Welding Safety Standards

Welding Safety Standards address the full spectrum of safety considerations within the welding industry, covering everything from generally applicable guidelines to requirements specific to a single piece of equipment used for a single welding procedure. With the potential health effects of welding, and given the large amounts of energy necessarily involved in welding, welding safety standards are vital in their role of protecting the safety of those involved, as well as safeguarding property and assuring the reliability of welding designs and consistency of manufacturing output. Approaching safety from several angles, welding safety standards include safety-focused aspects built into the welding equipment itself, requirements for adequate personal protective clothing, air quality concerns and procedures, and so forth. Together, adherence to welding safety standards and knowledgeable operators transform an activity filled with danger into a carefully controlled exercise in safety.

General Welding Safety Standards

Welding Safety Standards address everything from nuanced specifics relevant to only a small subsection of the welding industry to generally applicable considerations that promote safety in a variety of practical welding engineering situations. Detailing safety promoting features such as consistent wordless precautionary labels and welding symbols or fire precautions, general welding safety standards play an important role in providing a strong foundation for a thorough welding safety program.

Arc Welding Safety Standards

In addition to arc welding safety standards published by national standards bodies and the American Welding Society (AWS), a 13-part series has been published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), with each part looking closely at a single component of arc welding, setting forth requirements for both performance and safety, highlighting the ever-present attention to safety necessary in arc welding.

Personal Protection Safety Standards

Personal Protection Standards frequently come into play when welding due to the inherent dangers associated with welding. While welding equipment can be made safer, certain dangers require further protection with the use of personal protection equipment such as eye and face protection. Some of these protections add on to standards used in industries with lower safety requirements, while others are developed specifically for welding when the dangers involved are unique to welding.

Welding Structural Codes

The American Welding Society (AWS) Structural Welding Code for Steel and Aluminum covers a range of requirements for structural welding. With the justifiably widespread usage of steel and aluminum in structural welding applications, the AWS structural welding code is a key element of standardization efforts within the welding industry. Included below are several bundles combining those standards which are frequently used together.

Non-Destructive Weld Testing Standards

Non-Destructive Weld Testing Standards cover multiple possible methods of testing welds or metallic materials. Non-destructive testing analysis techniques are used for QA, evaluations, research, in cases where the product is expensive or unique, failure analysis, and so on. With a focus on radiographic testing, these standards also cover magnetic, radioscopic, ultrasonic, and other methods. General rules, guides, terminology, are provided, as well as standard test methods, specific techniques, and acceptance levels, together covering both the broad strokes and the nuanced testing procedures.

AWS Resource for Engineers

The AWS Resource for Engineers (ARE) serves as a series of handbooks aimed at practical considerations in basic design principals, concepts, and methods. Published by the American Welding Society (AWS), these handbooks accompany their efforts in standardization and education within the welding industry and furthering the American standard of welding. These are chapters from the Welding Handbook, 9th edition.

Airborne Hazards Safety Standards

Airborne Hazards Safety Standards address the dangers posed by fumes, gases, vapors, and particles released into the air during welding processes. Looking at procedures for measuring emission rates, sampling airborne particles in a welder’s breathing zone, collecting fumes for analysis, minimum requirements for airflow rates, and so forth, airborne hazards safety standards cover safety procedures starting from the emission of hazardous materials all the way through to their removal.

Equipment Safety Standards

Welding Equipment Safety Standards address the proper design, manufacture, installation, and use of the varied and complicated equipment used for welding. Given the nature of welding, the obvious potential for danger requires safety considerations to be an integral part of the design process and manufacturing of the equipment involved. Welding equipment safety is therefore the first line of defense, and standardization helps assure cohesion between the equipment that welders use and everything surrounding it.