View Full Version : TIG Welding SS Safely?
08-13-2009, 12:28 AM
I just picked up a local, part time job welding aircraft exhaust systems. Its all thin gauge 321 stainless. It seems like a great place, and they are letting me come in when I want which means I can still pursue my own business endeavors.
My worry now is welding stainless for hours on end, and inhaling the fumes. I know they are not good for you. I looked around and didnt see any exhaust systems. Im not sure if it is an OSHA regulation or not(guys on other boards are swaying both ways).
Are there any tips or tricks that I can do to help my situation? I obviously want to live as long as possible. I was thinking of seeing if I can find a somewhat small respirator that will go under my welding helmet, but someone told me a simple respirator wouldnt help.
Any and all input is appreciated! Thanks in advance!
08-13-2009, 08:18 AM
Here you go, It is fast approaching. http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/showpost.php?p=362597&postcount=1
If the shop or guys working there don't have any fume extraction equipment or masks it might be
1}the small shop owners don't know
2}the small shop owners don't care
3}they have a high turn over rate with employees, Is the help wanted sign out all the time or do they have a add running all the time.
4}how is the general air look in the shop area when people are welding, does it look like the great smokey mountains or foggy London town with a haze and little or air movement.
Are there any type of exhaust fans running at anytime?
5}how many do they have welding at the same time.
6}yes you can find masks that stop some of the Hexavalent Chorium fumes and particulate.
7} or you simple can copy or print out the info on the OHSA reg and ask them about it. If they fire you on the spot then you probably wouldn't want to work there. But that's just my opinion!:D
8}if the door to the office area is closed and hardly ever opened, or the foreman/owner is hardly ever in the shop. They probably don't give a Rat's behind about anybody but them self.
Again in the other thread some of the posts give some other sites for info.
My grandfather spent the last 8 years of his life tethered to an oxygen bottle and tent in his house for sleeping. As this was before the oxygen concentrators they have now, which my neighbor has with 24/7/365 They both have/had damaged lungs. Granpap, it was coal mining dust. And neighbors is smoking. So one should breath as little fumes as possible. My welding instructor in high school in the late 60's use to say" God gave ya a nose to tell you when you shouldn't have ya mug in the middle of stuff that isn't good for ya, that is your first alert system" So no welding fumes are good for the body!
08-13-2009, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the reply and link. Good info there. Now Im wondering if I should put an anonymous tip into OSHA first, or if I should ask the company then talk to OSHA? If I ask first, they say no, then all the sudden OSHA shows up, I think it would be a little suspicious. Any ideas?
08-13-2009, 10:43 AM
If you feel your health is at risk and you inform the employer of your concerns, it is their obligation to rectify the situation. Things must be done correctly and in writing so there is undisputable evidence. If they choose not to fix a legitimate health issue and then fire you if you contact OSHA, you are set for a nice, early retirement.
There are entirely too many Federal laws regarding this situation. Do it correctly and you will be protected. This doesn't give you the right to be an arsehole about it, but if played correctly you will get a safe workplace for you and your co-workers.
08-15-2009, 05:54 PM
Bottom line is,
You chose to weld.
open some doors, buy your own mask, quit yer bi#$*in :eek:
and get back to work.;)
08-15-2009, 10:05 PM
...and don't smoke. It has proven bad, bad health consequences...if you are concerned about what you are breathing, that is. It would seem silly to be quoting OSHA with a cigarette in your mouth.:p
08-16-2009, 02:44 PM
Don't stick your head over the weld in process. If there is a prevailing draft in the building, stay upwind of the work. Get to work.
08-16-2009, 08:35 PM
No reason not to make the situation as healthy as possible. Sounds like the job will be ongoing, so it's worth the effort to improve. Some people will even do schit quality work for fear of donking the dog too much. Living with a problem is just plain stupid. Sounds like some of the posters work where they are not allowed to stop and think. Glad I don't work there.
11-03-2009, 11:25 AM
I was a TIG welder for 7 years before I became a welding engineer and I've been on both sides of the coin.
I take safety seriously as I only have one body. At every facility I've worked at we've had a safety engineer or auditor come in and air quality samples were taken.
I'm currently in the process of getting ready to sample the air quality at my current job.
That being said if you are tig welding on clean new pieces of stainless steel using common filler material. You shouldn't have anything to worry about the only issue that's coming up is hexavalent chrome (chrome-6) as there's lot of chrome in stainless steel http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hexavalentchromium/recognition.html At 2 facilities I worked at where we did exclusive stainless welding, we had air quality samples taken. Both locations passed with flying colors. One had smoke extraction one didn't.
I only worry about GTAW fumes, if we happen to be using a grade of material that has some potentially harmful substance in it. Or additives such as cleaners, primers, etc that can leave a film on the weld that can be burned up in the arc. Knowing the cleanliness of most stainless steel welding I've never been worried.
Personally I would request them to take air quality samples or if you feel your in danger. If they are reluctant or drag their feet on doing anything I would make the call to OSHA. But if you're welding on good clean stainless I wouldn't be worried.