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Welding and Cutting Prerequisites

Before conducting welding or cutting operations, inspect your equipment for the following:

  • Welding leads must be completely insulated and in good condition.
  • Cutting torches and hoses must be leak-free and equipped with proper fittings, gauges, regulators, and flashback devices.
  • Oxygen and acetylene tanks must be secured in a safe place.

In addition, follow these guidelines for most welding and cutting procedures:

  • Conduct welding and cutting operations in a designated area free from flammable materials. When welding or cutting is necessary in an undesignated or hazardous area, have someone nearby act as a fire attendant.
  • periodically check welding and cutting areas for combustible atmospheres.
  • Take care to prevent sparks from starting a fire.
  • Remove unused gas cylinders from the welding and cutting area.
  • Keep hoses out of doorways and away from other people. A flattened hose can cause a flashback.
  • Mark hot metal with a sign or other warning when welding or cutting operations are complete.

The following table provides an overview of welding and cutting hazards:

Potential Hazard Hazard Source

- Damp working conditions
- Improper grounding
- Improper insulation
- Indirect work connection

Hazardous Atmospheres

- Confined space
- Inadequate ventilation
- Electrode (manganese, chromium, etc.)
- Base metal coating

Sparks, Fire, Explosion

- Flammable materials
- Containers that have held combustibles

UV radiation Burns

- Gas arc
- Reflective enclosures
- Inadequate visor lens
- Welding curtain not it use

Confined Space

- Atmosphere not monitored
- No safety attendant present

Gas Cylinders

- Touching cylinder with electrode
- Storing cylinders on their side
- Unsecured cylinders


May 2011
Reviewed November 2014