Take A Dive: How To Stay Safe When You're An Underwater Welder
If you've decided to take your welding to the next level, and become an underwater welder, you're going to be entering a whole new world. Underwater welding isn't as dangerous as some people believe, but it does require you to pay close attention to safety precautions. You might think that large sharks would be your biggest worry when welding underwater, but that's not actually the case. While the bright lights of the arc do tend to attract fish, they usually won't attack you, especially if you don't make any sudden moves towards them. Now that you're going into underwater welding, here are three tips that will help keep you safe while you're at work.
Always Wear the Proper Gear
When it comes to underwater welding, the most crucial safety tip you can follow is to always wear the proper gear. Being equipped with the proper gear can help you avoid electrical shock risks both above and below the water. You might not realize this, but you're at a bigger risk for electrical shock while you're out of the water than while you're in it. To reduce that risk you should always wear a rubber suit and gloves. It's also important that you have the right gauntlets around your wrists and that they fit properly. The gauntlets will help keep slag from getting into your gloves and burning you. Before you begin work, it's also important that you inspect your power cables and other stud welding products to ensure that they're not damaged, and that they're properly insulated against water leakage.
Take Care to Avoid Explosions
Like surface welding, underwater welding emits gases, which can be highly explosive. When you're welding underwater, it's crucial that you take precautions to avoid explosions. If you hear popping while you're welding underwater, you should stop what you're doing, and look for the leak in your hoses. The popping is a sure sign that you've got a leak in one of the hoses. To reduce the risk of explosions, always start from the highest point and work down towards the lowest point.
Understand Decompression Sickness
When conducting underwater welding, you need to be aware of the risks surrounding decompression sickness. This should be a serious concern for any underwater welder. Pay close attention for signs of decompression sickness, which can include a dull pain in areas of your body such as your lungs, brain, joints, and ears. It can also involve a sudden sense of itching all over your body. If you develop any of those symptoms, you should carefully make your way to the surface. To avoid decompression sickness, always stay hydrated, avoid consuming alcohol prior to a dive, and never ascend too quickly from a deep dive.