Welding and Cutting (Construction): What you need to know

This overview outlines the safety requirements for welding, cutting, and heating operations in construction industry workplaces. These "hot work" operations that can present a variety of hazards: fire, explosion, toxic atmospheres, ultraviolet radiation, and electric shock. For that reason, every aspect of welding and cutting is covered in the rules. Even workers who are not "welders" as such must be aware of the hazards in handling fuel cylinders and in being near a welding or cutting work area.

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Safety rules. The safety rules for welding, cutting, and heating are:

  • Gas welding and cutting--29 CFR 1926.350
  • Arc welding and cutting--29 CFR 1926.351
  • Fire prevention--29 CFR 1926.352
  • Ventilation and protection in welding, cutting, and heating--29 CFR 1926.353
  • Welding, cutting, and heating preservative coatings--29 CFR 1926.354

Related safety rules. There are additional safety rules that apply to welding, cutting, and heating operations:

  • Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI))--29 CFR 1926.1126
  • Cadmium--29 CFR 1926.1127
  • Gases, vapors, fumes, dusts, and mists--29 CFR 1926.55
  • Ventilation--29 CFR 1926.57
  • Hazard communication--29 CFR 1926.59
  • Lead--29 CFR 1926.62
  • Process safety management--29 CFR 1926.64
  • Personal protective equipment--29 CFR 1926 Subpart E
  • Fire protection and prevention--29 CFR 1926 Subpart F

Hazards. The safety of welding and cutting operations is dependent on the steps taken to prevent and control exposures to extreme heat, compressed gas, electrical hazards, toxic gases and fumes, noise, and radiated energy. Effects from unsafe practices can range from "sunburn of the eyes" to chronic health effects. The awareness, training, and ability of welders and their supervisors to identify hazards largely determine the safety of these ...

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