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June Is National Safety Month – Welding Safety Part 3 of 3

Since June is National Safety Month, and most wear plate is welded into position; this is the third post of a three part blog series covering welding safety.

Part 1 – EYE SAFETY, PPE and HOUSEKEEPING

Part 2 – OXYGEN – ACETYLENE TORCH SAFETY

Part 3 - WELDING MACHINE SAFETY & METAL REMOVAL SAFETY

Many weldors are unaware they have poor safety habits, because they were never taught the proper way to do their job safely. Everyone becomes complacent with their equipment when they use it day after day for years. After some time, they can take the equipment’s condition for granted.

Here are several essential safety tips when welding wear resistant steel, particularly when your people are welding in the field.

WELDING MACHINE SAFETY

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Look carefully and see how many potential problems do you can spot in this welding area? The list is at the end of this article.


1. Always inspect every machine connection before you begin your welding project.

Look for frayed cables & the potential for electric shock.

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OSHA and MSHA will deliver a citation and a hefty fine for electrical tape covering exposed wires on welding cables. This customer didn’t think this was a problem because, “This is just on a ground clamp. It isn’t like it carries electricity!” This attitude can end up with a recordable injury or death. The cable had to be replaced promptly.

2. Inspect electrode holders and ground clamps.


The ‘stinger’ or electrode holder on arc welding machines is among the most abused pieces of equipment in any shop. It is often dropped or pulled off the work surface by tripping on the cables. This can easily break pieces off from the protective components covering the bronze electrode holder.

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Here is a new ‘stinger’ or electrode holder. The brown areas and the black handle cover before the cable are insulators to protect you from electric shock. They must be intact at all times.

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The insulators missing here were chipped and broken off a little at a time; resulting in a dangerous situation. It was being used outdoors where his leather welding gloves were soaked from the rain. The weldor was receiving shocks while welding. His comment was, “I’m getting tickled a little today!” Never place yourself in harm’s way when common sense tells you it is wrong.

The new stinger in the above photo cost $12.00 at the time. Are you willing to risk your life for that amount? Never put yourself or your people in danger by using welding components with missing or damaged safety equipment.

IMPORTANT: Stingers are classed by the amperage they are designed to carry. Using a stinger designed for a hobbyist welding machine will quickly overheat when used with high amperage loads. Always use the proper equipment for the job.

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This ground clamp had a heavy piece of metal fall and put a nick in the cable. As the cable was pulled into position, the copper wire was exposed a little more at a time. Be certain to always repair any cable with exposed wires. The potential for electric shock can be deadly, particularly in wet or damp areas.

3. Electrode stub disposal.


Proper housekeeping in your welding area is essential to prevent accidents.

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Many weldors will toss the stick electrode stubs onto the floor, creating a slip hazard and potential for starting a fire.

Metal Removal Safety


Preparing equipment for welding and repairs often require the use of a grinder.

Grinding wheels are made by placing abrasive grit and adhesive onto a fiberglass mesh, and compressed under high heat.

I have witnessed when some people finish grinding, they will jam the grinding wheel into a piece of metal to stop the wheel from spinning.


This is a very dangerous habit.

Doing The Math On Grinding Wheels


Multiplying the wheel diameter by 3.1416 = circumference in inches. Divide this number by 12 = the circumference in feet. Circumference in feet multiplied by the RPM of the wheel = number of feet per hour. Divide this number by 5280 gives you the speed in miles per hour at the edge where you are doing the work.

From a 3” diameter cut off wheel on a die grinder at 20,000 RPM, to an 18” diameter chop saw wheel at 3,400 RPM; the edge speed for all the wheels was between 180 mph and 185 mph!

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This crash at Daytona Speedway several years ago resulted in parts scattered for over a mile, as you would expect. When you take a grinding wheel from 180 mph to zero, you can also expect the grinding wheel to come apart.

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This 4.5” cutoff wheel exploded because it was being used as a grinding wheel, a task for which it was not designed. With sharp, hard pieces coming off at 180 mph, skin and bone are an insignificant defense.


Leading the wear plate industry for over 40 years now, JADCO has established friendships in many industries all over the world.

It is critical for us to make certain our friends and customers are not injured on the job. Please work safely.

Upgrading Your Wear Resistant Steel

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Our entire Chromeweld family of Chrome Carbide Overlay wear plate products is made at our headquarters in Harmony, PA, 30 minutes North of Pittsburgh.



As the leading manufacturer of CCO plate in the USA, you can depend on what you get from JADCO. Many steel distributors offer foreign made CCO with little carbide content and far less quality control.

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To make certain we control every aspect of our Chromeweld overlay plate, JADCO has created our own clad machines.


For over the last 40 years JADCO has focused exclusively on delivering consistent, longer equipment life for our customers. We think differently by strictly focusing to improve your results.


Allow us to help you today by calling (724) 452-5252, or email info@jadcomfg.com.


We will schedule a meeting with one of our local wear plate specialists at a time that best fits your schedule.


Remember, the only thing you have to lose by not working with JADCO, are your profits.

When your standard AR wear plate gives out, give JADCO a shout! (724) 452-5252

Answers to how many potential problems do you can spot in this welding area?

There are six problem areas shown in the first photo of this post.


1. Far right bottom is a drum that held grease.
2. On top of the drum and on the welder are aerosol cans. In a maintenance shop, these frequently have flammable contents which can easily start a fire from welding or grinding sparks.
3. A paper manual is open on the welding bench, another source of fire.
4. Oxy-acetylene torch set behind the welder. If the tanks are not shut down correctly this can cause an explosion or fire.
5. The welding cable as described in the article above shows this is not allowed. The cable was replaced after the photo was taken.
6. The assorted items on top of the welder can easily be bumped off potentially causing a trip or slip hazard. Housekeeping is an ongoing requirement in every shop.


Sorry – that isn’t a propane tank; which is what I thought at first. It is a tank to recharge air conditioning units. But you were looking intently enough to spot it and inquired.

Now review your own welding areas to see any items you can find that need correcting.


We hope you found these three safety articles beneficial and being aware of the hazards will help keep your people on the job and out of the hospital.