Welding, Cutting and Brazing Checklist
Welding, cutting and brazing pose a unique combination of both health and safety hazards to workers. The risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime.
The following checklist may help you evaluate your safety procedures for welding, cutting and brazing tasks. Please note that this checklist does not ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, nor should it substitute for a comprehensive health and safety program.
- Are only authorized and trained personnel permitted to use welding, cutting or brazing equipment?
- Are compressed gas cylinders regularly examined for signs of defects, deep rusting or leakage?
- Are cylinders kept away from sources of heat?
- Are employees prohibited from using cylinders as rollers or supports?
- Are empty cylinders appropriately marked, with their valves closed and valve-protection caps placed on them?
- Are signs reading: “DANGER! NO SMOKING, MATCHES OR OPEN LIGHTS,” or the equivalent, posted in gas bottle storage areas?
- Are cylinders, cylinder valves, couplings, regulators, hoses and apparatus kept free of oily or greasy substances?
- Unless secured on special trucks, are regulators removed and valve-protection caps put in place before moving cylinders?
- Do cylinders without fixed hand wheels have keys, handles or nonadjustable wrenches on stem valves when in service?
- Are liquefied gases stored and shipped with the valve end up and with valve covers in place?
- Before a regulator is removed, is the valve closed, and then gas released from the regulator?
- Is the open circuit (no load) voltage of arc welding and cutting machines as low as possible, and not in excess of the recommended limit?
- Are electrodes removed from the holders when not in use?
- Are employees required to shut off the electric power to the welder when no one is in attendance?
- Is suitable fire-extinguishing equipment available for immediate use?
- Are welders forbidden to coil or loop welding electrode cable around their bodies or body parts such as an arm?
- Are work and electrode lead cables frequently inspected for wear and damage, and replaced when needed?
- Do the means for connecting cable lengths have adequate insulation?
- When the object to be welded cannot be moved, and fire hazards cannot be removed, are shields used to confine heat, sparks and slag?
- Are firewatchers assigned when welding or cutting is performed in locations where a serious fire might develop?
- When welding is done on metal walls, are precautions taken to protect combustibles on the other side?
- Before hot work begins, are drums, barrels, tanks and other containers thoroughly cleaned and tested so that no substances remain that could explode, ignite or produce toxic vapors? Does all protective equipment (welding helmets, hand shields and goggles) meet appropriate standards?
- Are employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting or brazing operations protected with personal protective equipment and clothing?
- Is a check made for adequate ventilation where welding or cutting is performed?
- When employees work in confined spaces, is the atmosphere monitored and are means provided for quick removal of welders in case of an emergency?