Chapter 33
WELDING, JOINING, AND THERMAL CUTTING SAFETY

Contents

Approved by Dan Best
Revised 05/13

 

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33.1 Policy

The Welding, Joining, and Thermal Cutting Safety Program at Berkeley Lab ensures that welding is performed safely and in conformance with applicable safety standards by qualified and authorized personnel in a manner that ensures acceptable joint quality and integrity. 

"Welding" includes all joining processes that use heat to join materials with or without a filler material. Examples of such processes are welding, brazing, soldering, and thermal cutting (e.g., severing or removing metal by localized melting, burning, or vaporizing of the work pieces).

To provide sufficient time for the development of policy and procedures not already satisfied by the Berkeley Lab Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) program, or the Engineering and Facilities Divisions' welding safety policies and procedures, this policy will be effective on January 1, 2011.

33.2 Scope

See Section 33.3, Applicability, below.

33.3 Applicability

This policy applies to all Berkeley Lab employees, casual and participating visitors, affiliates, and subcontractors performing welding at Berkeley Lab.

33.4   Exceptions

This policy does not apply to:

  1. Subcontractors performing repairs on subcontractor-owned equipment that may be operated at Berkeley Lab. However, other Berkeley Lab requirements apply to these same subcontractors. See ES&H Manual, Construction Health & Safety  and sJHA Process – Subcontractor Job Hazards Analysis programs.
  2. Subcontractors performing welding where quality and safety requirements are specifically addressed in subcontractor requirements (e.g., structural welding, fabricating components or equipment)
  3. Engineering management overseeing welding operations
  4. Division management overseeing low-risk welding operations

33.5 Roles and Responsibilities

Managers, supervisors, and employees have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of this policy.

Role

Responsibility

Division Directors

  • Ensure that welding performed in their divisions is done in accordance with this ES&H Manual program, and only by individuals qualified and authorized to do so
  • Ensure that documented processes are used to authorize individuals within their divisions to request welds, weld plans, assign risk categories, and/or perform welding

Engineering Division

Performs high-risk welded joints on research equipment and assemblies

Engineering Division Director

  • Designates qualified welding engineers (see Designated Welding Engineers below in this table) or procures these services from a qualified vendor to provide welding guidance for research applications
  • Ensures the review and approval of high-risk welding designs for research equipment or assemblies prepared by vendors and Berkeley Lab personnel

Facilities Division

  • Responsible for high-risk joints (see Section 33.6, Definitions) performed on Berkeley Lab infrastructure (e.g., buildings, utility piping systems, seismic restraints, etc.)
  • Ensures that qualified welding engineers provide welding guidance for building or infrastructure applications
  • Ensures the review and approval of high-risk welding designs for building infrastructure, equipment, or assemblies prepared by vendors and Berkeley Lab personnel

Facilities Division Director

  • Ensures that qualified welding engineers (see Designated Welding Engineers, below in this table) provide welding guidance for building or infrastructure applications
  • Ensures the review and approval of high-risk welding designs for building infrastructure, equipment, or assemblies prepared by vendors and Berkeley Lab personnel

Designated Welding Engineers

  • Specialize in:
    • Relevant welding codes
    • Welding design
    • Welding drawing standards
    • Material properties
    • Quality aspects of welds
  • May be appointed by his or her division director as a designated welding engineer
  • Can be procured from external vendors (e.g., Consolidated Engineering, Inc.)
  • Provide Berkeley Lab staff with advice and guidance on weld integrity and welding codes compliance
  • Review and approve welding-related designs/drawings on behalf of their respective division directors

Work Leads

Ensure that only qualified and authorized workers perform welding, and that the authorizations are documented in the Job Hazards Analysis (JHA)

Environment, Health, Safety, and Security (EHSS) Division

  • Provides guidance to Berkeley Lab staff on welding-related occupational safety and health hazards and the graded approach, and assists divisions in developing welding policies and procedures
  • Assists divisions in assessing worker exposures to hazardous airborne agents and safety hazards during welding, as requested by workers and/or work leads or division safety coordinators

33.6 Definitions

Term

Definition

ANSI

American National Standards Institute

ASME

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

ASSE

American Society of Safety Engineers

AWS

American Welding Society

Perform or Performing

Terms that, when used in this ES&H Manual program in the context of welding (as defined below), incorporate all phases of the joining process including but not limited to the design, specification, preparation, fabrication, and inspection of the joint as required by codes relating to the welding process

Graded Approach

System that assigns joints a risk category depending upon the direct consequences of joint failure. Requirements for performing the design, specification, preparation, fabrication, and inspection of the joint depend upon the risk category (see below) and are established using the graded approach. Risk categories are as follows:

High-Risk Welded Joint 

  • A welded joint whose failure could cause severe injury or death, and/or the release of hazardous materials. Engineered seismic bracing and pressure vessels typically contain high-risk joints. Additionally, welded support stands holding high-value equipment, oxygen and/or flammable gas piping systems, and toxic gas piping systems where the human risk potential has been analyzed and mitigated by an Engineering Note or Safety Note are generally considered high-risk welds.
  • The welding engineer may be consulted to assist a requestor with deciding whether the proposed weld meets the definition of a high-risk welded joint.

ISM

Integrated Safety Management

Low-Risk Welded Joint

  • A joint whose failure is low-risk and does not have a recognized potential to cause injury. The risk of property damage due to such a failure is nil to moderate. Examples include welded joints on lower-value equipment, and welding of most plumbing systems (water, nonhazardous gas, vacuum). Additionally, joints resulting from the following processes are always considered low risk:
    • Soldering using heated irons or guns
    • Resistance spot welding performed solely for the purpose of connecting electrical conductors
    • Joining, blowing, or fusing of glass or quartz for scientific purposes
  • Low-risk welded joints may also be created by using other processes. The EHSS Welding Subject Matter Expert (SME) may be consulted to confirm that the failure of the proposed joint poses no risk of injury, and no to little impact to costs.

Qualified

As used in this ES&H Manual program, a person who has demonstrated knowledge, training, and skills to safely and effectively perform a given welding or joining activity

Welding

  • As used in this ES&H Manual program, a term that includes all joining processes that use heat to join materials with or without a filler material. Examples of such processes are welding, brazing, soldering, and thermal cutting (e.g., severing or removing metal by localized melting, burning, or vaporizing of the work pieces). For technical definitions of these processes, see AWS A3.0:2001, Standard Welding Terms and Definitions).
  • "Welding" in this ES&H Manual program does not include processes known as solvent welding or adhesive bonding (typically used to fuse plastic parts), or using a "bag sealer" to melt plastic sheets.

33.7 Required Work Processes

 

CH33-welding-flowchart-1

 

CH33-welding-flowchart-2

 

Work Process A. Welds Requiring a Facilities Work Request

Customers requiring welding who are not part of the group and process to perform their own welds must use the Facilities Division Work Request Center to request a weld. Facilities Division management screens the request and, depending on the type of weld requested, assigns an appropriate welding process, specification, and qualified welder(s) to complete the work.

  1. The Facilities Division follows its internal welding procedures (ADMN-070, Facilities Welding and Brazing, and OPER-346, Facilities Welding and Brazing) to ensure that any welding performed meets applicable codes, regulations, and Berkeley Lab requirements.
  2. For high-risk welds, an Engineering or Safety Note will be prepared to ensure that safety requirements have been satisfied and that the weld meets applicable ANSI, ASME codes, and OSHA welding regulations.

Work Process B. Welds for Scientific Research Equipment

For the engineering, design, fabrication, repair, and maintenance of scientific equipment, Engineering Division personnel screen the customer request to determine the appropriate approach to the specifications and the appropriate welding process, and assign qualified staff welder(s) to complete the project.

  1. The Engineering Division follows its internal welding procedure to ensure that any welding performed satisfies applicable codes, regulations, and Berkeley Lab requirements.
  2. For high-risk welds, an Engineering or Safety Note will be prepared to ensure that the safety requirements have been satisfied and that the weld meets applicable codes and regulations.

Work Process C. Low-Risk Welds Using ISM and JHA Work Processes

The vast majority of welding performed by divisions other than Facilities and Engineering is considered "low-risk" welding (e.g., soldering, spot welding, and torch brazing). For these types of welding, the Berkeley Lab Integrated Safety Management (ISM) and Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) processes will satisfy the requirements for welding hazards, controls, training, authorization, and documentation.

Should a scientific division need to perform other types of welding, specific policies and procedures should be developed and implemented with the oversight of EHSS Welding Subject Matter Expert.

Work Process D. Hot Work Permit and Associated Controls

  1. See the Fire Prevention and Protection for the Hot Work Permit process. A Hot Work Permit is required for:
    1. Resistance spot welding
    2. Open-flame welding processes
    3. Arc-welding processes
  2. Filing Hot Work Permits. Hot Work Permits are filed with the Berkeley Lab Fire Department.

Work Process E. Exposure Assessment

  1. Hazards
    1. Potential hazards to individuals performing welding, brazing, soldering, thermal cutting, or similar processes include exposure to:
      1. Fumes
      2. Gases
      3. Flux chemicals
      4. Heat
      5. Noise
      6. Radiation
    2. The nature of the exposure is influenced by many factors, including:
      1. The composition of the filler metals and base metals
      2. The welding, cutting, or brazing method
      3. The presence of paint or coating on the metals being welded
    3. Exposure is an issue for both the operator and for others in the area.
  2. Evaluation
    1. Workers who perform these processes should have their potential exposures evaluated by requesting an exposure assessment. The exposure assessment evaluates related safety issues such as enclosed/confined spaces, electrical hazards, fire hazards, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilation.
    2. Welding exposure assessments are archived in Hazard Management System.
    3. See Section 4.18, Exposure Assessment, for more information on the exposure assessment process.

Work Process F. Training

Training requirements for welding to be performed must be completed, as determined by the worker's JHA.

EHS0241

Welding, Cutting and Brazing Safety

EHS0243

Soldering Awareness Training

EHS0244

Resistance Spot Welding

Work Process G. Hazard Control

  1. Implement control measures are identified in:
    1. JHA
    2. Hot Work Permit
    3. Exposure assessment
    4. Division-specific welding procedures
  2. Personal Protective Equipment
    1. Employees who perform and observe welding must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that complies with ANSI Z49.1, Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes, Sections 4.3 and E4.3. (See also Section 33.9, Reference Documents, of this ES&H Manual program.) Selecting and wearing appropriate protective clothing is also required to minimize the potential for ignition, burning, trapping hot sparks, or electric shock. Employees must satisfy the PPE and protective clothing requirements listed below to guard against welding hazards typically associated with specific tasks.
    2. General PPE requirements:
      1. Eye protection. Eye and face protection must comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133 and ANSI Z87.1-1989 (the American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection). Guidance on shade numbers and filter lenses can be found in ANSI Z49.1 and 1910.133(a) (5); tables from these two standards are included in Appendix B, Welding Eye-Protection Guidelines.
        1. Safety glasses with side shields or goggles must be worn underneath welding helmets. This is to protect the eyes when the helmet or shield is in the raised position.
      2. Respiratory protection. If required, respiratory protection must comply with Berkeley Lab's Respiratory Protection Program.
      3. Head protection may be specified by the Job Hazards Analysis (JHA).
      4. Foot protection. Safety shoe footwear is typically required for working in shops (see the JHA). Protective footwear is available through Berkeley Lab's safety shoe vendor.
      5. Electrical safety. PPE required for electrical safety is addressed in the ES&H Manual, Electrical Safety program. For general safety, dry clothing without holes or tears will usually be sufficient to insulate the welder from electric shock.
      6. Hand protection. Welders must wear protective flame-resistant safety gloves as provided in Appendix B and other parts of this ES&H Manual program. Safety gloves made of leather or other suitable materials and with insulating lining are recommended to protect workers against exposure to high radiant energy. All gloves must be in good repair, dry, and capable of protecting workers against electric shock from welding equipment.
      7. Minimum protective clothing requirements vary depending upon the process used.
  3. Welding, Joining, and Thermal Cutting Hazards. Potential hazards to individuals performing welding, brazing, soldering, thermal cutting, or similar joining processes include exposure to fumes, gases, flux chemicals, heat, noise, and radiation. The nature of the exposure is influenced by many factors including the composition of the filler metals and base metals; the welding, cutting, or brazing method; and the presence of paint or coating on the metals being welded. Exposure is an issue both for the operator and others in the area. Workers who perform these processes should have their potential exposures evaluated by requesting an exposure assessment. Related safety issues include enclosed/confined spaces, electrical hazards, fire hazards, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilation.
  4. Personal Exposure Issues
    1. Fumes. Fumes are solid airborne particles formed by the condensation of vapor. Welding fumes are formed from the vaporization of molten metal. Adverse health effects of exposure to welding fumes can include systemic poisoning, metal-fume fever, pneumoconiosis (lung disease), and irritation of the respiratory tract. The composition of welding fumes depends on the metals involved, as discussed below:
    2. Material Being Welded

      Fume Component

      Controls

      Iron or steel

      Iron oxide

      Local ventilation should be adequate.

      Stainless steel

      Iron oxide; may include nickel and chromium, which are carcinogens. Immediate symptoms include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation.

      Additional PPE may be necessary to adequately control exposures.

      Plated, galvanized, or painted metals

      May contain cadmium, zinc oxide, or lead. Exposure to zinc-oxide fumes can cause metal fume fever, a condition with flu-like symptoms that typically lasts 24 hours. Cadmium is a suspected human carcinogen.

      Local exhaust ventilation

      Older building components, including structural steel

      Lead from painted surfaces

      Berkeley Lab's Lead Program requires that lead paint be removed from a surface in an approved manner before it is welded or cut. Other requirements may apply. Any lead-related work should be reviewed by the Berkeley Lab Lead Program Manager.

      Base metal or in coatings on the surface

      Aluminum, beryllium, copper, mercury, silver, tin, titanium, or vanadium may be present.

      Controls will be determined on an individual basis via an exposure assessment if these materials are present.

      Rosin fluxes

      Pyrolysis decomposition products

       

      Good ventilation is necessary to keep exposure as low as possible.

    3. Toxic Gases. Welding may result in exposure to shielding gases, gases created by the welding process, and decomposition products of fluxes used in welding or brazing. Workers must recognize the symptoms of overexposure to the toxic gases described below, and stop the operation until additional protective measures have been implemented:
      1. Inert gases such as argon and helium may be used as shielding gases. Semi-inert shielding gases include carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Although these gases are not toxic, some are flammable, and thus proper controls must be used when working with combustibles and equipment to reduce the risk of fire. In enclosed spaces, it is possible for the inert shielding gas to displace oxygen and result in asphyxiation.
      2. Carbon monoxide is formed by incomplete combustion, particularly when carbon dioxide is used as the inert gas shield. Welding operations that use carbon dioxide as the inert gas shield may produce hazardous concentrations of carbon monoxide in poorly ventilated areas. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Overexposure can result in headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, visual disturbances, personality changes, loss of consciousness, or death. Air monitoring can evaluate the levels of carbon monoxide produced during welding operations. Controls can include ventilation; however, respiratory protection is generally not effective protection against carbon monoxide.
      3. Phosgene gas may be formed when ultraviolet radiation decomposes chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents. Phosgene reacts with moisture in the lungs to produce hydrogen chloride, which mixes with water to form hydrochloric acid, which in turn destroys lung tissue. Solvents must be removed from materials before they are welded. In addition, chlorinated solvents must be located far away from welding operations or any operation that generates ultraviolet radiation or intense heat.
      4. Ozone is produced by the interaction of ultraviolet light from the welding arc with the surrounding air. Ozone is produced in greater quantities by gas metal arc welding (GMAW, also known as metal inert gas [MIG] or short-arc welding), gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW, also known as tungsten inert gas [TIG] or heli-arc welding), and plasma arc cutting. Ozone formation is greater when aluminum is welded. Ozone is a highly active form of oxygen and can cause great irritation to all mucous membranes, and long-term negative effects on the lungs. Symptoms of ozone overexposure include headache, chest pain, and dryness of the upper respiratory tract. Excessive exposure can cause pulmonary edema.
      5. Nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are produced when ultraviolet light from the welding arc interacts with nitrogen and oxygen in the air. Nitrogen oxides are produced in greater quantities by GMAW (or MIG or short-arc welding), GTAW (heli-arc or TIG welding), and plasma arc cutting. NO2, one of the oxides formed, has the greatest adverse health effect. NO2 is irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat. Dangerous concentrations can be inhaled without any immediate discomfort but can result in delayed symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, and fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
      6. Fluoride compounds are found in the coatings of several types of fluxes used in welding. Exposure to these fluoride compounds may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Repeated exposure to high concentrations of fluorides in the air over a long period of time may result in fluid in the lungs and bone damage. Exposure to fluoride dusts and fumes may also produce skin rashes.
      7. Products containing both fluoride and hydrogen compounds may produce corrosive and toxic hydrofluoric acid, which can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.
    4. Heat (Burns). Welding can produce sparks and spatter. Hot metal and sparks are generated by the cutting process, and the work piece and equipment can get hot. Flying sparks, hot metal spatter, hot work pieces, and hot equipment can cause burns.
    5. Flux. Flux is commonly used in brazing and soldering. Depending on the chemical composition of the flux, there may be hazards such as skin irritation or burns due to corrosive flux.
    6. Noise. Noise should be controlled at the source as much as possible. When controls are not adequate to keep noise levels within acceptable levels, hearing protection must be used. When hazards to the ear canals exist, flame-resistant plugs or equivalent protection must properly fit in the worker's ear canals. Berkeley Lab has established a Hearing Conservation Program to protect employees from noise. Noise dosimetry is used to monitor an employee's exposure to noise. Required measures for hearing protection and other actions are determined by the results of this monitoring.
    7. Radiation. The operations discussed below produce radiation that is either non-ionizing or ionizing. Sources of non-ionizing radiation include ultraviolet (UV) light, visible light, and infrared (IR) light. Sources of ionizing radiation include X-rays.
      1. UV light is generated by the electric arc in the welding process.
        1. Skin exposure to UV light can result in severe burns, in many cases without prior warning.
        2. UV radiation can also damage the lens of the eye. Many arc welders are aware of the condition known as "arc eye," a sensation of sand in the eyes. This condition is caused by excessive eye exposure to UV light.
        3. Exposure to UV rays may also increase the effects of some industrial chemicals (coal tar and cresol compounds, for example) on the skin.
      2. Visible light radiation is a hazard for the welding operator and others nearby. Exposure of the human eye to intense visible light can produce adaptation, pupillary reflex, and shading of the eyes. Such actions are protective mechanisms to prevent excessive light from being focused on the retina.
        1. In the arc-welding process, eye exposure to intense visible light is prevented by the welder's helmet. However, some individuals have sustained retinal damage due to careless "viewing" of the arc.
        2. At no time should the arc be observed without appropriate eye protection.
      3. Exposure to IR radiation produced by the electric arc and other flame cutting equipment may heat the skin surface and the tissues immediately below the skin surface. Except for this effect, which can progress to thermal burns in some situations, IR radiation is not dangerous to welders.
        1. Welders must use a welder's helmet (or tinted glasses) and protective clothing to protect themselves from IR (and UV) radiation.
      4. Ionizing radiation can be a hazard if thoriated tungsten electrodes are used.
        1. Grinding thoriated electrodes can generate dust that may create an inhalation hazard for welders. Check the label of the electrodes. If you find that they are thoriated electrodes, contact an EHSS Industrial Hygienist for technical assistance in evaluating potential exposure risk.
        2. Ionizing radiation can also be produced by electron beam welding. Presently, electron beam welding is not performed at Berkeley Lab.
  5. Related Safety Issues
    1. Compressed Gas Safety. Compressed gases are used in many types of welding. All aspects of compressed gas use must be in accordance with regulatory requirements. This includes gas cylinder:
      1. Handling
      2. Storage
      3. Securing
      4. Pressure regulating
      5. Fittings selection
      6. Leak testing
      7. Pressure relief
      8. Signs and markings
    2. Enclosed or Confined Spaces. Welding, cutting, and brazing processes can introduce additional hazards into enclosed or confined spaces such as attics, mechanical equipment, and vessels. Some enclosed spaces are classified as "Confined Spaces," and are subject to the requirements of Berkeley Lab's Confined Space Program.
      1. Special requirements apply for welding, cutting, and brazing in enclosed or confined spaces. These situations must be analyzed by a Task-based Job Hazards Analysis.
      2. Cylinders containing oxygen, acetylene, or another fuel gas cannot be taken into confined spaces.
    3. Electrical Hazards. Electric shock from welding and cutting equipment can result in death or severe burns. Serious injury can occur if the welder falls as a result of the shock. Additionally, an incorrectly installed or improperly grounded equipment or work piece is a hazard. All of the following are electrically energized when the power is on:
      1. The welding circuit (including the electrode and work piece)
      2. Input power and machine internal circuits
      3. The wire, reel of wire, drive rolls, and all other metal parts touching the energized electrode
    4. Fire Hazards. Welding, cutting, and allied processes produce molten metal, sparks, slag, and hot work surfaces. These can cause a fire or an explosion if precautionary measures are not followed.
      1. Flying sparks are the main cause of fires and explosions in work that involves welding and cutting.
      2. Sparks can travel up to 35 feet (10.7 meters) from the work area.
      3. Sparks and molten metal can travel greater distances when falling.
      4. Sparks can pass through or become lodged in cracks, clothing, pipe holes, and other small openings in floors, walls, or partitions.
    5. Ventilation. Ventilation is required for welding, cutting, or brazing in enclosed spaces or spaces where partitions or barriers significantly obstruct cross ventilation.
      1. The ventilation may be portable units or fixed systems.
      2. Fixed ventilation includes extractor arms and fume hoods.
      3. If mechanical ventilation is inadequate to maintain adequate air quality, supplied-air respirators must be used.

Work Process H. Safe Work Processes

Perform welding process according to control measures.

  1. Safe Work Practices. Although there are various welding, joining, and allied processes as classified by the American Welding Society (see Appendix A, Welding and Joining Processes) the welding processes typically performed at Berkeley Lab can be broken into four categories for safety purposes:
    1. Soldering using heated irons or guns
    2. Resistance spot welding
    3. Open-flame processes
    4. Arc processes
  2. Common process-specific hazards are discussed below. For a more detailed discussion of hazard controls, see Work Process G, Hazard Control). The following precautions apply regardless of the joint's risk category:
    1. Soldering using heated irons or guns
      1. The soldering of electronic components is usually performed with a soldering iron or gun. A low melting temperature (melting range of 90 to 450°C [190 to 840°F]) solder flows into the heated joint by capillary action. Hazards are not only posed by the solder but also by the equipment, fluxes, coatings, and cleaning agents.
      2. Typical hazards include contact with hot surfaces or corrosive cleaning agents, splatter of flux or unclean surfaces, inhalation and/or eye irritation from vaporized materials, and ingestion of lead from contaminated hands.
      3. EHS0243, Soldering Awareness Training, is required.
      4. Safety glasses with side shields or goggles must be worn when soldering with an iron or gun.
      5. Soldering must not be performed on combustible surfaces.
      6. Hands and face must be washed after soldering and before eating or smoking to prevent the ingestion of lead from solder.
      7. Solder waste is recyclable material. It will be collected and managed per the Berkeley Lab metal recycling process. Please bag any waste solder, and place it in the metal recycling hopper. If you wish to mark it with the words "waste solder, recyclable material," feel free to do so. Generally, it is incorrect to store solder as hazardous waste in your Satellite Accumulation Area. The EHSS Waste Management Group and/or Facilities Division can assist solder users with recycling and/or disposal requirements.
    2. Resistance spot welding
      1. The most common resistance welding performed at Berkeley Lab is resistance spot welding (RSW). RSW can be performed for structural/mechanical purposes (i.e., welding sheet metal) or for fastening electrical conductors.
      2. RSW for structural/mechanical purposes is typically performed using a large, fixed floor-standing machine. Handheld RSW bench-top machines are also often used to fasten electrical conductors.
      3. Typical RSW hazards include lacerations from handling sharp edges of sheet metal, splatters from discharge, pinching/crushing by electrodes, electrical shock, and burns or fire from sparks.
      4. EHS0244, Resistance Spot Welding, is required training.
      5. Clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn, including:
        1. Safety gloves as appropriate to avoid lacerations. When handling sheet metal, safety gloves made of leather or other cut-resistant material should be worn. Safety gloves are usually not necessary during the RSW of electrical conductors, although some form of gloves may be required to maintain cleanliness.
        2. Long-sleeve shirts as appropriate, preferably without pockets
        3. Safety glasses with side shields, or goggles
      6. Machines must be inspected before each use to ensure that guards and other required safety devices are in place and operational, and that electrical insulation is complete and in good condition.
      7. Hot Work Permit or equivalent authorization from the Berkeley Lab Fire Department is required for any RSW process. Keep combustible material out of the work zone. A fire extinguisher must be immediately available.
    3. Open-flame processes
      1. These include soldering, brazing, welding, torch cutting, and other processes that use a handheld torch to heat the joint and filler material.
      2. Typical hazards include contact with hot surfaces, inhalation of metal and flux fumes and toxic gases, intense visible and IR radiation from the heated joint and/or flame, fire due to accidental contact of splashed molten metal or flame with combustible materials, and other hazards inherent to cylinder-fed gases.
      3. For open-flame processes (often referred to as "oxyfuel gas" processes) not including glassblowing, the following precautions apply:
        1. EHS0171, Pressure Safety, and EHS0241, Welding, Cutting and Brazing Safety, are required training.
        2. EHS0243, Soldering Awareness Training, is required if soldering will be performed using open-flame processes.
        3. Open-flame processes included above may only be performed by qualified and authorized workers in accordance with approved division policies and procedures.
        4. Hot Work Permit or equivalent authorization from the Berkeley Lab Fire Department is required for any open-flame (oxyfuel gas) process. Keep combustible material out of the work zone. A fire extinguisher must be immediately available.
        5. Welding goggles or safety glasses with side shields must be worn. Guidance for selecting appropriate shade numbers and appropriate filter lenses is provided in Appendix B, Welding Eye-Protection Guidelines.
        6. PPE for protection against hot surfaces must be worn. This includes safety gloves and may also include aprons and/or leathers. Closed-toe shoes and long trousers are also required for torch cutting.
    4. Glassblowing. Although glassblowing (including fabricating, sealing, bending, or fire polishing quartz or glass parts) is an open-flame process, the hazards involved in glassblowing are different from those of open-flame processes involving metal parts. Typical hazards include thermal burns from hot glass parts, cuts from sharp (especially newly cut) glass surfaces, exposure to gaseous silica, and the release of hazardous gases due to heating contaminated glassware. The following precautions apply to glassblowing:
      1. EHS0171, Pressure Safety (formerly EHS0231) is required training for all open-flame processes except for those using only a benchtop Bunsen burner.
      2. Glassblowing may only be performed by workers qualified and authorized by the JHA.
      3. Hot Work Permit or equivalent authorization from the Berkeley Lab Fire Department is required for glassblowing except when using a benchtop Bunsen burner. Keep combustible material out of the work zone.
      4. Welding goggles (for quartz work), didymium safety glasses with side shields (for glass work), or safety glasses with side shields must be worn.
      5. Cut-resistant safety gloves must be worn when cutting glass.
      6. Glass edges should be fire polished to remove sharp edges prior to removing it from the work area.
      7. Work must be performed in a well-ventilated area.
      8. All glassware must be thoroughly cleaned prior to heating/repairing.
    5. Arc welding processes
      1. These include shielded metal arc ("stick"), tungsten inert gas, metal inert gas, orbit, submerged arc, arc cutting, and similar welding processes that use a controlled electrical discharge (arc) between the electrode and the work piece to provide the heat for melting the base metal and filler.
      2. Typical hazards include contact with hot surfaces; inhalation of metal and flux fumes or combustion products; intense ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation from the arc; toxic gas produced by an arc reaction with air or the shielding gas; fire or burn caused by splashed molten metal, a slag, or a spark; and electric shock. Asphyxiation is also possible if the inert-gas shielded arc welding is performed without adequate ventilation.
      3. EHS0241, Welding, Cutting and Brazing Safety, is required training.
      4. Arc-welding processes may only be performed by qualified and authorized workers in accordance with division-approved policies and procedures.
      5. Hot Work Permit from the Berkeley Lab Fire Department is required for any arc-welding process. Keep combustible material out of the work zone. A fire extinguisher must be immediately available.
      6. Welding goggles, or safety glasses with side shields and a full face helmet, must be worn. Guidance for selecting appropriate shade numbers and appropriate filter lenses is provided in Appendix B, Welding Eye-Protection Guidelines.
      7. Work must be performed in a well-ventilated area.
      8. Welding screens must be provided to protect passersby against arc radiation.
      9. PPE for protection against hot surfaces must be worn. This includes safety gloves and may also include aprons and/or leathers. Closed-toe shoes and long trousers are required. Special protection is required when performing overhead welding.

33.8 Source Requirements

33.9 Reference Documents

Document Number

ES&H Reference

Title

Type

 

ANSI Z49.1:2005

Safety in Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes

 

Consensus Standard

 

ANSI/ASSE Z87.1:2003

Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices

Consensus Standard

 

ANSI Z87.1:1989

 

American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection

Consensus Standard

 

 

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (2004), Sections I through XII, including applicable code cases

Code

 

ASME B31

Code for Pressure Piping, sections as defined by 10 CFR 851.27 (date varies by substandard)

Code

 

AWS A3.0:2001

Standard Welding Terms and Definitions

Standard

Multiple

 

ES&H Manual, Industrial Hygiene

Program

07.02.003.001

 

ES&H Manual, Safe Work Authorizations

Program

07.07.026.001

 

ES&H Manual, Pressure Safety and Cryogenics

Program

07.07.011.001

 

ES&H Manual, Electrical Safety

Program

07.07.007.001

 

ES&H Manual, Construction Health & Safety

Program

Multiple

 

ES&H Manual, Fire Prevention and Protection

Program

07.07.015.001

 

ES&H Manual, Gases

Program

07.07.024.001

 

ES&H Manual, Personal Protective Equipment

Program

07.07.021.001

 

ES&H Manual, Machine Safeguarding – Shop and Laboratory Machine Safety

Program

07.02.004.001

 

ES&H Manual, sJHA Process – Subcontractor Job Hazards Analysis

Program

07.02.001.001

 

ES&H Manual, Job Hazards Analysis

Program


 

33.10 Appendices

Appendix A. Welding and Joining Processes
Appendix B. Welding Eye-Protection Guidelines

Appendix A. Welding and Joining Processes

 

Welding and Joining Processes

Appendix B. Welding Eye-Protection Guidelines

From ANSI Z49.1:2005:

 Guide for Shade Numbers
(From AWS F2.2 Lens Shade Selector)
Shade numbers are given as a guide only and may be varied to suit individual needs.

Process

Electrode Size
in. (mm)

Arc Current (Amperes)

Minimum(*) Protective Shade

Suggested Shade No. (Comfort)

Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)

Less than 3/32 (2.4)

Less than 60

7

--

3/32-5/32 
(2.4-4.0)

60-160

8

10

5/32-1/4 
(4.0-6.4)

160-250

10

12

More than 1/4 (6.4)

250-550

11

15

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) and Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)

 

Less than 60

7

--

60-160

10

11

160-250

10

12

250-500

10

14

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW)

 

Less than 50

8

10

50-150

8

12

150-500

10

14

Air Carbon Arc Cutting (CAC-A)

(Light)

Less than 500

10

12

(Heavy)

500-1000

11

14

Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)

 

Less than 20

6

6 to 8

20-100

8

10

100-400

10

12

400-800

11

14

Plasma Arc Cutting (PAC)

 

Less than 20

4

4

20-40

5

5

40-60

6

6

60-80

8

8

80-300

8

9

300-400

9

12

400-800

10

14

Torch Brazing (TB)

 

--

--

3 or 4

Torch Soldering

 

--

--

2

Carbon Arc Welding

 

--

--

14

* As a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone. Then go to a lighter shade that provides a sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding, cutting, or brazing where the torch or the flux produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light spectrum.

 

 

Guide for Shade Numbers
(From AWS F2.2 Lens Shade Selector)
Shade numbers are given as a guide only and may be varied to suit individual needs.

 

Plate Thickness

 

Suggested Shade No. (Comfort)

in.

mm

Oxyfuel Gas Welding (OFW)

Light

Under 1/8

Under 3

 

4 or 5

Medium

1/8 to 1/2

3 to 13

 

5 or 6

Heavy

Over 1/2

Over 13

 

6 or 8

Oxygen Cutting (OC)

Light

Under 1

Under 25

 

3 or 4

Medium

1 to 6

25 to 150

 

4 or 5

Heavy

Over 6

Over 150

 

5 or 6

* As a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone. Then go to a lighter shade that provides a sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding, cutting, or brazing where the torch or the flux produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light spectrum.

 

From 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(5):

Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy from 
FED OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(5)1

Operations

Electrode Size

1/32 in.

Arc Current

Minimum(*) Protective Shade

Shielded Metal Arc Welding

Less than 3

Less than 60

7

3-5

60-160

8

5-8

160-250

10

More than 8

250-550

11

Gas Metal Arc Welding and Flux Cored Arc Welding

 

Less than 60

7

60-160

10

160-250

10

250-500

10

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

 

Less than 50

8

50-150

8

150-500

10

Air Carbon Arc Cutting

(Light)

Less than 500

10

(Heavy)

500-1000

11

Plasma Arc Welding

 

Less than 20

6

20-100

8

100-400

10

400-800

11

Plasma Arc Cutting

(Light)(**)

Less than 300

8

(Medium)(**)

300-400

9

(Heavy)(**)

400-800

10

Torch Brazing

 

 

3

Torch Soldering

 

 

2

Carbon Arc welding

 

 

14

Footnote (*) as a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone. Then go to a lighter shade that provides a sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding, cutting, or brazing where the torch and/or the flux produce a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light spectrum.

Footnote (**): These values apply where the actual arc is clearly seen. Experience has shown that lighter filters may be used when the arc is hidden by the work piece.

1 A similar table is available from 29 CFR 1926.102 and applies to construction activities. The above table is more detailed, and thus is reproduced here.

 

Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy
From FED OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(5)

Operations

Plate Thickness (inches)

Plate Thickness (mm)

Minimum(*) Protective Shade

Gas Welding

Light

Under 1/8

Under 3.2

4

Medium

1/8 to 1/2

3.2 to 12.7

5

Heavy

Over 1/2

Over 12.7

6

Oxygen Cutting

Light

Under 1

Under 25

3

Medium

1 to 6

25 to 150

4

Heavy

Over 6

Over 150

5

Footnote (*): As a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone. Then go to a lighter shade that gives a sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding or cutting where the torch produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light of the (spectrum) operation. 

 

_____________________

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