Gas torches are used for a wide variety of purposes and are incredibly useful in the workshop or the construction site. They can be, however, very dangerous pieces of equipment to use, which is why you should always follow the strictest safety procedures. Whether you’re an experienced gas torch user, or you’re new to welding and cutting, you need to make sure you’re up-to-date.
Equipment check – it’s important that you always check your equipment before you start. That includes the gas torch itself, the fuel source, any piping and connections and that first aid and fire equipment is to hand. It also includes protective gear, just as masks and gloves, to ensure that your personal safety is secure at all times.
Location check – although in workshops, welding and cutting is carried out in dedicated areas, on-site work means that you could be working next to other welders or within range of other workers. You must check that your surroundings are safe, that there’s no combustible or flammable liquids nearby and that anyone working near you is aware of your role and is suitably protected where necessary.
Work practices check – you must ensure that you and anyone on your team follows essential health and safety work practices such as always shutting off your gas torch when it’s not in use, checking that piping is not in the way of your flame and is not leaking fuel onto nearby surfaces and that your workspace is clear of debris or other items that might snag your line or cause you to trip whilst working.
Personal health check – people are burned and harmed by gas torch incidents every year, many of which are preventable. Check that your workspace and equipment is set up for your personal safety, including appropriate ventilation, the right amount of space to work in, the latest in head and face protection and heavy duty gloves and clothing to protect your skin.
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