Welding, Torching and Brazing Safety
Welding, torching and brazing are a common activity in UWM maintenance activities, shops and instructional areas.
Supervisors and instructors must ensure all equipment is code-compliant, in safe working order and that users are properly trained in the safe use of the equipment.
Please direct any questions regarding safety procedures to your supervisor or instructor or the Department of University Safety and Assurances.
General Rules for Welding at UWM Include:
- Know the hazards of the material(s) you are working with. Contact your supervisor or instructor for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), or check the Chemical Right-To-Know webpage for links to MSDS sites. Please contact the Department of University Safety and Assurances (x5808) for air monitoring / exposure evaluation to welding fume.
- There are specific fire safety requirements for welding, torching and other "hot work" at UWM. Please see the following links or call University Safety and Assurances (x6339) for additional information.
- Precautions such as isolating welding and cutting, removing fire hazards and combustibles and providing a fire watch for fire prevention shall be taken in areas where welding or other "hot work" is performed.
- A "fire watch" shall be provided during the work and maintained for at least 30 minutes after welding, torching or other "hot work" has been completed. The "fire watch" is responsible for monitoring the entire operation to ensure that a fire is not started and to quickly extinguish any small fires that may ignite.
- A fire extinguisher must be located adjacent to the activity and should be immediately available to the fire watch. The individual assigned to fire watch duties should not have other functions to perform and should maintain a constant vigilance over the operation.
- Eye protection shall be worn. Other persons adjacent to the welding area shall be protected by noncombustible or flameproof screens or shields and shall wear appropriate eye protection.
- In shops, studios and laboratories, use the exhaust ventilation such as snorkel hoods and capture hoods to minimize your exposure to welding fume. Contact your supervisor or instructor for instructions on the proper use and limitations of this safety equipment.