Cutting and Welding

Welding and cutting pose several hazards on the jobsite.  Following proper guidelines and wearing appropriate attire, you can eliminate the possibility of an accident.

General Guidelines

  • Whenever possible, move objects to a safe place before heating, cutting, or welding.
  • Remove or effectively screen all fire hazards where the welding job is to take place.
  • Do not cut or weld any steel drum or other vessel that might have contained flammables until it has been steam purged and tested. Flushing with water is not sufficient.
  • Do not apply heat to the inside surface of any piping or vessel unless it is open to the atmosphere to prevent pressure buildup.
  • Where it is necessary to catch falling sparks and slag, use fiberglass blankets or fire-retardant welding tarpaulins.
  • Keep an appropriate type of fire extinguisher available at all times.
  • Make sure there is sufficient general ventilation.
  • Where welding fumes and gases can accumulate, use local exhaust ventilation to remove the contaminants.
  • Proper ventilation is required when using inert gases while welding.

Workers engaged in welding or burning operations MUST wear

Face protectors and safety eyewear to guard against harmful radiation or particles of molten metal, including when chipping and grinding welds

Workers engaged in welding or burning operations SHOULD wear

  • Flame-retardant work clothing, preferably made of cotton or wool fibers
  • Leather gauntlet-type gloves and arm protection
  • An apron made of leather or other suitable material for heavy work
  • Substantial safety footwear made of leather or another equally firm material

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t forget the fire watch for at least 30 minutes after work has stopped.


Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What damage can a welding arc do to your eyes?
  • What additional hazards are there when working with stainless steel?