OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Welding, Cutting and Brazing

Welding, Cutting and Brazing

  • Are only authorized and trained personnel permitted to use welding, cutting or brazing equipment?
  • Does each operator have a copy of the appropriate operating instructions and are they directed to follow them?
  • Are compressed gas cylinders regularly examined for obvious signs of defects, deep rusting, or leakage?
  • Is care used in handling and storing cylinders, safety valves, and relief valves to prevent damage?
  • Are precautions taken to prevent the mixture of air or oxygen with flammable gases, except at a burner or in a standard torch?
  • Are only approved apparatus (torches, regulators, pressure reducing valves, acetylene generators, manifolds) used?
  • Are cylinders kept away from sources of heat?
  • Are the cylinders kept away from elevators, stairs, or gangways?
  • Is it prohibited to use cylinders as rollers or supports?
  • Are empty cylinders appropriately marked and their valves closed?
  • Are signs reading: DANGER—NO SMOKING, MATCHES, OR OPENLIGHTS, or the equivalent, posted?
  • Are cylinders, cylinder valves, couplings, regulators, hoses, and apparatus kept free of oily or greasy substances?
  • Is care taken not to drop or strike cylinders?
  • 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 non-adjustable wrenches on stem valves when in service?
  • Are liquefied gases stored and shipped valve-end up with valve covers in place?
  • Are provisions made to never crack a fuel gas cylinder valve near sources of ignition?
  • Before a regulator is removed, is the valve closed and gas released from the regulator?
  • Is red used to identify the acetylene (and other fuel-gas) hose, green for oxygen hose, and black for inert gas and air hose?
  • Are pressure-reducing regulators used only for the gas and pressures for which they are intended?
  • Is open circuit (No Load) voltage of arc welding and cutting machines as low as possible and not in excess of the recommended limits?
  • Under wet conditions, are automatic controls for reducing no load voltage used?
  • Is grounding of the machine frame and safety ground connections of portable machines checked periodically?
  • Are electrodes removed from the holders when not in use?
  • Is it required that electric power to the welder be shut off when no one is in attendance?
  • Is suitable fire extinguishing equipment available for immediate use?
  • Is the welder forbidden to coil or loop welding electrode cable around his body?
  • Are wet machines thoroughly dried and tested before being used?
  • Are work and electrode lead cables frequently inspected for wear and damage, and replaced when needed?
  • Do 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 fire watchers assigned when welding or cutting is performed in locations where a serious fire might develop?
  • Are combustible floors kept wet, covered by damp sand, or protected by fire-resistant shields?
  • When floors are wet down, are personnel protected from possible electrical shock?
  • When welding is done on metal walls, are precautions taken to protect combustibles on the other side?
  • Before hot work is begun, are used drums, barrels, tanks, and other containers so thoroughly cleaned that no substances remain that could explode, ignite, or produce toxic vapors?
  • Is it required that eye protection 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 in and where welding or cutting is performed?
  • When working in confined places, are environmental monitoring tests taken and means provided for quick removal of welders in case of an emergency?