It is important to use enough ventilation to keep the fumes and gases from your breathing zone. For occasional welding in a large room with good cross-ventilation, natural ventilation may be adequate if you keep your head out of the welding fumes. However, be aware that strong drafts directed at the welding arc may blow away the shielding gas and affect the quality of your weld. In planning your workshop ventilation, it is preferable to use ventilation that pulls fume from the work area rather than blows necessary shielding gas away.
Remember, electric shock can kill. Wear dry, hole-free leather gloves when you weld. Never touch the electrode or work with bare hands when the welder is on. Be sure you are properly insulated from live electrical parts, such as the electrode and the welding table when the work clamp is attached. Be sure you and your work area stay dry; never weld when you or your clothing is wet. Be sure your welding equipment is turned off when not in use. Note that Lincoln wire feed / welders have a relatively low open circuit voltage and include an internal contactor that keeps the welding electrode electrically 'cold' until the gun trigger is pressed. These important safety features reduce your risk of electric shock during any welding project.
It is essential that your eyes are protected from the welding arc. Infrared radiation has been known to cause retinal burning. Even brief unprotected exposure can cause eye burn known as 'welder's flash'. Normally, welder's flash is temporary, but it can cause extreme discomfort. Prolonged exposure can lead to permanent injury.
Workspace - Protection from Sparks
Before you get started on any welding project, it is important that you make sure your work area is free of trash, sawdust, paint, aerosol cans and any other flammable materials. A minimum five-foot radius around the arc, free of flammable liquids or other materials, is recommended. Extra care should be taken in workshops that are primarily used for woodworking as sawdust can collect inside machines and in other hard to clean spaces. If a spark finds its way into one of these sawdust crannies, the results could be disastrous. If your shop area is too small to allow for a safe radius, please use an alternate area like a garage or driveway.
Cylinders can explode if damaged. Always keep your shielding gas cylinder upright and secured. Never allow the welding electrode to touch the cylinder.
It is also imperative to make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment and that you're wearing welding friendly clothes. You should wear:
Welding gloves - dry and in good condition
Safety glasses with side shields
Protective welding shield with a dark lens shade appropriate for the type of welding you do
Head protection - like a fire retardant cotton or leather cap
Long-sleeve cotton shirt
Long cotton pants
Leather work boots
A fire extinguisher should also be on hand during any welding. Also, make certain no children are in the area when you are welding. They may watch the arc and can experience retinal damage from its intense light. There is also a risk of a child getting burned by welding spatter.
Finally, see the instruction manual for your welder for added safety information.
*The above project images and descriptions have been published to show how individuals used their ingenuity for their own needs, convenience and enjoyment. Only limited details are available and the projects have NOT been engineered by the Lincoln Electric Company. Therefore, when you use the ideas for projects of your own, you must develop your own details and plans and the safety and performance of your work is your responsibility.