Different types of welding exist, which welders can apply to different situations. Today, most welders are used to laser welding and here are some of the safety concerns you need to observe when you perform this type of welding.
The eyes: when you expose your eyes to lasers of certain degrees and power, you can have a corneal or retinal damage or both. To avoid direct exposure to laser wavelength and power, you should always use a functional welding helmet. More about welding helmets is available at weldingwolf.com.
The skin: overexposure to optical radiation can easily cause skin burns. Research has shown that wavelengths of between 290 and 320 nm can lead to cancer of the skin. To avoid such maladies, you are supposed to have protective apparel when you carry out welding.
Chemicals: some lasers work together with other substances such as a chemical dye, which are toxic and can affect the life of the welder. Besides, laser welding also uses extremely high voltages, which can be very dangerous.
Fire: another concern during laser welding is fire, which can erupt due to the flammable materials used in the process. The high voltage involved in the process together with the highly flammable materials used can ignite fire anytime. For that reason, the environment should be well equipped with fire management devices.
How does laser affect your eyes?
Laser light can cause retinal damage, leading to blindness. This relates to infrared laser light between 400 and 1400 nm. In addition, ultraviolet laser light between 290 and 400 nm can damage the cornea or lenses of your eyes. These conditions could be controlled by having appropriate welding helmets to protect the eyes from the welding light.
Laser and skin hazards
Laser welding generates high-power beams of one or more watts, which could cause burns. When the welding process happens in fewer than five watts, there can be a quick reaction to the heat before it causes any serious damage. However, under extreme levels of heat, you can get burnt even if you withdraw your skin immediately after the sensation. Such burns are extremely dangerous and can take quite a long time to heal. Besides, research has shown that UV laser wavelengths may cause skin cancer.
Laser welding can take place in infrared, visible, and ultraviolet conditions. If you are engaged in laser welding, it is advisable to give priority to your protection. Laser injuries happen mostly because of poor training or welders, performing welding without following procedures, and failure to ensure proper protection.
With the growing popularity of laser welding, welders need to get more information regarding the practice. Casualties associated with laser injuries are dangerous but are avoidable by following proper instructions such as putting on welding helmets.