Sun, 17 Jan 2021
22.7 C
Durban

Why skimping on welding spatter protection is a bad idea

Home Metals Cutting & Welding Why skimping on welding spatter protection is a bad idea

POOR economic conditions – exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown – have tempted many manufacturers to cut back unwisely on health and safety facilities, risking the sustainability of their enterprises.

That’s according to Wim Dessing, Sales Executive of Apex Strip Curtains & Doors, who said South Africa already has disproportionally high rates of injuries at work – despite having advanced occupational health and safety (OHS) laws.

“The difficult trading environment certainly makes for tough financial decisions, but safety should always be a priority. Employees are the backbone of any business’s capacity to produce and meet deadlines, so they need constant protection – not to mention the regular compliance inspections by the Department of Labour,” Dessing said.

He cited the example of factories where grinding and welding are carried out, saying some manufacturers may resort to makeshift protective structures where solid wall barriers are not feasible to counter UV radiation and weld splatter.

He warned that these structures might comprise wooden or metal partitions, or even opaque canvas sheeting. They do not comply with the OHS Act, he emphasises, and provide well below-par protection for workers.

“Rather, the responsible route is to install Apex Welding & Safety Screens – which effectively protect workers from weld splatter and fumes, as well as from harmful ultra-violet radiation. The screens are manufactured from a specially formulated PVC material, proven by SABS tests to be superior to conventional materials.”

The screens are available in various configurations, the most popular being a freestanding frame for easy handling and portability. They absorb, scatter and filter light for safer working environment, both for the welder and for others in the vicinity. SABS tests show that the screens are more effective than conventional materials for UV transmittance, protecting workers against long-term skin exposure and impact on eyesight.

Dessing said the feet of the screens are angled to allow the best use of floor space, and they can be positioned perpendicular to each other.

Most Popular

Durban refinery could be closed for months after fire

IT is likely to be several months before the Engen refinery in Durban, shut down after a fire on 4 December 2020, is operating...

Bounce back for truck builder

BUSINESS at leading South African truck and trailer building company, Serco, has recovered strongly in the last quarter of 2020 with prospects for 2021...

Harnessing water from the sea

With the global demand for clean, safe and reliable water, coupled with rising populations and urbanization, the water industry in South Africa faces unprecedented...

Economic uptick good news for M&E sector

THE Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has welcomed the uptick in economic activity, as reflected in the positive GDP growth...