with statutory require-
ments. Australian Standard AS 4332:1995. Dangerous Never lift a cylinder with magnets, chains or a sling.
Goods Regulations give complete requirements. Use a cradle when lifting cylinders by crane. Never roll a
cylinder along the ground. This damages the identication
Cylinder storage areas should be well ventilated and labels, and may cause the valve to open. Use a trolley for
away from sources of heat. External storage is preferred. manual handling. The trolley should incorporate a heat
Protection from weather is desirable but not at the expense shield because of the proximity of the fuel gas to the
of ventilation. Other products should not be stored with oxygen cylinder (see Figure 5.1).
cylinders, especially oil, paints or corrosive liquids. Oxy-
gen cylinders must be separated from fuel gas cylinders 5.3.4.4 Cylinder Use
by a distance greater than 3 metres. LPG cylinders in The manufacturers instructions and recommendations
excess of 50 kg total capacity should not be stored within should always be followed. Factors, which warrant mention
3 metres of any other cylinders, including acetylene. in addition to the safe procedures given in Table 5.2, are:

a) Trolley for Easy Moving b) Cradle for Lifting c) Brackets to secure cylinders

Figure 5.1 Handling of Gas Cylinders

return to contents next page


PAGE 20 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

a) Never crack a fuel gas cylinder valve when adjacent a) Design of systems must only be carried out by
to any ignition source. qualied persons and in accordance with appropriate
b) Damaged valves or regulators or those suspected to design rules and regulations. The gas supply
be damaged should not be used until checked by a organisation will generally be responsible for this.
competent organisation or person. b) Manifolds should be located in environments free of
c) Cylinders must never be used as rollers to assist oil, grease and dust and should be compatible with
moving other objects. the lling pressures of the cylinders to be connected,
d) Acetylene and LPG cylinders must always be in the especially in the case of oxygen.
vertical or near vertical position when in use. c) Components such as regulators, pressure gauges and
e) Acetylene can only be used to a maximum pressure of connections must be of a safe and satisfactory type
150 kPa (gauge). With increasing pressure explosion for the gas type and operating pressure.
may occur due to instability of this gas. d) Materials must be of a suitable type, and have ad-
f) Opening of cylinder valves should only be carried equate resistance to the chemical action of the gas
out with approved keys or hand wheels. Do not use under operating conditions. Particular attention is
excessive force or extension key to open or close drawn to the fact that alloys of a higher copper content
cylinder valves. (greater than 70% copper) cannot be used in appli-
g) Acetylene valves should not be opened more than cations involving acetylene due to the possibility of
about one and a half turns, one turn is preferable to formation of explosive copper acetylide. Acetylene
allow for quick closing in an emergency. piping is usually of the seamless steel type.
e) Location should be chosen to avoid damage to piping
h) Empty cylinders should have the valves closed, any
and allow ease of repair (e.g. use ducting) and be
protective caps tted and be suitably identied, e.g.
remote or insulated from electrical cables.
MT in chalk.
f) Piping must never be used as an earth for electrical
i) Always leave cylinders with positive pressure to
equipment or as a work return for welding due to the
ensure air does not enter.
risk of explosion, re or corrosion damage to the pipe.
5.3.4.5 Connection to regulators and hoses g) Operating instructions must be available and safety
warning notices prominently displayed.
Keep the cylinder valve clean, especially its outlet con-
h) Installation must only be carried out by qualied
nection. No grit, dirt, oil or dirty water should be present.
persons experienced in the requirements for oxygen
Particles of dirt and residual moisture may be removed by
and fuel gas pipelines. Internal surfaces of piping
cracking open the valve momentarily and then closing
and ttings must be free of foreign matter and the
it (also known as snifting). Note: Some organisa-
completed system should be fully tested prior to
tions do not allow cracking. Serious injuries have been
commissioning.
reported as a result of this practice.
i) Outlet points for use with oxygen-fuel systems should
Make sure the pressure regulator is suitable for the gas comply with AS 4289, e.g. incorporate a shut-off
and pressure in the cylinder and that its inlet connection valve and a ashback arrester as a minimum.
is the same thread as that in the cylinder valve. Fuel gas j) The requirements a) to i) above are also applicable
connections have left handed threads. Never force any to portable outlet headers.
connection that does not t.
5.3.6 Portable and Mobile Cylinder supply
Open the cylinder valve slowly using its hand wheel
or a suitable key for key-operated cylinder valves. Do not 5.3.6.1 Storage
over tighten the spindle when shutting off the valve as this The general provisions given under 5.3.4.1 Cylinder Stor-
will destroy the soft seating material in the valve. If the age apply equally for these applications except see 5.4.8
valve spindle is too stiff to turn with the hand wheel or for cylinder trolleys.
the correct key, do not increase the leverage on the spindle
and return the cylinder to the gas supplier.
5.3.5 Piping and Manifolds
Where gas requirements exceed the delivery achievable
from a single cylinder or uninterrupted supply is required,
or cylinder handling is to be avoided, manifolding of
cylinders (Figure 5.2) and piping gas to the point of use
is widely adopted.
AS 4289 applies to Oxygen-Acetylene systems and
AS/NZS 1596 to LPG systems. Regulatory requirements
may also apply.
Care is required in design, choice of materials,
Figure 5.2 Oxygen and Acetylene Regulators and Gauges
location of piping etc as outlined below:
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 21

5.4 Equipment Specications and The following recommendations should be observed


Assembly in order to ensure continued safe operations:
a) Regulators should be used only with the gas and
5.4.1 General maximum cylinder pressure for which they are
designed and labelled (see AS 4267 and AS 4840).
All equipment and assemblies of equipment should be
b) The maximum outlet pressure of the regulator should
properly designed, manufactured, maintained and used
never exceed the rated pressure of any downstream
with full consideration of the hazards inherent to the use of
equipment.
oxy-fuel gas mixtures detailed particularly in Sections 5.1,
c) Acetylene and LPG regulators should only be used
5.2, 5.3 and 5.6. One way of achieving this is through the use
with the gas for which they are designed. Use of an
of equipment complying with appropriate Standards (Aus-
LPG regulator on acetylene cylinders could result in
tralian, other National or International) where these exist.
exceeding the maximum safe use pressure of acetylene.
d) Regulators having damaged pressure gauges or inlet
5.4.2 Pressure Regulators and Gauges and outlet connections etc should never be used. Inlet
Applications should never be supplied directly from and outlet connections should never changed from the
compressed gas cylinders. A pressure regulator should original manufacturing specication.
be connected to the gas cylinder to control the pressure 5.4.3 Hoses and ttings
of the gas at the end application (generally a welding or
cutting blowpipe. See Fig 5.3). Regulators are usually 5.4.3.1 Requirements
tted with two pressure gauges to allow monitoring of Hose and ttings for use in gas welding, cutting and allied
the cylinder contents and the delivery pressure to the end processes should meet the requirements, including colour
application. Australian Standards AS 4267 and AS 4840 coding, specied in AS 1335. For safety reasons the hose
give requirements for regulators for each gas and cylinder should present the minimum practicable ow restriction,
lling or reticulation pressure. i.e. be of the largest diameter and shorter length possible
to minimise pressure drop and gas starvation at the
Although accidents rarely occur as a direct result of tip or nozzle with potential of ashback. Also refer to
regulator failure, care must be continuously exercised be- AS/NZS 1869 for hose and hose assemblies for liqueed
cause the potential hazards are severe. This is particularly petroleum gas (LP Gas), natural gas and town gas.
true of oxygen regulators where ignition and explosion
is possible under adverse conditions (see Section 5.6.3). 5.4.3.2 Colour coding
It must be noted that ll pressures for oxygen cylinders It should be noted that AS 1335 species different test
have increased over time, and older regulators may not methods and cover colours for acetylene hose (red) and
be suitable for the newer cylinders due to hazard from LPG hose (orange) (see Table 5.1). These hoses should
ignition. never be interchanged.

VENT PIPE
POINT VALVE
REGULATOR

FLASHBACK
ARRESTOR

POINT
VALVE
NOTE: When adding on
extension, header block A MANIFOLD
is removed from manifold REGULATOR
and screwed into point B
on extension.
FLASHBACK ARRESTOR (Acetylene only)
B A

EXTENSION (straight) EXTENSION (straight)


MANIFOLD

EXTENSION
(corner)
LEAD
LEAD (Oxygen only) (Gases other than oxygen)

Figure 5.3 Manifold of Gas Cylinders

return to contents next page


PAGE 22 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

5.4.3.3 Location 5.4.5 Tips, nozzles and their attachment t-


Hoses should be located and protected from heat, mechan- tings
ical damage, trafc, sparks, slag and oil so that accidental i) Tips and nozzles should be well identied and
damage such as piercing or burning cannot occur. Location carry information relating to their use.
of hoses over sharp edges or manifolds or under sparks ii) Tips and cutting nozzles appropriate to the
or hot slag from welding or cutting should be avoided. particular fuel gas should be used. Sizes should
be selected from the suppliers operating data or
5.4.3.4 Fittings WTIA Technical Note 5, Flame Cutting of Steels.
iii) It should be noted that tips and nozzles operate
These must be as specied in AS 1335, of an appropriate
safely and efciently over a limited range of ows.
type, securely made and leak tight. Wire should never be
Below a minimum ow the ame will recede into
used to fasten hose to ttings. Oxygen ttings have right
the tip or mixer with potential hazard of ashback.
hand threaded nuts, fuel gases left hand thread nuts.
Manufacturers recommendations for correct
operating pressures and ows should be followed.
5.4.3.5 Length and diameter iv) Recommended operating pressures for tips and
Hose should be of a diameter suitable for the ows re- nozzles should take into account the pressure drop
quired by the intended application. It should be of the introduced by long lengths or small diameters of
minimum practicable length to avoid excessive pressure hoses and any added safety devices.
drop, kinks, accidental damage etc.
5.4.6 Safety Devices
It is recommended that the maximum hose length
5.4.6.1 Requirements
should not exceed fteen (15) metres for each gas, or
such distance which will allow the operator of hand-held It is recommended that safety devices should always
equipment to be in sight of all the supply gas cylinders, be used in oxygen-fuel systems. Safety devices should
whichever is the smaller. Hoses should be single length, comply with AS 4603. Regulatory requirements may
but where extended lengths are required, lengths of hose apply. In Western Australia, the use of ashback arresters
should be joined using only ttings that comply with on both ends of the gas delivery hoses is mandated.
AS 1335. If twin hose is not used, single oxygen and As a minimum one non-return valve and flame
fuel gas hoses should be clipped together at about two arrester for each gas line should be used. Additional
metre intervals using special clips available from the devices should be tted where practicable. Optimum
hose supplier. protection is provided when at the blowpipe end a ame
Standard internal diameters are 5.0, 6.3, 8.0, 10.0, arrester and a non-return valve for each gas is tted, and
12.5, 16.0, 20.0 max at the regulator end a ame arrester, a non-return valve
and a temperature activated cut-off valve for each line is
tted (see Figure 5.3). Pressure activated cut-off valves
5.4.4 Blowpipes and mixers at the regulator end are optional.
Blowpipes perform the gas control and mixing function Due consideration should be given to the pressure
with the aid of a gas mixer, which may be integral to the drop introduced by the safety devices, and it should be
blowpipe or a separate, compatible attachment. In any ensured that the total system is capable of supplying
case, blowpipe and mixer must perform the mixing of the required pressures and ows to the end application
oxygen and fuel gas with due consideration to potential (tip or nozzle) as recommended by the manufacturer. If
back-ow of gases and ashback. pressure drop is excessive, ame instability will result,
and once this point is reached additional safety devices
5.4.4.1 Requirements for blowpipes may reduce, rather than increase, the safety level due to
the lower ow capacity.
a) The inlet connections should be suitable for the
welding hose ttings (see 5.4.3.4). Note: The use of safety devices like non-return valves
b) The control valves should be clearly marked oxygen or ashback arresters does not reduce the need to follow
and fuel (e.g. by the full names or by the abbrevia- correct and safe operating procedures (see Table 5.2).
tions O and F), and colour coded blue for oxygen
5.4.6.2 Non-return Valve
and red for fuel same as the welding hose.
A non-return valve is a device designed to prevent the
c) Only suitable mixers and other attachments should
passage of gas in the direction opposite to normal ow.
be tted to a blowpipe.
When tted to the blowpipe end of the hose, as long as
d) The blowpipe and mixer should be operated in it is good condition, it reduces the possibility of oxygen
accordance with the manufacturers instructions. and fuel gas mixing within one hose by preventing back
e) Particular attention should be paid to the recommended ow of gases. Non-return valves do not respond quickly
maximum and minimum operating pressures and ows enough to stop a ashback reaching the hose, regulator,
for the blowpipe-mixer tip or nozzle combination. pipeline or cylinder. Only a correctly designed ashback
These should always be respected. arrester can stop ashbacks.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 23

5.4.6.3 Flame arrester Acetylene systems should not be used at owing


pressures exceeding 150 kPa downstream of the outlet
Flame arresters are devices which incorporate a dense
of the pressure regulator (see AS 4267). LPG equipment
sintered element to quench a ame front (ashback or
decomposition). including especially regulators and hose, should never
be used in Acetylene systems. It should be noted that
5.4.6.4 Flashback Arrester Gas Suppliers recommend that the maximum acetylene
gas draw-off rate should not exceed 1/7 of the cylinder
A ashback arrester is a device designed to prevent
a ashback reaching the hoses, regulator, pipeline or contents per hour, which for the common large Acetylene
cylinder. Flashback arresters incorporate a ame arrester cylinder of 7 m3 gas capacity limits the maximum ow
to quench ame fronts. They are usually tted with a non- to 1 m3/hr or 17 l/min. Systems requiring larger ows
return valve to prevent back ow of gases. should be supplied from portable manifolds, manifold
packs of cylinders, reticulated systems or in consultation
They may also incorporate some or all of pressure with the Gas Suppliers.
sensitive ow cut-off valve with visual indicator, thermally
actuated cut-off valve and pressure relief safety valve, in LPG systems should comprise only equipment
which case they are known as multifunctional devices. especially designated for LPG except for multi-fuel
For more information on ashback arresters and their gas components where the manufacturer specically
connection conguration, refer to AS 4839 and AS 4603 nominates LPG amongst the recommended fuels. LPG
systems are not subject to maximum outlet pressure
5.4.7 Personal protective equipment (PPE) limitations except that at low temperatures the vapour
Personal protective equipment should be used by opera- pressure in the cylinders for some mixtures may prevent
tors of oxy-fuel gas equipment. Full details are given in high system pressures. 400 kPa is a commonly used
Chapter 19. upper limit.

5.4.8 Cylinder trolleys Hydrogen systems may operate at higher pressures


than Acetylene and LPG and only equipment specially
Cylinder trolleys should be designed and built with due designated for Hydrogen should be used. Care must be
regard to stability in operation. taken in not exceeding the maximum rating of Hydrogen
The cylinders, maximum of one each oxygen and fuel, safety devices which may be in the range 400 to 600 kPa.
should rest fully and securely on the base of the trolley.
Means of restraint of the cylinders, e.g. a chain or strap, Natural Gas systems generally may use LPG equip-
should be provided. The maximum size of cylinder stated ment depending on the Natural Gas supply pressure.
on a permanent label on the trolley should not be exceeded. However it must be distinguished between reticulated
Consideration should be given to possible release of Natural Gas, which may have a very low supply pressure
the cylinder safety devices, and unimpeded gas release unsuitable for some equipment, and cylinder-supplied
from them should be provided. Natural Gas which has a much higher contents pressure
which must be regulated down to common LPG supply
5.4.9 System Assembly pressures.
5.4.9.1 General compatibility 5.4.9.3 Flow capacity
Any gas welding, cutting and allied processes application
comprises many components, from gas cylinder or The tip or nozzle in use determines the required system
supply vessel to tip or nozzle. In the general case, pressures and ows and hence the pressure regulator
these components will be provided separately by many outlet pressure settings. Particular care must be taken
manufacturers and suppliers. Even where all the system in allowing for pressure drops, especially through long
components are supplied by one vendor, the possible lengths of small diameter hose and multiple safety de-
permutations are many. Only the user will decide vices. Manufacturers instructions should be carefully
the complete combination selected for any particular followed. A system which has excessive pressure drops
application. Hence it is vital that not only the selected may become unstable resulting in possible retreat of the
equipment complies individually with the specications ame into the tip leading to overheating, backre or ash-
given above, but that the components are compatible back. Pressure drop is particularly important in acetylene
with each other. systems because of the limitation in maximum operating
pressure to only 150 kPa maximum.
5.4.9.2 Fuel gas
At no time should the withdrawal rate of an individual
The choice of fuel gas uniquely determines several of acetylene cylinder exceed 1/7 of the cylinder contents
the system operating parameters, especially equipment per hour. If additional ow capacity is required, use an
and operating pressures. Only equipment specied by acetylene manifold system to supply the necessary volume.
the manufacturer for use with that particular fuel gas Manufacturer's recommendation on the maximum draw
shall be used. off rates should be strictly followed.
return to contents next page
PAGE 24 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Table 5.2 Safe Procedures for Setting Up and Closing Down Gas Welding / Cutting Equipment

Step Action Comment


1. SETTING UP
1.1 Equipment connection 1. Check that all equipment, equipment This not only removes any contaminants
connections and especially both valve from the valve outlet, it also frees the valve
outlets and regulator inlets are clean to allow its subsequent operation.
and free from oil and grease.
2. Crack (briey open and close) the Always stand to one side of the cylinder
cylinder valves. and ensure that hands and gloves are
Caution: Fuel valves should be cracked free of all grease or oil before cracking a
in a well ventilated area clear of sources cylinder valve. Never crack a cylinder valve
of ignition. when adjacent to any ignition source.

3. Screw regulators into cylinder valves, Some regulators only require hand
using an appropriate spanner where tightening through a hand wheel. Note that
applicable. Make sure the regulators all oxygen connections have right hand nuts
adjusting knobs are fully released. and fuel gas connections left hand nuts.

4. Fit hoses to the regulator outlets, using Regulators and hoses should be colour
an appropriate spanner, including the coded blue for oxygen, red for acetylene
regulator ashback arrestors, if used. and orange for LPG. Safety devices are
blue for oxygen and red for fuel gases.

5. Slowly open the oxygen cylinder valve, Open slowly enough to observe the rise
then the acetylene cylinder valve. in the cylinder pressure gauge on the
regulator. Sudden opening of the cylinder
valve can cause damage to the regulator
seat and lead to re and explosion on an
oxygen regulator.

6. Adjust the oxygen regulator to allow a This blows off dust and chalk from the
small ow through the hose and then hoses. This operation should be done
release the control knob fully. Repeat especially for new hoses.
for the fuel gas regulator.

7. Connect the blowpipe to the other hose Flashback arresters at the blowpipe end
ends, including ashback arresters. should always be used. Blowpipe inlet
connections and control valves should be
marked O for oxygen, F for fuel gas.

8. Connect any required attachments, Ensure blowpipe, attachment and tips and
tips or nozzles to the blowpipe. nozzles are compatible.

1.2 Pressure setting and leak test 1. Check that the blowpipe valves are Set the pressure recommended by the
closed and adjust the oxygen regulator manufacturer of the equipment.
to the required pressure.
2. Close the oxygen cylinder valve Any drop indicates a leak between the
and check for pressure drop on the cylinder valve (including gland) and the
regulator gauges. blowpipe valve. Leaks through the blowpipe
valve will show at tip or nozzle.

3. Check also for leaks at the top of the These will not show as a pressure drop. Any
cylinder, particularly at the safety leak on the cylinder and its ttings must be
device, gland nut and regulator inlet referred to the gas supplier.
and outlet connections using a solution
of leak detecting uid like Teepol HB7.

4. Once all leaks have been corrected,


re-open cylinder valve slowly.

5. Repeat the procedure (1.2.1 1.2.4 for


the fuel gas.

6. If the valve is not handwheel operated, This will allow quick shut-down in an
leave the cylinder key in the fuel gas emergency.
cylinder valve.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 25

Step Action Comment


2. USE
2.1 Purge 1. Open, then close, each blowpipe valve Make certain that no source of ignition is
in turn for 2 seconds for every 5 metres nearby. Purging will eliminate mixed gases
of hose. in hose a cause of ashback at lighting up.

2.2 Lighting up 1. Open the blowpipe fuel gas about


turn.

2. Light the gas at the tip or nozzle using


only a spark lighter or a pilot ame.

3. Increase the fuel gas ow until the


ame no longer produces soot.

4. Open the blowpipe oxygen valve and


adjust the ame to that required by the
process.

5. Check the regulator set pressures and


readjust if necessary.

2.3 Shutting off blowpipe 1. Close blowpipe fuel gas valve. This cuts off fuel supply to the ame.

2. Close blowpipe oxygen valve. This procedure is satisfactory for temporary


halts not involving leaving the equipment
unattended.

3. IN CASE OF SUSTAINED BACKFIRE, This cuts off oxygen supply to the internal
CLOSE IMMEDIATELY BLOWPIPE ame and should extinguish it immediately.
OXYGEN VALVE FIRST

3. CLOSING DOWN 1. Shut off blowpipe as in 2.3 above. This procedure should be performed
whenever the equipment is left unattended
or whenever cylinders are being changed.

2. Close both cylinder valves.

3. Open the blowpipe oxygen valve to This will release all pressure in the regulator,
allow the gas to drain out. hose and blowpipe.

4. Unscrew the oxygen regulator control


knob once the contents pressure
gauge reads zero.

5. Repeat the procedure (3.1 3.4) for


the fuel gas valve and regulator.

return to contents next page


PAGE 26 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

5.5 Setting Up Plant Safely ance on inspection and maintenance intervals in Table
5.3. It is advisable to arrange for servicing of equipment
5.5.1 Safe Equipment by either the manufacturer or its accredited repairers or
Only equipment complying with the general specica- by organisations which specialise in maintenance of such
tions given in Section 5.4 and obtained from a reputable equipment. Larger workshops may support a maintenance
supplier should be used. Equipment should be used only group capable of carrying out this work.
for the purpose and with the gas for which it was designed.
5.5.5.3 Detailed inspection and maintenance
5.5.2 Training Some useful guidance on inspection and maintenance for
Only persons who have been trained in the safe and specic equipment follows:
effective use of these processes should be permitted to a) Checks for gas leakage should be carried out on all
use the equipment. regulators, valves and cylinders regularly and at least
each time the equipment is set up.
5.5.3 Rules and Instructions b) Repair and maintenance of regulators must only be
All instructions for operation and maintenance, supplied carried out by approved persons or organisation, e.g.
by the manufacturers, must be available to all operators. repairers accredited by manufacturers or suppliers.
c) If a regulator shows excessive delivery pressure
5.5.4 System operation creep, it should be replaced immediately and the
Detailed procedures for setting up, using and closing defective regulator repaired.
down the typical oxy-fuel application are given in Table Note: To check for creep (pressure build-up when
5.2. Some of the more important steps are: the blowpipe valves are closed), close the welding or
a) Leak testing. Prior to initial use of gas equipment, all cutting blowpipe valves whilst the regulator is open
breakable connections, glands and valves should be and check for continuing increase in pressure beyond
checked for leakages, e.g. by a pressure drop method the pressure that has been set. Refer to manufacturers
(Table 5.2) or by means of a leak detecting uid. Smell operating manual for the acceptable gure.
should not be relied upon as many persons have a poor e) If pressure gauges or indicators do not return to the
sense of smell. NEVER test for leaks with a ame. stop when pressure is released, replacement and repair
b) Purging. It is strongly recommended to purge oxygen is required.
and fuel gas hoses prior to usage at the start of the f) Checks of regulator pressure indicator accuracy
day and after the blowpipe has been shut down for should be carried out at least annually.
a substantial period of time such as lunch periods or g) Damaged hoses should be discarded and not repaired.
overnight. This must not be done in conned spaces Rubber hose should never be repaired with adhesive
or in the presence of any ignition source (see Table tape. When ashback has occurred all hoses should
5.2). Always refer to operating instructions for the be discarded as internal damage has probably resulted
correct purging procedures. (see 5.6.1).
c) Lighting. Flint lighters or stationary pilot ames h) All blowpipes, welding tips and cutting nozzles
should be used for ignition of ames. Blowpipes must should be handled carefully and protected from dirt.
not be lit or re-lit by hot metal, matches, hot electrodes Blowpipes must not be left burning on a bench unless
or welding arc. When lighting, ensure that the ame supported in a safe holder.
cannot touch either nearby personnel or any combustible i) Regular dismantling and cleaning of blowpipes,
material (see Table 5.2). Always refer to operating by either the manufacturer or other qualified
instructions for the correct lighting procedures. organisations, is recommended. See Table 5.3 for
d) Work Interruption. When blowpipes are not in use, the recommended inspection intervals.
oxygen and fuel gas should be closed off at the supply j) Cutting nozzles and welding tips should be cleaned
and hoses blown down to prevent possible leakage and only by methods which have been recommended by
gauge failure. Blowpipes and hoses should be safely the manufacturer. Drills should not be used for this
placed so accidents or damage cannot occur. purpose as any damage may promote the occurrence
5.5.5 Equipment Inspection and Maintenance of ashback. Nozzles and tips should be stored in such
a way as to minimise damage to the seating area, e.g.
5.5.5.1 Inspection by use of rubber caps or storage blocks.
Inspection should be carried out on a routine basis for k) Safety devices should be inspected strictly according
all items of equipment considered in Sections 5.3 and to the requirements in AS 4603 (see Table 5.3).
5.4. Guidance on inspection and maintenance for the l) O-rings used on regulator inlet connections, mixer
equipment described in Section 5.4 is given in Table 5.3. attachments etc should be replaced regularly or where
they show signs of damage. Use only manufacturer
5.5.5.2 Maintenance supplied replacements.
Maintenance operations should be carried out according m) Only oxygen compatible PTFE tape should be used
to manufacturers instructions and the suggested guid- in making up threaded connections.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 27

5.5.6 Flame Cutting and Ancillary Equipment since all commonly used fuels can ignite even when in
A wide range of mechanised equipment and aids to hand low concentrations in air and require minimum energy
ame cutting are available and often used. Malfunction to do so, i.e. any spark or source of high temperature is
can result in damage which could eventually lead to injury sufcient to start a re or an explosion.
or damage to other equipment. Basic procedures which Oxygen makes all materials more readily combustible
should be adopted include the following: and will increase the intensity and severity of any re.
a) Maintenance Adopt a regular inspection and main-
tenance programme for all mechanical or electrical Inert gases displace oxygen and can cause unnoticed
equipment. loss of alertness and then asphyxiation.
b) Frequency The frequency of the above will depend The sources of gas leaks include:
largely on the complexity of the equipment and extent
a) Cylinder ttings (valves, safety devices) damaged
of usage.
or in poor condition (see below 5.6.5 for leaking
c) Location Equipment should be located in the safest acetylene cylinders).
and cleanest possible environment.
b) Valves not closed off when equipment is not in use.
d) Work Table Supports should be carefully designed
so as to minimise risks to personnel. c) Breakable connections improperly made up or in poor
condition (scored or dirty nipples, conical seatings,
5.6 Emergencies and Incidents O-rings). The typical oxygen-fuel gas plant has many
connections points in the cylinder valves, regulators,
5.6.1 Backres and Flashbacks hoses, blowpipe and tips and nozzles. Each of these
Instability of the ame in a tip or nozzle is a common is a potential leak point if not in good condition.
cause of emergencies and incidents in Oxygen-fuel gas d) Hoses in poor condition.
systems. These emergencies can occur during lighting up Whenever a gas leak is suspected or detected,
or during operation. operations should cease, the leak rectied immediately
Incorrect lighting up procedures (especially neglecting if possible, heat sources removed or switched off and
to purge hoses see Table 5.2), low operating pressures the area cleared until gas has dispersed.
at the tip or nozzle resulting from inadequate gas
supply, damaged or poorly maintained equipment or a 5.6.3 Ignition of Oxygen Regulators, Hoses and
combination of all these are usually the cause. other High Pressure Equipment
The problems show up as: Although accidents of this type are rare, when they do
Backre is the return of the ame into the blowpipe occur the results may include serious injury, a major re
with a popping sound, the ame being either extinguished or even fatality. Care in use and maintenance of oxygen
or re-ignited at the nozzle. regulators and other equipment is therefore extremely
important.
Sustained Backre is the return of the ame into
the blowpipe with continued burning within the neck or Ignition may occur due to:
handle. This is accompanied by an initial popping sound a) Spontaneous ignition of oil, grease or hydrocarbon
followed by a hissing sound from the continued burning liquids in high pressure oxygen. Keep oil and grease
within the blowpipe. In this case, immediately turn off away from regulators and other equipment, do not use
gases at the blowpipe, oxygen rst, and check nozzle or oil or grease as a lubricant for tight threads etc and do not
tip condition, gas pressure and connections to torch and use oily rags, tools or operate with oily hands (see 5.2.2).
cylinder. b) Use of equipment (e.g. pressure regulators, manifolds,
Flashback is the return of ame through the blowpipe high pressure leads) not clearly designated as suit-
into the hoses and even the regulators. Depending on its able for high pressure oxygen and rated for the same
severity, it may also reach the acetylene cylinder, causing pressure as the cylinders in use. Use only equipment
heating and decomposition of the contents. clearly marked for oxygen, of a suitable pressure
rating, clean and in good operation condition.
If any of these events occurs, especially ashback, c) Particles entrained in high-velocity gas streams (e.g.
immediately close the oxygen blowpipe valve followed by piping, valve connections) causing ignition in cylinder
the fuel gas blowpipe valve. Close cylinder valves and if valve or regulator seats and seals. Cleanliness and
cylinders heat up, cool as described in 5.5.4 and 5.5.5. generally good housekeeping practice are required.
Check operating conditions and equipment faults Always crack the cylinder valve (see Table 5.2)
before restarting. Discard any gas hose when ashback before tting regulators. Note: Be extremely caut-
into the hose has occurred. ious while cracking. Serious injuries have been
reported as a result of this practice.
5.6.2 Gas leaks d) Rapid opening of the oxygen cylinder valve causing a
Leaking gas is a potential hazard wherever it occurs and high temperature at the regulator seat and seals. The
whichever the gas. Fuel gases present the greatest hazard cylinder valve MUST BE OPENED SLOWLY.
return to contents next page
PAGE 28 CHAPTER 5 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Table 5.3 Guidance on equipment maintenance

MAINTENANCE
REFURBISHMENT
EQUIPMENT WEEKLY1 AS NOMINATED2 OR REPLACEMENT
INTERVALS3

1. REGULATORS Visual examination to determine Six monthly: Manufacturer


(including their suitability for service (e.g. gas, pressure Functional tests to ensure the or supplier
integral protective rating, damage), condition of threads correct operation of internal recommendation,
devices) and sealing surfaces, oil or grease components. but not exceeding 5
contamination. (Refer AS 4267) years4.
Leak test all joints at working pressure.

2. FLASHBACK Visual examination to determine Yearly as detailed in AS 4603 or Manufacturer


ARRESTORS suitability for service (e.g. gas, pressure following a ashback: or supplier
and other external rating, damage), condition of threads Proper functioning of the non- recommendation,
devices (including and sealing surfaces, oil or grease return valves and ashback but not exceeding 5
non-return valves) contamination. arresters. years4.
Leak test all joints at working pressure. For pressure-activated valves,
check there is no ow in the
normal direction with the valve
tripped.

3. HOSE Visual examination to determine Six monthly: Determined by the


ASSEMBLIES suitability for service (e.g. gas, pressure Check for absence of cuts and hose assembly
rating, damage), condition of cover, excessive wear by bending the condition.
threads and sealing surfaces of the end hose in a tight radius, to ensure
ttings. reinforcement is not visible.
Leak test all joints at working pressure (Refer AS 1335 & AS/NZS 1869)

4. BLOWPIPES, Visual examination for damage of the Six monthly: Manufacturer


MIXERS AND threads and sealing surfaces of the Test control valve function. or supplier
ATTACHMENTS hose connections and the attachment Blank the attachment recommendation,
connections. connection and leak test for but not exceeding 5
Leak test all joints at working pressure. internal malfunction. years4.

Notes:
1. If in constant use or BEFORE EVERY USE (to be performed by the operator according to manufacturers instructions
2. To be carried out by a technically competent person
3. Equipment condition determines whether refurbishment or replacement is required
4. Regulator elastomers and seals will wear and deteriorate in service or on the shelf. Items stored for 1 year or over without use, should
receive inspection as per the annual maintenance inspection.

5.6.4 Cylinders in res Cylinder valves should be closed. Cylinders which


have been heated can explode even after the re has
The most common incidents are those involving ignitions
been extinguished, particularly acetylene cylinders.
of fuel leakages from regulator and hose connections near
the cylinder. If this occurs, the cylinder valves should be e) When the re brigade arrives, they should be notied
closed, using a gloved hand, and the re extinguished as of the location and number of cylinders involved in
soon as possible. Otherwise, use of a dry powder or CO2 the re, and the name of the gases they contain.
re extinguisher should be followed by closing of the f) Inform the gas supplier as soon as possible.
cylinder valve to prevent re-ignition. g) If the cylinder contents are unknown, the actions taken
If it is not possible to quickly extinguish res of any should be those for acetylene cylinders (see below 5.6.5).
type with a re extinguisher, further attempts should not
be made and: 5.6.5 Acetylene Cylinder Overheating
a) The area should be evacuated (100 metres minimum). Acetylene cylinders may become hot either through
b) The re brigade should be called. ashback or due to accidental heating (e.g. contact with
c) If attempts are made to ght the re, they should be hot objects, res). To prevent serious accidents, the
done only from a protected position and using copious following procedure should be carried out immediately
quantities of water. overheating is noted:
d) Cylinders not involved in the re and which have not a) Shut cylinder valve quickly and have the supplier
become heated should be moved away as quickly notied as soon as practicable. If the cylinder is on
as possible, provided this can be done without risk. re, call the re brigade.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 5 PAGE 29

b) Clear all personnel from the area. 5.6.6 Oxygen Cylinder Explosions
c) Cool the cylinder with a plentiful supply of water, Accidents have been reported which involve explosion
preferably from a re hydrant and with the person of an oxygen cylinder due to direct ame impingement
behind a suitable protective barrier. from an adjacent acetylene cylinder. Such accidents arise
d) If the cylinder safety device functions and issuing when the fusible plugs melt due to cylinder overheating,
gas ignites, cool as above, but do not extinguish the the escaping gas ignites and the ame impinges on the
ames. Where gas does not ignite, all sources of oxygen cylinder. This causes softening, bulging and
ignition must be removed from the area if this can bursting of this cylinder without appreciable increase
be done safely. in its internal pressure, i.e. without causing the bursting
e) Continue cooling but with stops at intervals to check if the disc to rupture5.
cooling water dries off the cylinder or if it remains wet. Where oxygen and acetylene cylinders in use are
f) When the cylinder remains wet on removal of the adjacent to each other, consideration should be given to
water, the cylinder should be removed to an open protecting the oxygen cylinder by placing a nonammable
space away from any ignition source and placed under shield, e.g. a 2-3 mm sheet of steel or refractory bre
water e.g., in a 200 litre drum. between the cylinders. The shield should extend at least
g) Continue cooling for 24 hours or as advised by a from the shoulder of the acetylene cylinder to the top of
competent authority. the oxygen cylinder regulator (see Figure 5.1).

return to contents next page


PAGE 30 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 6 PAGE 31

PLASMA ARC WELDING AND CUTTING

6.1 Introduction the cutting table. This hydrogen formed by water


dissociation from the high voltage and temperature of
Plasma arc processes have found relatively widespread the plasma can increase in volume and be detonated
applications in cutting, metal spraying (Chapter 11) and by the heat generated. The risk can be reduced by
welding operations. A number of features of the process stirring the water under the table to avoid pockets of
warrant treatment of health and safety aspects of the gas forming at the plate / water interface.
process separately from the conventional arc and gas
f) Water injection plasma. A radial ow of water, di-
welding and cutting processes. In recent times, cutting
rected at the plasma, constricts the arc and cools the
equipment has become relatively inexpensive and it is
work piece. The noise emission is comparable with
economic because it only requires compressed air for the
a dry plasma gun while the fume and radiations are
plasma gas. These features have made the process popular
less, but not as low as from a water-shroud attachment
in many small workshops (see also AS 1966 Part 3).
(see Figure 6.1(f)).
g) Gas shielding. The units are designed to run on a
6.2 Process Features range of shielding gases, i.e. Argon, Nitrogen, Air
The two main plasma systems used in welding and cutting and Oxygen. Hydrogen is also mixed with Argon and
operations are: Nitrogen to improve performance.
a) Transferred arc systems. Plasma is transferred from Table 6.1 Typical noise during plasma cutting of
torch to work piece (Figure 6.1(a)). stainless steel8
b) Non-transferred arc systems. The arc is struck Plate Thickness Cutting Power
Overall Noise
between cathode and anode within the torch and mm kW (Note 1)
dB
plasma only issues from the torch (Figure 6.1(b)). (2 m from torch) (Note 2)
12 55 98
Variants on these systems are based on external use
25 55 104
of water:
51 110 103-106
c) Water-shroud attachments. The plasma jet and
102 165 108-111
shielding gas are surrounded by a concentric, tubular
180 220 112
curtain of water which reduces noise and radiation.
Notes:
A dye may be used in the water to further reduce 1. Plasma gas not specied.
radiation to safe levels (see Section 6.6.1 and Figure 2. Noise reductions relative to a dry gun are generally achievable
6.1(c)). as follows9:
d) Water tables. The work to be plasma cut is supported Water shroud without water table or without water contacting
lower surface of plate .......................................................6dB
horizontally in a tank with the water level set at half Water shroud and water table, water in contact with plate
the thickness of the plate or slightly above the upper .........................................................................................10dB
surface of the plate, depending on the material being Underwater cutting (40-50mm water over plate) ............30dB
cut. Apart from technological advantages in the
Plasma systems require special precautions to be taken
cleanliness of the cut, this procedure reduces noise
in the design, manufacture and operation of equipment to
and eliminates fume from the process (see Section
ensure safe working.
6.6.2 and Figure 6.1(d)).
e) Underwater plasma. A water table is used and the The main hazards are:
water level is set 50 mm above the plate surface. This a) Electrical shock. Operating voltages can be in excess
eliminates the need for a water-shroud attachment (see of 700V (see Chapter 14).
Figure 6.1(e)). When cutting on a water table there b) Noxious gases. Generation of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and
is potential for pockets of hydrogen to form under decomposition of certain degreasing agents can occur.
return to contents next page
PAGE 32 CHAPTER 6 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

c) Fume. High levels of fume may result from oxidation c) Regularly maintain and inspect equipment to ensure
of the work piece6 or decomposition of a coating on it. that hazardous situations do not exist.
d) Noise. Noise levels usually exceed those generated d) Torches and electrodes are generally water cooled.
by other cutting and welding processes. Care should be exercised to ensure that excessively
e) Radiation. Intense visible, infra-red and ultraviolet hard water is not used as this could lead to scaling
radiations are emitted (comparable to TIG welding and blocking of water ways and burning out of the
at high current levels) (see Chapter 15). torch.
The conductivity of the water is also important
6.3 Electric Shock because it could cause an electrical leak to earth. Plasma
Open circuit voltages to 700V are possible and high torch manufacturers require that the electrical resistivity
frequency current at high voltage is used to initiate the arc. of the cooling water exceed 0.1 M Ohms/cm.
Torch design is such that operators cannot simultaneously
touch both electrodes. Additionally, protective devices 6.4 Noise
and warning signs are attached to all possible areas
of contact. Although the risks involved in operation Noise levels during plasma cutting can cause hearing loss
of plasma equipment are minimised by design and both for the operator and nearby personnel. Table 6.1
manufacture standards, the following basic precautions gives an indication of the noise levels attainable in plasma
are essential: cutting. It should be noted that noise level increases with
the thickness of the material being cut and is generally
a) Educate operators in respect of hazards to minimise
higher in gas mixtures containing nitrogen than in argon
the possibility of unauthorised tampering or foolish
hydrogen mixtures7.
practice.
b) Do not operate dry plasma equipment in damp or Operators and all personnel in the vicinity of the
wet environments unless specically designed to do plasma torch should be provided with adequate hearing
so safely, i.e. without causing electrical shock (see protection (Chapter 18). AS 1269 prescribes a suitable
Section 14). hearing conservation programme.

Plasma gas

Shielding gas

50 mm

d) Plate on Surface of Water e) Plate Immersed

a) Transferred b) Non-transferred
Plasma gas
in a vortex
Inlet for
water vortex
Water inlet Plasma cutting torch inside or outside
body of torch

Tungsten
electrode

Water chamber Water chamber

Upstream nozzle Water vortex


Downstream nozzle Water cone
Water shroud

c) Water-Shroud Attachment f) Water-Injection Plasma


Figure 6.1 Plasma Arc Welding and Cutting

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 6 PAGE 33

6.5 Arc Radiation (Non-ionising) plasma. When cutting or welding in conned spaces
appropriate ventilation and protection is required
The level of arc radiation (visible, ultraviolet and infrared) (Chapter 17).
emitted in dry plasma cutting and welding is similar to
that given off by high current GTAW (TIG) welding. To b) When using degreasing agents guard against the
avoid damage to skin or eyes, the provisions given in formation of toxic phosgene. The recommendations
Chapter 15 and Chapter 19 should be adhered to. of Section 10.3 should be observed. This will prevent
chlorinated hydrocarbons reaching the weld zone.
6.6 Noxious Gases
6.7 Fume
6.6.1 Production of Gases
The amount of fume (and noxious gas Section 6.6.1)
As with other high power gas shielded arc processes, given off during plasma cutting or welding is, as with
potential dangers arise from the formation of toxic gases other processes, largely dependent upon amperage
by the effect of ultraviolet radiation on the ambient and material thickness, and in general is similar to that
atmosphere. The main gases to be considered are: encountered in GMAW (MIG) welding.
a) Ozone is produced by the action of ultraviolet radia-
tion on oxygen in the air. The type (constituents) of fume depends mainly on
b) Oxides of Nitrogen are produced by the combination the material being cut or welded with oxides of nitrogen
of nitrogen and oxygen in the presence of ultraviolet being signicant in the gaseous components. Particular
radiation. ventilation requirements are similar to those which apply
c) Phosgene and other gases arising from solvents. to other welding processes (see Chapter 17).
Ultraviolet radiation and heat will cause a breakdown In cutting processes most of the fume is given off
of chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents such as per- underneath the material being cut and it is preferable to
and tri- chlorethylene which are sometimes used as provide fume extraction from underneath the work piece
degreasing agents. (Section 17.6).
Note: Water-shrouded torches (operating with dyed
water to absorb ultraviolet radiation) generate little Use of a water table (Figures 6.1 (d) & (e)) in plasma
or none of these gases. cutting, traps fume9 and is recommended for automated
installations.
6.6.2 Recommendations
The following recommendations are based on References 6.8 Dusts
7 and 8.
a) Local exhaust ventilation should be provided except See re and explosion hazards of dusts in Sections 11.4
where for cutting using water tables or underwater and 16.3.

return to contents next page


PAGE 34 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 7 PAGE 35

RESISTANCE WELDING

7.1 Introduction 7.2.2 Mechanical Safety


Resistance welding processes have widespread industrial Resistance welding equipment should be designed to
usage in high production operations involving sheet avoid crushing of hands and other parts of the body. This
metals, in the automotive industry and fabrication of may be achieved by:
domestic appliances, rail carriages, aircraft etc. These a) Arranging initiating controls such as push buttons
processes include projection, spot, seam and ash welding and foot switches etc to prevent the operator from
in a wide range of machine types. inadvertently operating them.
The main hazards which may arise with these pro- b) Guarding the operator of multi-gun machines or
cesses are: large platen type machines where ngers may pass
a) Electric shock due to contact with live primary ter- under the point of operation, by the use of two hand
minals or uninsulated parts. controls, barriers, electronic eye safety circuits or
b) Ejection of small particles of molten metal during the similar devices to those required for punch presses.
welding. c) Providing one or more emergency buttons for each
c) Crushing of some part of the body between electrodes operator of multi-gun welding machines.
and other parts in power operated machines, both on d) Designing the moving holder or portable resistance
closing and opening strokes. welding machines so that the ngers placed on the
d) Toxic fumes and gases as a result of welding coated operating handles cannot be crushed, e.g. by suitably
or contaminated materials (see Chapter 17). For xed remote two-hand controls (see Figure 7.1).
equipment strategically placed fume extraction can
minimise the effects.
7.2 Manufacture and Installation of
Resistance Welding Equipment
7.2.1 Electrical Safety
Resistance welding equipment is designed and manufac-
tured to avoid accidental contact with parts of the system
which are electrically hazardous. All electrical equipment
including control panels must be manufactured and
installed in accordance with the safety requirements of
electricity authorities and appropriate national Standards.
High voltage parts must be suitably insulated and protected
by complete enclosures with access doors and panels
interlocked to electrically isolate the machine. Doors
and access panels and other live electrical equipment
accessible at production oor level must be kept locked
or interlocked to prevent access by unauthorised persons
to live portions of the equipment (see AS 2799).
All electrical equipment must be suitably earthed and
the transformer secondary may be earthed or provided
with equivalent protection. External weld-initiating con-
trol circuits must operate at low voltage and not over 32V Figure 7.1 Portable Resistance Welding Machine
for portable equipment.
return to contents next page
PAGE 36 CHAPTER 7 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

7.3 Location of Equipment a) Eye protection in the form of eye or face shield or
Care must be taken in choosing a safe location for re- hardened lens goggles is recommended. Face shields
sistance welding equipment to minimise risks to nearby are preferred. For ash welding, goggles which incor-
personnel, equipment and materials. This is particularly so porate a number 2 or 3 lter shade are recommended
for ash welding where a large number of hot or molten to minimise discomfort due to visible radiation (see
particles are ejected for considerable distances during Chapter 19).
welding. These can cause re, eye injuries or supercial b) Skin protection should be provided by the wearing of
burns. Guards or screens on xed ash welding equip- non-ammable clothing with the minimum number of
ment reduce the ejection distance of the ejected molten pockets and cuffs in which hot or molten particles can
particles. Some close shielding may be possible with lodge and leather gloves. For ash welding, increased
portable/mobile equipment. protection by the use of ame resistant aprons, spats,
There is also high level of visible radiation associated gauntlets, cap etc is advisable.
with ash welding. Guards or screens may be necessary
c) Protective footwear is advisable.
adjacent to ash welding equipment.
d) Respiratory protection may be required (see Section
7.4 Personal Protective Equipment 19.6).
As with other welding operations, the personal protec-
tive equipment required is dependent upon the particular e) Appropriate measures should be taken to protect
application. Chapter 19 gives details of various items of adjacent workers near the equipment whilst in use.
safety equipment, and the following indicates equipment This may be achieved by screening of the equipment
needed for resistance welding: with suitable guards.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 8 PAGE 37

SPECIAL WELDING PROCESSES

8.1 Aluminothermic Welding b) Welding Site: The process generally results in ejec-
tion of many small molten and hot particles in the
8.1.1 Thermit Process vicinity of the operation. These constitute a hazard to
personnel and risk of re within approximately three
The basis of this welding process is the chemical reaction
metres. Heavy fume is given off.
between powdered forms of aluminium and iron oxide.
An ignition powder, usually aluminium powder with a i) Work areas should be chosen to minimise the
peroxide, chromate or chloride is ignited to initiate a re- risk of combustible materials such as wooden
action between the components of the Thermit mix. This structures, paper, wood products or fabrics being
results in the liberation of intense heat and forms steel ignited by either hot particles or radiant heat.
at a temperature in the order of 2500C. Alloying ele- ii) Buildings in which the process is used should be
ments such as manganese, carbon, chromium and others well ventilated to prevent the build-up of a high
can be added in the proportions required to the Thermit level of fume (see Section 17.8.8).
mix. Figure 8.1 illustrates the essential components and c) Personal Protective Equipment: Protection against
principles of Thermit welding. heat and molten or hot particles is required for those
working within about three metres of the process.
The process is most often used on high carbon rail i) Full face shields or equivalent are required. Also
steels which are inherently difcult to weld, even when protective lters to shade 2 or 3 are recommended
high preheat temperatures are used. Preheating with to avoid excessive exposure to intense visible
ames is also required to dry any moisture from the radiation (Chapter 19).
components used and to assist in preventing chilling of the
molten metal when it contacts the surfaces to be welded.
8.1.2 Applications
Thermit process nds its major application in welding of THERMIT mix
rail steels and is mostly employed in eld welding opera- THERMIT slag
tions. However, it is also used in workshop situations for
THERMIT steel
a variety of applications, examples being repair of large
crucible
broken steel castings and welding of complex shapes for
which moulds can be prepared. mould

8.1.3 Precautions
a) Moisture: The presence of moisture either in the Thermit
heating gate
mix, within the moulds or crucible or on components
to be welded can lead to rapid formation of steam and
ejection of molten metal during the process. Hence:
i) Follow the recommended preheating procedures;
ii) Do not use Thermit portions which have become
moist;
iii) Do not use the process in wet weather or work-
places which are wet unless steps can be taken
to prevent any moisture from entering the system
either before, during or within about thirty min-
Figure 8.1 Thermit Welding of Rail Steel
utes after welding.
return to contents next page
PAGE 38 CHAPTER 8 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

ii) Boots which prevent molten or hot metal enter- The essential parts of an electron beam welding
ing should be worn. Boots with protective toe machine are:
caps are also advisable in view of the weight of a) a dynamically evacuated work chamber, in which is
crucibles used. enclosed the work to be welded;
iii) Leather spats should be worn. b) an electron gun, with a means of traversing the work
iv) Clothes should be such that hot particles will not piece or the electron gun to follow the contour of the
cause skin burns or lodge in cuffs, pockets etc weld;
(Chapter 19). c) a power pack which supplies the low and high voltages
d) Storage: To avoid the presence of moisture in Thermit to generate, accelerate and focus the electron beam.
or igniter mixes and to minimise re or explosion
risks, the following precautions are required: Typically voltages of 30-200 kV are used in the
i) Dry conditions for storage of Thermit and igniter process, ller metals are not normally used and the
mixes. process is operated in the key-holing mode.
ii) Separate storage of the Thermit mix and igniters. The potential hazards of the process are as follows:
e) Preheating: Generally oxygen-fuel gas ames or a) Electric Shock.
preheat ames from other sources are used to dry and b) Radiation.
heat moulds, crucibles and components. Precautions c) Fumes and Gases.
applicable to oxygen-gas systems (Chapter 5) and
heat treatment processes (Chapter 12) apply. If the d) Physical.
ventilation is sufcient to disperse heavy fume, no 8.3.2 Precautions
problems should eventuate with noxious or toxic gases
due to incomplete combustion or emission of waste gas. a) Electric Shock: The safety of the equipment or the
exterior of the equipment is largely the responsibility
8.2 Laser Welding and Cutting of the designer and manufacturer. The owner and
operators of the equipment must ensure all protective
The laser process involves focusing of high intensity equipment is maintained in excellent working order.
light beams containing ultraviolet, visible or infra-red This especially applies to interlocking safety devices
wavelengths to a small spot size with very high energy for protection of operators working inside the
(see Chapter 15). chamber for cleaning and loading of the work pieces
The eye is most vulnerable to injury by laser energy. since these units can be quite large, permitting the
This is because of the ability of the cornea (the transparent entry of personnel.
section) of the eye and lens, to focus parallel laser beams A system of interlocks must be designed to prevent
on a small spot on the retina. Lasers generating in the accidental locking of personnel in the unit. Internal
ultraviolet and far infra-red regions of the spectrum can systems should also be available to personnel working
cause corneal damage, since at these wave lengths the inside to prevent operation of the unit (e.g. Castel
energy absorbed at the cornea is not transmitted through Key System).
the lens to the retina. The whole of the high tension (or high voltage)
supply, should be in an earthed metal enclosure.
Detailed safe installation and operating procedures Before entry into the chamber, a system of interlocks
are provided by equipment suppliers and should be strictly should ensure the equipment is electrically isolated. A
adhered to. grounding rod should be used to discharge any static
High intensity visible and ultraviolet radiation at the electricity that builds up on the electron gun.
welding or cutting point requires the use of special goggles b) Radiation: An electron beam system is capable of
designed to suit the particular laser beam wavelength. generating X-rays. If electron beam equipment is
Laser light may be reected and scattered from the work inadequately shielded it could result in personnel
surface or surrounding xtures. Care should be taken to being exposed to undesirable levels of radiation.
shield both operators and other workers in the vicinity The design of the machine should prevent a radiation
from reected radiation. hazard by the thickness of the chamber walls and the
Following the ventilation recommendations of lead glass viewing areas. The material being welded
AS/NZS 2211 is required (see Chapter 17). and the maximum operating currents are the main fac-
tors associated with the level of radiation. Equipment
8.3 Electron Beam Welding should be test rated for maximum radiation levels.
Where lead (Pb) is employed as a radiation barrier it
8.3.1 Process
should be mechanically supported and properly pro-
The electron beam process is used in the automotive tected to avoid accidental damage. Regular checking
industries and in other specialised areas, particularly of shielding protection by properly trained personnel
aircraft and aero space. Its capabilities for welding heavy should be carried out to ensure that deterioration is not
wall material, has led to its application in pressure and occurring. The regular checks should be recorded for
containment vessels. reference, to assess deterioration with time.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 8 PAGE 39

Non-vacuum and partial vacuum electron beam sys- 8.4.2 Precautions


tems need to have X-ray protection screens employing
Electrical Safety Precautions, as outlined in Sections
moving or tunnel type shielding.
4 and 14, apply here because of exposed consumables.
Other Radiation: Electron beam produces a high However, the operating voltages in the range from 38-55
degree of infra-red, visible and ultraviolet energies. volts are above the normal operating range (but not above
The viewing panels of lead glass should provide values for open circuit voltage).
adequate protection against this form of radiation. a) Eye Protection: Protection is required for the follow-
Where electron beam welding is done in non-vacuum, ing reasons:
adequate eye protection is required.
i) UV radiation is not emitted. Filters of shade 3
c) Fumes and Gases (Toxic Hazard): Toxic fumes and are sufcient to protect against other radiation if
gases may be generated by electron beam equipment the pool is viewed;
specifically ozone (O3) and various oxides of ii) Hot particles may be ejected from the weld pool
nitrogen (NO and NO2) in particular). The material if insufcient slag is present;
being welded could also produce toxic fume, e.g. iii) On removal of moulds hard slag particles often
beryllium, copper. detach themselves with considerable force and
Environmental measures are necessary for external hence goggles with hardened lenses should be
venting and ltering. The material deposited on the worn.
walls of the vacuum chamber can be readily air borne b) Dust: The ux added to the weld can produce quite
and hence there is a risk of inhalation. high dust loads and care should be exercised in adding
Before entry into the work chamber the toxic gases the material. Care should also be exercised in handling
and fume must be reduced to a safe level. Exhausting the material to avoid the formation of dust.
fumes must be safely discharged where personnel c) Gases: Nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone
cannot breathe them. are formed in the welding process and adequate
Non-vacuum and medium-vacuum electron beam ventilation should be provided.
machines have the potential to form toxic fumes and
gases in the atmosphere surrounding the arc. These
types of electron beam machines must have adequate Electrode
ventilation.
High vacuum systems are unlikely to produce ozone
and oxides of nitrogen as there is insufcient air
available. The non-vacuum and partial vacuum type Consumable guide
are able to produce quantities of these gases.
Base material
d) Physical Hazards: It should be borne in mind that
materials welded in vacuum do not cool as quickly as
in air. Hence, care should be taken to avoid burns.

8.4 Electroslag Welding and


Consumable Guide Welding
Water-cooled
8.4.1 Process copper dam
Figure 8.2 illustrates the essential features of this welding
process. The illustration shows a single wire and single
guide, however, where heavy wall sections are welded,
there are multiple wires and guides employed. The
welding operation is similar to a casting process with
moulds constructed of copper or aluminium. Flux to
provide a slag cover for the weld pool is added by the
operator, or may be combined with the consumable nozzle
in the form of ux ferrules.
Because the welds are carried out vertically the
structures have to be erected and, depending on the length
of the joint, scaffolding may have to be also erected. Due Water
attention has to be made to the stability of the structure and
safety of the personnel working on scaffolding. The xtures
for holding the cooling shoes should take into consid- Figure 8.2 Consumable Guide Electroslag Welding
eration the safety of personnel working in the location.
return to contents next page
PAGE 40 CHAPTER 8 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

d) Heat Radiation: Ambient temperature rises in the The process is normally used for cladding plate and
vicinity of the weld and adequate protection must be is supplied by specialist manufacturers.
provided for operators. The operation of removing
cooling shoes subjects the operator to considerable Variants of the process may be used for tube / tube
radiant heat. The effect is increased with the thickness plate welding in normal fabrication shops. In such
of the material being welded. cases personnel must be adequately trained and special
e) Fume: Consists mainly of uorides, manganese, requirements relating to the use and handling of explosives
silicon, iron, titanium and other elements. The fume must be observed.
load is low, however, in conned areas consideration
to local extraction or ventilation should be given.
f) Physical Hazards: With incorrectly tted moulds 8.6 Friction Welding
or incorrect welding conditions excess penetration
can cause run out of slag and weld metal. Protective Friction welding may be divided into two modes, the
gloves and gloves, aprons, spats and boots are conventional moving work piece mode and the more
recommended. recent rotating tool mode known as friction stir. In the
conventional friction welding mode the two parts to be
g) Water Supply: Adequate supply with continuous joined are oscillated or rotated in contact to generate
ow is required to prevent overheating or melting friction heating prior to forging. In friction stir welding
of moulds. Contact of the weld pool with water is process a rotating tool is moved along the seam to be
dangerous as the sudden formation of steam will joined. In both cases the operation involves machines with
cause an explosion. Ensure water cannot enter the moving parts and relatively high applied force.
weld region during or immediately after welding.
Plastic hoses should not be used because hot water Such equipment should be adequately guarded and
can soften them, causing displacement and leakage. the operators fully trained in the process. Appropriate
protective clothing and safety glasses should be worn.
8.5 Explosive Welding Loose clothing that may be caught in the rotating parts
This process is highly specialised and must comply of the machine should be avoided and long hair should
fully with the requirement of the explosive supplier and be tied back or covered with appropriate headgear. These
statutory authorities. Proven procedures and qualied processes often generate noise and hearing protection
personnel must be used. should be provided.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 9 PAGE 41

BRAZING AND SOLDERING

9.1. Brazing and Soldering Processes 9.2.1 Fluxes


a) Low Temperature Silver Brazing Fluxes: The fume
Although these groups of processes differ in operating given off by these uxes may contain small quantities
principles and techniques, they have sufcient in common of hydrouoric acid and boron triuoride. They have
to warrant joint consideration in respect of health and an irritating effect on the eyes, nose and respiratory
safety consideration. They can be conveniently sub- tract and can cause dermatitis if there is skin contact
divided in respect of their joining temperature and heating with fume or the ux.
source as this largely determines the safety precautions
Local exhaust ventilation is required for all but
required. Other factors include the consumable type (ux
intermittent work and must be used in dip brazing
and ller), aspects of pre- and post- joining cleaning, and
operations.
proximity to work.
Barrier type cream should be used for protection of
Table 9.1 gives joining temperatures and Table 9.2 skin on the face, hands and forearms. However, care
lists the processes, their heat source and particular risks. should be taken to prevent contamination of surfaces
to be brazed with protective cream as this may affect
Table 9.1 Brazing and Soldering Temperatures brazing performance.
Joining Abrasions or skin cuts require immediate cleaning
Process Main Filler and protection by waterproof adhesive dressing.
Temperature
Soldering silver, tin or lead < 400C Thorough washing of hands (including nail cleaning)
Aluminium Brazing zinc or aluminium 450-600C and other exposed skin is required after work and before
Silver Brazing silver and copper
eating, drinking or smoking. Foodstuffs and drinks
and/or cadmium 650-800C are to be separated from the working area at all times.
Copper Phosphorus copper, silver, b) High Temperature Boric Acid Fluxes: No signicant
Brazing phosphorus 650-800C ill-effects have been observed with these uxes.
Brazing of Copper, Gold, copper, gold, c) Sodium Carbonate and Nitrate Salt Baths: These
high temperature metals, nickel, and/or processes are chiey used for aluminium brazing.
reactive and refractory special metals No signicant fume hazards have been observed.
metals 520-3000C However, as the precise constituents of the baths may
not be known, it is wise to adhere to recommended
9.2 Brazing Hazards practices.
Temperature of salt baths should be maintained within
The amount and toxicity of fume is dependent largely the recommended operating range.
upon the process and the type of ller metal and ux d) Cyanide Salt Baths: Due to the highly toxic nature of
used. Accordingly, ventilation requirements are in turn cyanide fumes, protection with respect to breathing
largely determined by these factors. It should be noted that or absorption through skin or ingestion is required.
uxes, llers, salt baths etc are designed with optimum Additionally, storage facilities for cyanide salts and
temperature ranges. Heating to temperatures above the acids must be such that no possibility of accidental
range will always substantially increase the amount of formation of hydrogen cyanide gas exists.
fume generated.
Exhaust ventilation must ensure hazardous concentra-
In addition to fume, the welder needs to avoid direct tions of fume do not occur.
contact with certain salts etc. Particular safety aspects Protective clothing which prevents contact of fume
of uxes, ller metals and process details are discussed or salts is required as absorption through skin may
below. result in poisoning or dermatitis.
return to contents next page
PAGE 42 CHAPTER 9 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Meals and refreshments must not be taken in the 9.2.3 Explosion and Fire
immediate workplace.
Burns due to splashes from cyanide baths must receive 9.2.3.1 Possible Sources
immediate rst aid. Immediately ood the affected In addition to the gases used for ame or gas heating
area with water. A buffered phosphate solution the sources of possible explosion and/or re are furnace
which can neutralise both acids and alkalis should brazing atmospheres, and nitrate or nitrite salt baths.
be available.
Special rst aid facilities must be readily available 9.2.3.2 Flame and Gas Heating
for cyanide poisoning. The nearest hospital should See Chapter 5 for precautions.
be alerted to the fact that cyanide salts are in use.
9.2.3.3 Brazing Atmospheres
9.2.2 Filler Metals a) Purging of air from furnaces is required prior to
The toxicity of brazing fume is also increased by the heating as some brazing atmospheres are explosive
following constituents. or ammable in the presence of air.
a) Cadmium: Some ller metals, e.g. some copper- b) Pilot lights which ignite protective ames in some
silver-zinc types, contain cadmium which is ex- brazing furnaces should always be maintained.
tremely dangerous in fume and dust form. The amount e) Exhaust and safely discharge all explosive or toxic
of cadmium fume increases rapidly as the heating gases which arise from purging operations or brazing
temperature increases in excess of the optimum operations.
heating range. Correct brazing conditions greatly
reduce the hazard. Deaths have occurred due to 9.2.3.4 Nitrate and Nitrite Salt Baths
cadmium poisoning. Cadmium free ller metals are a) Salts must be dry before being added to the bath, to
available. prevent steam explosions.
The following precautions are required for brazing b) Aluminium must not be heated in the nitrate salt
where either the ller contains cadmium or components baths used for dip brazing steel because of possible
are cadmium plated: explosive reaction between aluminium and nitrates.
Local fume extraction is necessary. c) Aluminium brazing is safely carried out in nitrite salt
baths.
Conned situations require the use of a half face air-
line respirator (Figure 19.5) even where local exhaust d) Oils, tars, plastics, their residues and other carbona-
systems are used. ceous materials also explode in contact with molten
nitrate salts. Such a blast propels droplets of molten
Observation for 48 hours after suspected exposure ux into the work place.
is necessary because there may be a latent period
without symptoms prior to a severe reaction. f) Handling of nitrate salts, especially when dry, re-
quires great care because of risk of forming explosive
b) Zinc: In brazing, some zinc fume will be produced mixtures. Procedures approved by the appropriate
where zinc is present in either the ller metal, parent authority (Appendix A) must be employed.
metal or coating. Good natural ventilation and weld-
ing practice should be used. In conned situations, 9.3 Soldering Hazards
more positive ventilation is needed.
Medical attention is advised after signicant exposure. 9.3.1 Toxic Fume and Salts
c) Beryllium: This element may be present in some a) Active (Zinc Chloride) Soldering Fluxes: Zinc chlo-
aluminium or magnesium brazing alloys and is also ride is toxic if taken internally and can cause eye or
present in many copper alloys. Although the welding skin irritation. Irritation resulting in the formation of
of beryllium containing alloy is known to be hazard- ulcers in nasal passages is also possible. Considerable
ous, the situation with respect to brazing is not clear. It care is required in the handling of active uxes.
is strongly recommended however, that the following b) Rosin Based (Safety) Fluxes: The principle constitu-
precautions be applied. ents are colophony (pine resin) and in many uxes
Local exhaust ventilation should be used in all cir- a volatile solvent such as isopropyl alcohol. Fluxes
cumstances. Filters are required to prevent discharge and fumes can cause skin disorders (e.g. dermatitis)
to either the workshop or outside atmosphere. or unpleasant irritation to nasal passages or cause
symptoms such as nausea or sleepiness. Irritation is
Regular analysis of breathing zone and background often experienced by asthma sufferers and an asthma
(workshop) air is advised. reaction sometimes occurs in others. People who
Consultation with statutory authorities should be exhibit such sensitivity should be given work in an
taken before handling beryllium in any form to deter- area free of fume from this ux.
mine appropriate requirements for personal protection b) Phosphoric Acid Based (Stainless Steel) Fluxes:
and hygiene. Phosphoric acid is not volatile but spray may be
d) Other metals may be present but constitute a lesser generated. Contact with skin and eyes must be
hazard. avoided.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 CHAPTER 9 PAGE 43

9.3.2 Safety Precaution for Fluxes out in such a way as to avoid dispersing lead oxide
a) Local exhaust ventilation is required when large dusts. In can soldering lines, where a high lead solder is
quantities of active ux are handled, e.g. dip soldering. used, solder droplets and lead oxides are mechanically
propelled into a large area surrounding the line and local
b) Safety goggles or screens are required where splashing
exhaust ventilation is required, see Table 17.2.
of ux occurs or where fume is present.
c) Barrier creams should be applied to hands and Cadmium is used in low melting point (tin-based)
forearms. and higher melting point (lead-based) solders. In the
d) Protective gloves should be used cautiously. Once low melting point solders fume is not a problem but
contaminated by zinc chloride cleaning is extremely precautions against inhaling fume from the higher melting
difcult and they can then promote dermatitis. point solders are necessary.
e) Cleaning of hands cannot be carried out with ordinary 9.3.4 Fire Hazard Rosin Based (Safety)
soaps, and the use of solvents must be avoided. Obtain Fluxes
safe and effective hand cleansers to AS 1223.
These soldering fluxes contain flammable solvents.
9.3.3 Toxic Fume from Solder Although the risk of re or explosion is not high, basic
precautions should be applied.
Tin and tin fumes (tin oxide) are of low toxicity. The
main problem arises from lead, a constituent of most a) Store all supplies in closed containers.
soft solders. Where lead-containing solder baths are b) Naked lights or other ignition sources must be kept
used, substantial quantities of dross containing ne lead away from open ux baths.
oxide dust are produced and this may be dispersed by c) Extinguish any ux bath res by exclusion of oxygen,
mechanical action as the bath is used, so that an extraction e.g. cover containers with metal sheets or ame-proof
hood is recommended. Dross removal must be carried sheeting.

Table 9.2 Brazing and Soldering Process Hazards)

HAZARD
Flux Fume Eye, Nose,
PROCESS Metal fume Explosion or Electric Cleaning Body
& Toxic Throat
Heat (Sect. 9.2.2 Fire Shock Agents Burns
Salts Injury
Source & 9.3.3) (Sect.9.4) (Sect.9.5) Sect. (9.6) (Sect. 9.7)
(Sect.9.2.1) (Sect.9.5)
BRAZING
Torch / blowpipe
brazing and
braze welding Flame X X X X X X
Induction
brazing Electrical X X X X X
Resistance
brazing Electrical X X X X X
Furnace Gas, X X X X X
brazing Electrical X X X X X
Salt & Flux Gas, X X X X X
Bath Brazing Electrical X X X X X X X
SOLDERING
Blowpipe
soldering Flame X X X X
Soldering Iron Electrical X X X X
Mass soldering Gas, X X X X X
Note 1 Electrical X X X X X
Hot Plate
soldering Electrical X X X X X
Induction
soldering Electrical X X X X
Resistance
soldering Electrical X X X X
Furnace Gas, X X X X
soldering Electrical X X X X
Note 1: Dip, drag, jet and wave soldering
return to contents next page
PAGE 44 CHAPTER 9 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

9.4 Electrical Hazards b) Full Face Shields are required for operations involving
The possibility of electric shock arises in processes such salt baths or solder baths (Chapter 19).
as resistance or induction methods and other processes
using electric power as a heat source. The usual require- 9.6 Cleaning Hazards
ments in respect of installation and maintenance, use of
procedures and protective clothing devices apply. These (See Metal Preparation Section 10.3.1 Chemical
are similar to those in Chapter 4. See also Chapter 14. Treatments.
a) Avoid contact with work coils in induction processes
as slow healing deep skin burns can occur.
9.7 Burns to Body
b) Cabinets must not be opened until power is discon-
nected. Safety switches preferably of the fail-safe In addition to burns to the eye, various parts of the body,
type are recommended. particularly the hands and arms may suffer burns due to
hot metal or parts. Good equipment, work procedures and
9.5 Eye Injuries protection should be used.
These may result from radiation in ame processes or Salt and solder baths and pots must be designed so
from hot liquid metals or uxes. that, when heated from cold, the top melts rst. In this
a) Goggles with suitable protective lters are required way the possibility of ejection of molten solder through
for ame (torch) blazing or soldering (Chapter 19). a solid crust is prevented.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 10 PAGE 45

METAL PREPARATION PROCESSES

10.1 The Need for Metal Preparation 10.3 Precautions with Preparation
Metal surfaces need to be cleaned prior to welding to
Processes
remove materials that may lead to an inferior weld and / Welders will be involved or closely associated with a
or adversely affect the working conditions and health of number of the above processes but may encounter some on
the welder. only rare occasions. The following are the main precautions
which should be observed with the above processes.
Metal surfaces may be covered with a variety of
materials such as rust and scale, paints and surface coat- 10.3.1 Chemical Treatments
ings, plastics, greases and oils, and galvanising. Metal
preparation not only involves checking visible surfaces If in the immediate vicinity of the process, observe all the
but also: applicable precautions specied for handling corrosive
materials and solvents. In general, Material Safety Data
a) What is behind the metal work surface. Sheets should be obtained for all the chemicals being
b) What may be in or has been in a pipe or duct. used in the process. In turn, these Sheets should be used
c) What may be adjacent to or in the vicinity of the to develop safe working procedures.
welding operation.
10.3.1.1Caustic Solution Cleaning
This process is often used to clean off paints and surface
10.2 Metal Cleaning Processes coatings as well as to clean brazed assemblies especially
in aluminium. Caustic cleaning solutions, especially if hot
Metal surfaces and edges may be cleaned, treated or n- and / or concentrated, will give off corrosive and strongly
ished using either physical or chemical processes. Some irritant fumes. Caustic solutions cause burns to skin and
of these processes or operations are: eyes. When in contact with many metals, especially alu-
10.2.1 Chemical minium, cause hydrogen gas to be evolved. This means
precautions against re and explosion must be taken.
a) Chemical plate de-scaling. Such processes require:
b) Degreasing. a) Use of local ventilation (which must be re and spark
c) Surface coating or paint removal. proof if hydrogen is being evolved).
b) Full protective clothing and footwear.
10.2.2 Physical
c) Use of full face shield. Caustic burns to the eye can
a) Abrasive de-scaling. cause severe and irreparable damage.
b) Mechanical edge preparation; shearing, guillotining, d) Use of barrier creams for exposed skin.
nibbling, machining, [arc gouging (see Section 4) and
ame cutting (see Section 5)]. e) Maintenance of adequate emergency facilities (show-
ers and eye washes) and rst aid facilities with caustic
c) Grinding of plate and nal welds. burns in mind.
d) De-slagging, Chipping. f) Proper safety procedures for handling corrosive
e) Chiselling. chemicals should be followed.
f) Peening. 10.3.1.2Acid Solution Cleaning
g) Flame cleaning.
Again the major hazards are skin / eye contact and fumes.
These processes introduce mechanical, chemical and The hazard is increased when hot and / or concentrated
heat hazards which necessitate suitable precautions. solutions are used. The precautions are similar to those
return to contents next page
PAGE 46 C H A P T E R 10 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

for caustic solutions above. Neutralising materials such degreasers in conned spaces is particularly hazardous,
as sodium bicarbonate should be available in case of not only from higher toxic fume levels but also from
spillage. Acid burns need to be treated immediately with simple asphyxiation.
running water, not neutralising solution. Particular care
The following precautions are necessary with
needs to be exercised if nitric acid or hydrouoric acid is
degreasing processes:
being used. Nitric acid on contact with organic materials
such as cotton, sawdust and so on will form ammable a) Degreasing of large areas should be carried out in
and potentially explosive compounds. Hydrouoric acid, special areas remote from the welding operation (refer
especially if dilute, does not give immediately obvious AS 1627.1 for details).
burns but penetrates the skin to do severe damage to tissue b) Welding must not commence until the degreasing
and bone underneath. Hydrouoric acid should not be solvent is completely removed from the surface and
used except with specic safety procedures. Precautions from the area.
to be taken include: c) Where degreasers are expected to evaporate, welding
a) Use local ventilation. must not commence until the surface is dry and
b) Use full protective clothing and footwear. ventilation has removed any fumes.
d) Degreasing solvents must be stored well away from
c) Use full face shield. Acid can cause severe eye damage.
welding operations.
d) Use barrier creams for exposed skin.
e) Maintain adequate emergency showers and eye 10.3.1.5 Solvent Paint Strippers and Removers
washes.
These are usually strong caustic solutions or products
f) Proper safety procedures for handling acids should be based on halogenated hydrocarbons. See Sections a) and
followed. Reference should be made to the Material c) above and always refer to manufacturers Material
Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) supplied by the chemicals Safety Data Sheets.
manufacturer.
10.3.2 Physical Treatments
10.3.1.3 Pickling and Passivation Pastes
The main hazards with these processes are the physical
Pickling and passivation pastes used for the cleaning of hazards of high velocity particles, noise, vibration, the
stainless steels after welding often contain strong alkalis moving parts of machinery and tools, and the creation of
or acids including nitric acid and/or hydrouoric acid. dusts. Protection against high velocity particles involves
The paste manufacturers Material Safety Data Sheet putting barriers between the source of such particles and
(MSDS) should always be consulted prior to the use of workers. Such barriers may be a blasting cabinet/room,
such pastes and any instructions for safe use complied or personal protection (see Chapter 19). Adequate eye
with, including recommended safety precautions. This protection is critical. Noise and vibration are discussed
is particularly critical for pastes containing hydrouoric in Chapter 18. Of particular concern is noise in conned
acid as even small concentrations (as low as 2% HF) are areas and excessively vibrating tools. Equipment must be
capable of inicting very serious burns. properly guarded and adequately maintained to minimise
risks to personal safety. Dust can present both a health
10.3.1.4 Degreasing Chemicals and re/explosion hazard. The dust comes both from the
Where solvents are being used, precautions to limit abrasive grit and the surface being treated. The health
worker exposure and the risk of re (with hydrocarbon hazards of dust can be controlled by:
solvents) are required. In general, degreasing solvents a) Using less hazardous processes or materials.
fall into three categories: water based, hydrocarbon and b) Ventilation of fumes, dusts, etc (see Chapter 17).
halogenated hydrocarbon solvents. c) Personal protection (see Chapter 19).
Water based degreasers generally contain detergents The residues from blasting may themselves be, or
and surfactants. They are the least hazardous but have a form with other materials, a signicant dust re and
number of technical deciencies. explosion hazard (see Section 11.4).
Hydrocarbon solvents are ammable and sometimes All hand tools and other equipment must be main-
form toxic gases when burnt. tained to optimise their operation and minimise the risks
Halogenated solvents (usually chlorinated hydro- to users. Operators must be adequately trained and super-
carbons) are not ammable but decompose on exposure to vised in the use and day to day maintenance of equipment.
heat or ultraviolet radiation to form toxic gases including Blasting and other operations must comply with state
phosgene. Even halogenated solvent fumes drawn through regulations. Such regulations can be ascertained by con-
a cigarette may produce toxic decomposition products. In tacting ofces of the responsible government department.
addition, chlorinated hydrocarbons can form potentially
explosive compounds with aluminium. 10.3.2.1 Abrasive Plate Descaling and Cleaning
Regardless of type, the degreaser will remove skin This process uses abrasive blasting to remove surface
oils from exposed skin. This will initially cause dry skin coatings or to clean up the surface. The process may use
and irritation but may also lead to dermatitis. The use of metallic shot grit, chopped wire and the safer non-metallic
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 10 PAGE 47

grits. High velocity particles and air blast are the main 10.4 Coated Metals
hazards. The relevant safety procedures pertaining to the
particular equipment and abrasive compound must be Coated metals may require special precautions which are
observed (refer AS 1627 Part 4). dealt with in Section 17.10.

10.3.2.2 Mechanical Edge Preparation 10.5 Contaminated Surfaces


Shearing, guillotining, nibbling and machining operations In maintenance or repair work, the surfaces to be welded
should be carried out using equipment and procedures etc may be contaminated with various materials. Unless
that meet relevant safety standards. In addition, the work materials are known to be non-hazardous, they should be
should be carried out by persons suitably trained in the treated as above in Sections 17.2, 17.10 and also Chapter
safe use of such equipment. 21 on working in or on containers and pipes.
10.3.2.3 Grinding and Abrasive Disc Cutting
10.6 Metal Preparation in Special
Grinding and abrasive disc cutting present similar haz- Locations
ards to abrasive plate descaling. However, since they
are typically a manual operation the hazard level can be Special hazards arise in metal preparation operations in
signicantly higher. Special care is required with abrasive the following specic locations:
grinding discs to avoid rupture. a) In conned spaces (refer Chapter 20).
10.3.2.4 Deslagging, Chipping, Chiselling and Peening b) In or on containers (refer Chapter 21).
c) On pressurised equipment (refer Chapter 22).
The major hazard is from eye injury (refer Chapter 19).
d) In reneries and chemical plants (refer Chapter 24).
10.3.2.5 Flame Cleaning e) At heights or underneath construction (refer Chapter 25).
The major hazard is eye injury (refer to Chapters 5 and See also Section 16.3.2 regarding use of non-sparking
19 and AS 1627 Part 3). tools to avoid an explosion.

return to contents next page


PAGE 48 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 11 PAGE 49

METAL SPRAYING

11.1 Introduction 11.3 Gas Fire and Explosion


Metal spraying is used to deposit a variety of metals, non- As with any process which uses oxygen-fuel gas systems,
metals and ceramics as an overlay on components. It is care is required to ensure that malfunctions or dangerous
used both in mechanised and manually operated forms. practices do not arise. These are:
Figure 11.1 illustrates the spraying processes. a) Precautions with Gases: The requirements for safe
handling of gas supply and distribution outlined in
11.1.1 Basic Compounds Section 5 should be adhered to.
The basic components of metal spraying equipment b) Spraying Guns: It is advisable to use guns of modern
are: design which minimise the possibility of obtaining a
a) Source of heat, i.e: mixture of oxygen and fuel gas in the gun, i.e. guns
Oxygen-fuel gas torch (Chapter 5) (see Figure 11.1a). having individual diaphragm valves for oxygen, fuel
Wire-arc gun (see Figure 11.1b). gas and compressed air. Guns should be maintained
Plasma gun (Chapter 6) (see Figure 11.1c). in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
b) Wire or powder feed to supply the overlay material c) Nozzle Backre: Wire pistols have a slight tendency
into the ame or arc. to backre due to heat conduction back through the
wire. For pistols which operate at critical pressures,
c) Compressed air to project molten particles onto the
safety devices are incorporated to prevent ashback
surface of the component being overlaid (wire-arc
into pressure hose. When backre occurs, nozzles
and oxygen/fuel gas processes only).
should be replaced.
11.1.2 Hazards to Health d) Gas Leakage: Care is required to ensure leakage does
not occur from valves, regulators, nozzles or from gas
Hazards to health and safety which are more likely to supplies left on without lighting them. Explosive gas
arise in metal spraying processes than in other welding mixtures can build up very quickly especially in small
or allied processes12 are: working areas.
a) Fire and explosions of gas (Chapter 16).
b) Dust res (Chapter 16.3). 11.4 Dust Fire and Explosion
c) Poisoning or respiratory difculties due to dust. 11.4.1 Need for Precaution
d) Skin disorders due to dust.
Accumulated metal dusts are, under certain circum-
e) Radiation eye and skin hazards (Chapter 15). stances, capable of burning or exploding. Although this
f) Electric shock (Chapter 14). situation is likely to arise only very rarely, the possible
g) Noise (Chapter 18). results are such that stringent precautions are required.
h) Burns. These are given below.
The precautions required in respect of these hazards 11.4.2 Flammable Metal Dusts
are discussed below. The reactive metals which, when nely divided (in the
form of dust) may burn in air are aluminium, zinc, mag-
11.2 Surface Preparation nesium and titanium, Spraying or grinding these metals
Abrasive blasting is a commonly used method of surface is often responsible for the dust.
preparation for metal spraying as it provides a good sur- Metallic dust res are slow moving and difcult to
face for adhesion. extinguish. Ignition may be brought about by:
Special precautions and restrictions apply to abrasive a) Hot (molten) spatter.
blasting (see Section 10.3.2.1). b) Electric shorts from cable with damaged insulation.
return to contents next page
PAGE 50 C H A P T E R 11 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Oxy-acetylene or Explosion may result if burning dust is stirred up


oxy-propane gas
into a cloud, providing oxygen access to a large surface
Compressed air 100 mm min area of hot metal.
250 mm max
Characteristic luminous white cone Fight metal dust res with procedures tailored to these
of balanced oxy-acetylene flame special characteristics as laid down in Section 16.3.4.
Melting wire
11.4.3 Self-Burning Dust Mixtures
Many metal oxides may provide the oxygen necessary
for the combustion of the reactive metals listed in
Burning gases
11.4.2 without the need for any other air or oxygen.
Air envelope Atomised spray This aluminothermic reaction rapidly generates high
Air cap
Sprayed metal temperatures (white heat) and showers of sparks. It is
Wire and gas nozzle the type of reaction used in the Thermit welding process
Wire or powder feed Prepared base metal (Section 8.1).
a) Oxygen Fuel Gas The most commonly met oxides which can so
combine with the metals listed in 11.4.2 are:
a) Iron oxide from blasting, grinding, cutting etc.
Insulated
housing Reflector plate b) Copper oxide.
c) Tin oxide.
Nozzle d) Lead oxide.
Wire e) Fire ghting procedures are given in Section 16.3.4
Arc point
11.4.4 Collection of Metal Dusts
Air a) Vacuum cleaners of ame-proof design should be
used to keep dust accumulation to a minimum.
Wire b) Workshops designed for metal spraying should have
Sprayed smooth walls and a minium of ledges or obstructions
Wire guide material
on which dust accumulations are possible.
Substrate
c) Metal spraying and blasting should, wherever possible,
Power leads
be carried out in completely separate rooms.
d) Metal dusts should not be freely discharged to air.
b) Wire-Arc
e) Water wall spraying booths (Figure 11.2) collect metal
dust at the source by ooding it with water, allowing
The arc is struck between two consumable wires. safe disposal.
Spray nozzle
f) Wet scrubbers are preferable to dry dust collectors.
or orifice body g) Bag or lter type collectors should be sited outside the
Copper
electrode workrooms and tted with explosion relief doors.
holder h) Cyclones should be protected against the entry of
moisture as reactive metal dusts (11.4.2) are capable
1
3
of spontaneous combustion in humid conditions or
Tungsten 2
when partially wetted.
electrode i) Ventilation ducting should be designed and operated
as recommended in Section 16.3.3.

Powder and Water in


powder gas Air
Water wall

Arc gas
Negative electrical Positive electrical Air exhaust
connection and water out connection and water in
Air
Approx. Plasma Temperatures
1. 13000C and over
2. 10000 to 13000C
3. 8000 to 10000C Air
Water out Particles
trapped here
c) Plasma
Figure 11.1 Metal Spraying Equipment Figure 11.2 Water Wall Spraying Booth

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 11 PAGE 51

11.4.5 Prevention of Dust Fire and Explosion f) Other Metal Powders: Alloys which contain manga-
nese, cobalt, vanadium, nickel or chromium should
The evidence currently available indicates that the particle
be treated with great care. Reference should be made
size of dusts formed in metal spraying is rather larger
to the relevant exposure standards, Appendix B.
than that which would constitute any appreciable risk.
Nevertheless, this risk must be assumed to be present and g) Skin Disorders: Dermatitis can affect some people.
appropriate precautions taken. Barrier creams may be effective in prevention but in
any case a doctor should be consulted. Where chronic,
Prevent dust re and explosion by observing the a change in occupation may be required.
recommendation of Section 16.3.
11.6 Personal Protective Equipment
a) Goggles are required to provide protection against
11.5 Health of Operators infra-red and ultraviolet radiation and from ying,
Metallic dusts generated in metal spraying may result sometimes molten particles. Filter selection depends
in a variety of health problems in workers ranging from upon the process being used (see Chapter 19). (Due
quite short-term effects to a serious deterioration in health. to the high arc energies involved, stronger lters may
Adoption of efcient ventilation facilities and, in severe be required to reduce ultraviolet radiation.)b) Hearing
situation, a positive air ow respirator will obviate these protection is required with some metal spraying guns
problems. In modern metal spraying, deterioration in which are excessively noisy, e.g. arc and plasma (see
health due to exposure of dusts is very rare. It is as well, Chapter 18). (Ear plugs and muffs are commonly used
however, to be aware of the possible consequences of in combination.)
excessive exposure. c) Work clothing and footwear should be chosen to
a) Larger Particles: Nose and throat irritations are the minimise the possibility of burns or injury due to
major hazards resulting from particles of size greater molten particles.
than about 5 microns. Discomfort is likely but such d) Respiratory protection devices are determined by
particles are generally not dangerous. the nature, type and magnitude of the fume and gas
b) Small Particles: Lung deterioration can be associated exposure (see Chapter 17 and section 19.6).
with particles of a size of less than 5 microns, and
particularly if less than about 1.5 microns which 11.7 Metal Spraying Guns
may become trapped in the lungs. Dependent upon It is important to recognise the potential hazards with
the type of dust an impairment of lung functions and defective guns which use compressed air, oxygen and a
long-term deterioration can occur. fuel gas (see Chapter 5).
c) Zinc Spraying: Zinc spraying can result in operators a) Flashback or unexplained blow-outs require the
being affected by metal fume fever. Although cause of failure to be found and eliminated before
symptoms vary, it is in many ways similar to mild re-lighting.
inuenza. There appears to be no long-term effects
and recovery generally occurs about eight hours after b) Oil should not be allowed to enter gas passages or
removal from fume exposure. mixing chambers. Only those lubricants recommended
by the manufacturer can be used.
d) Lead Spraying: Lead is a cumulative poison and can
have very serious consequences. Stringent statutory c) Acetylene gas can only be used in guns specially
regulations apply to conditions of work, and medical designed for this gas. High issuing velocities which
examinations are required (e.g. routine blood tests) are not achievable in other gun types are required to
in industries where lead poisoning or absorption can prevent the ame from burning back into the mixer.
occur. Such regulations must be adhered to and strict
supervision of workers must also be practised. 11.8 Spray Booths
e) Cadmium Spraying: Cadmium fumes may also cause The operation should be carried out at a negative pre-
poisoning which can be fatal in acute cases. Good ssure to prevent fume affecting nearby personnel. A
ventilation must be ensured and strict adherence to manometer can be used to ensure a visual indication
statutory provisions is required (see Appendix A). during operation.

return to contents next page


PAGE 52 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 12 PAGE 53

HEAT TREATMENT PROCESSES

12.1 Type of Process d) Protective Clothing: Heat resistant protective gloves


and clothing will be required where preheat tem-
Heat treatment in various forms is extensively used in peratures are such that they give rise to risks of burns
welding applications. Examples are found in preheat- (see Chapter 19).
ing of weldments and postweld heat treatment such as
stress relief or occasionally normalising and solution e) Burns: No matter how minor, all burns should receive
heat treatment. rst aid.

Salt bath heat treatment is not normally applied


to weldments but appropriate precautions are given in 12.4 Flame Heating
Sections 9.2, 9.5 and 9.7. Oxygen-fuel gas systems are frequently used for both
pre- and post-weld heating. Precautions common to all
12.2 Hazards oxygen-fuel gas systems have to be adopted (see Chapter
Burns constitute the principle hazard which can arise from 5). Particular considerations include the following:
heat treatment but there are also specic hazards which a) Fire and Explosion: Exercise care in handling of all
are related essentially to the heating process used. (See equipment, take precautions to avoid leakage and
below). Additionally, heat stress can be severe in conned build-up of oxygen or fuel gases (see also Chapter 16).
areas (see Chapter 23). b) Ventilation: In conned spaces, build-up of fuel gases,
carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide can occur. Care
12.3 Burns is required to ensure gas supply systems are leak-
Hazards arise through heat treatment. Care needs to be tight (Chapter 5) and that appropriate ventilation
exercised in preventing contact with work pieces either is provided (Chapter 17). The requirements of
during heat treatment or during subsequent cooling. Im- AS/NZS 2865 should be met.
portant features for consideration are:
a) Location: Where possible, post-weld heat treatment 12.5 Electrical Heating
should be carried out where personnel cannot touch
the work piece. Electrical resistance heating is commonly used and in
b) Insulation: To prevent skin contact with heated sur- many situations electrical power is obtained from welding
faces, suitable thermal insulating materials should be plant or other appropriate generators or transformers. To
provided. ensure safety in respect of electrical safety and operation
of equipment, the following considerations apply:
c) Warning Signs and Barriers: These will be required
in working areas where safe relocation of the work a) Electric plant (refer Chapter 4).
piece cannot be carried out. b) Electric shock protection (refer Chapter 14).

return to contents next page


PAGE 54 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 13 PAGE 55

PRECAUTIONS WITH VARIOUS MATERIALS

13.1 Introduction
In addition to the various hazards associated with each Table 13.1 cross references the normal precautions
welding process, problems can arise with a variety of required to avoid hazards which may arise from welding
materials during welding or ame cutting if suitable or cutting on particular materials or through the use of
precautions are not taken. particular consumables.

Table 13.1 Precautions Required With Certain Materials and Processes

Material Contaminant (Notes 7, 8, 9) *Hazards Remarks


Aluminium
spray powder & wires Al fume, dust re & explosion
ake paint Al fume, radiation see also plastics
Aluminium and its alloys
plate extrusions & castings Al (Mg, Mn, Cr) ozone
welding consumables Al (Mg, Mn, Cr, Be) ozone fume, radiation
Aluminium bronze Cu Al fume, radiation
Basic (hydrogen controlled) manual
electrodes and ux-cored wires uorides fume
Blasting Residue iron, copper oxides, Silica dust re & explosion Note 1
Brass and Bronze Cu, Zn, (Sn) Mn, Ni, Pb fume
Brazing baths see Heat Treatment
Brazing llers
Cadmium-free Cu, Ag, Zn, Ni (Sn) fume Clause 9.2.2
Cadmium-bearing Cd, (Cu, Ag, Zn, Ni) fume Clause 9.2.2
Brazing uxes uorides fume Clause 9.2.1
Casting, iron welding electrodes for
Nickel or Nickel-iron type Ni fume
Bronze type Cu, Zn (Al) fume
Coatings, metal, on steel etc.
See also metal spraying, Zn, Pb, Cr, Cd, Ni, Cu, Sn fume Note 2
plated steel, surfacing, lead
Coatings, plastic, on steel etc organic fume fume Clause 17.10
Copper & its alloys
Copper, brass & bronze Cu, Zn, (Sn), Mn, Ni, Pb, Al fume See also
Copper-beryllium alloy Be (Cu) fume Brass and Bronze
Degreasing agents, skin irritation, re, narcosis
chlorinated hydrocarbons intoxication and addiction
decomposition products phosgene fume Clauses 17.11 and 10.3

return to contents next page


PAGE 56 C H A P T E R 13 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Material Contaminant (Notes 7, 8, 9) *Hazards Remarks


Dissimilar metal joints,
welding electrodes for
High alloy stainless type Cr, Ni, (Fe)
Nickel alloy type Ni, Cr, (Fe) fume Note 3
Galvanised steel See also
hot zinc dipped, zinc plated Zn (Fe) fume, radiation coatings
zincalume Zn (Al, Fe) fume, radiation metal on steel
Heat treatment/dip brazing
molten salt baths nitrates, nitrites explosion, steam explosion Clause 9.2.3.4
molten cyanide salt baths cyanides barium & alkali poisoning, skin disease Clause 9.2.1
Lead, lead-coated steels, Pb fume, dusts Clause 9.3.3
terne plate Pb oxide dust, re and explosion
Magnesium and its alloys plate fume, radiation
extrusions and castings dusts Mg, Zn dust, re & explosion
Metal spraying see also surfacing Al, Zn, Pb, Mo fume, dust re & explosion
Nickel and its alloys
Monel Ni, Cu fume, radiation
Incoloy, Inconel Ni, Cr, Fe fume, radiation
Hastelloy Ni, Cr, Co fume, radiation
Paint coatings on steel etc
Weld-through primers -
Zinc silicate type Zn, Cd fume, radiation
Epoxy type see plastics
Other metals in paint
Aluminium ake Al fume, radiation
Zinc Chromate Zn, Cr fume
Red lead Pb fume
see also Plastics
Other paints see Plastics
Plastics, decompose on excessive organic fume fume Clauses 17.10.1, 10.3.1.4,
heating ller materials re and explosion Clause 21.3.2
Plated steel etc.
Zinc see Galvanised steel
Cadmium Cd fume, radiation Clause 9.2.2
Chromium Cr, Cu, Ni fume, radiation Notes 2,4
Solder cadmium-base Cd fume Clause 9.3.3
tin-lead Pb fume Clause 9.3.3
Soldering ux
safety colophony fume, re Clauses 9.3.1 and 9.3.4
stainless steel phosphoric acid fume Clause 9.3.1
active zinc chloride fume, skin irritation Clause 9.3.1
Steel types Table 17.2
all Note 5
austenitic manganese wear- Fe
resistant Mn fume
cryogenic steels (9% Ni) Ni fume
leaded steels Pb fume
maraging steels Ni, Co fume, dust, re and explosion
stainless steels 400 series Cr, Mo fume, radiation
stainless steels other Cr, Ni, Mo fume, radiation
tool steels (> 5% Cr) Cr, W, V fume
Surface contaminants organic fume etc fume, re & explosion Clauses 17.11 and 21.3.2
Surface treatments
acid (pickling, paste) solutions products of decomposition fume Clause 10.3.1.2
caustic solutions methylene chloride fume, skin irritation Clause 9.6
paint remover phosgene fume Clauses 17.10.1 & 10.3.1.4
see also Degreasing skin disease Clause 17.11
see also Blasting fume Clause 17.11

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 13 PAGE 57

Material Contaminant (Notes 7, 8, 9) *Hazards Remarks


Surfacing (hardfacing) consumables
1. Steels Fe, Mn, Cr, Ni fume Note 5, 6
2. Chromium carbide irons Cr, Co, W, Mo fume Note 7
3. Tungsten carbide composites
4. Cobalt alloys (Stellites) Co, Cr etc fume
5. Nickel alloys Ni, Cr, Cu etc fume
6. Copper alloys Cu, Ni etc fume
Titanium plate and sheet radiation

* Key to frequently referenced information: fume hazard: see ventilation in Table 17.1, 17.2 and Appendix B
radiation hazard: open arc welding on bright metal Chapter 15 dust re and explosion: 11.4, 16.3, Table 16.1
Notes:
1. Oxides such as scale or corrosion removed by shot, wire or grit blast cleaning of metals.
2. Non-volatile chromium, nickel and coper in or on metals being welded contribute very little fume relative to: Volatile cadmium, zinc or lead
coatings Any metals in a consumable electrode Organic coatings on metals being welded. See Section 17.10.
3. Joints between some steels or between steel and nickel alloy or cast iron.
4. See Section 17.10.2
5. Exposure standards for atmospheric contaminants in Australia are gazetted by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission
(NOHSC) . Manganese (Mn) compounds in welding fume are currently limited to 1 mg/ m3 breathing air. In the USA and UK measures to
reduce the exposure standards to manganese compounds are under consideration. It is strongly recommended that respiratory protection be
used to minimise the exposure to manganese bearing fumes.
6. Spray powders and wires, covered electrodes, solid and tubular wires.
7. Precautions depend on the matrix composition.
8. Precautions appropriate to the main contaminant given are adequate for bracketed elements also.
9. Meanings of chemical symbols are listed in Appendix D.

return to contents next page


PAGE 58 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 14 PAGE 59

ELECTRIC SHOCK

14.1 Introduction electrical resistance of the human body varies typically


from 650 to 6500 ohmswhich means that electrical
Although electric arc welding and other operations using outputs from welding machines can cause electric shock.
electric power can be performed perfectly safely, there Other resistances in the electric arc-welding circuit, such
are circumstances when there is a substantial risk of as insulation and protective clothing are required to reduce
electric shock. Precautions against this risk include use the risk and severity of electric shock.
of properly maintained equipment, correct protective
equipment and sound work practices. The severity of With welding machines (as used for MMAW and
electric shock depends on many factors. The consequence GTAW) the OCV (40 to 100 volts) available when the
may only be an unpleasant experience, but it may also machine is switched on is considerably higher than the arc
lead to muscular spasms causing a fall from a height or voltage (19 to 35 volts) when the machine is welding. It
striking injury; and in a few circumstances, death by is this open circuit voltage (OCV) that provides the most
electrocution. Fatalities have occurred during electric risk of an electric shock and which can kill in adverse
arc welding, even when the equipment is sound and circumstances. Electric shock is less likely to occur while
the victim was of good health. These notes and those in the arc is operating as the resistance of welding circuit,
Section 4.9.4 describe precautions necessary to avoid including the arc, is relatively low, 0.025 to 0.25 ohms.
electric shock. Details of personal protective equipment Electrical currents as low as 30 milliamps a.c. or 100
are given in Chapter 19. For further information, refer milliamps d.c. can provide a fatal electric shock. Electric
to Australian Standard AS 1674.2. and WTIA Technical shock can lead to ventricular brillation, which is a form
Note 22: Welding Electrical Safety of heart failure. This condition leads to death within a
few minutes. Prompt resuscitation occurs as detailed in
Before switching on the welding machine, the Reference 13 may save the victim.
electrode holder, welding leads, and the machine itself
should be inspected for signs of damaged insulation or
conductive contaminants such as water and metallic 14.3 Electricity Supply to the Welding
particles that may bridge the insulation. The same applies Machine and Ancillary Equipment
for If any faults are found they should be repaired or
replaced by a qualied person. Welding leads must not The voltage on the input or primary side of the welding
be rolled out to the work piece without the machine being machine is dangerous. The welder must not tamper
switched off from the electric supply. with the electricity supply for switching, plugging or
unplugging the machine. Only a licensed electrician
should perform repairs and maintenance to the electrical
14.2 Factors Affecting Severity of components of a welding machine. If a number of a.c.
Electric Shock MMAW machines are to be connected to the same
work piece, ensure a licensed electrician is requested to
Australian Standard AS/NZS 60479 describes the effect of connect all machines to the same phase pair and with
current on the human beings and livestock. The severity the same phasing. This will ensure there is no voltage
of an electric shock depends primarily on the magnitude between adjacent electrode holders. Care must be taken
of the voltage applied, the level and type of current in positioning supply leads to welding plant and ancillary
(alternating or direct) and the resistance of the body and equipment where there is a risk of damage.
any insulation. The risk of electrocution is dependent on
a number of factors, including the current path, the touch Electrocution has occurred when a power supply lead
voltage, the duration of the current ow, the frequency, rested on an overheated terminal of a power source. The
the degree of moisture on the skin, the surface area of power supply lead insulation melted allowing full mains
contact, the pressure exerted and the temperature. The voltage to contact the work terminal.
return to contents next page
PAGE 60 C H A P T E R 14 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

14.4 Risk of Shock and Choice of 14.4.3 Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)
Welding Process GTAW has similar OCVs to MMAW, both a.c. and d.c.
The risk of electrocution from the output or secondary The power should be turned off while changing tungsten
side of the welding machine is dependent on the welding electrodes. The arc should be struck on the workpiece
process. In most cases, a process using direct current is before placing the tip of the ler wire in the weld zone,
considerably safer than one using alternating current, otherwise it is possible to strike against the ller wire.
because the threshold current (voltage impedance) for The use of high frequency with GTAW adds another
ventricular brillation is 2 to 3 times greater with d.c. hazard. Although the voltages of the high frequency are
than a.c. The threshold for ventricular brillation for a.c. very high (2000 to 10000 volts), their hazard is relatively
(15-100Hz) is taken to be 40 mA. (Refer AS 60479.1 low. This is because the response of the human body to
2002) these high frequencies. There is less risk of ventricular
brillation because high frequencies track along the skin
Another effect is that a.c. causes muscle spasms, rather than penetrating the body. The duration of HF
perhaps causing the hand to grip onto the source of the pulses is very short. However HF may damage sensitive
electric shock rather than release it. The threshold of electronic devices, such as multimeters, heart pacemakers
let-go for a.c. is taken to be 10 mA. (Refer AS 60479.1 and hearing aids.
2002).
14.4.1 Resistance Welding 14.4.4 Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Flux
Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
Little hazard. Voltages are 4 to 12 volts a.c. and d.c. See
Chapter 7 These processes have a lower risk of electrocution
because OCVs are low, only d.c. is used, and the power
14.4.2 Manual Metal Arc, Arc Air Gouging is switched at the torch. On some equipment the OCVs
Most electrocutions have occurred with the MMAW can be as high as 70V d.c., although voltages are usually
process. The Open circuit voltage is usually 40 to 113 less than 50V d.c.
volts d.c. or 40 to 80 volts r.m.s. a.c. with these machines.
The main risk occurs when changing electrodes, because 14.4.5 Submerged Arc and Electroslag Welding
the electrode is exposed and live whilst in the electrode
holder if the circuit is not isolated. Isolation can mean SAW and ESW processes both have a low risk of
either switching off the machine or using an isolation electrocution because the welder is remote from the
switch, such as an output circuit safety switch as per nozzle. It is important, however, to turn off the power
AS 1674.2 2003, or a hand-piece switch. Another option source while changing the electrode wire or assembling
is to use a VRD. (see Section 14.7) or disassembling the equipment.

Table 14.1 Typical Open Circuit Voltage for Various Processes


Open Circuit Voltages
Electric Welding Process Relative Hazard Power Type Refer Chapter
(Volts)

Resistance Negligible 4-12 a.c. & d.c. 7

MMAW Medium 50-100* a.c. & d.c. 4

GTAW (TIG) Medium 50-100* a.c. & d.c. 4

GMAW (MIG) Low 15-60 d.c. 4

FCAW Low Low 20-60 d.c. 4

Submerged Arc Low 25-100 a.c. & d.c. 4

Electroslag Low 30-100 a.c. & d.c. 8

Underwater Very High 50-80 a.c. & d.c. 26

Air Carbon Arc Medium 50-80 a.c. & d.c. 4

Plasma Arc Cutting High 100-700 d.c. 6

Electron Beam Very High 30,000-200,000 d.c. 8

Laser High 1,000-40,000 d.c. 8 & 15

Arc Metal Spray High 40-100 d.c. 11

* maximum for a.c. = 80 volts (see Chapter 14)

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 14 PAGE 61

14.4.6 Plasma Welding and Cutting 14.5.3 Avoiding contact through damaged equip-
ment or poor work practices
The voltage necessary to create a plasma is of the order
of 100 to 700 volts. The risk of electrocution is high only The diligence of daily and pre-start inspections, using safe
if equipment is disassembled with the power on or if it is work practices, equipment maintenance by competent
damaged. It is important to follow practices outlined in persons and awareness of electrical hazards by welders
Chapter 6 and the manufacturers instructions. and others in the vicinity are key factors in prevention
of electric shock.
14.5 Avoiding the Risk of Electrocution
in Manual Welding
14.5.4 Limiting or eliminating the OCV
The Work practices which must be followed to prevent
a welder being exposed to the electrical hazard of The use of hazard reduction devices such as voltage
the secondary circuit involve a combination of four reduction devices (VRDs) and hand-piece trigger
strategies: switches can greatly reduce the exposure of personnel
a) avoiding contact with the electrode, to the OCV from a welding power source.
b) avoiding contact with the work piece,
c) avoiding contact through damaged equipment or poor Voltage Reduction Devices
work practices and; Voltage Reducing Devices (VRDs) are safety enhancements
d) limiting or eliminating the OCV. that reduce the potentially hazardous voltages produced
by a welding power source. The function of a VRD is
14.5.1 Preventing Contact with the Electrode
to reduce the OCV to a safer, lower level when welding
The most fundamental safety requirement is for the ceases. A voltage-reducing device or system should
welder to avoid bare skin contact with the electrode or automatically reduce the no-load or OCV, to a no-load
live parts of the electrode holder or gun. The electrode voltage of:
is an electrical conductor. During manual metal arc 35 V for d.c. and
welding, dry welding gloves are required for handling
the electrode holder, when inserting a new electrode or 35 V peak, 25 V rms for a.c.
to steady its tip during welding. Bare hands, damp or or less when the resistance of the output circuit exceeds
defective gloves shall not be used. The electrode holder 200 Ohms. Response time for switching to reduced voltage
for manual metal arc welding should preferably be of the shall be 0.3 seconds for a.c. circuits and 0.5 seconds for
Australian Standard AS 2826 Class A standard. d.c. circuits. VRDs have the following features:
14.5.2 Preventing Contact with the Work Piece a) When no welding is taking place and the output
circuit resistance is high, the voltage is limited. Most
Preventing contact with the electrode is regarded as commercial VRDs reduce the OCV to around 12 V.
insufcient to guarantee safety. There have been incidents
of electrocution reported where there has been accidental b) When the electrode is brought in contact with the
contact between the electrode and the face, neck or arm- work, lowering circuit resistance below about 200
pit. Some other precaution is essential; ideally insulation Ohms, the full secondary circuit voltage is applied
from the work piece. and allows an arc to establish.
All parts of the work piece have to be regarded as c) Full welding voltage is only present while welding is
electrically live, and live areas can surround the welder. in progress and this signicantly reduces the window
Use leather or fibre mats or cushions and wooden of opportunity or risk of being exposed to a lethal
duckboards to prevent direct contact with the work, or OCV.
any damp surfaces that may be electrically connected d) It is also important to understand the response time of
to the work. Appropriate clothing that provides good a VRD and ensure that this is minimal. (0.3 seconds
coverage insulates the welder from the work piece, for a.c. circuits and 0.5 seconds for d.c. circuits)
provided it is dry. The weaknesses of relying on clothing e) Some VRDs have an intentional delay of some
for insulation are that overalls, leather jackets and denim seconds before they reduce the OCV. This is more
jeans are often fastened with brass studs, get worn and than enough time for a welder to be electrocuted.
holed during use, may not provide complete coverage
and get damp with perspiration. All parts of the body f) When purchasing a VRD, select one designed to fail
should be covered. Dry overalls or shirt and trousers, in a safe manner. Failure must not result in unsafe
insulated boots, welding gloves and welding screen are conditions due to lack of protection.
a minimum requirement. Leather jackets, leggings or g) VRDs are the best option for achieving the low OCV
knee pads worn as protection from heat from the job, also requirement of a wet hazardous environment when
provide good electric shock protection. When working at using a drooping characteristic power source (a.c.
a bench, stand on a wooden duckboard. When effective or d.c.). They are recommended for other locations,
insulation cannot be guaranteed the precautions given in although some reduction in the ease of striking has
14.6 should be applied. been experienced.
return to contents next page
PAGE 62 C H A P T E R 14 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Indication of satisfactory operation of VRDs accidentally to get a shock. This can occur by stroking the
face with a live electrode, dropping it, or placing it under
Each VRD shall be provided with a reliable device that
the armpit. Much work in a workshop can be conducted in
indicates that is operating satisfactorily. Where a lamp is
a non-hazardous workspace, but if the workpiece is large,
used, it shall light when the voltage has been reduced.
or is sitting on a steel plate on the oor, the workspace
Hand-piece Switches should be regarded as potentially electrically hazardous.
The workspace is not hazardous if insulating material
Another effective control is to use a switch on the hand- can be used to prevent contact with the workpiece.
piece to isolate power output from the welding machine. Standing in rubber soled shoes is not hazardous, but if
Where a hand-piece (trigger) switch is used as a hazard- work is performed while sitting, kneeling or laying on the
reducing device. workpiece it may become hazardous. The hazard can be
(a) the voltage of its control circuit shall be not more than minimised by lying on leather-covered cushions, wooden
d.c. 35 V peak or a.c. 25 V r.m.s.; and duckboards, or similar insulation. It is not sound practice
(b) its switching mechanism shall. to rely on normal work clothing for insulation, because
(i) return to the off position, immediately the welder it is easily holed or moistened with sweat, and may have
releases pressure on the switch; metal button or zip closures.
(ii) be easy to hold in the closed position, enabling the If the workspace is a small space closely conned
welder to carry out normal welding operations, by conducting elements, then insulation from contact is
without muscle strain; almost impossible. Such a workplace could be inside a
(iii) have a two-stage operation to move to the on pipe or small vessel. The hazardous environment may
position, so that there is a low probability of or may not be a conned space as dened by AS/NZS
accidental closure of the switch during any 2865:2001 Safe working in a conned space. A conned
hazardous operations (for example, changing space without an electrically conducting boundary is not
electrodes); and electrically hazardous. A room with electrically conducted
(iv) automatically latch in the off position, on release walls, such as ships engine room is not a conned space
of pressure by the welder. (it is a normal place of work), but it may be electrically
Proper functioning of hazard-reducing devices shall hazardous. If it is a conned space then the precautions
not be affected by interference from remote controls, arc- specied in AS/NZS 2865 are mandatory, to prevent
striking devices or arc-stabilizing devices of the welding asphyxiation, entanglement with machinery, entrapment
power source (that is, limits for no-load voltage shall not or engulfment. Refer Table 14.2.
be exceeded). Examples of such environments include
a) underwater;
14.6 Assessing the Risk of Electric b) in the splash zone close to the waters edge;
Shock c) while standing in water;
14.6.1 Normal Environment d) in rain;
A normal environment is one where there is a low risk of e) welding in a hot or humid area when it is impossible to
becoming part of the welding circuit. This is equivalent avoid accumulation of perspiration or condensation;
to AS 1674.2 Category A environments. The risk of f) in conned spaces.
simultaneously touching the workpiece and the electrode If MMAW and allied processes have to be performed
is low. It is typically where the welder is working at a in these hazardous environments, a voltage reducing
bench, welding small components, such as test pieces. device (VRD) is recommended. This device is designed
The welder must be standing, laying or sitting on to reduce the OCV to less than 25 volts if the circuit
nonconducting material. When changing electrodes, the resistance exceeds 200 ohms. A lower capital cost solution
welder is not touching either the bench or the workpiece. is to use a contactor switch which is operated by the
The bench is often part of the circuit and is live, and welder or observer. Such a switch should be arranged so
covering parts of it with a leather coat or blanket where that the welding current is cut off except when striking
the welder may touch it is essential. In this situation, only the arc and welding. An observer is necessary to operate
the general precautions apply. (Refer Table 14.2.) the contactor switch in conned spaces.
14.6.2 Hazardous Environment If the workspace is electrically hazardous, the
This environment is where the welder is required to following additional precautions apply:
work while in contact with the workpiece or conducting a) If possible, the area must be made non-hazardous by
materials connected to the workpiece. This is equivalent using insulation, in which case it can be treated as a
to AS 1674.2 Category B environments. It includes normal environment.
large steel building structures, storage tanks, conductive b) Before welding, an emergency response plan should
confined spaces, and onboard ships. The ambient be written to cover the eventuality the welder
temperature is less than 32C and the area is dry. In suffers a serious shock and has to be extricated and
this case, the welder only has to touch the electrode resuscitated, or indeed for any other risk.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 PAGE 63

c) The welder must not work alone. Someone in the area c) Equipment maintenance must not be undertaken in
must be given the task of observing all welders, even if this environment.
normal duties are acting as a trades assistant, passing The maximum permitted voltage when an arc is not
electrodes or tools to the welders as required. The present is 25V a.c. or 35V d.c. Plasma processes should
observer must be trained in emergency procedures, not be used in this environment. To comply with the low
particularly how to disconnect the power and obtain OCV, some hazard protection device is required for the
help. They should probably carry a radio or mobile MMAW, air-arc gouging and GTAW processes. This can
telephone to be able to call for assistance. be a switch, such as a trigger switch or remote control
d) There must be some means of breaking the circuit transmitter, on the hand piece operated by the welder.
close to the observer. This should be either a twist GMAW and most GTAW are conducted with such a
lock in the electrode lead or the return lead clamp switch, and it is possible to use a switch on MMAW or
that can be removed. arc gouging torches. Where a switching device is used,
e) A person trained in resuscitation must be available at the device should meet the following requirements:
the work site. a) the voltage of the control circuit or remote control
f) The maximum permitted OCV of the power source is device should not exceed 35 V d.c. or 25 V rms a.c.;
113 V d.c. or 48 V a.c.. Power sources which comply and
to this requirement are often marked with an S in a b) the switching system should:
square box on the compliance plate, and sometimes (i) return the output circuit of the welding machine to
on the front panel. d.c. only welding machines will all the off position, immediately the welder releases
comply with the requirements, but most a.c.welding pressure on the switch or for auto latching types,
machines will not. when the arc is broken;
14.6.3 Environment with a high risk of electrocution (ii) be easy to hold in position, enabling the welder
to carry out normal welding operations. Some
Where an electrically hazardous or normal environment devices auto latch when there is a welding current
is also hot, humid, damp or wet there is a high risk of present and do not require constant pressure on
electrocution. This is equivalent to AS 1674.2 Category the switch;
C environments. This occurs if the temperature exceeds (iii) have a two stage operation to move to the on
32C, so that the welders clothing, particularly gloves position, so that there is a low probability of
become dampened in perspiration. It also occurs if accidental activation of the secondary circuit
welding is performed in rain, partially submerged, in during any hazardous operations (for example,
damp mines, where waves can splash the welder or changing electrodes).
underwater. Typical areas where an extreme hazard may
exist are mines, cofferdams, oating platforms, damp An alternative solution for MMAW is to use a voltage
reduction device (VRD), but this may not be an option
earth particularly trenches, tropical or inland work sites,
with arc air gouging because of the intermittent nature
inside vessels exposed to hot sun. If high preheat has to
of the arc in that process.
be used a hazardous environment may become extremely
hazardous. Refer Table 14.2. GMAW and FCAW machines comply with the
restriction on maximum OCV because they are switched
In these situations, the water or perspiration makes
and they operate with low OCV d.c. There is no benet
insulation of the welder from the workpiece extremely
in tting VRDs to these machines.
difcult. There are often large contact areas between the
welders skin and the workpiece and the skin resistance Important Note: Many a.c. welding machines should
is low. In addition perspiration, dampened gloves make not be used in a hazardous environment or an environment
the risk of contact with the electrode high. The risk of a with a high risk of electrocution. The use of d.c. welding
shock is high and the consequences of one are likely to machines in place of a.c. signicantly reduces this risk.
be serious.
Table 14.2 Critical Open Circuit Voltages
The precautions above are even more important, but
Maximum Maximum OCV
the following additional ones also apply: Environment OCV Alternating
a) Where possible, every effort should be made to make Direct current current
the environment safer. The use of covers to protect Non electrically
from rain, air conditioning in a hot conned space, or 113 volts peak or
hazardous 113 volts
frequent changes of damp clothing (particularly gloves) 80 volts r.m.s.
AS 1674.2 Category A
is encouraged. The frequently changed cotton liners
Electrically
avoids gloves becoming saturated with perspiration. 68 volts peak or
hazardous (dry) 113 volts
It may be possible to avoid this situation altogether. AS 1674.2 Category B
48 volts r.m.s.
b) An assistant must closely observe the welder at all
times. The assistant must be trained in emergency Electrically
35 volts peak or
hazardous (wet) 35 volts
response, particularly how to isolate the current and AS 1674.2 Category C
25 volts r.m.s.
call for assistance.
return to contents next page
PAGE 64 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

14.7 Voltage Reduction Devices 14.9 Rescue of Victims


(VRDs) and In-line switches
All persons who work near or assist in, welding operations
If MMAW and allied processes have to be performed should be familiar with rescue procedures. Basic actions
in electrically hazardous environments, a VRD is are:
recommended. The function of a VRD is to reduce
a) Act Quickly: A few seconds delay in rescue may have
the OCV when not welding to a safe level below 25V
serious consequences but take care to avoid becoming
(normally approximately 12V) When the electrode is
another victim
brought in contact with the job, lowering the circuit
resistance below 200 ohm, the full secondary voltage is b) Isolate: Always isolate power. It may not be possible
applied allowing the arc to establish. VRDs do not protect to determine if the victim is in contact with the
the welder in all situations, but signicantly reduce the conductor and direct contact with the victim may
risk of electrocution. A lower capital cost solution is to result in a shock to the rescuer. Switch off the
use a contactor switch that is operated by the welder or electrical supply and pull out the plug if at all possible.
observer. Such a switch should be arranged so that the If this is not possible, the rescuer must be adequately
welding current is cut off except when striking the arc for insulated. Do not attempt to kick the casualty clear.
welding. An observer is necessary to operate the contactor c) Rescuer Insulation: If the victim cannot be isolated,
switch (AS 1674.2 output circuit safety switch) in adequate insulation for the rescuer includes dry
conned spaces. This method is however subject to rubber gloves, dry cloth or dry timber without metal
human error, discipline and response times (a person can attachments. Releasing the victim may require the use
be electrocuted in less than 1 second). of great force if the conductor is still live. Special care
in releasing the victim is required if working above
14.8 Multiple Welding Machines. ground level to prevent a subsequent fall.
Dangerous voltages may occur between electrode holders d) Confined Spaces: Extra insulation for rescuers
if two or more welding machines are connected to the operating in conned space situations is a necessary
same work piece. This can happen with d.c. machines if precaution as the surrounding may be electrically
one machine is connected DCEN and the other DCEP. In alive.
this case a voltage of twice the OCV (up to 226 volts d.c.) e) Basic Life Support: If breathing has stopped or
may occur between the two electrode holders. cardiac arrest has occurred, commence resuscitation
A more dangerous situation can also occur if two a.c. as quickly as possible. If the casualty is unconscious,
machines are connected to different phases of the mains, treat as if unconsciousness is from any other cause.
or with their connections opposed. In this case the voltage Send for an ambulance and/or medical assistance
between the two electrodes is either 1.73 or 2 times that urgently. All persons sustaining an electric shock
of the individual machines (up to 160 volts a.c.). should be medically examined before returning to
a) Ensure that the terminal on each machine marked work.
Electrode is connected to the electrode and not the f) Further Precautions: Ensure that the circumstances
work piece, and vice versa. of the accident are investigated and that no person
b) Check the voltage between adjacent electrode touches any conductor until it is declared safe by a
holders, qualied authority.
c) Do not site two electrode leads close to one another
unless there is no voltage between the holders.
14.10 Additional Guidance
d) Ensure multiple a.c. machines are installed by a
licensed electrician and connected in phase WTIA Technical Note 22 Welding Electrical Safety.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 15 PAGE 65

ARC, FLAME AND LASER RADIATION

15.1 Radiation (Non-Ionising) and its 15.1.3 Infra-red Radiation (IR)


Effects The main effect of this radiation on tissues is thermal.
Three types of non-ionising radiation (NIR) are emitted Fortunately, because the skin has a pain threshold below
by electric arcs, plasma arc processes and laser processes, that of the burn threshold, harmful effects do not usually
these being ultraviolet, visible and infra-red (References occur.
15, 16, 17). The last two types are also emitted from ames The intensity of radiation depends on the process
in gas welding. Over exposure to each of these types of (e.g. open or submerged arc or gas ame) and the energy
radiation can cause damage or discomfort to the eyes or skin released at the arc or ame, e.g. intensity increases with
It is important also to note that: welding current or electrode size or the size of the ame.
a) Visible and infra-red radiation are emitted from hot Exposure close to the arc or ame requires suitable
work in ame cutting. protection. The special precautions necessary with lasers
b) All three radiations can be reected (see Section 15.2). are given in Section 8.2.
c) Radiofrequency radiation is another form of radiation
associated with GTAW. This type of radiation does 15.2 Personal Protection
not require the wearing of special clothing.
Protection is required for both the eyes and skin. Table
15.1.1 Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) 19.2 lists suitable lter shades for goggles and face shields.
Chapter 19 indicates general protective requirements.
Brief exposure to this radiation can produce an inam-
mation to the cornea of the eye and produces a condition Protection is also required against indirect radiation.
commonly known as arc eye. The severity of injury de- Bright rolled aluminium reflects 90% of incident
pends upon factors such as wavelength, exposure time, ra- ultraviolet radiation, while stainless steel reects about
diation intensity, distance from the source and sensitivity 30%. Plastic curtains also have reective surfaces and
of the individual (AS/NZS 1336 sect. 5.8). Thus in a given increase the indirect ultraviolet radiation for welders.
occupational situation, some may develop arc eye, others
not. The symptoms do not appear until several hours after 15.3 Protection of Other Personnel
exposure. Pain, watering of eyes and photophobia (marked
intolerance to light) occur. Although severe short-term dis- a) Adequate protection should be provided for all
comfort occurs, generally there is no permanent damage. personnel within approximately 10 metres of open
arc, plasma arc and laser processes (AS/NZS 1336
Exposure of bare skin to UV radiation produces an Sect. 5.8 indicates 25 metres with more than 2 hours
effect similar to severe sunburn. exposure over an 8 hour working day).
15.1.2. Visible Radiation b) Screens of either a portable or permanent type may
be used to screen persons who are required to work
Exposure to high intensity visible radiation may result in within the distance above. These should be non-am-
dazzle with temporary loss of vision. The intensity of mable and permit circulation at oor level and ceiling
some visible light generated from laser processes may be level. Plastic curtains through which the welding
sufciently high to cause more than a temporary effect. arc may be viewed, by casual passing personnel,
The visible light, if sufciently intense, can cause damage with minimal exposure to UV are also available.
to the retina which may not be temporary. Photo-toxicity NOTE: These screens do not provide sufcient pro-
may contribute to age related macular (skin) degeneration. tection for viewing the welding arc and accordingly
this can be exacerbated by the photosensitization effects the correctly shaded viewing lens should be used for
of some therapeutic drugs. this purpose AS/NZS 1336 sect. 5.8.
return to contents next page
PAGE 66 C H A P T E R 15 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

c) Portable screens may be of such plastic, fabric or e) Colours of walls and partitions should contribute
canvas, and should be of light, robust construction towards a good general level of illumination.
and readily movable to encourage maximum usage.
f) Site operations require particular attention to the
d) Walls and partitions should have a matt nish and provision of screens especially where welding may
light colours are permissible provided they are based be intermittent or in view of the general public. All
on suitable pigments. Zinc oxide reects only 3% of unauthorised persons including workers and children
incident ultraviolet radiation and titanium dioxide should be kept away.
7%. Both are therefore suitable pigments. White lead
(basic carbonate type) is unsuitable as it has a UV g) Intermittent arc ashes can cause distraction and eye
reectance of 62%17. strain.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 16 PAGE 67

FIRE AND EXPLOSION PROTECTION

16.1 Introduction 16.2.2 Electrode Stubs


Flame cutting and welding operations are a major cause Even if they are not at red heat, hot stubs may cause
of industrial res. Each year losses amounting to several ignition of wood or paper products.
million dollars and loss of life or severe injury result Electrode stubs should be carefully discarded, pre-
from res. The required precautions depend largely upon ferably in a suitable metal storage bin for this purpose.
the processes being used and location of the work. This
chapter provides basic guidance in the prevention of re 16.2.3 Oxygen and Fuel Gases
and explosion when using arc or ame processes.
As has been pointed out earlier, oxygen and fuel gases
Protection against re and explosion should comply can add appreciably to the risks of re and/or explosion
with statutory regulations covering fire prevention unless sensible operating procedures and precautions
(Appendix A) and with AS 1674.1. See also Chapters are adopted.
20, 21, 22, 24 and 28. Avoid gas leakages, improper use of oxygen or fuel
gases, unsafe equipment and other practices which in-
16.2 Causes of Fire crease re risks (see Chapter 5).
For fire and explosion to occur the following are
needed: 16.2.4 Hose Locations
Flammable or combustible material e.g. gas, Pressure hosing for gases may be pierced or cut by sharp
liquid, solids and mixtures. objects or burned by sparks, hot slag, hot objects or ame
Oxygen (from air or other sources). unless care is exercised. Chances of accidental damage
An ignition source. will lead to greater risks especially if such damage re-
mains unnoticed.
The temperature of the arc or ame used in welding or
Carefully choose hose locations so that the chances
cutting is sufcient to cause combustion of many materials
of accidental damage are minimised. Always allow ready
where direct contact is made. There are, however, many
access for checking of hoses and any connections.
less obvious sources of heat and ammable material.
16.2.1 Sparks and Hot Metallic Particles
Flame or arc cutting and gouging processes in particular
as well as welding processes generate sparks and particles
at high temperature. Such particles can travel quite long
distances whilst retaining sufcient heat to cause com-
bustion as illustrated by Figure 16.1. Even if res do not To 20m
commence immediately, smouldering of combustible
matter leading to re at a later time may result.
Work area cleanliness and constant vigilance are the
0 2 4 6 8 10
best way of ensuring hot particles or sparks cannot lodge Distance, metres
in ssures, crevices or any combustible material.
Recognition of the added dangers of working at
heights with respect to the location of combustible
Figure 16.1 Travel Distances for Hot or Molten Metal
materials (see Figure 16.1) (refer to Section 25.6) is Particles in Cutting
important.
return to contents next page
PAGE 68 C H A P T E R 16 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

16.2.5 Gas Cylinders 16.3 Dust and Fires in Explosions


Heating of any cylinder by an arc or ame may cause an
explosion. In the case of oxygen and fuel gas cylinders, 16.3.1 Hazardous Dusts
a serious re may also occur.
All organic and many inorganic materials will burn and
Flashback into or heating of an acetylene cylinder can propagate ame if they are ground nely enough. Table
cause a cylinder re which may result in rupture of the 16.1 gives details of the explosion characteristics of vari-
adjacent oxygen cylinder (see Section 5.11). ous dusts which may be present in areas where welding
Never permit heating of a gas cylinder by direct or could be carried out.
nearby welding, cutting or any other heat generating Section 11.4 provides detailed information in respect
sources. of causes of dust res or explosions in metal spraying
applications. Details of appropriate preventative and re
16.2.6 Containers and Piping ghting procedures are given below.
Special care is required when welding or cutting on or
near containers or piping. The contents may not be known
by the welder and the application of heat may be sufcient 16.3.2 Prevention of Dust Explosions
to cause ignition or explosion. The use of suitable heat or Fires
shielding should be considered in such cases.
The two basic means of prevention are:
Work permits may be required. The recommenda-
tions of Chapters 21, 22 and/or 24 should be strictly a) Prevent formation of explosive mixtures of dust and
observed. air or the collection of dusts.
b) Prevent ignition of collected dusts or dust-air
16.2.7 Partitions and Walls mixtures.
Fires have been caused by ignition of partitions and walls,
by burning through them or by igniting material on the The following represent the basic features of preven-
other side. The latter has for example occurred when tative actions.
welding on bulkheads in ships. i) Clean up dust accumulation, preferably by the
Before welding, check partitions, walls and mat- use of vacuum cleaners so that dust dispersal can-
erials which may be present on the other side for not occur. Dust dispersion in the air can produce
ammability. explosive mixtures.
ii) Store accumulated dusts and explosive or amm-
16.2.8 Electrical Connections able type in safe area free of ignition sources.
Poor quality or poorly maintained connections or work iii) Dust collecting equipment is required in build-
return clamps may cause sparking or overheating and sub- ings with high explosion hazards, e.g. grain ele-
sequently cause ignition. Attachment of work return leads vators, our handling, wood product processing
to a structural system, piping etc may cause such sparking (saw dust), plastic plants and aluminium dust
at locations remote from the welding operation. generating processes.
Ensure all electrical connections are of adequate
iv) Ventilation systems should be designed by quali-
quality and capacity and select work return contact points
ed ventilation engineers (see Section 16.3.3).
carefully.
v) When cleaning booths, rooms etc, it is necessary
16.2.9 Ignition Temperature to eliminate all ignition sources and keep the
Many materials such as wood, wood-based products, ventilation system running.
paper, synthetic materials, oil and grease soaked materials vi) Ignition sources such as open ames, friction
have ignition temperatures below about 400C. Metallic sparks, welding ames, arcs or spatter, static
particles, stubs etc at lower than red heat temperatures electricity, should not be present or introduced
can cause re if they lodge in such materials. when any hazard exists.
Investigate ammability of materials within range of vii) Un-nailed footwear should be used in hazardous
sparks or spatter (Figure 16.1) as well as in the immediate dust areas.
vicinity of cutting or welding.
viii) Non-sparking tools should be used for all work
16.2.10 Dust Fires and Explosions including cleaning and repair.
Metallic and non-metallic dusts may be capable of ix) Prior to commencing work, run the ventilation
causing re or explosions. As these hazards are unusual system for a short time to remove any potentially
in most welding locations, they are treated separately in dangerous airborne dust or gas which may have
Section 16.3. arisen through leakage or valves left open.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 16 PAGE 69

Table 16.1 Explosion Characteristics of Various Dusts 16.4 Safe Location


Ignition Oxygen percentage The location in which welding or cutting operations are
Temp. C above which ignition being carried out is one of the main factors in determining
Type of Dust Dust Clouds of dust clouds by the risk of re. Special care is required when working in
in Air electric sparks
unfamiliar areas or areas in which welding is not generally
(21% 02) C occurs
carried out. Procedures designed to ensure safety in most
Metals locations include the following:
Aluminium (atomised) 640 7
Iron 320 10
a) When welding or cutting is to be carried out in an
Magnesium (atomised) 600 3 area not designed for these purposes, a nominated
Zinc 600 10 person must inspect the area and issue a hot work
Plastics
permit before work commences. AS 1674 provides
Polystyrene 490 14 an example of a typical hot work permit.
Polyvinyl acetate resin 520 b) Investigate all objects in the area where molten metal
Vinyl butyral resin 390 14 or sparks could possibly cause re or explosion (see
Agricultural Products Figure 16.1).
Sugar 350 c) Remove all objects to be welded or cut to a safe
Wheat dust 470 location if this is possible.
Wheat our 380
d) Fire Hazards which cannot be avoided by relocation
Miscellaneous
Cellulose 480 13
of the work must be removed where this is possible
Coal 610 16 or other suitable safety precautions taken.
Wood our 430 17 e) Guards which are non-combustible should be used to
conne ames, sparks and molten metal to the safe area.
16.3.3 Ventilation Ducting f) For work outdoors, grassed areas should be thorough-
ly soaked prior to commencement of any welding or
Ducting systems almost always accumulate dust at cor- cutting operation, a suitably prepared re watcher
ners, crevices and the like. A wide variety of dusts in air should be on duty (Section 16.5).
can explode if the correct conditions for ignition exist. g) High wind conditions can increase the size of the re
a) All ducting for ventilation requires provision of danger/ hazard area when working outdoors.
explosion relief panels and re doors at bends or other h) HOT WORK shall not be undertaken outdoors on any
location where accumulation can occur. TOTAL FIRE BAN DAYS.
b) All equipment such as motors, fans and ducting
should be earthed to prevent either electrical short 16.5 Fire Protection
circuits or a build up of static electricity. Totally
enclosed fan-cooled motors are recommended. 16.5.1 Fire Extinguishers
c) Separate ducting systems are required for ventilation Fire extinguishers of the correct type or other suitable re
of metal spraying and blasting areas to prevent the extinguishing facilities are essential where welding and
mixing of iron oxide and metal powders. cutting are being carried out and there is a risk of re.
Reasonable access to such equipment should always be
16.3.4 Fighting Dust Fires provided and the equipment maintained in good order.

In the case of dust res: 16.5.2 Fire Watchers


a) Clear combustibles from the surrounding area as Notwithstanding the issuing of hot work permits (Section
quickly and carefully as possible. 16.4) re watchers should be available when welding or
cutting is being carried out in locations where other than a
b) Do not disturb burning dust as the dust cloud formed minor re could develop. Reasonable precautions should
may well result in explosion (see Section 11.4.2). be extended to some time after operations have ceased
The use of a sand dry powder re extinguisher, or where the possibility of smouldering materials leading
other inert materials to smother dust res; these are the to later ignition exists.
only suitable means for extinguishing metal dust res. Additionally, re watchers are required where any of
In the case of metal dust res (only) the following conditions exist:
a) Do not use water or foam as explosion can result due a) Presence of Combustibles: If combustible materials
to rapid generation of hydrogen. such as those used in construction of a building are
closer than 10 metres to the location of the arc or ame.
In the case of non-metal dust res (only) b) Openings: Any wall or oor openings which expose
a) Foam extinguishers or a fog nozzle or nely divided combustible materials within 10 metres of the location
water streams are more effective than hose type water of the work. This includes concealed spaces such as
extinguishers as they are less likely to stir up dust. in double walls or oors.
return to contents next page
PAGE 70 C H A P T E R 16 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

c) Metal Walls: If combustible materials are adjacent d) Maintain the watch for at least 30 minutes after work
to the opposite side of metal walls, partitions etc ceases. This greatly increases the chance of detecting
and could possibly be ignited by conduction or smouldering res.
radiation.
d) Shipwork or Segmented Containers: Where direct 16.6 Responsibility for Fire Protection
penetration of sparks, conduction or radiation could a) Fire Ofcer: A nominated person should be respon-
cause combustion in an adjacent compartment. sible for ensuring safe conditions apply and issuing
work permits in all areas where either the risk or
consequences of a re is appreciable. Attention is
16.5.3 Fire Watch Duties drawn to the special considerations applicable to
welding on containers or piping (Chapters 21 and 22).
To be effective, re watchers should:
b) Welders: The welder should ensure that all suitable
a) Be trained in the use of re extinguishing equipment. measures have been taken to avoid re. Caution
b) Be familiar with location and method of sounding should still be exercised even where hot work permits
alarms. have been obtained.
c) Watch for res in all exposed areas. c) Fire Watchers: See Section 16.5.2.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 17 PAGE 71

FUME AND VENTILATION

17.1 Introduction b) Material: chemical composition of metal being


This Chapter should be read in conjunction with the Fume cut or welded and of any protective coating, lead-
Minimisation Guidelines48. based paints (see Table 13.1 and Section 17.2) or
contaminants.
In all arc or gas welding and cutting operations some c) Operating conditions, e.g. temperature, current.
fume is given off. Hazardous Substances legislation
requires a risk assessment to address the production The amount of fume generated depends on:
and control of fume from welding, cutting and allied i) Process and thermal conditions, e.g. amperage,
processes. Welding processes, procedures and practices voltage, gas and arc temperatures and heat input
generally keep or control these fumes to acceptably low which may also vary with the welding position
levels, but it should be noted that recent studies48 have and the degree of skill of the welder.
shown that under still air conditions exposure standards ii) Consumables.
for particulates and ozone levels can be exceeded in iii) Materials.
MMAW, GMAW, FCAW, hardfacing, plasma cutting iv) Duration of welding or cutting.
and oxy-fuel cutting. In GTAW, exposure standards
for ozone only were exceeded Hence it is important to 17.4 The Constituents of Welding
adopt proper welding practices to control exposure The Fume
components and amount of fume present could affect
the welders comfort and health necessitating special Because welding fume may have short or long-term
precautions. Further information on fumes and gases in irritant, toxic or other effects, the components and levels
the welding environment is given in References 18 and 19. of fume in the air a welder breathes must not be so high as
to cause either undue discomfort or a hazard to health.
17.2 Fume When considering exposure to welding fume, the
This general term is used to describe the mixture of: total fume concentration as well as the concentration
a) Airborne particulates, i.e. solid particles covering of individual components has to be taken into account.
a wide range in size (see Figure 17.1). The larger The hazards associated with fume are outlined in Tables
particles settle out relatively quickly, whereas small 13.1 and 17.2.
particles remain airborne for long periods with in- Particle diameter, m 1000 10 000
creased chance of inhalation. 0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 (1mm) (1cm)
b) Gases which are also evolved and mix with the SMOKE AND FUME RESPIRABLE DUSTS
surrounding air and any shielding gases. Such gases Atmospheric dust
may be potentially toxic or asphyxiant where the
amount present builds up and excessively lowers the Welding fume and dust
oxygen level.
Tobacco smoke

17.3 Formation of Fume Coal dust


Fume results from vaporisation and subsequent conden-
sation of solids melted during the welding process and Cement dust
from the formation of gases by various materials in the
Pollen
weld area.
The composition of the fume therefore depends upon: Size of particles (natural and industrial)
a) Consumables: electrodes or ller metals, heating or Figure 17.1 Size of Fume Particle19
shielding gases and uxes.
return to contents next page
PAGE 72 C H A P T E R 17 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

17.5 Welding Fume Concentrations Ventilation is the most usual method of control but
Long experience supported by fume measurement has it should be remembered that a combination of methods
shown that fume concentrations will generally be at may be necessary in some situations.
satisfactory levels when working conditions, including
work practices and ventilation, are in accordance with 17.7 Ventilation
Sections 17.6, 17.7, 17.8 and 17.9, and Tables 17.1 and 17.7.1 Necessity for Ventilation
17.2. The Fume Minimisation Guidelines show that under
still air conditions exposure standards can exceeded for In order to avoid build-up of fume to unacceptable
an number of welding processes concentrations, both in the general work area and in the
Through the use of consultants or by purchase of local vicinity of the welder, ventilation may be needed to
equipment for use by competent persons, companies may, remove, dilute or disperse the fume. Refer to the Fume
from time to time, monitor breathing zone fume levels in Minimisation Guidelines48.
their own workplaces. 17.7.2 Selection of Ventilation Method
Comparatively inexpensive equipment, designed for In determining the suitability of various ventilation
spot testing of a variety of gases, is commercially avail- systems, the following factors should be considered:
able. Such measurements have signicant limitations with
regard to the calculation of exposure levels. However, a) The expected amount and type of fume produced
they are useful in assessing acutely toxic situations such (Section 17.3).
as carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen levels in b) The proximity of welding and other operations and
conned spaces. Refer Section 20 for details regarding their location relative to ventilation.
welding in conned spaces. c) The level of ventilation, natural or mechanical, both
for the whole workshop and local to the welding
The concentration of airborne particulates and gases
operation. This will depend also on screens, partitions
can be sampled for subsequent analysis by using methods
etc which may restrict free cross-ow at the work area.
described in ISO 10882-1:2001 and ISO 10882-2:2000
(AS 3853.1 & 3853.2 1991) respectively. Inspirable dust c) The proximity and height of the welders breathing
concentrations can be assessed using AS 3640. zone to the fume source.
Measurement of fume is recommended where ab- 17.7.3 Local Exhaust Ventilation
normal or special conditions occur, for example where
The preferred method of controlling welding fume is to
the recommendations of Tables 17.1 and 17.2 are not
use local exhaust ventilation. This collects fume at its
practicable. Refer to Appendix B for interpretation of
source and directs it away from the general work area
these measurements.
thus preventing contamination. The suction inlet should
17.6 Control of Fume be as close as possible to the source of fume and above
the source if possible. In this way the fume is drawn away
To ensure that the concentration of fume and exposure to
from the welder.
fume at the welder are within permissible limits, welding
fume can be controlled by: The main methods are:
a) Work methods: Adopting good housekeeping and a) Fixed local exhaust units to which the components
work practices to avoid the unnecessary generation are brought for welding. These fall into two broad
of fume and exposure to it. This includes using categories:
manufacturers operating parameters, avoidance of i) Welding bench of rear slot design to remove fume
excessive welding and repair, selection of optimum away from the welder (see Figure 17.2).
welding process and procedures ii) Specic purpose ventilation which is advanta-
b) Substitution: Substituting a less dangerous material, geous for some production processes. Fixed,
process or procedure where this is practicable. appropriately sized local exhaust is provided
c) Ventilation: Using any of the various types as at critical locations. It may be incorporated
discussed in Section 17.7. into jigs and xtures. This method can reduce
d) Limiting Period of Exposure: Limiting the time energy requirements and provide improved fume
any one welder is exposed to an excessive fume control.
concentration. While the method is not suitable if With any local exhaust, any degree of enclosure will
health effects are possible from short-term exposure, assist in controlling air ow and reduce the effects of cross
it may be applicable in some circumstances where draughts. This could take the form of a totally enclosed
effects from long-term exposure are of concern. This booth and be incorporated in (i) and (ii).
method of control should only be adopted if other
methods are impractical. b) Movable exhaust hoods attached to ducting by exible
e) Respiratory Protection: Where adequate general and tubing (preferably at least 150 mm diameter) which
local ventilation cannot be readily adopted, it may be allows the welder to re-position the suction inlet as
necessary to use personal respiratory protection (refer welding proceeds (see Figure 17.3). This method is
to Section 19.6). often used where welding cannot be suitably positioned.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 17 PAGE 73

45 slope min
Slots size for 5 m / sec extraction chamber
Baffles are
desirable

fume extraction
tube

shielding gas

Figure 17.4 Principle of Fume Extraction Gun

Maximum plenum velocity NOTE: down-draught ventilation tables and push-


1/2 slot velocity
pull ventilation systems have not proved widely
Q = 33m3/ lineal m of hood successful in controlling welding fume.
Hood length = required working space
Bench width = 0.6 m maximum
Duct velocity = 5-15 m / sec
Local exhaust systems must be designed to provide
Entry loss = 1.78 slot VP + 0.25 duct VP a minimum capture velocity at the fume source of
Figure 17.2 Welding Booth With Ventilation 0.5 m / sec away from the welder. This gure should be
veried and recorded at the commissioning of the system
and at regular intervals thereafter to ensure continued
HOOD TYPE ASPECT RATIO AIR FLOW RATE
fume control.
X
Q (m3 / s) = 5LXVx
Local exhaust systems should be designed to suit the
greater than particular application. For guidance, the following factors
Vx 5:1 where L = slot length (m) are noted, but to obtain maximum efciency experienced
SLOT ventilation engineers should be consulted:
i) Where several welding locations require local
exhaust facilities, individual exible ducts are
greater than
Q (m3 / s) = 4LXVx useful, particularly where welding locations are
5:1
near one another. To reduce energy requirements,
FLANGED SLOT exible ducting with a smooth interior should be
utilised and lengths be kept to a minimum.
Q (m3 / s) = (10X2 + A)Vx ii) The exhaust system should not unduly disturb the
less than 5 : 1
gas shield which protects the pool. In general, air
PLAIN or circular where A = opening area (m2)
OPENING speeds of about 1m/sec over the weld will not
cause deleterious weld effects.
iii) Exhausted air and fumes should be discharged
FLANGED outdoors in a way which will not cause environ-
OPENING less than 5 : 1
Q (m3 / s) = 0.75(10x2 + A)Vx mental problems and in a position such that
or circular
fumes will not be recycled into any building.
iv) Air cleaning equipment where toxic contamin-
Figure 17.3 Details of Movable Exhaust Hoods ants are collected will require special working
(o indicates location of welding arcs) procedures to protect maintenance personnel.
v) Recirculation of air is permissible to maintain
c) On gun fume extractors of the low volume, high temperature control provided effective air
velocity type (Figure 17.4). There are several designs, cleaning equipment is utilised in the system.
which aim to remove fume close to source. The
efciency of fume extraction is partly dependent on
17.7.4 Mechanical Dilution Ventilation
the angle of the welding gun. A balance needs to be
struck between the extraction rate of fume and the Dilution ventilation refers to dilution of contaminated
loss of any externally applied shielding gases. This air with uncontaminated air in a general area or building
may mean a higher shielding gas consumption. Good for the purpose of health hazard or nuisance control. Air
ergonomic design is essential for welder acceptance. A may be blown into the workplace or extracted from the
thoroughly planned maintenance programme has been workplace by mechanical means such as roof fans or
shown to be essential for these systems to be successful. wall exhaust fans.
return to contents next page
PAGE 74 C H A P T E R 17 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Successful dilution ventilation depends not only on Particulate fume oxides of iron in welding of steel,
the correct exhaust volume but also on control of the alloying elements in the core-wire and compounds of
airow through the workplace. Careful positioning of air constituents in the coating.
inlets and outlets is required to ensure that only clean air is
moved through the workers breathing zones and that other Gases chiey carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide
workers in surrounding areas are not exposed inadvertently. from electrode coatings together with high ozone and
very small amounts of oxides of nitrogen48.
Some limiting factors of dilution ventilation to be
considered are: Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1, 17.2
a) The quantity of contaminant must not be too great or and Table 13.1. and Fume Minimisation Guidelines48.
the air volume required for dilution will be impractical. 17.8.3 Flux-Cored Arc Welding
b) The toxicity of the contaminants must be low.
c) The evolution of contaminants must be reasonably Fume similar to that for manual metal arc welding but
uniform. generally in greater amounts. May include any additional
gas mixtures used to protect the weld pool.
d) The source of evolution must be such that a system
can be designed to protect workers taking into account Due to the relatively higher levels of fume generated,
the constraints regarding the positioning of air inlets there is a greater likelihood of co-workers exposure
and outlets described above. exceeding the relevant exposure standards unless good
ventilation is implemented. Particular care should be
Applications of mechanical dilution ventilation are
taken with self shielded hardfacing wires when indoors
listed in Tables 17.1 and 17.2.
Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1, 17.2
17.7.5 Natural Ventilation
and Table 13.1. and Fume Minimisation Guidelines48.
Natural ventilation is often considered a form of dilution
ventilation supplied by natural air movement. This type 17.8.4 Gas Metal Arc (MIG) Welding
of air movement is highly variable whether indoor or out.
On some days there will be hardly any air movement at Process with spray transfer the amount of particulate
all and consequently little dilution and dispersion of the fume produced is similar to that from manual arc welding;
contaminants. If persons must work at a xed position less is produced with dip transfer. Gaseous fume depends
in relation to the process, depending on the natural wind mainly on the shielding gas although ozone levels should
direction they may be signicantly exposed by working be considered in aluminium welding. With this process
downwind of the fume source. distinction should be made between ferrous and non-fer-
rous applications in assessing the precautions required.
Natural ventilation can only be assumed to be adequate
where the concentration and type of contaminants released Particulate fume mainly oxides of iron and alloying
by the process are not in themselves considered to be a elements from ller and the work piece. Small amounts
hazard to health. of copper from copper coated wires but significant
amounts in the welding of copper. Aluminium oxides in
17.8 Ventilation For Particular Process aluminium welding.
Note: See Section 17.9 concerning materials and Gases mainly from the shielding gases, e.g. carbon
Reference 20 for additional information on fume genera- monoxide, carbon dioxide, argon, helium. In welding of
tion rates. See Table 13.1 for precautions required with aluminium, higher than normal concentrations of ozone
certain materials. may result.
17.8.1 Gas Welding, Flame Cutting and Gouging
Processes Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1, 17.2
and Table 13.1. and Fume Minimisation Guidelines48.
Process each uses a ame from oxygen-fuel gas mix-
ture which contributes to the fume in proportion to the 17.8.5 Plasma Arc Welding and Cutting
amount of gas used.
Process plasma welding can be conveniently subdivided
Particulate fume is mainly metal oxides from the into low current (approx 0.1A to 15A) and high current
work-piece or ller, in welding, cutting and gouging. (75A to 300A) applications. Low current welding gen-
Amounts are small except in heavy cutting and gouging. erally does not result in signicant fume levels and in
Gases are mainly carbon dioxide with some oxides of the worst situations local exhaust ventilation would be
nitrogen and some carbon monoxide. sufcient to remove fume. High current cutting and
Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1, 17.2 welding both generate fume levels, which are comparable
and Table 13.1. with high amperage gas metal arc welding.
17.8.2 Manual Metal Arc Welding Particulate fume oxides of constituents in the work
piece and ller metal if used.
Process the amount of fume and its components depend
mainly upon the type of electrode (core-wire and coating), Gases chiey determined by the plasma gas used but
size of the electrode and welding current. high levels of ozone and oxides of nitrogen may be formed.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 17 PAGE 75

Table 17.1 Guide to Ventilation Required for Welding and Cutting Uncoated Carbon and Low Alloy Steels (Note 1)
Work Situation (Note 2 & 4)
Scale of
Process Production Limited Conned Space
Outdoor Open Work
(Note 3) Work Space (see also Chapter 20)
Gas Welding
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding
Brazing and Soldering M M
All N LE
(see also Chapter 9) (Note 6) (Note 6)
Flame Gouging
Gas Preheating
Flame Cutting All N M or WT M LE
(Note 6) (Note 6)
Manual Arc Welding
M LE
Gas Metal Arc Welding All N LE
(Note 6) (Note 6)
Plasma Arc Welding
Flux Cored Arc Welding Gas Shielded Normal N M LE LE
Flux Cored Arc Welding Self Shielded High N LE LE LE
Plasma Arc Cutting
M or LE or
(Assessment by test is LE or V LE or V
All V or PRP LE
often needed in limited or or WT or WT
(Note 5)
conned space)
Submerged Arc Welding All N N M LE
Electroslag Welding
All N N M LE
Electrogas Welding
Thermit Welding Normal N M LE LE
Arc Air Gouging High N LE LE LE
Notes:
1. This Table applies to uncoated carbon and low alloy steel with or without rust or scale. Table 17.2 identies materials for which more stringent
ventilation is required, e.g. for which mechanical or local ventilation is needed under open work space conditions.
2. N Natural ventilation (see 17.7.5)
M Mechanical (general exhaust or plenum) ventilation (see 17.7.4)
LE Mechanical ventilation by local exhaust systems (see 17.7.3)
PRP Personal respiratory protection (see 19.6)
WT Water table
V Vortex
Ventilation is the recommended minimum except where fume measurements show other ventilation is acceptable.
3. High production refers to duty cycles exceeding approximately 40% and/or high amperage processes, e.g. in excess of 350A.
4. Open work is dened as an area where:
The average space per welder exceeds 300 cubic metres (minimum height 3 metres)
Free cross ventilation occurs and fume disposal is not obstructed by the work, partitions, balconies or screens.
The welder generally keeps his head out of the main plume.
The shop has roof or high wall vents and is not air tight construction.
Limited work space is an area which does not full the requirements of an open work space but is not a conned work space.
Conned work space is dened in 20.1.
5. Operational conditions will determine the degree of ventilation required.
6. Mechanical or local exhaust ventilation (as appropriate) is unlikely to be required if process working time is not more than 5% (24 minutes) of
an 8 hour work day, provided that the process is used at reasonably intermittent periods (i.e. say a maximum of 5 minutes in any 1 hour)

Accumulation of fumes in the workshop must be pre- Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1,
vented by general ventilation. Oxides of nitrogen may be 17.2 and Table 13.1. and Fume Minimisation Guidelines48.
a problem with plasma cutting processes using nitrogen
additions to the shielding gas. Water shields and/or 17.8.7 Submerged Arc Welding
underwater cutting eliminates fume.
This is inherently a low fume process not requiring
Precautions and recommendations see Table 17.1, 17.2 particular attention in respect of fume control. Any dust
and Table 13.1. and Fume Minimisation Guidelines48. arising from ux handling operations is generally non-
hazardous where recommended ventilation conditions
17.8.6 Gas Tungsten Arc (TIG) Welding
apply (see Table 17.1 and/or Table 13.1).
Process normally a low powered operation with small
generation of fume. 17.8.8 Aluminothermic Welding (Thermit)
Particulate fume generally levels are quite low compared Large volumes of particulate fume, generally oxides of
to manual metal arc welding. Where ller metals are used iron, are given off in this process. Where the process is
particulate fume is increased. used inside workshops, mechanical ventilation should be
Gases include ozone21, argon shielding gases and capable of rapidly dispersing the fume (see Table 17.1
mixtures and some oxides of nitrogen. and/or Table 13.1).
return to contents next page
PAGE 76 C H A P T E R 17 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

17.8.9 Arc-Air Gouging 17.10.1 Hazards


As directed jets of air are used in this process, it is usu- Coated metals present two major hazards to welders:
ally possible to direct the fume away from the welder by fumes given off by thermal decomposition during weld-
use of good technique. With heavy duty gouging a good ing, and dusts created during surface preparation work.
level of general ventilation is required to ensure that the The dusts can also create a re/explosion hazard.
general workshop atmosphere is safe. Alternatively, spe- a) Metallic coatings: Metal coatings may be galvanised
cially designed work booths may be used. Fume exhaust (zinc), metal sprayed (aluminium, zinc and others)
systems may be difcult to design but are required in and electroplated (chromium with copper and nickel
conned spaces where it may be necessary or advisable underlays, cadmium, zinc or tin). Regardless of the
for operators to use protective devices (see Table 17.1, process used to deposit the coatings, fume and dust
17.2 and / or Table 13.1). emissions can be identied from a knowledge of the
metals involved (refer to Table 13.1).
17.9 Materials and Consumables Of particular concern are Beryllium, Cadmium,
17.9.1 Source of Fume Chromium, Lead and Nickel.
b) Paints: These give off a complex mix of fumes and
Research22 indicates that the major source of particulate dusts. Metals such as lead, zinc, chromium and
fume in welding is from vaporisation and subsequent cadmium may come from pigments in the paint.
solidication of the consumable. The contribution of the Organic compounds come from the pigments, resins
work piece should not, however, be ignored particularly and other materials in the paint (see (c) below).
with toxic metals or applied coatings. Although weld through primers have been
The gaseous components of welding fume arise from developed, these only reduce the amount of fume,
a number of sources dependent upon the process being not necessarily removing the problem.
used, ie: c) Plastics: Like paints, these can generate a complex
a) Decomposition of uxes in manual metal arc or ux- mixture of fumes and dusts. The fumes can be
cored arc welding of steel produce mainly carbon irritant, corrosive, asphyxiating or toxic, for example
dioxide and carbon monoxide gases. ammonia, hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide,
b) Where external shielding gas sources are used, e.g. cyanides. Dusts from plastics create the risk of dust
inert gases (argon, helium) or carbon dioxide, the explosions and re.
fume contains these gases and those formed from 17.10.2 Control Measures
them or air, e.g. carbon monoxide and oxides of
nitrogen. A number of measures can be taken to avoid or minimise
c) Combustible reaction products such as carbon the health and safety hazards associated with fume and dust.
monoxide from incomplete oxidation and carbon a) Identication of the coating: The coating should be
dioxide from complete combustion in oxygen-fuel identied before carrying out processes that may
gas ame processes. create dust or fume. If this is not possible then local
d) Thermal reactions between oxygen and nitrogen, ventilation is required.
either from the gases used or ambient atmosphere, b) Removal of the coating: The coating may be removed
form oxides of nitrogen. before welding using procedures that do not create
e) Ultraviolet radiation is capable of forming ozone dust or other hazards. The following clearances
from oxygen in the atmosphere. This process is more should be used as guidelines only:
signicant in high energy gas metal or tungsten arc i) For welding, a band of 20 to 25 mm should be
welding or plasma processes and when working with removed each side of the weld line.
aluminium or stainless steel. ii) For ame cutting, a band of 50 to 100 mm should
be removed on both sides of the cut.
17.9.2 Special Materials
c) Ventilation: Natural and mechanical ventilation
In addition to the ventilation guidelines for welding are only suitable for low levels of fume or dust.
and cutting given in Table 17.1, specic ventilation Toxic fume or dust should be controlled by local
requirements for the special materials listed in Table 17.2 ventilation.
are required.
17.11 Metal Preparation Processes
17.10 Coated Metals
17.11.1 Introduction
There are occasions when metals which have been coated
with plastics, polyurethane, epoxy materials, paint or Welding on some non-ferrous alloys, particularly alu-
metallic coatings are to be welded, soldered, brazed or minium, nickel alloys and some stainless ferrous alloys,
cut. The most common examples are steels coated with involves the use of degreasing agents prior to welding.
priming paint for rust prevention, galvanised steels and Such agents reduce the risk of weldment defects due to
chrome plating. In certain instances cadmium and lead the inuence of hydrocarbons in grease and oil but may
plated, coated or sheathed metals may be encountered. cause fume. They may also cause skin irritation.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 17 PAGE 77

Table 17.2 Ventilation For Special Materials During Welding, Brazing, Cutting and Gouging (Note 1)

Recommended Ventilation (Note 3 & 4)

Contaminant (Note 2) Fume Produced Medical Effects Outdoor and Conned


Limited
Open Work (refer also
Work Space
Space Chapter 20)
Aluminium (Note 8) Aluminium oxides Irritant (respiratory tract) M (Note 9) LE LE
Barium Barium oxides and Respiratory tract and LE LE LE
fumes skin irritant, benign
pneumoconiosis with
heavy exposure
Beryllium Beryllium oxides Very toxic (respiratory tract,
and fume lungs, general poisoning, All locations LE and PRP
skin). Quick acting. or special glove box
Carcinogen
Cadmium Cadmium oxide Very toxic (lung damage,
All locations LE and PRP
general aches). Quick acting.
or special glove box
May be fatal
Chromium (Note 8) Chromium (VI) Toxic (respiratory tract, lungs)
oxide irritant and corrosive to skin. LE LE LE
Possible carcinogen (refs. 1
& 43).
Cobalt (Note 5)
Copper (Note 8) Copper oxides Metal fume fever (Note 6) M LE LE
Fluorine Fluorides (of Irritant (mucous membranes M LE LE
calcium, sodium,
potassium
Lead Lead fumes Toxic. Cumulative poison LE LE LE
(regular lead in blood tests
recommended)
Manganese (Note 8) Manganese oxides Toxic (tiredness, nervous M LE LE
system, pneumonia)
Nickel Nickel fumes Metal fume fever (Note 7) LE LE LE
(Note 7) (Note 8) possible carcinogen
Ozone Ozone Respiratory tract irritant LE LE LE
Zinc Zinc oxide Metal fume fever M LE LE

Notes:
1. The level of ventilation given is the minimum recommended for average conditions. For conned spaces, refer also to Chapter 20.
2. For origins of contaminants, see Table 13.1.
3. Open work space is dened as an area where:
The average space per welder exceeds 300 cubic metres (minimum height 3 metres).
Free cross-ventilation occurs and fume disposal is not obstructed by the work, partition, balconies or screens.
The welder generally keeps his head out of the main plume.
The shop has roof or high wall vents and is not air tight construction.
Limited work space is an area which does not full the requirements of an open work space but is not a conned work space.
Conned work space is dened in 20.1.
4. M Mechanical dilution ventilation. (see 17.7.4)
LE Mechanical ventilation by local exhaust systems. (see 17.7.3)
PRP Personal respiratory protection. (see 19.6)
5. Health hazards from welding fume containing cobalt are not documented, but there are well-known dangers associated with
the processing of cobalt by other techniques. It is recommended that the precautions prescribed for nickel be applied when
cobalt is present in welding consumables.
6. Metal fume fever is temporary tiredness and irritation of the respiratory tract, like inuenza, with fever. Recovery usually
occurs within 24 hours.
7. When nickel and chromium fume occur together, ventilate for chromium.
8. The ventilation recommended in this Table does not apply when these elements are present in carbon and low alloy steels.
The level of each element is very low in such materials.
9. Fumes can exceed exposure standards under still air conditions. Refer to Fume Minimisation Guidelines48.

return to contents next page


PAGE 78 C H A P T E R 17 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Commonly-used degreasing agents are: c) No solvent vapours are to be present during welding
a) Chlorinated hydrocarbons or plasma cutting.
trichlorethylene (should only be used in a d) The location of degreasing operations and welding
vapour degreasing tank, cold cleaning is not operations should be well separated, preferably in
recommended.) different rooms.
perchlorethylene. e) Chlorinated hydrocarbon degreasing solvents must
trichloroethane. not be used or stored near welding operations.
b) Acetone. f) Manufacturers recommendations must be adhered
to in handling all degreasing solvents.
c) Freons (CFCs) have been outlawed.
g) AS 1627.1 provides information on preparation and
17.11.2 Hazard pre-treatment of metal surfaces.
h) When degreasing must be carried out in the welding
Under certain circumstances, chlorinated hydrocarbon area use acetone.
degreasing agents decompose to form highly toxic gas,
phosgene (References 23, 24). Dangerous concentration of Note: Acetone is highly ammable (more so than
phosgene can be produced from small amounts of vapour. petrol). If used near welding or other sources of ignition
it should be dispensed from a ameproof container such
Formation of phosgene from the above and other as a plunger can.
chlorinated hydrocarbons is promoted by:
Ultraviolet radiation Some metal preparation processes can contribute
Hot metal surfaces to fume hazards during welding. In particular the re
Welding arc (ultraviolet radiation) risk with ammable solvents and the decomposition of
Flame chlorinated hydrocarbons to form toxic gases needs to
Cigarette smoking be highlighted.
The gas shielded arc welding processes (MIG and Precautions are dealt with in Section 10.3.1.
TIG) and plasma processes provide greater light radiation
intensity than the ux-shielded welding processes. 17.12 Contaminated Surfaces
In maintenance or repair operations, the surfaces to be
17.11.3 Precautions welded or cut are frequently contaminated with various
a) Where degreasing agents are used, great care is materials, sludges etc. To provide quality welds, it is usu-
required if gas metal arc welding (MIG), gas tungsten ally essential that such materials be removed. Likewise,
arc welding (TIG) or plasma processes are used. unless the materials are known to be non-hazardous,
b) Plates which have been degreased must be thoroughly they should be removed as in Section 17.10. See also
dried before welding or plasma cutting. Chapter 21.

CUTTING TABLE
EXTRACTION
DISTRIBUTION
VALVE
VACUUM
CLEANING

FILTER

STICK SP-TURBINE
ELECTRODE
GRINDING

MIG GUN
EXTENSION ARM

Figure 17.5 Control of Welding, Cutting and guiding Fume using fume extractor

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 18 PAGE 79

NOISE CONTROL

18.1 Need For Noise Control 18.3 Noise


Noise has been recognised as one of the most serious Sound is characterised by its frequency and intensity.
occupational health issues in industry for many years. Frequency is a measure of the number of sound pressure
Noise can temporarily and permanently impair hearing. It waves passing a stationary point per second, that is cycles
can also annoy, limit ability to communicate, cause fatigue per second or hertz. The average young person can detect
and reduce concentration and efciency in personnel. sound from 20 to 20,000 hertz. Noise induced hearing
loss occurs to a different extent at different frequencies
Hearing loss caused by noise usually has an insidious and is usually most pronounced around the 4,000 hertz
onset and is permanent. It can cause social isolation frequency.
at home, work and in group situations. Noise induced
Intensity or loudness expresses our general response
hearing loss (NIHL) is selective:- in that it affects higher
to the sound, it is not an accurate way to assess the damage
pitched sounds rst. Such ltering effect leaves some
the noise can do. For this purpose the total energy content
sounds unaffected and others, such as consonants in
over time of the sound wave is measured. This is expressed
speech, impossible to understand.
in decibels (dB) for an 8 hour day or LAeq8. Since the
potential for hearing damage varies with frequency, the
Surgery or medication cannot restore lost hearing.
noise level is weighted to reect this, that is dB (A). The
Hearing aids provide only limited help in decoding the
decibel is a unit of logarithmic scale which means that a
distorted message. Hearing loss does not protect you from
3dB increase in noise level corresponds to a doubling of
further hearing loss and deafness may occur if exposure
the sound energy.
continues.
140
There are many welding tasks that expose workers Threshold of Pain
130
to hazardous levels of noise. Furthermore, some welding 125 Close Thunder
tasks, themselves posing no threat to hearing, may take 120 Jet Take-off
place in areas with hazardous levels of background Shaping and Hammering
noise. Metal Components
100 Inside Aircraft or Subway Angle Grinding
Plasma Arc Cutting
NOISE LEVEL dB (A)

18.2 Effect of Noise on the Ear Petrol/Diesel Drive Generator


80 Busy Street
Sound travels through air in the form of pressure waves. Abrasive Blasting
The ear detects the pressure changes and sends messages Preventive Peening
to the brain. Sound passes through the outer ear into the Ordinary Conversation
60
at 1 metre Deslagging by hand
middle ear which begins at the ear drum. The sound is
then transmitted by the ear drum and three tiny bones (the 45 Quiet Home
auditory ossicles) to the inner ear. The hearing organ in
35 Whisper
the inner ear is called the cochlea. The cochlea is full of
uid and lined with tiny hair cells. It is these hair cells 25 Rustle of Leaves
that are damaged by excessive noise. While at rst with 20 Quiet Garden
enough quiet the cells may recover (temporary hearing
loss), repeated excessive noise exposure will lead to 0 Threshold of Hearing
permanent damage. Usually damage occurs gradually,
Figure 18.1 Common Figure 18.2 Principal Source
however extremely loud noises can cause immediate
Noises Noise Levels of Noise in Metal Fabrication
lasting damage.
return to contents next page
PAGE 80 C H A P T E R 18 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

18.4 Noise Sources 18.8 Noise Control


The principal sources of noise in metal fabrication are Noise control methods are arranged into what is called
shown in Figure 18.2. a control hierarchy. It is called a hierarchy because
the most effective means of noise control are considered
It is important to realise that tasks or equipment that rst and the least effective. Generally, personal hearing
result in short, sharp noises can be equally if not more protection should be used only when passive methods (i.e.
hazardous to hearing than continuous noise sources. not requiring worker action) are not practical.

18.5 Detection of Hazardous Noise 18.8.1 Control by Elimination and Substitution


The best means of noise control is the elimination of the
Hazardous noise levels are likely to be present in the
noise source. The next best is the substitution of the noisy
workplace if any of the noise sources in 18.4 are generated operation or equipment with a less noisy alternative. Both
or: substitution and elimination of high noise equipment
a) There is difculty with speech communication, e.g. or processes should be considered whenever setting up
voices have to be raised between people at arms a new workplace or redesigning an old one; reviewing
length. work operations or tasks; and purchasing new equipment.
b) People complain of ringing or buzzing noises in their Nowadays there is a huge range of equipment on the
ears after a shift (tinnitus). market that not only does the job but also is designed to
c) There are complaints from people of dullness or minimise noise and vibration levels.
fuzziness of hearing at the end of a shift.
18.8.2 Control at the Noise Source
18.6 Noise Measurement If elimination or substitution is not possible, control of
the noise at its source is the best approach. This typically
When a problem is thought to exist and cannot be con- takes the form of enclosing the noise source or modifying
trolled, the extent of the problem should be determined it, e.g. tting silencers to noisy air exhausts. Adequate
through a noise survey. A noise survey should detail the maintenance of moving parts in machinery (oiling and
levels present, the sources of the noise and the people greasing), replacing worn out parts, and replacing de-
affected by the noise. A noise survey must be carried out fective silencers or mufers are effective in minimising
under the supervision of a trained person using equipment noise. Where the noisy operation is a manual task, then
approved to AS 1259, sound level meters and measure- mechanisation or automation may be the only alternative.
ment techniques as detailed in AS/NZS 1269.3-1998:
Occupational noise management Hearing protection 18.8.3 Control of Noise Transmission
programme. If the noise source is separate from the exposed workgroup
then the noise path can be reviewed. Increasing the dis-
The measurement of noise levels and the measure-
tance between the noise and the exposed group decreases
ment of noise exposure must be distinguished. Noise
the noise exposure level. If practical, noisy machines can
levels are measured using a sound level meter. The results be put in a separate building. Sound bafes can be in-
are expressed in dB, usually dB(A). Both continuous and stalled in the noise path and appropriate building materials
impulse noise levels must be measured. Sophisticated can be used to reduce reverberations and reected noise.
meters will allow frequency analysis of noise sources.
Noise exposure is calculated by multiplying the noise 18.8.4 Administrative Noise Control
levels by the exposure time so as to determine the total Administrative noise control includes:
energy of exposure . This can be done using personal a) Limiting the exposure of individuals.
sound exposure meters (PSEM) also known as dosimeters b) Signposting quiet areas or pathways through a noisy
or with a sound level meter, timer and calculation. The plant.
energy determination is in Pascal squared hours which can c) Isolating noisy work from other working areas.
be converted to standard 8 hour exposure levels. Full de-
d) Rescheduling work to minimise the work exposure
tails are available in AS/NZS 1269.3-1998: Occupational of people not directly involved with noisy tasks.
noise management Hearing protection programme.
Contemporary PSEMs give not only a daily noise 18.8.5 Control Through Personal Protection
exposure but also a minute by minute log of noise When the above methods cannot reduce noise to accept-
exposure during the measurement period. This allows able levels then it is necessary for personnel to use
the identication of high noise areas. hearing protection. Hearing protection takes the form
of ear muffs or ear plugs. All hearing protection should
18.7 Limits on Noise Exposure be in compliance with AS/NZS 1270:2002 Acoustics
The current statutory requirement should always be re- Hearing protectors.
ferred to when assessing noise exposure. As well as the There are a wide variety of hearing protectors on the
Daily Noise Dose, a peak noise level is set. This level is market and each does not suit all situations. Points to
intended to control impact or sudden noises. consider when choosing hearing protection include:
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 18 PAGE 81

a) Attenuation of the device (how much protection the 18.8.7 Summary


device provides). The National Acoustic Laboratory
Exposure to high noise levels can cause permanent
(NAL) provides definitive advice. It should be
serious damage to hearing. The hierarchy of noise control
recognised that the actual attenuation on the shop oor
measures suggests a number of practical approaches to
will fall well short of the possible gure as measured
noise control. In reality any particular workplace will
by the NAL.
probably use a combination of the above strategies once
b) Correct individual selection of noise protection economics and technology are considered.
devices.
c) Acceptability by the user, i.e. comfort. Noise control and audiometry require professional
d) Compatibility with other protective equipment, e.g. advice. The introduction of hearing protection should
welding face shields. occur under professional supervision.
e) The necessity of having reliable and effective cleaning In the welding area there many avenues for noise
and maintenance facilities and procedures for the reduction, either through the use of quieter welding
hearing protection. techniques, less chipping, use of nylon or plastic hammers,
f) The necessity of user training and motivation. vibration damping or better placement of heavier welding
g) The suitability for the particular work environment. screens to shield other workers.
Use of hearing protection may be supported by audi-
ometry surveys of workers in high noise areas, as required
18.9 Vibration
by regulation in some states. In addition to possibly causing extreme noise and fatigue,
vibration may be a problem where prolonged use of such
18.8.6 Audiometry hand tools as grinders and cutters occurs. Excessive
Audiometry is the measurement of an individuals hear- vibration may result in a range of problems, foremost of
ing in order to determine the hearing threshold and any these is Vibration White Finger (VWF). VWF results in
hearing loss. Audiometry only measures the effects of decreased blood circulation in the ngers. This in turn
noise exposure and it gives little useful information about makes the ngers more susceptible to cold and injury.
noise sources, amounts of exposure or appropriate noise Vibration exposure may be reduced by such things as
control measures. Audiometry is not an acceptable means good tool design, regular tool maintenance and wearing
of noise control. of suitable gloves.

return to contents next page


PAGE 82 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 19 PAGE 83

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

19.1 Introduction always use full helmet equipment to provide the maxi-
mum possible protection. Such helmets or hand shields
During welding operations, the welder may be exposed di- should be constructed of non-ammable, non-conducting
rectly to radiation, heat, fumes, particles etc. This requires materials with non-reecting surfaces, e.g. bre, glass
the use of special equipment for personal protection25. bre reinforced plastic or similar materials. Helmets
Such equipment is needed in addition to the use of safe should have sufcient clearance from the face to permit
welding equipment and tidy workplace. ventilation and should be light yet durable.
This section deals with the types, use, selection and
care of personal protective equipment and clothing for the
protection of welders and others in the immediate vicinity
of welding, cutting and allied operations.
Protective equipment and clothing is of no value
unless it is used at all appropriate times and maintained
in good condition.

19.2 Recommended Equipment for


Various Processes
Protective equipment and clothing which should be used
for various processes is listed in Table 19.1.

19.3 Protection of Eyes and Head


19.3.1 Purpose Figure 19.1 Typical Auto Darkening Welding Helmet

Accidents involving the eyes are most common in weld- 19.3.3 Protective Goggles
ing. The eyes and head including ears are particularly
sensitive parts of the body and almost always require Protective goggles should conform to AS / NZS 1337,
some protection during welding against: which covers a wide variety of suitable types. The pri-
a) Radiation (see Chapter 15). mary features are an ability to provide protection against
b) Burns which may result from small globules of hot ying particles and fragments, dusts, splashing materials
metal or slag. and molten metals, harmful gases or vapours and against
c) Particles from welding, chipping, gouging etc entering the appropriate optical radiation. Some types allow for
the eye or ear. tting of lters, which protect the eyes against harmful
d) Falling objects, especially when working at heights ultraviolet or infra-red radiation.
or below construction activities (see Chapter 25).
These wavelengths constitute the major radiation
e) Noise (see Chapter 18). hazard generated by the welding process (AS / NZS 1336
19.3.2 Helmets and Hand shields sect. 5.8). Goggles should be non-ammable preferably
with anti-glare sides.
A typical helmet is shown in Figure 19.1. The construction
of such devices, together with the protective lters incor- It is good practice for welders to wear safety spectacles
porated within them, should conform to AS / NZS 1337 with side shields underneath helmets to provide increased
and AS / NZS 1338. Where possible, welders should protection at all times.
return to contents next page
PAGE 84 C H A P T E R 19 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

For most open arc welding operations, goggles, even When selecting an appropriate lter, the following
with appropriate lters, will not afford sufcient facial factors should be kept in mind:
protection for welders. However, they often give: a) The intensity of radiation, and thus degree of protec-
a) Added protection against stray arc ashes particularly tion required, depends mainly on the process and
if welders are working closely together. welding current (AS/NZS 1336 sect.5.8). Table 19.2
b) Adequate protection for observers or welders gives recommendations for suitable lters and should
assistants provided they are sufciently far away from provide the basis for selection.
the arc to avoid skin burns due to radiation or molten b) The objective is to achieve protection for the eyes
or hot particles. whilst maintaining adequate visibility of the work
piece. Poor visibility causes eye strain and spoiled
Similarly, it is strongly recommended that all persons work.
working in the vicinity of any welding operations wear c) If, after selecting a lter suited to the welding process
either protective goggles or safety glasses with side shields and conditions (Table 19.2), vision is poor, attempts
as these will provide limited protection against accidental should be made to improve illumination of the work-
arc ash and exposure by absorption and reection. This piece rather than using an inadequate lter.
type of eyewear is not glare resistant nor is it guaranteed d) Observers who are required to closely view the arc,
to be 100% UV/IR resistant unless specically tested for say from a distance of less than 3 metres, should
this. Such eyewear can not guarantee that people working also wear full face protection and also select lters
in the vicinity of welding operations will not suffer from as recommended in Table 19.2.
adverse effects of excessive UV exposure, as there is
no substitute for the appropriate shielding of welding e) For welders assistants and other personnel who
operations of nearby activities. Goggle Body Screwed Cap

19.3.4 Contact Lenses


Persons who wear contact lenses should ensure precau-
tions are taken to avoid dust, metallic particles and the
like being lodged in their eyes. Foreign bodies can be
very difcult to remove in these circumstances and can,
if they collect behind the lens, cause severe discomfort Filter Glass Hardened Lens
and an increased risk of more severe damage to the eye.
Figure 19.2 Protective lters
Suitable protective lters must be worn during weld-
ing operations (see Section 19.3.5), and similarly, welders are often within about 6 metres of the arc, it is safe
and any persons working in the vicinity of welding practice to wear goggles with a lter shade No.3 even
operations should wear suitable protective goggles or though it is generally not necessary for them to view
safety glasses. the arc. Protection of others situated further from the
There is no additional radiation risk arising from any arc is accomplished by the use of suitable protective
welding process or operation such as exposure to arc ash screens or partitions (Sections 15.2 and 19.5).
when using contact lenses26. 19.3.6 Welding Helmets With Self-Darkening
Filters
19.3.5 Protective Filters Welding helmets are available with light reactive lters
Protective lters are provided to reduce the intensity of which change automatically and almost instantaneously
radiation entering the eye (References AS / NZS 1336 & from the light to the dark state when the arc is struck and
AS / NZS 1338.1) and thus effectively lter out part of return automatically to the light state as soon as the arc
the visible, infra-red and ultraviolet radiation. Such lters is extinguished.
are incorporated within welding helmets and can be tted The most signicant requirements and benets of
to certain goggles. To prevent damage to the lters from self-darkening lters are:
molten or hard particles an additional hard clear glass or a) That the levels of UV and IR ltration in the light
CR39 plastic external cover is provided (see Figure 19.2). state are to be the same as in the dark state.
This cover should always be kept in place and replaced b) Specied response times for the changeover from
before the damage becomes sufcient to impair vision. light to dark state.
Cover lenses for protection from spatter and abrasion c) Frees both hands for welding.
may be difcult to distinguish from medium impact resistant d) Eyes are permanently protected from harmful
lenses required for protection against ying particles. radiation (in both the light and dark state).
Lift-front welding helmets should incorporate a high e) Assists in achieving accurate striking of the arc.
impact resistant chipping lens made of polycarbonate f) Reduces fatigue.
material. g) Improves productivity.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 19 PAGE 85

19.3.7 Welders Caps d) The inner lining of the glove should be of non-
Welders caps will provide additional protection for the ammable material and material that does not melt on to
top of the head from radiation reected from adjacent the skin when subjected to heat. The glove should also
surfaces. They should be used in welding overhead. be resistant to penetration by sharp objects and comply
Welders caps should be made of heat resistant material with AS / NZS 2161.3: 1998 Occupational protective
which is not readily ammable. Welders with long hair gloves protection against mechanical risks and
should use hoods or nets which cover and hold the hair AS/NZS 2161.4: 1999 Occupational protective gloves
underneath appropriate caps or head shields. protection against thermal risks (heat and re).
For additional head protection on construction sites, 19.4.4 Safety Footwear
welding helmets should be attached to safety hats.
In most industrial situations where welding is used, there
19.4 Protective Clothing for the Body is a risk of injury to feet or toes from a number of causes,
including:
19.4.1 Purpose
a) Fractures from falling objects.
With usual industrial arc and flame processes, it is
necessary to wear suitable protective clothing to protect b) Burns molten or hot particles penetrating or entering
the welders body and clothing against: footwear.
a) Heat from the work. c) Cuts intrusion of sharp objects through soles.
b) Burns which may result from contact with hot To provide protection it is recommended that safety
components or small globules of hot metal and footwear in accordance with AS / N ZS 2210 be used.
slag.
c) Ultraviolet light which may burn the skin or det-
eriorate clothing.
d) Cold winds or rain.
With allied processes, e.g. grinding, suitable pro-
tection for the particular hazards involved are also
essential (Table 19.1).
19.4.2 Type of Work Clothing
Welders' clothing should:
a) Protect all parts of the body from hot particles or
objects.
b) Be preferably of wool or ame-resistant canvas which
are much safer in re than most synthetic materials
such as nylon which melt or readily stick to skin when
overheated. Woollen materials have much greater
Figure 19.3 Welding Gloves complying with AS/NZS 2161
resistance to ultraviolet radiation, e.g. from Gas Metal
Arc or Gas Tungsten Arc Welding of aluminium and
As a minimum requirement the following types of
stainless steel.
footwear are suggested:
c) Be free of cuffs or open pockets, which could trap
molten metal causing local burns or setting re to Normal work Type 2 (medium duty)
clothing. Heavy plate work Type 1 (heavy duty)
d) Fit snugly at wrists but be loose tting when working
in hot conditions. Wet work Type 4 (waterproof)
e) Cover tops of footwear.
19.4.5 Additional Protection
19.4.3 Gloves
Aprons, sleeves, shoulder covers, leggings or spats of
These should: pliable ame-resistant leather or other suitable materials
a) Be worn during all arc, gas or thermal cutting may also be required in positions where these areas of
operations to protect the hands and wrists from heat, the body will encounter hot metal, e.g. overhead welding
burns and cuts. Hands are usually the closest part of (see Section 19.3.7 for caps) or if leaning on hot metal,
the body to the heat source. or sitting at a bench where molten metal may land in
b) Be of pliable ame-resistant leather or of aluminised the lap.
type for very hot operations such as conned heavy
arc or oxy-gouging. Rubber shall not be used. 19.4.6 Clothing Condition
c) Have seams arranged inside to prevent burning of
stitches and trapping of hot metal particles. The Clothing and footwear should be in good condition.
unseamed type of glove with reinforcement between Clothes, particularly welding gloves should be free of
thumb and fore-nger is preferred. tears. Steel toe caps not exposed.
return to contents next page
PAGE 86 C H A P T E R 19 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

19.5 Screens respiratory protection in accordance with AS / NZS 1715


is required. The following general requirements should
All electric welding operations should be screened to be considered when selecting respiratory protective
prevent the rays of the arc from affecting other persons devices.
working in the vicinity. Where the work is carried out at
xed benches or in welding shops, permanent screens a) They are carefully selected for each application
should be erected. Where the nature of the work is such (expert occupational hygiene advice may be required).
that these are not practicable, temporary screens should A common problem is tting respiratory protection
be used to limit the radiation. devices under welding face pieces and helmets, and
specically designed variants may have to be used.
All screens should be opaque or of appropriate All devices used should conform to AS / NZS 1716
translucent materials, of sturdy construction to withstand and be used in accordance with AS / NZS 1715.
rough usage, and of material which will not readily be set
alight by sparks or hot metal. b) Face pieces of ltering devices or negative pressure
supplied air devices have to closely t the face. Full
They should not, however, be so heavy or cumbersome or half face piece respirators should not be worn by
as to discourage their use. They should permit ventilation individuals with beards, long moustaches, sideburns,
under and over; 300 mm bottom clearance is usually or with stubble growth. Air supplied hood type
adequate. respirators should be used.
The design and construction of the screen should c) All respirators must be clean and in good condition
conform to AS 3957. before use. They must only be transferred between
persons if they have been adequately washed and
19.6 Respiratory Protection Devices disinfected.
d) All respirators should be stored in a clean area such
19.6.1 Introduction as a closed cupboard in its original box.
In special situations where general or local ventilation d) Training in correct use of respiratory protection
systems are not effective in reducing fume levels, personal devices is essential.

Table 19.1 Minimum Personal Protective Equipment For Various Welding and Allied Processes (Notes 1, 2)
Process Hazard Personal Protection (Note 3)
Flame cutting Radiation Goggles with appropriate lters (Table 19.2)
Burns (heat) Adequate clothing (19.4.2) gloves (19.4.3) and footwear (19.4.4)
Suitable head protection for overhead welding (19.4.1 & 19.4.2)
Gas Welding Radiation Goggles with appropriate lters (Table 19.2), gloves (19.4.3)
Burns Adequate clothing (19.4.2)
Plasma Cutting Radiation Full face protection shield with lters (19.3.2 & Table 19.2)
(Machine) Burns (heat) Adequate clothing (19.4.2)
Noise Ear protection (Chapter 18)
Arc Gouging / Radiation Goggles with appropriate lters (Table 19.2). Adequate clothing
Cutting Burns (19.4.2), gloves (19.4.3) and footwear (19.4.4)
Electric Shock Dry gloves, clothes and footwear
Noise Ear protection (Chapter 18)
Arc Welding (Manual) Radiation Full face protection shields with lters (19.3.2 & Table 19.2)
(Note 4) Burns Adequate clothing (19.4.2), gloves (19.4.3) and footwear (19.4.4)
Electric Shock Dry gloves, clothes and footwear
Arc Welding Radiation Goggles with suitable protective lters (Table 19.2)
(Mechanised) Burns Adequate clothing (19.4.2)
(Note 5) Electric Shock Dry clothing etc
Grinding Hard Particles Eye protection (goggles with lens, 19.3.3)
Noise Adequate clothing (19.4.2)
Ear protection (Chapter 18)
Chipping Hard Particles Eye protection (goggles with lens 19.3.3)
(possibly hot) Adequate clothing (19.4.2)
Noise Ear protection (Chapter 18)
Notes:
1. Often, the particular circumstances in which the process is used may dictate the use of additional protective clothing to that listed.
2. For protection against fume, see Table 17.1, 17.2 and Section 19.6 and Chapter 17.
3. It is recommended that adequate protective footwear by used in all industrial applications (19.4.4).
4. Additional protection from burns, hot or molten particles will be required in overhead and some positional (e.g. vertical up) welding.
5. Operator not adjacent to arc, e.g. submerged arc, electroslag, electrogas, fully automatic GMAW (MIG).
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 19 PAGE 87

Table 19.2 Guidance on Selection and Use of Filters for Protection Against Optical Radiation Generated During
Welding and Allied Processes

Approx. Range of Welding Filter Recommended


Process
Current (AMPS) (Notes 1, 2, 6)
Manual Metal Arc Welding covered electrodes (MMAW) Up to 100 8
100-200 10
200-300 11
300-400 12
Over 400 13
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW) (TIG) Up to 100 10
100-200 11
200-250 12
250-350 13
Over 350 14
Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) (MIG) (Note 4)
Aluminium and Up to 250 12
Stainless Steel 250-350 (Note 3) 13
Other than Aluminium Up to 150 10
And Stainless Steel 150-250 (Note 3) 11
250-300 (Note 3) 12
300-400 (Note 3) 13
Over 400 14
Flux-Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) (Note 4)
With or without Up to 300 (Note 3) 11
shielding gas 300-400 (Note 3) 12
400-500 (Note 3) 13
Over 500 14
Plasma Arc Welding, Cutting & Spraying (PAW) and 50-100 10
Wire-Arc Spraying (Note 5) 100-200 11
200-300 12
300-400 13
400 and over 14
Air-Arc Gouging (Note 4) Up to 400 12
Gas Welding Low heat input 3
Light fusion welds 4
Heavy fusion welds 5
Wire Flame Spraying Except Molybdenum 2-4
Molybdenum 3-6
Flame Cutting and Gouging Light 4
Medium 5
Heavy-close 6
Thermit 6
Submerged Arc & Electroslag 3 (Note 7)
Welders Assistant 3
Notes:
1. The shade numbers are minimum. If any discomfort is felt, higher shade numbers, i.e. darker lters should be used.
2. If the surface temperature of the lter rises above 100C, e.g. when welding preheated sections in a conned space, lters of solid glass or
glass laminates with dyed inserts should be used.
3. These processes give off a higher proportion of infra-red radiation than others which gives rise to an uncomfortable increase in lter temperature.
An auxiliary heat absorbing lter should be placed between the cover glass and lter glass.
4. Where these processes are fully automatic, shade 3 lter may be used. The appropriate lter should be used for close examination.
5. When these processes are provided with their own shield, lighter eye protection lters may be used.
6. Australian Standards covering eye protection (1336, 1337 and 1338) should be observed.
7. A darker lter (shade 5) may be required to closely watch the molten pool in electroslag welding.

return to contents next page


PAGE 88 C H A P T E R 19 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

19.6.2 Respirator Types


a) Air Hose Mask Respirators: These comprise a full
face piece tted with a length of relatively large bore
air hose through which air from a clean source is
drawn by the normal breathing action of the wearer.
b) Air Line Respirators: These may be of full face piece,
half face piece, hood or helmet type. A common
feature of each of these is the supply of clean
breathable air at suitable pressure from a remote
source (Figure 19.4). Workshop compressed air, after
ltering to remove oil droplets, is usually suitable for
breathing.
c) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA): This
equipment is entirely self contained with an air
cylinder and the user is not dependent on an air
compressor.
d) Escape Type SCBA: These incorporate a small
cylinder of compressed air which may be turned on
and used to escape from an atmosphere immediately
hazardous to life if the working air supply fails. They
must be used with a full face piece respirator.
Figure 19.5 Particulate Respirator

e) Particulate Respirators: A variety of particulate


respirators are available conforming to P1 or P2 class
ltration efciency as dened in AS / NZS 1716.1
These include disposable respirators or masks as well
as half face and full face pieces, respirators tted with
suitable cartridge or canister type lters. These should
be selected to protect the wearer against harmful
inhalation of dusts, solid particles and metallic fumes
(see Figure 19.5). For welding operators, class P2
respirators should be worn.
f) Gas Respirators: These may be half or full face
respirators tted with suitable cartridge or canister
type lters to remove various categories of toxic
vapours. Reference should be made to AS/NZS 1715
and AS / NZS 1716 for information on the various
categories of gas lter and the degree of protection
provided by each.
g) Combined Particulate and Gas Respirators: These
may be half or full face respirators tted with suitable
combination type lters to remove both particulates
and dened categories of gases and vapours.
None of the respirators referred to in (e), (f) and
(g) supply oxygen and therefore must not be used
in locations where an oxygen deciency may be
present, e.g. in conned spaces. Atmospheres should
be checked for oxygen content as well as to ensure
that they are not ammable or explosive.
h) Air-supplied Welding Helmets: These must incorporate
a positive pressure hood of full face fresh air stream.
Do not use a perforated airline inside an ordinary
face shield/welding helmet. Such equipment entrains
Figure 19.4 Airline Respirator (half face piece)
increased quantities of harmful fumes into the
breathing zone.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 PAGE 89

19.6.3 Selection of Equipment lates and gases and maintain adequate permeability
to air so that breathing does not become difcult.
The following factors should be considered when select-
d) To be effective, respiratory devices must closely t
ing respiratory protection devices:
the users face. Beards, moustaches etc will interfere
a) Only equipment which conforms with AS/NZS 1716 with the closeness of t.
should be used. e) In atmospheres immediately hazardous to life, self-
b) It is strongly advised that expert assistance be contained breathing apparatus is preferred to airline
sought in selecting respiratory protective devices respirators.
appropriate to the intended service. Such advice may f) Airline respirators may only be used in atmospheres
be sought from local OH&S Authorities, occupational immediately hazardous to life if tted with escape
hygienists or physicians. In some states, legislation type SCBA for use in event of failure of the airline
requires personal protective equipment to be of an or compressor.
approved type. g) In areas containing toxic fumes or dusts not immedi-
c) Where lter type devices are used, particular care is ately hazardous to life, approved half face cartridge
required in selecting appropriate ltering systems. or airline respirators give sufcient protection. Self-
They must be capable of removing a range of particu- contained breathing apparatus may also be used.

return to contents next page


PAGE 90 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 20 PAGE 91

WELDING AND CUTTING IN


CONFINED SPACES

20.1 Introduction suitable permits. A risk assessment must be under-


taken to identify all hazards, assess the risks and put
Working in a conned space is controlled by govern- controls in place before issue of a permit.
ment regulation and in accordance with Australian
Standard AS/NZS 2865. A conned space is dened by c) Testing: The atmosphere and any materials present
AS/NZS 2865 as follows: in a conned space should be examined and if nec-
essary tested in respect of toxicity and ammability
An enclosed or partially enclosed space that is before working. (Where required, the cleaning and
at atmospheric pressure during occupancy and is not safe working procedures given in Chapter 21 should
intended or designed primarily as a place of work, and be carried out, i.e. where the contents or previous
a) is liable at any time to contents are known or suspected to be ammable,
i) have an atmosphere which contains potentially explosive or toxic.)
harmful levels of contaminant;
ii) have an oxygen deciency or excess; or 20.3 Ventilation, Shading and Thermal
iii) cause engulfment; and Insulation
b) could have restricted means of entry and exit. 20.3.1 Ventilation
Additional risks usually also occur. Many conned The following points should be noted:
spaces are also electrically hazardous environments, in
a) Local exhaust ventilation is a prerequisite in conned
which case the requirements of Section 14.6 or 14.7 apply.
space welding and cutting.
If conned spaces are hot and humid, the requirements
of Section 23 also apply. b) The specic type of ventilation depends essentially
on the size of the conned space and welding process
When working in conned spaces or under cramped being carried out and required cooling.
conditions, the precautions required during normal
c) All air, replacing that withdrawn, must be clean and
welding require additional attention. For example,
respirable.
additional care is required in respect of hazardous
atmospheres where ammable, toxic or asphyxiating d) Oxygen or oxygen enriched gases must never be used
gases may be encountered. Always check the previous for ventilation.
contents of the conned space when ammable, explosive e) If it is impracticable to provide adequate ventilation,
or toxic materials are suspected. Always check that suitable air supplied personal respiratory protection
oxygen has not been depleted by excessive rusting of steel (see Section 19.6) should be used.
or snowake corrosion of aluminium. Always check that
explosive, toxic or oxygen-displacing gases do not build 20.3.1.1Shading
up due to leakage etc. In a conned space or vessel in sunshine, shading
Note: Convenient devices for checking oxygen (tarpaulins etc) should be used to reduce heat stress
content, ammability, explosivity and for identifying (23.2).
toxic gases are available commercially.
20.3.2 Thermal Insulation
20.2 Supervision, Permits and If preheat is needed, insulate all heated parts not being
Precautions welded to reduce heating of airspace occupied by welder
a) Permits: In all circumstances where such welding is and to reduce risk of burns. This insulation must not break
required, a responsible person such as a safety ofcer down to give toxic fumes. Additional ventilation may be
should supervise the preparations for work and issue needed to cool personnel.
return to contents next page
PAGE 92 C H A P T E R 20 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

20.4 Electric Shock b) Blowpipes should be lit outside to avoid gas and heat
build-up inside the conned space.
Because of the cramped conditions and probability of the
welder sweating excessively, the risk of electrical shock c) Torches and pressure hosing connected to the supply
are greatly increased and deaths have occurred in these are not to be left inside the working area when not in
conditions in Australia. In addition to the normal safe use. Very slow leaks of oxygen or fuel gas can allow
operating procedures outlined in Section 14, the follow- an explosive atmosphere to build up rapidly.
ing measures should be taken: d) Gas cutting may result in a build-up of oxygen level
a) Power sources are to be left outside the conned due to not all the oxygen being used in the cutting
working space and should preferably be d.c. operation. Ventilation is required to ensure that the
b) Power supply devices which restrict the no-load oxygen.
voltages to as low as practicable a value should be
used.
c) Electrical connection to electrodes, work return and 20.6 The Welder
equipment should be fully insulated and thoroughly Working under conned space conditions increases the
checked. fatigue experienced by the welder and can therefore re-
d) Means for cutting off power to the welding unit should duce his concentration level. This situation is more serious
be installed and readily accessible. in hot conditions which can arise from either preheating
e) Insulating mats or layers of a suitable material to in- or build-up of heat during welding. Additional care in
sulate the welder from the walls of the vessel should selection of working clothing and protective clothing is
be provided (gure 20.1). required (see also Chapter 19).
f) Electrical lighting in the conned space must be of a) Flame resistant protective clothing, e.g. wool is re-
low voltage (32 volts) and other electrical equipment quired to be worn.
(e.g. grinders) must be fully or double insulated and b) Clothing soiled with readily combustible materials
in good condition with heavy duty leads. Preference such as oil or grease, should not be worn.
should be given to pneumatic equipment.
c) Gauntlet gloves in good condition without metal rivets
g) High frequency should not be used in conned spaces should be worn. They should be of ame resistant
because ordinary insulation is ineffective against material and be kept dry.
high frequency.
d) Footwear should be robust, watertight and of the
Mats for thermal and non-nailed type. Steel toecaps are recommended, but
electrical insulation Local exhaust metal should not be exposed.
(High frequency requires ventilation
special insulation) e) Protection from reected radiation from the walls of
the vessel is required to prevent burns to the back of
To exhaust
ventilation
the neck.
f) Rest periods should be allowed for. This may be
Fully achieved by using several welders in turn.
insulated
electrode g) Special provision will be required where very hot
holder conditions are experienced (see Chapter 23.).
Mains switch within
reach of observer
Observer
20.7 Emergency Removal of Personnel
from Conned Space
Work
Dry wooden terminal Where access to the conned space is limited, e.g. through
formwork a manhole, provisions are required to be made to allow
rapid removal of the welder in an emergency.
Dog and Wedge Electrode terminal
Safety harnesses with lifelines are recommended
Figure 20.1 Conned Space Welding and are a legal requirements in some instances. Care
is required to ensure the welders body will not jam in
20.5 Flame Cutting, Welding or small exits.
Preheating A helper or observer with a pre-planned rescue
Where gases are required for cutting, welding or preheat- procedure and suitable training should be stationed
ing, precautions are required to ensure a build-up of toxic outside to observe the welder at all times and to be capable
or ammable gases cannot occur. The following precau- of putting rescue operations into effect.
tions should be observed: The observer must be aware that an unprotected
a) Gas cylinders are to be kept away from the working person must not enter a space where another person has
area and preferably outside the conned space. collapsed before taking appropriate precautions.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 20 PAGE 93

20.8 Typical Check List


The following sequence of checks is recommended for conned space work:
a) Pre-Entry c) During Entry
Work selection Continuous or period monitoring of conned
Worker training AS/NZS 2865 section 11 space atmosphere
Responsibilities of responsible person Assure safe workplace practice is followed
Recognition of potential hazards d) After Entry
b) Entry Re-issue permit after prolonged absence if
Isolation of conned space conditions change
Precautions at entrance to conned space Confirm that all persons and equipment are
Initial testing and recording of conned space accounted for
atmosphere Review the operation and comment on unsatisfac-
Comparison of initial test results to establish tory aspects
ventilation or personal protection Acceptance of completed job
Ventilation and provide personal protective
equipment

return to contents next page


PAGE 94 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 21 PAGE 95

WELDING OR CUTTING IN OR
ON CONTAINERS

21.1 Introduction c) Many vapours are heavier than air and will accumulate
Welding or cutting in or on or near containers may pres- in low areas.
ent hazards not commonly encountered in welding or d) Safe distances need to be established from sources of
cutting operations. For example, hazards could arise from ignition in the case of combustibles and air contami-
the ammability, toxicity and explosive characteristics nation requirements in the case of toxic gases, etc.
of contained liquids, gases or solids. from their release. e) Where water or steam is used, the work area must
Welding of components under internal pressure also poses have a sealed area complying with statutory and
obvious hazards to the operator and those in the vicinity environmental requirements.
(see Chapter 22).
f) Gas free status atmospheres for safe entry must be
Where containers including piping, vats, tanks, drums checked by instruments which are used by experienced
or any vessels are known or suspected to have contained and qualied personnel. Unless skilled personnel are
ammable or toxic substances, the provisions of Section used, there is a likelihood of dangerous consequences
21.3 must be carried out prior to welding. due to malfunctioning of the instrument.
Where the work represents a conned space situation, 21.2.3 Other Considerations
the provisions of Chapter 20 are to be adhered to.
a) Identication of contained materials or previously
The requirements of AS1674.1 should be met. contained materials and assurance that safe conditions
apply is required prior to issuing of work permits (see
21.2 Supervision and Approval Chapter 20 and Section 21.3).
21.2.1 Permits b) Fire precautions outlined in Chapter 16 should be
a) In all situations where such work is to be carried out, adhered to even if the relevant precautions noted in
a responsible person such as a safety ofcer should Section 21.3 have been carried out.
supervise all preparations for the work and issue the c) Interruptions to work which involve a reasonable
necessary work permits. elapsed time require an assessment of the conditions
b) Permits need to be issued in the following circumstances: to ensure that it is safe to recommence work.
i) To carry out hot work on the outside of a vessel
or tank;
ii) To enter the conned space of a vessel, i.e. requir- 21.3 Welding or Cutting Containers
ing a gas free permit; which have held Combustibles
iii) To carry out hot or cold work inside a vessel.
21.3.1 Introduction
21.2.2 Gas Freeing Area
Unless a building has been designed and approved for The obvious hazard associated with welding or cutting
such work, all gas freeing must be performed outdoors, containers which have at any time contained combustible
remote from all sources of ignition (in the case of combus- liquids or gases is the risk of explosion or re. Addition-
tibles) or sufciently isolated to protect personnel in the ally, precautions are required where the contained
immediate vicinity. The following points should be noted: material is such that a toxic gas or dust could be released
or formed during cleaning, purging or welding or cutting
a) Gas freeing areas should be clearly identied.
operations.
b) The tank or vessel should be positioned where vapours
will not drift indoors, towards sources of ignition (in The following provides basic guidance in identication
the case of combustibles) or endanger personnel in and avoidance of possible hazardous situations. More
the case of toxic or asphyxiating gases. detailed information is provided in References 27 and 28.
return to contents next page
PAGE 96 C H A P T E R 21 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

21.3.2 Identication of Hazard f) Ignition sources listed below can be dangerous:


It is important to identify completely the type of liquid, i) Flame or arc from welding and cutting, hot metal,
gas or other ammable material which has been or is smoking, matches or a lighter;
contained in the vessel. This provides assistance in de- ii) Electrical discharge from equipment not ap-
termining appropriate means of avoiding re, explosion proved for hazardous areas;
or other health risks. The more common hazardous situ- iii) Defective electrical equipment;
ations are noted below: iv) Portable equipment (electrical);
a) If the previous contents of a vessel to be worked on v) Hot engine exhaust;
are unknown, it should be treated as having contained
vi) Friction or impact sparks ( grinding or abrasive
a combustible toxic substance however long it may
disk cutting);
have remained empty.
vii) Spontaneous combustion (oily rags);
b) Petroleum products and other volatile liquids release
vapours at atmospheric pressure which may remain viii) Auto ignition from vehicle;
after a container is emptied particularly in lapped or ix) Static electricity including discharge for synthetic
llet welded joints. clothing or footwear;
c) Containers which have contained plastic products, x) Lighting electrical.
heavy oils or tars or have been coated inside or outside g) Chisels, hammers etc made of steel should not be used
with plastic or paint may ll with explosive vapours for cleaning or scraping of residues as sparks can be
when the metal is heated by welding, cutting etc. The generated and ignite gases. Wooden or bronze mallets
welding or cutting may then provide the spark which and scrapers of non-sparking material are preferred
sets off an explosion. e.g. copper beryllium tools.
d) Hydrogen may be present in metal containers which h) Internal piping, bafes, trays etc should, where pos-
have held an acid, due to reaction between the metal sible, be removed and drained to facilitate cleaning.
and acid. i) Residue removed from containers should immediately
e) Deposits of sludge, scale, traces of gum, resin, var- be stored in a safe place.
nish, bitumen or similar non-volatile oils or solids j) Compartments within a container should all be treated
may release ammable or explosive gases when in the same manner, even if only a localised portion
heated in welding or cutting operations. of the container is to be worked on.
f) Explosive conditions may exist if a container has held k) Rendering of materials to a non-explosive or
a ammable or explosive solid and nely divided non-ammable condition may, under certain cir-
particles of this matter are present in the form of cumstances, provide an alternative to cleaning (see
dust. Examples are wheat silos or coal storage bins Section 21.3.6).
(see Section 16.3). Hydrogen gas has been known l) Solvents may in themselves constitute a hazard in a
to form from wet rusty steel due to bacterial action welding environment and advice should be sought
within enclosed spaces. before their use.
m) Washing with either hot or cold water is not generally
21.3.3 Basic Precautions
an acceptable method of cleaning as many materials
The following lists the basic precautions to be met when are not soluble in water. Exceptions are noted in
welding or cutting on containers which hold or have Section 21.3.4.
previously held combustibles. n) Waste material should be disposed of safely.
a) Appropriate chemical analysis carried out by qualied
personnel should be used to identify any doubtful situ-
21.3.4 Cleaning Procedures for Small Vessels
ations. Even small amounts of residual gas-forming
substances can cause a serious explosion. There are a number of methods in common use for
b) Sight or smell CANNOT be used to determine if the cleaning of small vessels. Brief details are given
safe working conditions apply and could prove fatal below and more complete information can be found in
through the inhalation of toxic vapours. Reference 28.
c) Cutting, welding or heating should only be carried Note: Cleaning of a vessel is necessary in all cases.
out by experienced welders directly supervised by a It should be supplemented by lling the container with
person who fully understands the hazards involved. water or an inert gas prior to and during the hot repair
d) Cleaning by methods appropriate to the size of the work (see Sections 21.3.5 and 21.3.6).
container and nature of its contents is required prior
to cutting or welding except where the hazard can be 21.3.4.1 Water Washing and Rinsing
avoided by other methods (see Section 21.3.4). a) Application: Only suitable for substances known to be
e) Ventilation during cleaning should be such that any readily soluble in water, e.g. acids, caustic, acetone,
ammable gases are quickly and safely dispersed. alcohol.
Open air cleaning is preferred. Note: Some gases, b) Method: Complete lling and draining of vessels
e.g. vapour from petroleum products are heavier than a number of times with appropriate testing of the
air and will tend to collect at oor level. drained liquid.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 21 PAGE 97

c) Caution: Dilute acids frequently react with metals vi) Inspect the inside of the container to ensure it
to produce hydrogen when concentrated acids will is clean. This may require the use of mirrors to
not. All traces of acid must therefore be removed by reect light into the container.
repeated ushing. vii) Carry out appropriate gas tests before issuing
work permits.
21.3.4.2 Hot Chemical Solutions viii) Figure 21.1 illustrates suitable arrangements for
a) Application: Suitable for vessels which are not steam cleaning methods.
entered by workmen and which have contained petrol, c) Caution: Metal nozzles on the steamline should be
domestic heating oils and other light petroleum by- non-sparking types to prevent accidental ignition of
products. ammable gases. Metal nozzles should be grounded
b) Method: A two-stage cleaning process is generally to the container and the container also grounded to
used which involves thorough ushing of the container prevent a build up of static electricity. Protective cloth-
with water to remove any remaining sludge, scum or ing including that necessary to protect the operators
liquid followed by cleaning with a hot solution of head and hands is required in steam cleaning. Any
detergent. The cleaning procedure involves: light sources used for inspection purposes should be
i) Dissolve chemicals in small quantities of boiling of a type approved for use where ammable vapours
water and pour into container. Typical chemicals are present.
used are sodium silicate or trisodium phosphate,
the amount required being determined by the size
of the vessel. Steam Insertion
ii) Fill vessel with fresh water.
iii) Make a steam connection either to a separate drain
connection at the bottom of the container or by Condensed
a pipe through the lling connection or vent and Steam may
drain away here
leading to the bottom of the container.
iv) Maintain solution at 75 to 90C.
v) During steaming, add sufcient water at intervals
to allow discharge and continue steaming until Figure 21.1 Arrangements for Steam Cleaning a Container
the overow is clear.
vi) Drain container and carry out an appropriate gas
test before issuing work permits. 21.3.5 Water Filling Treatment
c) Caution: Personnel should guard against injury
from either steam or caustic cleaning compounds by a) Application: It is advisable to use either this method
wearing suitable protective clothing. The chemicals or the inert gas treatment (Section 21.3.6) to supple-
used in cleaning should be such that corrosion of the ment the cleaning methods described. Dependent
vessel can not occur. upon the contents of the vessel and if the vessel is in
a non-hazardous location, it may be approved as the
21.3.4.3 Steaming sole method required before commencing hot work.
a) Application: As for hot chemical method. b) Method: The container is lled with water to within
b) Method: a few centimetres of where welding or cutting is to
be carried out (Figure 21.2). Vents or openings are
i) Where practicable, the inside surfaces should
required to allow the release of heated air or vapour
be ushed with a 25% caustic solution and the
from the container.
vessel thoroughly drained prior to steaming.
c) Caution: Approval of this method as a single means of
ii) For containers with two openings, live steam
protection requires written approval of a responsible
should be blown through the drainage hole. When
ofcer.
the container has only one opening it should be
positioned so that condensed steam can drain
away whilst steaming continues. Small free space with opening
iii) Low Pressure should not be used as this will not Welding point
provide sufcient cleaning action. Steam pres- Open pipe Open pipe
sure should be controlled by a valve positioned 1-2 cm
Welding point
at the head of the lling hose.or pipe. The ar- 1-2 cm Full of water
rangement must not be able to over- pressurise
the container.
iv) Continue steaming until the container is free of
odours and sufciently hot to allow steam to Contrainer
Container Full of water
freely ow out of the container vent and all parts
of the container are hot.
Figure 21.2 Arrangements for Water Filling
v) Flush container with boiling water and drain.
return to contents next page
PAGE 98 C H A P T E R 21 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

21.3.6 Non-Flammable Gas Purging e) Caution: Where solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) is
a) Application: As for water lling treatment (see 21.3.5 used, protection is required to avoid bodily contact
above). as burns will result. Where solid carbon dioxide is
b) Basis: Use of this method requires that ammable used, openings should be tted with non-return valves
gases and vapours are rendered safe by diluting them to prevent undue loss of gas or excessive pressure
sufciently with a non-ammable gas. building up. Analysis of contained gas immediately
before and during hot work is essential as hot work
c) Suitable Gases: Carbon dioxide added as dry ice or
may release dangerous vapours.
in gas form and nitrogen are the most commonly used
gases Oxygen or mixtures thereof are dangerous. 21.3.7 Large Vessels, Tanks etc
d) Method: a) Methods: These are essentially as described for small
i) The only openings in the vessel should be a drain vessels although of course on a very much larger
and vent. scale.
ii) The vessel should initially be lled to overow b) Caution: Particular care is required where work is
and ushed with water. Where possible, the required to be carried out inside a vessel where
portion of the vessel to be worked on should be there is a risk of the atmosphere being ammable,
uppermost. toxic or both.
iii) Drain off water but allow as much to remain as No welder should be required to enter such a vessel
the cutting or welding work permits in order to or tank until it has been certied to be:
reduce the amount of inert gas required. Safe for entry.
iv) Introduce inert gas in the amount required. The Safe to work in with an arc, ame or any ignition
determination of this amount and monitoring of source.
it during the work must be controlled by a person
The precautions applicable to welding in conned
who has thorough knowledge of this work. Figure
spaces apply to this situation.
21.3 (a), (b) illustrates a typical arrangement for
introduction of an inert gas.
21.4 Welding on Containers and Piping
v) Tests of the contained gas must be carried out
prior to and during work where extended work
Under Internal Pressure
periods are required. See Chapter 22.

Pressure regulator
Pressure regulator
Carbon dioxide cylinder
Nitrogen Cylinder
Air exit
Container

Entry of
carbon
dioxide Air exit Inlet tube

a) Protection by lling with carbon dioxide b) Protection by lling with nitrogen to displace
(heavier than air) dangerous vapour

Figure 21.3 Procedure for Inert Gas Protection

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 22 PAGE 99

WELDING AND CUTTING ON


PRESSURISED EQUIPMENT

22.1 Introduction 22.2 Precautions


This section gives a general overview of this topic and When welding or cutting on pressurised equipment
additional job safety and is recommended before perform- such as boilers, pressure vessels, piping or pipelines, the
ing this work safely. following requirements apply:
a) Conformance with appropriate statutory regulations
Pressure vessels, pressure piping and pipelines often (see Appendix A).
require to be welded whilst they are in operation. b) Written specications for safe procedures must be
Depending on the wall thickness there is a risk that available and followed.
metal in the vicinity of the weld will become softened c) All work must be carried out under direct super-
allowing the pressure to cause bulging and possible vision of persons specically responsible for such
bursting. There is also a risk of development of hydrogen operations.
cracking in or adjacent to the welds, or of internal d) All operators must be competent, trained personnel
explosion. who have been informed of the risks involved and the
methods of avoiding problems.
Welding on vessels, piping and pipelines is a highly e) In hot tapping, welding should be carried out in
skilled operation requiring proven welding procedures and accordance with the requirements of AS 1697 and
practices, trained welders, very strict controls and safety AS 2885. (WTIA Technical Note 20 gives further
requirements particularly the control of heat input. information on this subject)
AS 2885 has information relating to hot tapping. f) An appropriate documented risk assessment should
Certain conditions prevent the use of hot tapping be performed including justication for why welding
operations and this is primarily dictated by pressure and or cutting is required and the means to fully control
the contents of the pipeline. the risk.

Some uid contents could decompose under the heat 22.3 Procedures
input from welding to form explosive mixtures. A detailed The main points to be considered in establishing safe
knowledge of the uid content and evaluation by a process welding or cutting procedures are:
expert (Chemical / Process Engineer) must be undertaken
a) Assessment of the thickness and integrity of the mate-
prior to commencement of any work.
rial in the area to be welded. This includes accurate
The lining coatings and residues inside a pipe that knowledge of the material type.
will be affected by the heating operation could have b) Welding conditions must be such that the weld will
a detrimental effect on the hot tap weld resulting in not embrittle the parent metal or result in hot or cold
degradation in weld metal properties and cracking. cracking.
Particular contents could break down under heat and c) Welding conditions should be such that there is no
hence the product could be affected. risk of blowing through the pipe or vessel wall.

return to contents next page


PAGE 100 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 23 PAGE 101

WELDING AND CUTTING IN


HOT OR HUMID CONDITIONS

23.1 Introduction 23.2.2 Contributing Factors


Adverse health effects occur when the human body is The major factors which contribute to heat stress are:
unable to dissipate heat at a satisfactory rate and core body a) Physical effort required and duration of work.
temperature rises. International standards for working b) Ambient environmental temperature (indicated by
in hot conditions are aimed at keeping the core body dry bulb thermometer).
temperature below 38C since the risk of serious heat c) Radiant temperature of the surroundings.
induced illness increases above that temperature. Heat d) Relative humidity (indicated by wet bulb thermometer).
is continuously produced within the body by metabolic
e) Type of clothing worn.
processes in proportion to the rate of physical activity
and this metabolic heat is usually the main contributor f) Poor air movement.
to raised body temperature. Hot working conditions also g) Time of exposure.
contribute to raised body temperature and are encountered Indices of heat stress are complex and not universally
with excessive exposure to the sun and when working applicable since individual workers vary greatly in their
with preheated steels or near furnaces. In some situations ability to perform work in hot conditions. Individual
essential work may be done at temperatures up to 250C characteristics that affect heat-work tolerance include
provided that work is carefully planned, an adequate age, physical tness, weight, medical conditions and
risk assessment is done, appropriate personal protective acclimatisation. Therefore, whenever a heat stress
equipment is used and an observer is constantly present. situation is suspected or anticipated precautions should
The ability to evaporate sweat is one of the main ways be taken. Work in hot conditions should be self paced to
of regulating body temperature. Heat problems are accommodate individual workers abilities. When work
exacerbated when working in heavy clothing or hot is required in extreme heat conditions, the professional
conned spaces. advice of an occupational physician or hygienist should
be sought.
23.2.3 Minimising Heat Stress
23.2 Heat Stress
Measures to minimise heat stress depend on reducing
23.2.1 Effects of Heat Stress heat load, promoting the loss of body heat, maintaining
The risk of serious heat stress increases as the body adequate hydration and preventing adverse physiological
temperature rises above 38C. effects. These measures include:
a) Frequent rest periods to prevent fatigue self paced
Heat stress may: or based on international heat stress indices such as
a) Cause discomfort. wet bulb globe thermometer temperature (WBGT).
b) Cause excessive sweating thus increasing the risk of b) Replacing uid loss due to sweat by taking frequent
electric shock. drinks of cool water. It should be noted that thirst is
not a satisfactory indicator of adequate hydration.
c) Cause dehydration and exhaustion.
Salt tablets and electrolyte solutions are not recom-
d) Reduce concentration. mended.
e) Aggravate pre-existing medical conditions. c) Suitable clothing for the task. A loose tting, light-
f) In extreme cases, cause heat shock which can be fatal. weight overall is preferred to minimise radiant heat
input while permitting air movement and sweat
These effects can also distract attention from safe evaporation. If heavy protective clothing or enclosed
working procedures and contribute to accidents. body suits are necessary for protection from very hot
return to contents next page
PAGE 102 C H A P T E R 23 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

or toxic environments the ability to loose body heat is Note: This system cannot be used where problems due
severely compromised and work rates and exposure to fume inhalation can occur. See Section 19.6.2 (h).
time must be limited. e) A wheeled platform was used to push the welder into
d) Adequate air movement by good general ventilation the conned space which would have greatly facili-
and spot cooling with cool air if indicated. tated removal of the welder in case of an accident.
e) Shade should be provided for hot outdoor work f) Two welders alternated at approximately 15 minute
whenever practicable (Sunshades). intervals.
f) Heat radiation shields and insulation on preheated g) An observer with appropriate rescue equipment pres-
work. ent at all times.
g) Worker acclimatisation if extended periods in hot More commonly, welding on preheated manholes or
working conditions are experienced. nozzles is achieved by conventional welding equipment
h) Administrative procedures such as scheduling strenu- but with the preheated surfaces completely insulated by
ous work for the cooler parts of the day. 100 mm of bre insulation and large volumes of cooling
air passed over the welder. Additional insulation may be
23.3 Extreme Conditions with High needed under the welders feet.
Preheat in Conned Space
Whenever work is regularly required in extreme hot 23.4 Risk of Electrocution
environments professional advice should be obtained Hot conditions increase the risk of electrocution because
whenever possible. Specialised heat resistant clothing, clothing and equipment may become soaked in perspira-
possibly air or water cooled, and very limited work peri- tion. The risk is increased in closed environments, such
ods under careful supervision and with rescue resources as tanks or vessels, particularly when these are exposed
may be necessary. to the suns heat. To minimise this risk:
The following example illustrates procedures that a) Take frequent rest periods, during which time dry off
have been adopted in extreme hot work situations. Work equipment and clothing.
in this example was equivalent to welding inside an oven b) Frequently change or alternate gloves and protective
at 250C29. clothing to avoid perspiration accumulating. Keep
a) Radiant Heat from the work piece was minimised by clothing and equipment dry and free of damage.
applying mineral wool and ceramic bre insulation c) Ventilate or air condition the work area.
to all visible heated surfaces except the area to be
welded. d) Cool the face with an air fed welding mask.
b) Aluminised material suits and helmets of light weight e) Use BOTH welding gloves and sufcient appropriate
allowing freedom of movement provide excellent protective clothing. DO NOT change electrodes with
protection for the welder. (Proprietary air cooled suits bare, perspiring hands. DO NOT expose skin to keep
can be excessively bulky.) cool.
c) Hand protection was achieved by wrapping in wet f) Use a voltage reducing device used as described in
bandages and covering with conventional gauntlets. 14.6.
d) The welders fresh air was provided by a perforated g) If clothing becomes saturated with perspiration, it
polythene tube attached to the inside of the heat must be changed. The need for a changing room and
resistant helmet. This was fed from a compressed fresh clothing must be anticipated.
air supply via lters and pressure regulators to a h) Implement conned space working procedures when
personal ow control valve xed to the welders belt. indicated.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 24 PAGE 103

WELDING IN REFINERIES
AND CHEMICAL PLANTS

24.1 Introduction double valves with locking capabilities and intermedi-


ate is generally advisable.
Welding or ame cutting in reneries or chemical plants
e) In dangerous areas, it is essential that two people
raises many hazards which will not be encountered in the
be present and that re extinguishers or appropriate
great majority of welding applications. The hazards gen-
re ghting equipment be available for immediate
erally arise from the characteristics of the environment,
emergency use.
e.g. the presence of toxic, ammable or explosive liquids,
gases or materials. In some chemical plants, highly f) Responsibility for welding operations should be
corrosive uids may also be present which give rise to clearly dened in all dangerous areas of the plant.
serious burns when in contact with the skin. g) Where any doubt exists as to the presence of explosive
or ammable liquids or gases, instruments should be
Refineries and chemical plants have strong and used for testing, i.e. combustible gas detectors, hy-
effective regulations which must be adhered to in order drogen sulphide meters, carbon monoxide meters.
to minimise the risks of injury or damage to plant and
equipment. In this section, some of the more fundamental h) All sub-contractors must be under strict control and
aspects of safe working in such environments are briey comply with all safety requirements. Hot work
described. Other sections of this Note give information permits must be obtained where there is a source of
which will assist in the adoption of safe working ignition, i.e. welding, electric drilling, grinding and
procedures in a variety of circumstances which may oxy cutting.
apply in reneries and chemical plants (see Chapters 20, i) Welding on Epoxy or coated pipe creates fumes and
21, 22, 23, 25 and 27. toxic gases.
j) Oxygen levels in breathing air should be between 19.5
Site regulations with respect to smoking only being and 23.5% before entry into conned areas. Oxygen
allowed in clearly designated areas and other special levels above this maximum may increase the risk of
practices should be clearly communicated and understood some materials overheating and setting alight. Oxy-
by all permanent, contract and casual workers. gen levels below this minimum level create a risk of
illness or death.
24.2 Precautions with Toxic or k) A Safe entry permit is required before entry to
Flammable Liquids or Gases ensure atmospheric checks have been made.
a) Welding and cutting can only be carried out in areas l) The requirements of AS1674.1 should be met.
where vapours or liquids cannot collect in sufcient
quantities to cause problems. 24.3 Fire Precautions General
b) Welding and cutting cannot be carried out in areas
where falling hot sparks can contact ammable or In addition to those listed in Section 24.2 the following
combustible materials. general precautions apply (see also Chapter 16).
c) Gases can travel relatively long distances dependent a) Safe practices must be dened for specic areas or
upon their density, the terrain and wind conditions, conditions and must be strictly adhered to, eg: Non-
resulting in special care being required. sparking tools will be required for work in areas
d) In working in conned spaces where there could be where ammable vapours could still be present.
a risk of ingress of ammable liquids or gases, all b) Flammable materials such as oily rags, wood bres
connections should be positively isolated i.e. blanked and the like must be kept free from welding areas
off. (Closure of one valve should not be relied upon where spontaneous combustion or ignition may
as it could leak or be accidentally opened. Complete result. Such materials should be disposed of in a
removal of the connection, use of spectacle plates or safe manner.
return to contents next page
PAGE 104 C H A P T E R 24 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

c) Stub ends of electrodes should be safely disposed of. b) Work current path must not be made through equip-
d) Welding cables and joints must be carefully inspected ment but via the appropriate welding cables.
to ensure they do not overheat in areas which could c) In reneries and chemical plant, special steels may
cause re, e.g. near paper, wood or dry grass. be used on high pressure and high temperature equip-
g) Welding & other cables should be run so that they do ment or where corrosive liquids or gases are present.
not constitute a tripping hazard, or have the insulation Inadvertent arc strikes may seriously affect the integ-
damaged by contacting hot equipment, effluent rity of such equipment and special care is required.
from vents, aggressive solvents or hydrocarbons and d) Welding in or on machinery will require special pro-
mechanical means. cedures in order to avoid hazards (see Chapter 28).
h) In welding or cutting, materials must be cleaned of The welder, when repair welding, should be alert to
oil or ammable compounds to avoid the possibility potential undetected problems on equipment such
of re, as well as to obtain good weld quality. as thinned or distorted components. Where such
i) Explosive conditions can occur when welding or conditions are found they should be reported to the
cutting on pipes in conditions where residual product appropriate supervision.
may decompose under heat or corrosion product e) Any welding problems detected during welding which
remnants spontaneously ignite. In some circumstances could be caused by incorrect materials or conditions
cold cutting techniques may be required. should be reported
h) Aerosol NDT consumables can be hazardous when
f) The welders should be adequately informed of any
used in conned locations, the propellants tend to be
special process related requirements affecting weld-
ammable hydrocarbons. Therefore in poorly vented
ing technique prior to undertaking the weld e.g. the
conditions they can present a threat of asphyxiation need for the low hydrogen hot pass to be completed
or a risk of explosion on resumption of the welding before the cellulose root run has cooled, or complete
operation. removal of weld slag in some service requirements.
i) Only intrinsically safe testing equipment should be
used in the area. g) Field radiography can be a potential hazard in a
busy Renery environment. The Site Safety Ofcer /
24.4 Plant and Personnel Welding Supervisor must be assigned the responsi-
bility to ensure that the radiation site is kept clear of
See also Chapters 4, 22, 27. personnel for the duration of the radiography session
a) Particular care is required for the safety of fellow (normally undertaken out of hours or for small jobs
workers as well as the plant itself. during lunch breaks).

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 25 PAGE 105

WELDING AND CUTTING AT HEIGHTS


OR UNDERNEATH CONSTRUCTION

25.1 Introduction c) Secure loose material on scaffolding to prevent its


falling or interference with movement of workmen.
Many welding operations involved in site or maintenance Toe boards should be used to further guard against
welding take place at heights where falls have serious objects being dislodged. (AS /NZS 4576 section 8)
consequences. Additionally, falling objects can obviously
cause severe injury to personnel below. As many accidents d) Safety belts or harnesses to AS/NZS 1891.4 section 7
occur in these situations, attention must be paid to the & 9 and lines of a type approved by statutory authori-
special considerations which apply. ties are required where circumstances prevent the use
of scaffolding.
Legislative requirements apply to safety matters when
e) Ladders and walkways shall be safe and in accordance
working at heights and specic State/Territory Govern-
with statutory regulations. The safe use of ladders,
ment requirements need to be known and implemented.
placement, working on, movement etc. is covered by
AS / NZS 1891.4 section 1.5 Hierarchy of Control (g-
AS/NZS 1892.5.
ures 1.1 & 1.2) give guidance for the control of risk for
people working at heights and fall protection options. f) Scaffolding shall be t for service, AS/NZS 4576
section 8 gives guidance on the load bearing capacity
25.2 Electrical Shock of the working platform.

Even minor electrical shock can have a severe result if


the welder falls or causes other objects to fall. All of 25.5 Storage of Equipment
the relevant precautions given in Chapter 14 should be a) The minimum equipment necessary for safe working
adhered to. Also AS/NZS 1891.4 details other associated at the required locality should be used.
risks that should be considered in these circumstances. b) Bins which are properly fastened to supports should
section 2.1.4 covers work in adverse environments. be used for electrode stubs and other uses.
section 2.1.5 covers work task hazards and section 2.1.6
covers rescue provisions. c) Care is required in designing and making containers
for tools required to be used at heights.
25.3 Head Protection
All personnel working at heights or below construction 25.6 Fire or Burns to Personnel
are required to wear approved safety helmets (hats or a) Special care should be taken to ensure that molten
caps) complying with AS/NZS 1801. metal from cutting or gouging operations will not
cause re or injury hazard below. It will be necessary
25.4 Falls or Falling Objects to prevent such material from falling where people
a) Statutory authorities in each state have regulations are working below.
specifying the construction and use of scaffolding b) Consideration should be given to the use of protective
(AS/NZS 4576). These regulations must be adhered shields, nets or screens.
to. The appropriate Australian Standards are listed
as references.
25.7 Lifting of Equipment
b) Support brackets for scaffolding shall be securely
attached to the structure in such a way that tilting is a) Personnel should not walk or work directly below
prevented. Where welded connections are used, in any load being lifted or loaded, or within a working
constructing or positioning scaffolding, these shall distance of a mobile lift.
be made by qualied welders and inspected by the b) All welding personnel should observe proper lifting
job supervisor. rules for the handling of equipment at heights.
return to contents next page
PAGE 106 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 26 PAGE 107

WELDING AND CUTTING UNDERWATER


AND UNDER PRESSURE

26.1 Introduction compensated for the effects of pressure. Conventional


welding practice may be used in customised pressure-tight
Where welding and cutting operations are required under- housings. Wet cutting by hand-held oxygen-arc methods
water and under an increasing pressure of one atmosphere with tubular rods, carbon or exothermic electrodes is
for each 10 metres of depth there are process difculties usually very rough. A straight and smooth nish can be
and personnel risks that should be referred to competent achieved by using a water jet with entrained abrasives.
professionals. Divers risks are covered by AS/NZS 2299.
The presence of gases, heat, electricity, tool back pres- Mechanical fastenings incorporating drilling, tapping,
sures, disorientation, noise, light and bubbles has to be grinding or ram-set xtures are practical. In particular
additionally considered. Diver/welders need to undertake friction welded studs installed using hand carried
a Nationally accredited training curriculum to ensure that pneumatic tools are available and safe. Surface cleaning
they are aware of problem solving and process difculties with water jet entrained abrasives, power brushes or
related to depth. very high pressure water can be used for marine growth
removal. Non-destructive examination is possible using
very bright lights, photography, stereo image analysis,
26.2 Proven Equipment magnetic particle inspection, ultrasonic testing and
gamma radiography. For work in depths of 50 m and
Underwater welding and cutting should only be under- deeper, remote controlled vehicles with robotic arms
taken using electrodes designed specically for the un- and specialised tooling are used economically and this
derwater environment. Proven equipment specic for the practice removes many of the diver hazards.
underwater welding and cutting environment is available;
a manually operated current supply switch which inter-
rupts the current ow to welding/cutting electrode must be 26.3 Personnel
part of any underwater activity. Alternating current (AC)
should never be used for welding and cutting activities All diving personnel engaged in this work must
beneath the water surface. All underwater activities must have qualied diving skills, current medical certication
be attended by a dive team member in voice communica- for diving, experience and training in their particular
tion with the diver/welder. responsibilities and the safety precautions associated
with:
At the wave zone activity must be either completely
a) Working underwater.
in water or in air and otherwise suited to complete
immersion. At shallow depths to 20 m wave surging b) Changing depth and effects of pressure.
abounds and below this to about 50 m diver / welders can c) Disorientation control.
continue to operate in bounce diving mode. At greater
depths to 400 m specialised commercial systems have d) Communication in water and with surface personnel.
been proven safe in saturation diving mode. e) Technical procedures being employed.
Welding may be done using manual wet electrodes The diver/welder must be fully trained in and qualied
to about 80 m but weld strength is subject to prevailing in the preparation and use of the equipment, and also have
conditions and diver / welder skill. Electrode types are passed a procedure test to a nominated standard. Training
generally stainless steel to a depth of 10 m, nickel based should be undertaken in a Government or Industry
to 30 m and rutile type up to 100 m. Approved training establishment. This will ensure proper
safety awareness and assist in weld quality assurance.
Semi-automatic and automatic systems can use
qualied procedures in gas lled hyperbaric enclosures No work should be undertaken until the above condi-
when the composition and welding conditions are tions are completely met.
return to contents next page
PAGE 108 C H A P T E R 26 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

26.4 Procedures Surface quality welds (Class A) can be produced


In view of the specialised procedures required to be with correct training, procedures and expert advice from
adopted in welding, cutting and related work under these specialists. The requirements for the classes of weld are
conditions, it is recommended that: dened in AWS D 3.6 covering classes A, B, C, O.
a) A well documented manual of underwater practices
and support activities is known and referred to on site. Class A: Comparable to the equivalent surface weld qual-
ity, meeting design stresses and applications.
b) New procedures are trialed under tank immersion or
other safe situations.
Class B: Intended for less critical applications where
c) Reference is made to the considerable amount of de- lower ductility, moderate porosity and limited
tailed information which is available in AS 2299 from discontinuities may be allowed. Suitability for
the Professional Divers Association and from suppli- a particular application should be veried by
ers handbooks (see also References 30, 31, 32, 33). Fitness for Purpose evaluation.
c) Welds made underwater can only be considered tem-
porary, unless deemed otherwise by an authorising Class C: Class C welds are intended for applications
body such as Lloyds, ABS, DNV who can approve where load bearing function is not a primary
permanent welds to be made underwater. consideration. A Class C weld shall include a
It is known that welds carried out in a wet environment determination that its use will not create frac-
are subject to quenching and hydrogen saturation within ture initiation sites that will impair the integrity
the weld and heat affected zone (HAZ) which can lead to of the primary structure.
micro cracking in the HAZ. Welds made in a hyperbaric
habitat are also subject to a hydrogen rich environment, Class O: Class O welds should meet the requirements of
with a higher amount of hydrogen being absorbed into a designated Code or specication determined
the weld zone with increasing depth, thus producing the by the Customer and other additional require-
same inconsistencies as a wet weld. ments specied in AWS D 3.6 section 10.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 27 PAGE 109

PROTECTION DURING WELDMENT TESTING

27.1 Introduction General guidelines to assist owners in organising the


work so that it is conducted safely and efciently
A number of weld tests are carried out during and on are available in a downloadable Guidance Note:
completion of welded fabrication. Some of these tests in- Industrial Radiography Safety Management on
troduce hazards to health or safety which require persons www.wtia.com.au (See also Fig 27.2 for the guid-
nearby during testing to be informed of the dangers and ance note)
appropriate precautions. Such tests commonly encoun-
tered include non-destructive and pressure testing. In complex process plants and factories, it is empha-
sised that in most cases the radiographer will need
27.2 Radiographic Testing assistance in this regard. The owner must discuss the
job with the radiographer and ensure that precautions
This non-destructive testing method is used frequently are taken to eliminate the possibility of personnel in-
on major or critical weldments to assess the integrity advertently circumventing the barriers that the radiog-
and conformance of the welds. The common forms of rapher will erect, e.g. by proceeding along elevated
this testing involve the use of X-ray sets or radioactive platforms or by being concealed in equipment, ducts
isotope units. The ionising radiations emitted are invisible or other structures. It is advisable and good practice
and extremely harmful unless exposures are kept within for Management of the company, on whose premises
well recognised limits. the radiographic inspection is being undertaken, to
appoint a Responsible Ofcer (who has operational
It is important for all welding personnel to appreciate
control over the workforce). Their duty is to oversee
that:
the radiographic location during the inspection to
a) Health risks may arise with radiographic testing. ensure that the workers remain outside the designated
b) Precautions are essential to avoid accidental expo- radiation area (there is a tendency for the workers to
sure. ignore the radiation danger signs).
c) Operators of radiographic equipment are required g) Radiographic equipment must not be tampered with.
under statutory regulations to exercise strict control Serious injury can result from contact with gamma
over persons directly assisting with the testing (in- ray sources. (see Figure 27.2)
cluding compulsory wearing of dosimeters) and to
prevent other people working nearby from entering h) Locking devices tted to exposure containers must
areas where radiation levels are excessive. All opera- never be tampered with or removed by unauthorised
tors require a Licence, upon passing a radiation safety personnel.
examination, issued by the State Authorities within i) More detailed instructions may be found in
whose jurisdiction they are working. AS / NZS 2243 Pt. 4, and AS 2177 Pt. 1.
d) Where it is necessary to enter the exposure area,
lm badges and dosimeters are required to be worn 27.3 Magnetic Particle Testing
to monitor the exposure. Film badges are required to
be regularly forwarded to the relevant authority to There is the danger of electrical shock or burns and
provide verication that all exposures are within safe damage to the eyes or ears due to blowing particles.
limits. Equipment used for this testing which may require
d) Warning signs (see Figure 27.1) and barriers must be electrical power cables, must be electrically safe. (see
erected when radiography is being carried out and no Chapters 4 and 14). Hydrocarbons used as carriers in MPI
attempt is to be made to enter these restricted areas. inks can pose a ammability hazard. The background
e) The owner of the facility where radiography is to be paint used in the technique contains high volatility
performed has overall legal responsibility for safety. ammable hydrocarbons.
return to contents next page
PAGE 110 C H A P T E R 27 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

27.4 Penetrant Testing c) Test pressures are not exceeded.


This method uses various chemicals, and fumes from d) Nobody puts himself in line with gasketed joints.
solvents should be avoided. In conned spaces forced air Note 1: Similar precautions apply for Acoustic Emission
ow must be provided to prevent concentration of solvent Testing as the vessel is under pressure.
fumes labelled as noxious. Note 2: Care is needed in draining of thin-walled vessels
and tanks to avoid collapse by vacuum equipment
27.5 Pneumatic Testing since all traces of water must be removed.
This test uses compressed air or other non-ammable
gases to check both the integrity and leak tightness of 27.7 Structural Proof Testing
welded containers of various types. Many welded structures and machines are given an initial
proof load test which checks the integrity of various
As the volume of the container and the pressure of
components and welds. Failures resulting in serious
the air in it increases, the stored energy becomes greater
accidents sometimes occur, and thus personnel associated
and if welds should be excessively weak or over stressed
with or near the test must be safely positioned, particularly
because of excessive pressure, this energy can result in
during any burst test of pressure equipment or collapse
a violent explosion. Accidents of this type are reported
during testing of structures.
each year and cases are known where persons testing
containers of approximately 2 cubic metres volume have
been killed with air pressures as low as 60 kPa. 27.8 Leak Testing
For these reasons statutory authorities and regulations This test is commonly used to check for leaks in various
should be consulted prior to carrying out such tests. containers and piping. While the stress levels developed
Welding personnel should therefore appreciate that: during this test are lower than in pneumatic pressure
testing, there can be an explosion risk where pressures
a) Testing with compressed air or gas can be dangerous and volumes are high and pressure is not adequately
and that the danger increases as the volume and controlled.
pressure increases.
b) Statutory regulations concerning this test must Hence, the precautions listed in Section 27.5 should
be complied with. Whenever pneumatic testing is also be adopted but where ammable gases are used, leaks
required, precautions must be taken to avoid over- must not be checked with any ame.
pressurising the container and to avoid the risk of
rupture (see AS 1210, Section 5.11).
c) Flammable, toxic or explosive gases must not be used CAUTION RADIATION
for this test.

27.6 Hydrostatic Testing


This test is the normal method of pressure testing pressure
vessels, boilers and piping. It serves the same function as
pneumatic pressure testing but uses water or other non-
hazardous liquids in order to greatly reduce risks associ-
ated with rupture. Wherever possible, this method should
be used in preference to pneumatic pressure testing.
Because test pressures frequently exceed 20,000 kPa
in quite large vessels, it is essential to ensure that:
a) The vessel is suitably supported.
Figure 27.1 Ionizing Radiation Warning Sign
b) All air in the vessel is replaced by water before testing.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 27 PAGE 111

GUIDANCE NOTE: INDUSTRIAL RADIOGRAPHY SAFETY MANAGEMENT

Purpose of this document:


Under law, the owner of a business where radiography is performed has overall responsibility for safety.
The radiographer has specic responsibilities for the safe use of his equipment.
This document provides guidance to assist the Australian welding and fabrication industry in:
ensuring that radiography can be conducted on site with minimum disruption to work, and
outlining the communications required for safe and efcient conduct of radiography.
The information given here is necessarily very general. It is strongly advised that details of the work are
discussed with the radiography provider well in advance.

What is radiography, and why is safety an issue?


Radiography involves the use of a beam of radiation to create an image which show the internal structure of
an otherwise opaque object. The radiation can damage living tissue and precautions must be taken to ensure
no-one is exposed to hazards by the process.

Job organisation and planning


The owner must assign responsibility for the work to an individual in his or her employ who has sufcient
knowledge of and authority within worksite, and ensure the radiographer is aware of who is assigned and
how he or she may be contacted while work os being performed.
The radiographer needs to know what components and what parts of each component are to be inspected
by radiography the material it is made of and its thickness, and what acceptance standard applies. In some
instances detailed discussion may be required so the radiographer has a clear idea of the intent of the
inspection.
The radiographer will need to have sufcient access to both sides of the components.

Safety precautions
An area around the work site the 'radiation zone' will need to be vacated of all personnel. Work should
be planned for the day in such a way that this can occur with minimum disruption. The radiation zone may be
several tens of metres across depending on the situation and the type and strength of the source of radiation,
which can vary considerably. Signs and barriers usually need to be erected to ensure that people do not
inadvertently enter the radiation zone.
Concrete blocks and other building materials offer very little shielding from the radiation, so the radiation
zone extends beyond any wall, oor or ceiling that falls within it. Likewise pressure vessels and ducts offer
negligible protection to any occupant. The radiographer must be assured that any part of the radiation zone
that cannot be reasonably monitored visually is not occupied while the radiation beam is active. IT may be
necessary for the owner to provide assistance to achieve this. Particular car must be taken if the radiation
zone crosses a property alignment, and it may then be necessary to make suitable arrangements with the
neighbours in advance. Where the radiation zone extends into public property it may be necessary to make
arrangements with local authorities.
Each situation will be different, and in may instances there may be a way around a particular problem.
For example the radiation beam can often be mostly directed away from a sensitive area, but this will depend
on the geometry, size and mobility of the component and the nature of the inspection.

Fig 27.2 Guidance Note: Industrial Radiography Safety Management

return to contents next page


PAGE 112 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 28 PAGE 113

WELDING AND CUTTING IN MACHINES


AND SPECIAL LOCATIONS

28.1 Introduction until all tags and locks are removed by the person
placing them. In complex plant, isolations may extend to
In machines, general industrial plant and special locations, interconnected plant which could have an effect on the
additional hazards may be encountered to those already item being worked on.
discussed in previous sections, i.e. in addition to electrical
explosion, re, falls etc. These special hazards also need
consideration. (See also Chapter 20) 28.3 Special Locations
Where welding or cutting is to be carried out in special
28.2 Lock-Out and Tag-Out or unusual conditions, it is essential that any possible
In machines, conveyors, cranes, earthmoving and trans- hazards be identied so that all involved are aware and
port equipment there is a hazard that the equipment will be suitable precautions can be taken. Hence, it is necessary
inadvertently operated while the welder or helper is inside that the plant or site manager or other responsible person
the machine. Cases are known where persons have been be informed of the proposed welding operation and an
caught during repairs in kilns, conveyors, rolls etc. approval received before work is commenced.
It is essential to ensure that the machine cannot be
operated until all persons are out of danger. All energy 28.4 Working in Tanks, Pipelines,
sources including electric, hydraulic or pneumatic power Pressure Vessels, Boilers and
control and fuel sources must be satisfactorily isolated and Other Containers
locked-out so they cannot be inadvertently operated.
Here, in addition to the hazards covered in previous
A suitable system of checks shall be used to indicate chapters, it is essential that precautions be taken to pre-
the presence of persons in or on machines where a person vent inadvertent opening of valves or similar openings
would not be readily noticed. The Lock-Out, Tag-Out or operation of conveyors. For this reason such openings
System where each person entering a complex machine or controls should be isolated and locked to ensure that
places a tag near the controls and locks out the main they cannot be opened or operated while personnel are
control of energy sources, the electrical, hydraulic or in an unsafe location.
mechanical isolation with their personal lock, provides
the appropriate procedure for working in or around Personnel should be physically t to perform their
machinery. The machine is not permitted to be operated duties in this equipment.

return to contents next page


PAGE 114 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 29 PAGE 115

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL PROTECTION

29.1 Introduction 29.3 Thermal Discomfort


Welding personnel will frequently be exposed to many Working in extremely hot or cold conditions can lead to
additional hazards which arise in general industry but considerable discomfort and to heat or cold stress.
are not specically related to welding. Examples of such This will depend on:
hazards are:
a) Hot conditions: see Chapter 23.
a) Stepping on, striking against or being struck by
b) Cold conditions: In cold weather, where possible,
objects (excluding falling objects).
shops and work sites should be provided with a
b) Struck by falling objects. facility to avoid excessive drafts. This can often be
c) Caught in or between objects. achieved by appropriate use of mobile screens or
temporary partitions. Such screens also facilitate
d) Over-exertion, strenuous movements, etc. welding using gas shielded processes and provide
Where appropriate, these situations have been some protection from rain.
referred to in previous Chapters of this Note, e.g. Attention is drawn to the need for adequate work
Chapter 25 Welding and Cutting at Heights or Below clothing to be worn in cold weather and in site welding.
Construction. Special knee pads may be needed in some cases.
This Chapter deals with more general considerations
of industrial safety which have been demonstrated by
experience to be major causes of industrial accidents. 29.4 Lighting
Additional information is available in AS 1470.
29.4.1 General
Arc and gas welding usually provide sufciently good
29.2 Ergonomic Considerations local illumination of the workpiece. Adequate general
Ergonomics is the design of work so that the best match lighting is also required to allow safe access and handling
between human factors and the work environment is of equipment and consumables.
achieved. This comprehensive approach takes into con- The quantity and distribution of light required for
sideration individuals capabilities and limitations and comfortable and efcient working depends essentially
the nature of the task. on the type of work being performed and the operators
Examples of situations in which ergonomic consid- vision. Where major variations in work type occur, a
erations are appropriate include: facility for obtaining additional local illumination may
be required.
a) Correct design of benches and jigs to avoid discomfort
and fatigue. Detailed recommendations in respect of articial
b) Simple lifting devices to avoid slipped disc, hernia, lighting of buildings can be found in AS / NZS 1680.
muscle straining, etc caused by incorrect manhandling Important general considerations include:
of heavy equipment. a) Avoidance of excessive glare either directly from the
c) Adequate lighting to avoid accidents, eye strain and light source or by reection.
stress. b) Obtaining sufficient but not excessive contrast
The main areas of concern to welding personnel are between the workpiece and background.
considered below in 29.3 to 29.8. c) Colour and direction of light.
return to contents next page
PAGE 116 C H A P T E R 29 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

29.4.2 Colour 29.7.1 Correct Position for Lifting Tall


Cylinders
In welding environments selection of colour is important
in avoidance of glare and obtaining a satisfactory general The correct steps for lifting cylinders are:
level of illumination. Colours should be pleasant (it is a) Up end the cylinder using the technique illustrated
not necessary to choose dark colours see Section 15.3), (Figure 29.1 (c)).
and preferably have a matt nish. Background features, b) Locate foot around cylinder.
such as piping, air conditioning ducting or structural c) Lower cylinder across thigh by pressing down with
supports, should be the same colour as the background rear hand while holding cylinder underneath and
unless they present a hazard. This will reduce the degree slightly beyond centre point.
of distraction.
d) Raise end to desired height.
Note: Colour coding systems for piping (AS 1345) e) Push cylinder forward by rear hand and le.g.
should be adhered to in order to avoid hazards which
could arise due to the nature of the contained liquid or gas. 29.7.1.1Rigging
Where larger work pieces and major items are to be
29.5 Noise and Vibration positioned or manipulated for welding fabrication work
29.5.1 Noise or readied for transport , the work must be undertaken
See Chapter 18. by a licensed Rigger.

29.5.2 Vibration 29.8 Other Ergonomic Conditions


Welding under conditions of vibration may cause dis- These include correct height of seats, work benches,
comfort and, if severe, lead to difculty in welding. identification of controls, layout of work, clarity of
Such vibration could occur when welding at heights instructions and notices, job design. All can make
in construction or maintenance. Control of vibration important contributions to safety and well being of
or discontinuing of work will be required where it is personnel. Further details can be found, for example, from
excessive. State / Territory Departments dealing with occupational
health.
29.6 Working Posture
Difcult or uncomfortable postures will lead to rapid 29.9 Housekeeping
fatigue and reduced concentration thereby increasing the This term refers generally to such factors as the layout
risk of accidents. The work should be placed at a height and tidiness of the working environment, identication
which allows the operator to adopt a stable and comfort- of hazards and walkways etc and storage of equipment
able position. Sustained, poor posture can be harmful. and materials. Close attention to housekeeping can result
Work is best performed at waist level. Work performed in a marked reduction in the possibility of accidents
above or below this level increases the effort required occurring and has a favourable psychological effect on
to do the task. This is particularly important where site personnel. Some of the important factors to be considered
conditions introduce additional hazards. are noted below:
a) Roadways: Many accidents occur with moving ve-
29.7 Manual Handling hicles on plants and sites. Unobstructed visibility
When moving and using equipment, work pieces etc, care and use of readily visible caution signs are important
should be taken to think rst and plan the moves: e.g. considerations.
a) Can the task be handled alone or is assistance needed? b) Aisles or Walkways: These should be clearly identi-
b) Are gloves, safety footwear or other forms of personal ed, of sufcient width to enable employees to move
protective equipment needed? without danger, and always remain unobstructed.
c) Where is it going? c) Floor: Both work and walking areas should be of non-
slip construction and preferably be easily cleaned.
heights;
how far; d) Exits: Sufcient exits should be available to allow
rapid evacuation of personnel and they should be
over uneven ground;
adequately marked by permanent signs and distinc-
bench space. tive colours.
d) Then use a sensible handling technique: e) Hand Rails: Where required, these should be of ad-
get close to load with feet in a stable position; equate construction.
get a secure safe grip; f) Floor Openings: Openings require clear identication
dont twist body; and the provision of guard rails to prevent falls.
dont handle from too high or too low; g) Storage: Suitable storage facilities should be provided
dont continue if the object is too heavy or unstable. for materials and equipment.
Organise work to eliminate unnecessary handling and h) Cleanliness: Attention should be paid to high stan-
effort; for example, transport cylinders on a trolley. dards of cleanliness and tidiness.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 29 PAGE 117

i) Spills: Spillage of oils or water should be promptly 29.12 Natural Hazard Elements
attended to. The safety of health of personnel exposure to natural
j) Scrap: Scrap should be immediately placed in bins elements must be assured against the special hazards.
provided. a) Rain: Slips, unstable equipment, electric shock, im-
29.10 Plant and Equipment pair weld quality and heat treatment
[Control: Time or delay work or provide rain protec-
Defective plant and equipment or inadequate protective tion or work inside].
devices lead to many industrial accidents. Some of the b) Wind: (as above for rain)
important factors to be considered are noted below:
c) Sun: Heat stress, problem handling hot materials, skin
a) Power Supply: See Chapters 4 and 14. cancer (See Section 23)
b) Machine Guarding: Statutory regulations apply to [Control: avoid work in the sun, shade the work-
guarding of machines and these must be consulted and place]
applied at all times. Machines and hand tools must
not be used if protective guards are either defective d) Lightning: Protection against lightning is required
or have been removed. on buildings or structures or out in open spaces
during the construction stage appropriate to local
c) Electrical Equipment: Grinders, drills and any other conditions in respect of the frequency and severity
power tools must be effectively earthed or insulated. of electrical storms. Relevant information is given in
Extension cords should not be used unless it is un- AS / NZS 1768. The main precaution is to exit places
avoidable to do so. at high risk of lightning strikes.
They shall be periodically checked for cuts in e) Water: Work in swamps, river crossings or tranches
insulation, loose plugs and connectors. Where work in or underground may introduce hazards as for rain
extremely wet areas is involved, low voltage equipment and also drowning.
or air powered equipment is advisable. [Control: Time or delay work or provide suitable
protection)
29.11 Psychological Factors
f) Grass or Bush Fires: Fire and burns from ignition by
Performance and safety records of personnel are being welding and hot work
increasingly related to the mental health and well-being of (Control: Clear all combustible materials)
the individual. Work related human factors which warrant
g) Wild Life: Snakes, redback spiders, crocodiles
attention include the following:
h) Allergies
a) Management attitudes can to a large extent determine
the attitudes of all personnel. Attempts should be 29.13 Personal Gear
made to:
Wearers of hearing aids, pacemakers, other electronic
i) Develop a team spirit and exchange views. equipment, rings, body piercing etc should check with
ii) Provide sufcient information to enable employ- manufacturers, doctors or others to ensure safety when
ees to understand overall objectives and their likely to be exposed to high magnetic elds ( e.g. Mag-
particular role. netic particle inspection or high current welding) and
iii) Develop a health and safety programme. high frequency power sources (which can heat metal
b) Supervisor attitudes should be based on achieving objects).
very good worker relationships.
c) Where exceptionally long shifts are being worked 29.14 First Aid
there is a need for assessment of the work patterns for a) Statutory regulations specify minimum requirements
the welders and allied trades to avoid increased risks for provision of First Aid and medical facilities which
caused by operator fatigue and inadequate supervision. must be adhered to.
d) Monotonous work can quickly lead to lack of care b) First aid equipment and instruction must be readily
or incentive. Where possible, job planning should available on or near site work.
provide for job rotation or other suitable means of c) At least one person should have an appreciation of
relieving boredom. essential rst aid. (see Reference 13)
e) Individual limitations should be accounted for by d) The address and telephone number of the nearest
paying attention to mental and physical abilities, available medical service, hospital and ambulance
aptitudes, training and experience when determining service should be widely displayed.
job placements.
f) Grouping of individuals where required should be 29.15 Materials Handling
aimed at maximising the compatibility of teams. Failure to make adequate provision for materials handling
g) Receiving and recognising constructive ideas from and storage can lead to increased risks of accidents. Some
all employees should be encouraged, e.g. through considerations which need to be made include:
adoption of suggestion schemes. a) The need for provision of designated storage areas with
h) Latest developments relating to occupational stress, appropriate storage racks, lifting facilities and the like.
bullying and risk taking b) Provision of access to and from storage area.
return to contents next page
PAGE 118 C H A P T E R 29 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

c) Design of storage areas to ensure ease of handling e) Illegal actions: Should comply with all laws.
and secure location of materials.
d) Safe disposal of waste. 29.17 Safe use of Compressed Air

29.16 Personal Hazards Compressed air is a good source of energy but it has to
be handled very carefully in a work environment. Some
Management and personnel should be aware of and take of the things that need to be borne in mind are:
reasonable action to ensure risk arising from personal
hazards below during welding operations, travel to and a) Safety while testing tanks, containers etc.
from work and at other times are acceptably low: b) Cleaning using compressed air. ( injury to the eyes
a) Drugs and alcohol can greatly increase risks. (avoid by ying particles, re hazards etc)
or suitably control) c) Misuse of compressed air. ( e.g. Body orices )
b) Smoking: especially important if excessively exposed d) Hose whipping.
to welding fume or other contaminants.
e) Safe use of air tools.
c) Stress from all sources particularly by time and per-
sonal matters. (Control: Try to reduce) f) Accidents while using compressed air for discharging
d) Medication (e.g. Sedation), Medical devices (e.g. fuels.
Pacemakers) and during Rehabilitation: In these g) Explosive rupture of air receivers of poorly-main-
cases, medical advice should be followed. tained compressor equipment.

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 C H A P T E R 29 PAGE 119

a) Incorrect Lifting b) Correct Lifting


Bending of back over the load and faulty handling Requires less effort and is safer.
techniques can lead to: Technique is:
a slipped disc in spine spread feet apart for balance; locate front foot
a strained muscle or fatigue beside load and point it in direction of travel;
a hernia locate other foot behind centre of load
an injury to the hand, foot or leg bend knees (not beyond 90)
ensure correct grip
maintain straight back
lift with legs

c) Correct Position for Lifting Tall Cylinders


Up end the cylinder using the technique illustrated
locate foot around cylinder
lower cylinder across thigh by pressing down with rear hand
while holding cylinder underneath and slightly beyond centre
point
raise end to desired height
push cylinder forward by rear hand and leg

Fig 29.1 Correct LIfting Technique

return to contents next page


PAGE 120 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 APPENDIX A PAGE 121

APPENDIX A
REFERENCES

Australian and New Zealand standards AS 1674.2 Safety in welding and allied processes
Reference should always be made to the latest issue Electrical
of a standard. Australian Standards are available from the AS / NZS 1680 Interior lighting safe movement
Standards Australia. AS 1697 Gas transmission and distribution
AS 1210 Pressure vessels systems
AS 1223 Industrial hand cleaners (Petroleum AS / NZS 1715 Selection, use and maintenance of
solvent type). respiratory protective devices
AS 1259 Acoustics Sound level meters AS / NZS 1716 Respiratory protective devices
AS / NZS 1269 Occupational noise management AS / NZS 1768 Lightning protection
AS / NZS 1270 Acoustics Hearing protectors AS / NZS 1801 Occupational protective helmets
AS / NZS 1869 Hose and hose assemblies for
AS 1335 Hose and hose assemblies for welding,
liqueed petroleum gases (LP Gas), natural gas and
cutting and allied processes
town gas
AS / NZS 1336 Recommended practices
AS 1885 Measurement of occupational health and
for occupational eye protection in industrial
safety performance
environments
AS / NZS 1891 Industrial fall Arrest systems and
AS / NZS 1337 Eye protectors for industrial devices
applications
AS / NZS 1892.5 Portable ladders selection, safe
AS / NZS 1338 Filters for eye protectors use and care
Part 1 Filters for protection against radiation AS 1966 Electric arc welding power sources
generated in welding and allied operations (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Part 2 Filters for protection against ultraviolet AS / NZS 1995 Welding cables
radiation AS / NZS 2161 Occupational protective gloves
Part 3 Filters for protection against infra-red AS 2177.1 Non destructive testing Radiography
radiation of welded butt joints in metal Methods of tests
AS 1345 Identication of the contents of pipes, AS / NZS 2210 Occupational protective footwear
conduits and ducts
AS / NZS 2211 Laser safety
AS 1418 Cranes (including hoists and winches) AS / NZS 2243.4 Safety in laboratory ionising
AS 1470 Health and safety at work Principles radiation
and practices AS / NZS 2299 Occupational diving operations
AS / NZS 1576 Scaffolding AS 2473 Valves for compressed gas cylinders
AS 1577 Scaffold planks (threaded outlet)
AS / NZS 1596 Storage and handling of LP Gas AS 2799 Resistance welding equipment Single-
AS 1627 Metal nishing Preparation and pre- phase a.c. transformer type
treatment of surfaces AS 2812 Welding, brazing and cutting of metals
Part 1 Cleaning using liquid solvents and alkaline Glossary of terms
solutions AS 2826 Manual metal-arc welding electrode
Part 3 Descaling holders
Part 4 Abrasive blast cleaning AS / NZS 2865 Safe working in a conned places
AS 1674.1 Safety in welding and allied processes AS 2885 Pipelines Gas and liquid petroleum
Fire precautions AS / NZS 3000 Electrical installations
return to contents next page
PAGE 122 APPENDIX A WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

AS / NZS 3190 Approval and test specication New Zealand Standard


Residual current devices (current-operated earth-
NZS 4781 Code of practice for safety in welding
leakage devices)
and cutting
AS / NZS 3195 Approval and test specication
Portable machines for electric arc welding and
allied processes Canadian Standard
AS 3853 Fume from welding and allied industries CAN/CSA W117.2 M87 Safety in Welding,
AS 3640 Workplace atmospheres Cutting and Allied Processes
AS 3957 Light transmitting screens and curtains
for welding operations
General references
AS 4267 Pressure regulators for use with
industrial compressed gas cylinders 1. Australian Welding Research Association Sym-
posium, Health and Safety in Welding, Sydney,
AS 4289 Oxygen and acetylene reticulation
3 July, 1980.
systems
2. K. Brougham, Electrical Safety, Paper 3.1 in
AS 4332 The storage and handling of gases in
Reference 1.
cylinders
AS / NZS 4360 Risk management 3. E. Ostgaard, Electrical Safety in Arc Welding,
International Institute of Welding, Document VIII-
AS 4484 Industrial, medical and refrigerant 1010-82 (1982).
compressed gas cylinder identication
4. Health and Safety Executive, UK, Fire and Explo-
AS 4603 Flashback Arresters Safety devices for sions Due to Misuse of Oxygen, London, 1975.
use with fuel gases and oxygen or compressed air
5. G. Thompson, Gas Cylinder Safety, Paper 3.2 in
AS / NZS 4801 Occupational health and safety
Reference 1.
management systems Specication with guidance
for use 6. Svejcentralin (The Danish Welding Institute), Air
Pollution in the Plasma Cutting of Steel, Stainless
AS / NZS 4804 Occupational health and safety
Steel and Aluminium, IIW DOC VIII-842-79.
management systems General guidelines on
principles, systems and supporting techniques 7. R. A. Cresswell, Health and Safety Aspects of
AS 4840 Low pressure regulators for use in Plasma Cutting, International Institute of Welding
industrial compressed gas reticulation systems Document VIII-433-71 (1971).
AS / NZS 60479 Effects of current on human 8. AWS C5.2, Recommended Practices for Plasma
beings and livestock Arc Cutting, American Welding Society.
9. Nicholson J, Developments in Plasma Arc Cutting
British standards Equipment, Paper 4.1 in Reference 1.
British Standards Institution documents are available 10. Lunau F W, Occupational Health Aspects of Soft
from the Standards of Australia. Soldering, Australian Welding Journal, 24 (2), 21-
BS 6691 Part 1 Guide to methods for the 23 (Mar/Apr 1980) and IIW DOC VIII-792-78.
sampling and analysis of particulate matter 11. International Tin Research Institute (UK), Soft
Part 2 Guide to methods for the sampling and Soldering Handbook, 1977.
analysis of gases 12. AWS C2.1, Recommended Safe Practices for
BCGA CP 7, The safe use of oxy-fuel gas Thermal Spraying, American Welding Society.
equipment (individual portable or mobile cylinder 13. Occupational First Aid, Authorised Manual of the
supply), British Compressed Gas Association. St John Ambulance Association in Australia (effect
BS 638.4 Arc welding power sources, equipment of electric current on the human body).
and accessories: Specication for welding cables 14. Safety Information Sheet No. 6, Heart Pacemakers
and Welding, The Welding Institute Document
AWS Standards VIII-1415-88.
ANSI-Z49.1:1999 Safety in welding and cutting, 15. E. A. Emmett and S. W. Horstman, Factors Inu-
and allied processes encing the Output of Ultraviolet Radiation During
ANSI-D3.6M:1999 Specication for underwater Welding, Journal Occ Med, 18 (1), January 1976,
welding also IIW Doc VIII-701-77.
AWS C5.2 Recommended Practices for Plasma 16. J. Hughs, Eye Safety in Welding, Paper 3.4 in
Arc Cutting and Gouging Reference 1.
AWS F4.1 Recommended safe practices for 17. H. E. Pattee, L. B. Myers, R. E. Evans and R. E. Monroe,
preparation for welding and cutting of containers Effects of Arc Radiation and Heat on Welders,
and piping Welding Journal, 52 (2), May 1973, pp.297-308.
AWS F1.3 Sampling strategy guide for evaluating 18. American Welding Society, Fumes and Gases in
contaminants in the welding environment the Welding Environment.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 APPENDIX A PAGE 123

19. The Welding Institute (Cambridge, UK), The Facts 36. American Welding Society, Effects of Welding on
About Fume, The Welding Engineers Handbook. Health.
2nd Edition, 1986. 37. American Welding Society, Sampling Airborne
20. I. D. Henderson, Fume Generation in Arc Welding Particulates Generated by Welding and Allied Pro-
Processes, Paper 2.1 in Reference 1. cesses, Methods for; Code F1.1.
21. AGA Gas Division, The Problem of Ozone in TIG 38. Evaluating Contaminants in the Welding Environ-
Welding, Report GM 116e also IIW DocVIII-787-78. ment A Sampling Strategy Guide, Australian
22. T. Kobayashi et al, Researches on Fumes and Welding Journal, 31 (1), Autumn 1986.
Gases Emitted by Welding Primed Steels, IIW 39. Health Risks Associated with Anti-Spatter
Doc VIII-1152-83 and IIA-602-83 (P9-18-84). Compound, Australian Welding Journal, 31 (1),
23. H. F. Andersson, J. A. Dahlberg and R. Wettstrom, Autumn 1987.
Phosgene Formation During Welding in Air 40. H. Ackland, Lasers in the Welding Industry,
Contaminated with Perchloroethylene, Ann Occ Australian Welding Journal, 31 (2), Winter 1986,
Hyg, 18 (2), September 1975 also IIW Doc VII- (P9-19-86).
655-76. 41. E. Craig and J. Lowery, Safety Practice for Oxyfuel
24. R. Frant, Decomposition Products of Chlorinated Work, Welding Design and Fabrication, 59 (3)
Degreasing Hydrocarbons During Welding, IIW 1986, (P9-32-86)
Doc VIII-537-73. 42. H. Grun, Direct Extraction from Welding Stations
25. H. W. Davis, Developments in Safety Equipment is a Good Idea if Properly Done!, Schweissen and
and Apparel, Paper 3.5 in Reference 1. Schneiden, 4/1983, (P9-52-83).
26. S. C. Sacca et al, Experimental Investigations on 43. F. Hague, Welding and Surfacing with Consumables
the Effect on Radiations Produced by a Welding Containing High Chromium and Nickel, Paper 4.2
Arc on Eyes with Contact Lenses, IIW Doc VII- in Reference 1.
1271-85, (P9-45-85). 44. N. Jenkins, J. Moreton, P. J. Oakley and S. M. Stevens,
Welding Fume Sources Characteristics Control,
27. AWS F4.1, Recommended Safe Practices for the
1 and 2, The Welding Institute Cambridge, UK, 1981.
Prevention for Welding and Cutting of Containers
and Piping that have held Dangerous Substances, 45. Ontario Hydro Research Division, Evaluation
American Welding Society. and Control of Fumes Produced During Welding,
1 and 2, Research Report by Canadian Electrical
28. International Institute of Welding, Document
Association Ontario Hydro Research Division and
VIII-545-73, Handbook of Health and Safety in
the Welding Institute of Canada, 1983.
Welding and Allied Processes, (1973).
46. L. Ruschena, Ventilation: Its Uses and Limitations,
29. B. I. Bagnall and T. R. Rowberry, Repairs to Australian Welding Journal, 29 (4), Summer 1984,
a Turbine Steam Chest, Welding of Castings (P9-66-84).
Conference, 21-23 September 1976, The Welding
Institute, UK (1977). 47. D. H. Sliney et al, Semitransparent Curtains for
Control of Optical Radiation Hazards, Applied
30. ANSI/AWS D3.6, Specication for Underwater Optics, 20 (4) 1981.
Welding.
48. Fume Minimisation Guidelines, WTIA 1999
31. G. Storace and C. Galeazzi, Accident Dangers
in Submarine Cutting and Welding Operations,
International Institute of Welding, Document VIII- Occupational Health and Safety
689-76 (1976). Authorities (Worksafe, WorkCover etc)
32. F. Goldberg, Safety Code of Practice for Under- Various publications from each e.g. Exposure Standards
water Thermal Cutting, International Institute of
Welding, Document 1-606-77, (1977). Dangerous Parts of Machinery
33. F. Goldberg, A Survey of Underwater Cutting of Electric-Arc Welding Safety Hints
Metals, IIW Doc 1B-378-76 (1976) and I-605-77 First Aid in Industry
(1977).
Safety at Work
34. American Conference of Governmental Industrial
Hygienists, Committee on Industrial Ventilation, ADG Code Australian Code for the transport of
Industrial Ventilation. 19th Edition, 1986. dangerous goods by road and rail (Commonwealth
35. AWS F1.3, Evaluating Contaminants in the Department of Transport)
Environmental Sampling Strategy Guide, American Refer also to internet web sites operated and main-
Welding Society. tained by the Statutory Authorities listed in Appendix A.

return to contents next page


PAGE 124 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 APPENDIX B PAGE 125

APPENDIX B
STATUTORY AUTHORITIES

List of occupational health authorities, industrial WorkCover Corporation of SA


departments and occupational health, safety and welfare 100 Waymouth Street
legislation associated with the safety and health issues ADELAIDE SA 5000
referred to in this Technical Note. GPO Box 2668
Note: Entries were accurate at July 2004. ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone: (08) 8233 2466
Worksafe Australia
Fax: (08) 8233 2574
National Occupational Health and Safety
www.workcover.com
Commission
Level 6, 25 Constitution Avenue Victorian WorkCover Authority
CIVIC CANBERRA ACT 2601 Level 24, 222 Exhibition Street
GPO Box 1577 MELBOURNE VIC 3000
CANBERRA ACT 2601 Phone: (03) 9641 1555
Phone: (02 6279 1000 Fax: (03) 9641 1222
Fax: (02) 6279 1199 www.workcover.vic.gov.au
www.worksafe.gov.au
WorkSafe Western Australia
WorkCover Queensland 5th Floor, 1260 Hay Street
280 Adelaide Street WEST PERTH WA 6005
BRISBANE QLD 4000 Locked Bag 14
GPO Box 2459 CLOISTERS SQUARE, PERTH WA 6850
BRISBANE QLD 4001 Tel: (08) 9327 8777
Phone: 1300 362 128 Fax: (08) 9321 8973
Fax: (07) 3006 6400 www.safetyline.wa.gov.au
www.workcover.qld.gov.au
NT WorkSafe
WorkCover Authority NSW Minerals House
Cnr of Baker & Donnison Streets 66 The Esplanade
GOSFORD NSW 2250 DARWIN NT 0800
Locked Bag 2906 GPO Box 2010
LISAROW NSW 2252 DARWIN NT 0801
Phone: (02) 4321 5000 Phone: (08) 8999 5010
Fax: (02) 4325 4145 Fax: (08) 8999 5141
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au www.nt.gov.au/deet/worksafe

return to contents next page


PAGE 126 APPENDIX B WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

Workplace Standards Tasmania New Zealand


30 Gordons Hill Road Occupational Safety and Health Service
ROSNY PARK Tas 7018 Department of Labour
PO Box 56 4th Floor, Unisys House
ROSNY PARK TAS 7018 56 The Terrace
Phone: (03) 6233 7657 WELLINGTON, NZ
Fax: (03) 6233 8338 Telephone: + 64 4 915 4444
www.workcover.tas.gov.au Fax: + 64 4 499 0891
www.osh.dol.govt.nz
ACT WorkCover
Level 4, 197 London Circuit
CANBERRA ACT 2601
PO Box 224
CIVIC SQUARE ACT 2608
Phone: (02) 6205 0200
Fax: (02) 6205 0336
www.workcover.act.gov.au

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 APPENDIX C AND D PAGE 127

APPENDIX C APPENDIX D
Exposure Standards Chemical Symbols
The National Occupational Health and Safety The following chemical symbols are used in this
Commission (Worksafe Australia) has established a list Technical Note:
of Exposure Standards for Atmospheric Contaminants in
the Occupational Environment. (NOHSC:1003). Metals
Ag Silver
Reference should be made to the most recent
Al Aluminium
publication of this listing when establishing the potential
exposure of any operator. Be Beryllium
Cd Cadmium
Copies of the Worksafe Australian Exposure Standard Co Cobalt
document can be obtained from:
Cr Chromium
National Occupational Health and Safety Cu Copper
Commission Fe Iron
GPO Box 58 Mn Manganese
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Mo Molybdenum
Or any Australian Government Bookshop Ni Nickel
Information on Exposure Standards applicable in Sn Tin
individual states should be obtained by contacting the Ti Titanium
relevant State Government authority (Appendix A). V Vanadium
W Tungsten
Zn Zinc
Metal Oxides
Al2O3 Aluminium Oxide
CrO3 Chromium (VI) Oxide
Fe2O3 Iron (III) Oxide
MgO Magnesium Oxide
SnO2 Tin (IV) Oxide
V2O5 Vanadium (V) Oxide
ZnO Zinc Oxide
Gases and Vapours
O2 Oxygen
N2 Nitrogen
CO Carbon Monoxide
CO2 Carbon Dioxide
COCI2 Phosgene
O3 Ozone
NO2 Nitrogen (IV) Oxide
CCI4 Carbon Tetrachloride
Other
SnH4 Tin (IV) Hydride
HF Hydrouoric Acid

return to contents next page


PAGE 128 APPENDIX E WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

APPENDIX E
MEMBERS OF WTIA TECHNICAL PANEL 9
HEALTH & SAFETY IN WELDING
Mr Stan Ambrose, WTIA Mr Bob Kenyon, WorkCover Authority of NSW
Dr Bernie Bednarz, CMIT Mr Siufai Lee, ADI Marine,
Dr Yosi Berger, Australian Workers Union Prof Valerie Linton, Adelaide University
Mr Bruce Cannon, BlueScope Steel Ltd Mr Peter Livy,
Communications Electrical Plumbing Union
Dr Colin Chippereld, CRC for Welded Structures
Mr Neale Lundberg, URS Australia Pty Ltd
Mr Errol Conroy,
Queensland Division of Workplace Health & Safety Mr Darren Marinoff, Workplace Services SA
Prof Jean Cross, The University of New South Wales Mr Alan McClintock, HERA
Mr Chris Dupressoir, Sydney Water Corporation Warrant Ofcer Gary Montgomery,
Australian Army Support Command
Mr Alistair Forbes, BOC Limited
Mr Chris Neville, Australian Welding Supplies
Mr Ken Gawne, Bakkham Pty Ltd
Mr Joe Pisani,
Prof Ian Henderson, WTIA NT Dept. of Employment Education & Training
Mr Stephen Hyam, Workplace Standards Tasmania Mr John Randall, Worksafe Western Australia
Mr Michael Ison, Australian Aluminium Council Mr Richard Shaw, Ozone Manufacturing Pty Ltd
Mr Glen Jensen, Mr Geoff Slater, University of Wollongong
The Lincoln Electric Co (Aust) Pty Ltd Ms Sue Ward-McGurty,
Mr Bob Johnstone, Ergsafe Design Victorian WorkCover Authority

return to contents next page


WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 PAGE 129

EXPERT TECHNOLOGY TOOLS


These Technical Note, Management System and other Expert Technology Tools may be obtained from the WTIA.
Technical advice, training, consultancy and assistance with the implementation of Management Systems is also
available through the WTIAs OzWeld Technology Support Centres Network and School of Welding Technology.
WTIA PO Box 6165
Silverwater NSW 1811 Australia
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9748 4443
Fax: +61 (0) 2 9748 2858
Email: info@wtia.com.au
Visit our Internet site at http://www.wtia.com.au

WTIA Technical Notes TN 6-85 Control of Lamellar Tearing


TN 1-96 The Weldability of Steels Describes the features and mechanisms of this important
mode of failure and the means of controlling tearing
Gives guidance on the preheat and heat input conditions through suitable design, material selection, fabrication
(run size, current, voltage) required for acceptable welds and inspection. Acceptance standards, repair methods,
and to avoid cold cracking in a wide variety of steels. The specication requirements and methods of investiga-
Note is applicable to a wide range of welding processes. tion are proposed. Four appendices give details on the
mechanism, material factors, tests for susceptibility and
TN 2-97 Successful Welding of Aluminium the important question of restraint.
This note covers the major welding processes as they
are used for the welding and repair of aluminium and its TN 7-04 Health and Safety in Welding
alloys. Information is given on the processes, equipment, Provides information on all aspects of health and safety
consumables and techniques. It also provides information in welding and cutting. Designed to provide this informa-
on the range of alloys available and briey covers safety, tion in such a way that it is readily useable for instruction
quality assurance, inspection and testing, costing and in the shop and to provide guidance to management.
alternative joining processes. Recommendations are given for safe procedures to be
adopted in a wide variety of situations found in welding
TN 3-94 Care and Conditioning of Arc fabrication.
Welding Consumables
Gives the basis and details for the correct care, storage and TN 8-79 Economic Design of Weldments
conditioning of welding consumables to control hydrogen Principles and guidance are given on methods and pro-
and to ensure high quality welding. cedures for optimising design of weldments and welded
joints and connections to maximise economy in welding
TN 4-96 The Industry Guide to Hardfacing for fabrication. Factors inuencing the overall cost of weld-
the Control of Wear ments which need to be considered at the design stage
Describes wear mechanisms and gives guidance on the are discussed.
selection of hardfacing consumables and processes for a
wide range of applications. Includes Australian hardfacing TN 9-79 Welding Rate in Arc Welding
Suppliers Compendium 1998. Processes: Part 1 MMAW
Gives practical guidance and information on the selection
TN 5-94 Flame Cutting of Steels of welding conditions to improve productivity during
Gives a wealth of practical guidance on ame cutting manual metal arc welding (MMAW). Graphs are provided
including detailed procedures for efcient cutting, selec- showing rates as a function of weld size. The graphs
tion of equipment and gases, practices for identifying and enable a direct comparison of different types of welding
curing defective cutting, methods of maximising economy electrodes when used for butt and llet welds in various
and other important guidance on the use of steels with welding positions.
ame cut surfaces.
TN10-02 Fracture Mechanics
Flame Cut Surface Replicas Provides theory and gives practical guidance for the design
These have been developed to complement Technical and fabrication of structures, planning of maintenance and
Note Number 5 by dening three qualities of ame cut assessment of the likelihood of brittle or ductile initia-
surface. Each set of three is contained in a convenient tion from aws in ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. Engi-
holder with a summary sheet of main ame cutting data. neering critical assessment case histories are discussed.
return to contents next page
PAGE 130 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

TN 11-04 Commentary on the Standard TN 18-87 Welding of Castings


AS / NZS 1554 Structural Steel Welding Provides basic information on welding procedures for the
The Note complements AS / NZS 1554 parts 1 to 5, by welding processes used to weld and repair ferrous and
presenting background information which could not be non-ferrous castings. It also provides information on the
included in the Standard. It discusses the requirements of range of alloys available and briey covers non-destructive
the Standard with particular emphasis on new or revised inspection, on-site heating methods and safety.
clauses. In explaining the application of the Standard to
welding in steel construction, the commentary empha- TN 19-95 Cost Effective Quality Management
sises the need to rely on the provisions of the Standard for Welding
to achieve satisfactory weld quality. Provides guidelines on the application of the AS / NZS ISO
9000 series of Quality Standards within the welding and
TN 12-96 Minimising Corrosion in Welded fabrication industries. Guidance on the writing, develop-
Steel Structures ment and control of Welding Procedures is also given.
Designed to provide practical guidance and informa-
tion on corrosion problems associated with the welding TN 20-04 Repair of Steel Pipelines
of steel structures, together with possible solutions for Provides an outline of methods of assessment and repair
minimising corrosion. to a pipeline whilst allowing continuity of supply.

TN 13-00 Stainless Steels for Corrosive TN 21-99 Submerged Arc Welding


Environments Provides an introduction to submerged arc welding
(A Joint publication with ACA) equipment, process variables, consumables, procedures
and techniques, characteristic weld defects, applications
Provides guidance on the selection of stainless steels for and limitations. Describes exercises to explore the range
different environments. Austenitic, ferritic and martensitic of procedures and techniques with the use of solid wire
stainless steels are described together with the various types (single and multiple arcs) and provides welding practice
of corrosive attack. Aspects of welding procedure, design, sheets, which may be used by trainees as instruction
cleaning and maintenance to minimise corrosion are covered. sheets to supplement demonstrations and class work, or
as self-instruction units.
TN 14-84 Design and Construction of Welded
Steel Bins TN 22-03 Welding Electrical Safety
Written because of the widely expressed need for guidance Provides information and guidance on welding electrical
on the design and fabrication of welded steel bulk solids safety issues: welding equipment, the human body and
containers, this Technical Note gathers relevant information the workplace.
on functional design, wall loads, stress analysis, design of
welded joints and the fabrication, erection and inspection TN 23-02 Environmental Improvement
of steel bins. It also contains a very comprehensive Guidelines
reference list to assist in a further understanding of this Provides information and guidance on how to reduce con-
very broad subject. sumption in the Welding and Fabrication industry, while
reducing the impact on the environment at the same time.
TN 15-96 Welding and Fabrication of
Quenched and Tempered Steel TN 24-03 Self-Assessment of Welding
Provides information on quenched and tempered steels Management and Coordination to
generally available in Australia and gives guidance on AS / NZS ISO 3834 and ISO 14731
welding processes, consumables and procedures and on (CD-ROM only)
the properties and performance of welded joints. Infor- Provides instruction and guidance to enable Australian
mation is also provided on other important fabrication companies to:
operations such as ame cutting, plasma cutting, shearing Understand the aims and application of these quality
and forming. standards
Appreciate the relevance and implications of these
TN 16-85 Welding Stainless Steel standards
This Technical Note complements Technical Note Number Conduct a self-assessment of quality requirements
13 by detailing valuable information on the welding of Devise an action plan to meet the quality requirements
most types of stainless steels commonly used in industry. Obtain certication to AS / NZS ISO 3834 / ISO 3834 /
EN 729
TN 17-86 Automation in Arc Welding The CD contains a comprehensive checklist that
Provides information and guidance on all the issues addresses all the elements of AS / NZS ISO 3834 for an audit
involved with automation in arc welding. The general or certication purpose. The CD also contains useful check-
principles are applicable to automation in any eld. lists for Welding Coordination activities and responsibilities.
return to contents next page
WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7 PAGE 131

TN 28-04 Welding Management Plan and WTIA Pocket Guides


Audit Tool for Safe Cutting and Welding These handy sized Pocket Guides are designed to be used
at NSW Mines to MDG 25 (CD-ROM only) on a practical day-to-day basis by welding and other
Will assist mining companies to implement a Welding personnel.
Management Plan (WMP) compliant with MDG 25
Guideline for safe cutting and welding at mines as PG01-WD-01 Weld Defects
published by the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.
The ETT: Will assist Welders, Welding Supervisors and others in
Will assist in the development, implementation and the identication and detection of defects, their common
auditing of a WMP for safe cutting and welding causes, methods of prevention and in their repair.
operations in mines
PG02-SS-01 Welding of Stainless Steel
Contains a generic WMP that can be edited and tailored
to suit your purpose A concise guide for Welders, Welding Supervisors
Describes the processes to be employed, the standards to welding processes and procedures for the fabrication
to be referenced and the issues to be addressed in the of stainless steel including Codes, Standards and speci-
development of a WMP cations, cleaning and surface nishing, good welding
Contains an Audit Tool that can be used to develop practice and precautions.
risk assessment for welding and cutting
Contains Procedures, Work Instructions and Forms /
Records for safe cutting and welding activities that
can be adapted as necessary for your mine. Other Expert Technology Tools
Contract Review for Welding and Allied
WTIA Management Systems Industries (CD-ROM only)
MS01-TWM-01 Total Welding Management System Explains how to review design, construction, supply,
Interactive CD-ROM installation and maintenance contracts in the welding
Welding Occupational Health, Safety & industry. It has been designed for private and govern-
Rehabilitation Management System ment organisations acting in the capacity of a client or a
contractor or both.
MS02-OHS-01 OHS&R Managers Handbook
The CD contains more than 36 checklists covering
MS03-OHS-01 OHS&R Procedures
areas such as structures, pressure equipment, pipelines,
MS04-OHS-01 OHS&R Work Instructions non-destructive testing and protective coatings to various
MS05-OHS-01 OHS&R Forms and Records Australian Standards.
Four Expert Technology Tools incorporated into
one Interactive CD-ROM
MS06-ENV-01 Welding Environmental
Management System
Interactive CD-ROM

return to contents
PAGE 132 WTIA TECHNICAL NOTE 7

This page left blank intentionally.

return to contents