Small Business Self-Evaluation Checklist: Welding, Cutting, and Brazing

Welding, cutting, and brazing are hazardous activities that pose a unique combination of both safety and health risks to more than 500,000 workers in a wide variety of industries. The risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime.

Health hazards from welding, cutting, and brazing operations include exposures to metal fumes and to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Safety hazards from these operations include burns, eye damage, electrical shock, cuts, and crushed toes and fingers. Many of these can be controlled with proper work practices and personal protective equipment.

This “Client Handout” provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with welding, cutting, and brazing operations. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes  No  N/A 
Are procedures and policies written that covers welding, cutting, and brazing operations?      
Are workers trained in safe welding, cutting, and brazing methods?      
Are only authorized and trained personnel permitted to weld, cut, or braze?      
Are compressed gas cylinders checked for signs of defects, deep rusting, or leakage?      
Are cylinders, safety valves, relief valves, etc., carefully handled to prevent damage?      
Are precautions taken to prevent the mixture of air or oxygen with flammable gases?       
Are only approved welding, cutting, and brazing apparatus used?      
Are cylinders kept away from all sources of heat, 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 posted: “DANGER-NO SMOKING, MATCHES, OR OPENLIGHTS”?      
Are cylinders, valves, couplings, regulators, hoses, and apparatus kept free of oil or greasy?      
Is care taken not to drop or strike cylinders?       
Are regulators removed and valve-protection caps put in place before moving cylinders?      
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?      
Are all acetylene hoses colored red, oxygen hoses green, and inert gas and air hoses black?      
Are pressure-reducing regulators used only for the gas and pressure intended?       
Is open circuit voltage of arc welding and cutting machines as low as possible?      
Under wet conditions, are automatic controls for reducing no load voltage used?       
Are machine frames and portable machines properly grounded?      
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 extinguisher equipment available for immediate use?       
Is the welder forbidden to coil or loop welding electrode cable around his/her body?      
Are wet machines thoroughly dried and tested before being used?       
Are electrode lead cables frequently inspected for wear and damage?       
Do means for connecting cable lengths have adequate insulation?       
Are shields used to confine heat, sparks, and slag?      
Are fire watchers assigned in locations where a serious fire might develop?       
During welding, cutting, or brazing operations, 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 combustibles on the other side protected?      
Before hot work is begun, are used containers thoroughly cleaned?      
Are helmets, hand shields, and goggles that meet appropriate standards used?      
Is a check made for adequate ventilation where welding or cutting is performed?      
When working in confined places, are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) confined space requirements followed, including environmental monitoring tests taken and means provided for quick removal of welders in case of an emergency?      

 

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